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Thread: FR: on / nous - generalities

  1. #21
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    Re: On v Nous

    Fivestringfuror,

    Je ne crois pas qu'il soit "snob" de montrer que l'on aime bien traiter une langue que l'on aime...
    N'hésitez pas je crois à montrer que vous parlez bien. C'est toujours agréable pour l'oreille de celui qui écoute

    Bonsoir,
    B.

  2. #22
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    nous / on

    i was reading lately a book for grammaire du francais, but there was something i didn't understand..
    what's the diffrence between "nous" and 'on'??

    ex; nous sommes hommes, on est freres.. is this sentence is right?
    thanks in advance,..

    Silex7
    Last edited by anangelaway; 6th December 2008 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Thread merged with existing thread on the same topic.

  3. #23
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    Re: "nous" et "on"

    Bienvenue aux forums. Generally, 'on' is a colloquial term often used by young people to mean "nous". It means the same thing. Also, 'on' can mean 'one', eg. on peut aller ici, "one can go here.

  4. #24
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    Re: "nous" et "on"

    I would say that
    "on" is the colloquial version of "nous"

    "Nous sommes hommes" sounds a bit weird but it could be a bit "poetic".
    "Nous sommes des hommes" would sound "normal".

    "on est frères"


  5. #25
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    Re: "nous" et "on"

    In fact, "on" can be more general than "nous".
    I think it is more explicit in English, because there are many translations for "on".
    A translation for "on" in English is the passive voice, for example :
    I was told that... = On m'a dit que...
    You can also say "they" or "people" :
    They / People say that... = On dit que...
    "On" does not always refer to "nous". The person who speaks is not always included in "on".
    Hope it helps.
    See you !

  6. #26
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    on et nous

    on and nous both have the meaning 'we'
    are on and nous interchangeable anywhere or
    are there certain rules?


    for example, can "Où on est?" also be "Où nous sommes?"

  7. #27
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    Re: on et nous

    you should avoid to write down "on"
    or else it's interchangeable.

    Sometimes "on" is also used to speak out rules:
    exemple : on ne cours pas ici = il est interdit de courir ici
    Avec "nous", cela aurait moins de force

  8. #28
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    Re: on et nous

    on instead of nous is very frequent in informal spoken French

  9. #29
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    Re: on et nous

    you should avoid to write down "on"-------what do you mean by this??
    can you be more elaborate please?


    and i am aware of the other meanings of on
    it's just that i don't understand the distinction between
    on and nous, if there is any, that is, when you're using
    the words for the meaning 'we'

  10. #30
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    Re: on et nous

    Hi

    In some circumstaces "On" has a more general meaning; for example when you want to describe what tourist can do in a town eg. "On peut vistiter l'hôtel de ville." In this sense it translates as "One", a term mainly reserved for use by the Queen of England!

  11. #31
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    Re: on et nous

    do you mean to say that on is more colloquial than nous, hibouette?

  12. #32
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    Re: on et nous

    When you can use "nous" then you can use "on", but "on" can also be part of, what is called in french, the 'impersonal form'.

    For instance:

    "On m'a dit qu'il allait pleuvoir." =~ "I've been told that it is going to rain tomorrow."

    "Nous" cannot be used here.

  13. #33
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    Re: on et nous

    do you mean to say that on is more colloquial than nous?
    Oh, absolutely, I thought that was so obvious! Kids at school are taught (well, it was so in my days) never to say on, always nous!
    But of course, the opposite is true: orally, you will hardly ever hear anyone says nous.

  14. #34
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    Re: on et nous

    you should avoid to write down "on"-------what do you mean by this??
    I meant that on is more colloquial. You have to use it orally and avoid to use it when you write things

  15. #35
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    Re: on et nous

    Quote Originally Posted by kate123
    "Où nous sommes?"
    don't mean to be picky but it would be "ou sommes-nous?"

    Frankly, I think the difference between "on" et "nous" is very difficult to explain.

    Personally I always use "on". I even add it when it's not necessary "nous on est la" - which is not correct of course but very used in French (probably much to the dismay of non-French native speakers!!). I usually find that "nous" is much stronger.. as if one's need to emphasize...

  16. #36
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    Re: on et nous

    My friends in Belgium say 'nous on' + 3rd person singular a lot in place of 'nous' + 1st person plural, but I fear that this usage may not be regarded as standard! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nous_On_Veut_Des_Violons

  17. #37
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    Re: on v. nous

    Bonjour! Est-qu'on peut dire <on va aux cinema> ou est-il <on y va aux cinema>? Ou peut-etre on peut dire <peut-etre on peut aller aux cinema>, ou est-qu'il faut dire <peut-etre nous pouvons aller aux cinema>? Est-qu'on peut dire <Est-qu'on peut dire> ou <peut-etre on peut dire>???...???

    Quand tu utilize <on>, utilize-tu le troisieme personne singulier, ou quoi?

    Merci beaucoup!

    [...]
    Last edited by jann; 4th July 2009 at 8:10 PM. Reason: threads merged

  18. #38
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    Re: on v. nous

    Quote Originally Posted by xav View Post
    Indubitablement. Regrettablement.

    In his book The Power of Babel, linguist John McWhorter tells of a French friend becoming irritated with him because he used nous all the time when speaking French with her instead of on.

  19. #39
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    Re: on v. nous

    Quote Originally Posted by ils View Post
    Quand tu utilize <on>, utilize-tu le troisieme personne singulier, ou quoi?
    Bonjour et bienvenue sur le forum *ils*,

    Oui, il faut conjuguer le verbe à la troisième personne du singulier quand le sujet est "on".

    [...]
    Last edited by jann; 4th July 2009 at 8:11 PM. Reason: please send off-topic help by private message instead (rule 2)
    ... she said, with a gallic shrug.

  20. #40
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    On vs Nous

    My French teacher told me that Nous was going out of fashion and that On is more frequently used when talking... Is this true?

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