à la fois / tous les deux

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Rex, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Rex

    Rex Senior Member

    AUSTRALIA: English
    Dear friends
    In a recent composition my lecturer replaced the latter with the former. Could some kind soul please tell me when one uses which? Many thanks!
  2. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    I take it we're dealing with the translation of both here.
    Both has a flexibility to it that its French equivalents are lacking.

    1. He was both sad and angry
    Il était triste et furieux à la fois.

    2. They were both sad
    Ils étaient tristes tout les deux.

    In 1, both isn't far from at the same time
    In 2, it means the two of them
  3. charlie2 Senior Member

    Two little supplementary questions, if I may:
    (1) When is both "les deux" and when is it "tout/ tous/ toutes les deux"?
    (2) How do we say, e.g. this gift is from both of us?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2015
  4. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    When it precedes a noun, I think
    Both men = les deux hommes

    They both came.
    Ils sont venus tous les deux

    C'est un cadeau de notre part à tous les deux.
    But I'm afraid this is a specific context and I'm not sure you can generalize to other sentences.
  5. charlie2 Senior Member

    Yes, of course! Our teacher would say "les deux sont possibles" for our answers when both are correct.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2015

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