ne … guère / ne … pas

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by mooinbruin, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. mooinbruin Junior Member

    Culver City, CA
    English, Swiss-German
    hello,

    I don't really understand what the negation guère […] mean. How exactely [is it] different from ne...pas?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2012
  2. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    These are old negative forms that French used to be more precise about the negation. Now they are mostly literary:

    ne... guère = hardly, barely, almost not, etc.

    […]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2012
  3. Strelitzian Senior Member

    Belfast
    English
    I know that "guère" means "hardly", but in this context....

    "Les commandes ne pleuvent guère...mais je décroche le mois tout de même."

    ...could it mean the opposite? Is it something to do with the presence of the "ne"?
     
  4. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    "(The) orders are hardly pouring in" / "(the) orders aren't exactly pouring in".

    Guère always goes with ne.

    => Il n'y a guère de... = there is hardly any
    => Nous n'avons guère le choix => we hardly have any choice
     
  5. xiongyw New Member

    Chinese
    Hello,

    "Il ne se déplace guère qu'en voiture" means "He always takes a car" or "He rarely takes a car" ? In one of the book I see the translation is the first one...so I am a bit confused.

    Thanks,
    /bruin
     
  6. mehoul Senior Member

    french
    It means he almost always uses a car.
     
  7. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hi xiongyw, in your sentence "Il ne se déplace guère qu'en voiture", there are two "ne ..." constructions used together - ne... guère..." and "ne... que ..." which mean, respectively, hardly (ever), and only.

    "Il ne se déplace guère en voiture" - he hardly ever goes anywhere by car. (Almost always uses some other method)
    "Il ne se déplace qu'en voiture" - he only goes around by car. (Never uses any other method)
    "Il ne se déplace guère qu'en voiture" - he hardly ever goes anywhere unless it's by car. (Rarely uses any other method)
     
  8. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    …or (wordy as it seems, it is common in spoken AE):

    He barely ever goes anywhere other than by car.

    He barely ever goes anywhere without driving.
     

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