EN: allow X to + infinitive / allow + V-ing

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by jpcastel, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. jpcastel New Member

    France French
    The work that is being launched will allow to assess or assessing potential gains ?

    Moderator note: Multiple threads have been merged to create this one.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  2. setroc Junior Member

    Malaga
    España, Castellano
    allow to (+ infinitive)
    e.g. you are not allowed to eat in this room

    regards-
     
  3. jpcastel New Member

    France French
    Thanks, but it is Word that tells me that:

    The work that is being launched will allow to assess potential gains

    is incorrect, and suggests

    The work that is being launched will allow assessing potential gains !?

    What do you think of it ?
     
  4. aridra Junior Member

    Switzerland
    India
    "The work that is being launched will allow to assess potential gains" is incorrect. I would say :

    The work that is being launched will allow assessing of potential gains !

    or

    The work that is being launched will allow potential gains to be assessed.
     
  5. sam's mum

    sam's mum Senior Member

    Southampton
    England English
    The work that is being launched will allow potential gains to be assessed.
    The passive sounds good, but I would drop that is
    The work being launched will allow potential gains to be assessed. Or
    The work being launched will allow for the assessment of (any) potential gains
     
  6. UneHeureuxPommeDeTerre Junior Member

    Michigan, United States
    United States -- English
    Jpcastel,

    Word is yelling at you because you are missing a direct object in the correct place, following the verb "allow". For example, here's a modification of your original sentence:
    "The work that is being launched will allow us to assess potential gains."
    Or as Sam's mum suggested in her (?) example:
    "The work that is being launched will allow potential gains to be assessed."
    Here, "potential gains" is the direct object. Most of the time, the verb allow is followed by a direct object:
    To Allow someone to do something, To allow something to do something, etc...
     
  7. curlew New Member

    USA, English
    I agree with UneHeureuxPommeDeTerre. In this situation, I would use "The work that is being launched will allow potential gains to be assessed.", though 'that is' in this sentence can be omitted to make the sentence a bit cleaner, to look like:

    "The work being launched will allow potential gains to be assessed."
     
  8. Florence C Junior Member

    French
    Bonjour
    Je sais qu'il faut généralement mettre le gérondif derrière un verbe mais y a-t-il une règle pour s'y retrouver ?
    des deux phrases suivantes quelle est celle qui est à préférer (et à corriger !) :
    - this molecule allows tumor cells to survive by migrating out of the toxic environment
    - this molecule allows tumor cells surviving by migrating out of the toxic environment.

    Merci de votre aide
     
  9. Momerath Senior Member

    British English
    The second sentence sounds distinctly odd to me. The first sounds OK, although a non-specialist might wonder for a moment whether it is the molecule or the tumour cell that migrates.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  10. Tim~!

    Tim~! Senior Member

    Leicester, UK
    UK — English
    One allows something to do something, so the second sentence doesn't work at all.
     
  11. WordRef1 Senior Member

    California, USA
    English - America
    The tumor cell is able to survive by migrating out of the toxic environment with the aid of this molecule. - no ambiguity, though in the context it is probably clear even when saying that first sentence.
     
  12. afbyorb Senior Member

    U.S.A
    English
    To muddy the waters:

    Let us not allow fishing here.
    Must we allow the rabble's complaning to upset us?

    [Watch out for the genitive - is that Cherchez le genitif ?]
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  13. Gordon-Dupont Junior Member

    French
    Bonjour,

    Je sais que cette question doit revenir souvent mais je doute beaucoup sur la tournure de cette phrase:


    We have designed a new adjuvant that allows enhancing dramatically the immunogenicity of plasmid DNA encoding the antigen.

    Ca me parait mieux que:

    We have designed a new adjuvant that allows to dramatically enhance the immunogenicity of plasmid DNA encoding the antigen.

    Qu'en pensez vous?


     
  14. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    an adjuvant that allows to enhance :cross:
    an adjuvant that allows us to enhance :tick: (the direct object "us/etc." must be stated)
    an adjuvant that allows enhancing (grammatically correct, but imprecise use of language)
    an adjuvant that enhances :tick: :tick: (best choice)

    See also EN: permettre de + infinitif

    In English "to allow" is about permission (or allocation, or concession). The idea of granting permission is a deliberate human action, and is not used figuratively. Thus many French sentences with intransitive permettre de + infinitif (meaning "to make something possible") are appropriately translated in English with a conjugated form of the infinitive. One can use "allow" intransitively in English with the meaning "to make something a possibility"... but it requires the preposition "of" and should be followed by a noun, not a verb.
     
  15. slls New Member

    Belgium
    Français - BE
    Hey!

    I translated the following sentence in English, but I'm not sure about the bold parts :
    (...) which allows me building on my skills but also showing my potential.

    Do I have to say to build on... and to show my... or do I have to use -ing at the end of these words?
    Can you explain because I often stumble onto this problem.

    Thanks!

    (Oh! I'm new here! I'm pretty glad and hope Wordreference will be helpful for me in the future.)
     
  16. harrythelm Senior Member

    USA English
    Bienvenue sur le forum !

    Oui, il faut l'infinitif : to improve my skills and to show my p.
     
  17. polka48 New Member

    Français - France
    Bonjour,
    Je sais que des posts ont déjà été créés sur le sujet, mais je ne comprend toujours pas quand utiliser 'to' ou 'v-ing' après 'allow'!
    Je désirerai avoir une explication de personnes en français si possible, ou d'anglais qui connaissent bien le sujet.
    Je vous remercie par avance.
     
