à force de / à cause de

zangetsu8888

Senior Member
Anglais - Londrès
Hi

Can this expression be used exactly as a cause de? And is it not archaic or too "bourgoisie"? You could use it nowadays exactly like a cause de?

Thanks a lot
 
  • marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    Well, this can partly mean "a cause de", but clearly it is not the main idea of this expression. For example :

    Il a réussi à force de travailler

    It means that he got success because he worked a lot. So the main idea of this expression is the repetition of an action, which leads you to something ...

    It is a normal expression, but be aware of this notion of repetition, when you use that expression.
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    À force de and a cause de are not interchangeable.

    À force de couduire trop vite, il a fini par avoir un accident.
    A cause de sa manière de conduire trop vite, il a eu un acccident.
     

    Hole

    Senior Member
    Croatia - Croatian
    Hi!

    How would you translate à force dedans ce contexte?
    Chez les oiseaux la territorialité est le plus souvent passagère. Elle s’observe principalement à la période de reproduction. Mais à force de défendre une zone donnée, de se l’accaparer saison après saison, certains s’attachent à cet environnement.

    It somehow seems to me that it means "in order to", but I'm not sure if it can be translated like that.

    Thanks in advance.​
     

    marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    in order to, no it does not mean that.

    here, you could say "because of", but you lose the notion of repetition.

    A force de défendre une zone donnée
    => Because they have defended many times a given area, ...

    Maybe there is a prettier translation
     

    faff

    Member
    france
    "a force de" implies a repetition of a behaviour that can lead to a consequence.

    "a cause de" means because of, and is used only when something happened and you're stating what the reason was.

    a mother could say to her child:
    "a force de te balancer, tu vas tomber de ta chaise"
    that doesn't mean the child falls.

    but if he falls, than she can say:
    "tu t'es balancé sur ta chaise, et à cause de ça tu es tombé"

    hope that makes sense! :)
     

    guitarpop

    Member
    American English
    Sure, one must take context into account. We can't always have an exact translation for a word/expression that works in every instance and I'm not sure you'll find one for "à force de". However, I do think that "through" brings across an approximation of the idea of repetition/perseverance. Other definitions of through include: continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period); so as to complete (a particular stage or trial) successfully; from beginning to end of (an experience or activity, typically a tedious or stressful one); up to and including (a particular point in an ordered sequence); by means of (a process or intermediate stage).
     

    djweaverbeaver

    Senior Member
    English Atlanta, GA USA
    Couldn't you simply say by dint of? :) It seems it's an idiom but I've never really heard it.
    I personally am not familiar with this expression. Apparently, dint is an old-fashioned word meaning "force", and it only survives in this phrase.
     

    Trixie1

    Senior Member
    GB English Français
    By dint of = By force of => by dint of hard work
    à force de/ à force de travailler

    It is actually the closest translation but is unfortunately very rarely used whereas
    à force de is very common.
     

    Ecoool2

    New Member
    English - Australia
    By dint of = By force of => by dint of hard work
    à force de/ à force de travailler

    It is actually the closest translation but is unfortunately very rarely used whereas
    à force de is very common.
    How about "he succeeded because he kept working", or "he kept working at it" or "he kept on working"?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top