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à ce moment-là : then/at that time

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Pure_Yvesil, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Pure_Yvesil

    Pure_Yvesil Senior Member

    Hey everyone,

    I've digged around the forum to find an explanation on the difference between "à ce moment" and "à ce moment-là".

    This is how I see it: basically adding a "là" makes the moment more precise, but we're not obliged to put it.

    Also, à ce moment can refer to a point in the past as well as a point in the future.

    Some examples:

    PAST
    À ce moment , il a déclaré la guerre
    À ce moment-là il a déclaré la guerre
    -> At that time (in 1964 for instance), he declared war

    FUTURE
    Serait-il possible de me rappeler à ce moment.
    Serait-il possible de me rappeler à ce moment-là?
    -> Would it be possible to call me back then? (tomorrow morning for instance)


    Can someone confirm please? :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  2. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    I think there are two meanings - à ce moment-là - can mean at that precise moment, but in the second example you give, there's also the idea of - in that case (as a consequence) - as well as - at that particular time.
     
  3. Pure_Yvesil

    Pure_Yvesil Senior Member

    So basically

    à ce moment-là:

    1) we're not obliged to add "-là" (doesn't alter the meaning)
    2) can refer to a point in time in the future (second example)
    3) can refer to a point in time in the past (first example)
    4) can refer to "dans ce cas-là"

    ?
     
  4. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    When you add là, that is more precise, as you say. For the first sentence I would probably say - C'était à ce moment, qu'il... or you could say - Il choisit ce moment pour.....
     
  5. Pure_Yvesil

    Pure_Yvesil Senior Member

    Thank you Franc,

    I think the most important thing I wanted to know is if it can refer to a point in the future as well as a point in the past.

    Do you also agree with that?
     
  6. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    Yes of course
     

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