  18. DrD

    DrD Senior Member

    Cantal, France
    England English
    Bonjour polka48 et bienvenue.

    C'est pas facile sans exemples, mais je pense que la réponse à la question est qu'on utilise 'allow + to' quand on précise la personne qu'on permet (ou pas) de faire quoique ce soit. Par exemple: 'I will allow you to go out, provided that you put on a longer skirt'. Si on précise l'activité, sans préciser la personne, on utilise 'v + ing': 'I will not allow talking in my classroom'.
     
  19. OLN

    OLN Senior Member

    Alsace, France
    French - France, ♀
    Dans "I will not allow talking in my classroom", talking a valeur de substantif (allow something) et peut se traduire par un infinitif ou un substantif, ou une locution comme "qu'on parle".
    Exemple simple : smoking is not allowed /we don't allow smoking.

    En revanche, "permettre à... de", "autoriser qn à" "tolérer que + sujet + verbe" : allow something to happen ; allow someone to do something

    […]

    Tu peux aussi trouver des ressources en ligne, illustrées d'exemples :
    http://www.grammaring.com/to-infinitive-or-gerund-advise-recommend-allow-permit-forbid-require
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/allow_1
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv214.shtml
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  20. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Beware, Polka48! I suspect that you may be trying to translate something like: Cette bidule permet de faire telle ou telle chose?

    If that is so, both your options are wrong. In English we would always:
    A. put in the pronoun: This thing allows us to do such and such... OR
    B. use the passive: This thing allows such and such to be done.

    You can't translate the French construction directly.
     
  21. polka48 New Member

    Français - France
    Bonjour,
    Et merci pour vos réponses. Si j'ai bien compris, DrD et OLN, on met 'to' quand on précise le sujet, et sinon on ajoute -ing au verbe? Mais on peut aussi utiliser V+ed, par exemple pour 'something isn't allowed'.

    Keith Bradfird, according to you, we can't say for instance 'I will not allow talking in my classroom' ? Because you said there are only two constructions (with pronoun -> 'to', and by using the passive).
     
  22. DrD

    DrD Senior Member

    Cantal, France
    England English
    Bonjour polka48,

    Oui on peut utiliser v+ed au passif: 'talking isn't allowed'.

    Je ne crois pas que Keith veuille te dire qu'on ne peut pas dire 'I will not allow talking in my classroom' (on peut certainement le dire), je crois qu'il ne voulait que te dire que la construction française X permet Y ne se traduit pas directement.
     
  23. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Si si. Quand la chose permise est en fait une chose (donc un substantif) on peut tout à fait "permettre quelque chose" = to allow something. Dans cet exemple, le mot talking est un gerund, c'est-à-dire une chose, une forme nominale.

    1. permettre quelque chose = to allow something
    Le complément est nominal et c'est le COD d' allow/permettre.
    (voix active)
    I allow talking in my classroom, as long as it's in French.
    Je permets/tolère la conversation dans ma salle de classe à condition que ce soit en français.
    I do not allow cell phones in my classroom.
    Je ne permets pas les portables dans ma salle de classe.

    (voix passive)
    Talking is allowed. Cell phones are not allowed.
    La conversation est permise. Les portables ne sont pas permis.

    2. permettre à quelqu'un de faire quelque chose = to allow someone to do something
    La confusion vient du fait que "à quelqu'un" est le COI de "permettre" et on peut l'omettre... mais "someone" est le COD d' "allow" et il faut impérativement l'inclure.
    (voix active)
    I allow my students to talk in my classroom, as long as it's in French.
    Je permet aux élèves de parler dans ma salle de classe à condition que ce soit en français.
    School policy does not allow students to have cell phones in the classroom.
    Le règlement de l'établissement ne permet pas (aux élèves) d'apporter un portable en cours.

    Comme il impossible de transformer un COI en sujet on ne peut pas réécrire la structure française à la voix passive... mais la structure anglaise avec son COD, si :

    (voix passive)
    Students are allowed to talk in my classroom, as long as they speak in French.
    Students are not allowed to have cell phones in the classroom.


    3. il est permis (à qqn) de faire quelque chose = it is allowed (for someone) to do X --> Doing X is allowed
    La structure impersonnelle passe très bien en français, mais c'est assez maladroit en anglais. Mieux vaut la remplacer par la voix passive de la structure 1 ou 2.
    (voix passive, structure impersonnelle)
    It's allowed (for the students) to talk in French in my classroom. (maladroit)
    Mieux : Students are allowed to talk... (2) / Talking is allowed... (1)
    Il est permis (aux élèves) de parler en français dans ma salle de classe.

    It's not allowed for students to have cell phones the classroom. (maladroit)
    Mieux : Students are not allowed to have...(2) / Having a cell phone is not allowed... (1)
    Il n'est pas permis (aux élèves) d'avoir un portable dans la salle de classe.

    Comme vous pouvez voir, on peut souvent réécrire la même idée sous toutes les structures... :)

    Comme l'ont souligné d'autres intervenants, les francophones ont souvent du mal lorsqu'ils veulent faire du mot-à-mot pour traduire une structure 2 sans COI du français à l'anglais. Cette méthode permet de faire X, Ces données permettent de définir Y, etc. Mais comme on ne peut pas omettre le COD de la structure 2 en anglais, cela veut dire qu'il faut soit préciser un COD logique dans la traduction (à qui est-il permis de faire X ?) alors que ce détail était absent de la phrase française, soit reformuler avec une forme nominale pour employer la structure 1 en anglais.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013

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