être proche de/ être près de

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by nath1, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. nath1 Senior Member

    english
    Hi my dictionary says that these two constructions can be used in similar ways for instance. " ma maison est proche de l'école" and "ma maison est près de l'école". Is this right? I had only ever seen "près de" before so now im confused. So what is the difference? cheers
     
  2. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Hi.
    used with the verb "être", they mean the same.
    Près (near) is an adverb, like "loin", (far)
    "proche" is an adjective, like éloigné (remote)
    If you do not understand the nuance, let me explain it with the contrary : far.
    In english, Far is an adverb, but "remote" is an adjective.
    You can say that something is remote, or that something is far, because you can use an adverb or an adjective with the verb "to be", as you like.
    But with a noun alone, you must use an adjective :
    ":tick: a remote galaxy"
    ":cross: a far galaxy".
    Conversely, with an action verb, you must use an adverb.
    ":tick: We have gone too far".
    ":cross: we have gone too remote".
     
  3. catay Senior Member

    Canada anglais
    Fred, maybe "we have gone too remote", :D remote controls, cellular phones, computers, text messaging.;)
     
  4. nath1 Senior Member

    english
    Thanks Fred C for that. By the way your English is very good:) i hope my French can be as accurate as that one day. cheers
     
  5. Feilin New Member

    Europe/Chine
    Svenska
    So, taking the two examples with être given, namely:

    they are both correct and can be viewed in the following way:

    ma maison est [proche de l'école] (as in an adjective that describes the location),
    and
    ma maison [est près de] l'école (where it modifies the verb),

    or have I misunderstood it all (especially proche that's admittedly hard)? (I kinda get the feeling I don't grasp it fully, at least...)
     
  6. jxi1827 Senior Member

    English - American
    Bonjour à tous,
    I wrote this sentence in French: "Quand un garçon est trop près d'une fille pendant une danse...", and a French person corrected it to "Quand un garçon est trop proche d'une fille...". I was wondering why this correction and they said that both are correct but that they preferred the second; would anyone know why the second is preferable?

    Thanks :)
     
  7. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Près est un adverbe ; l'adjectif proche convient mieux ici.
    Mais Quand un garçon danse trop près d'une fille...
     
  8. jxi1827 Senior Member

    English - American
    Merci ! :) Mais je croyais qu'avec le verbe "être", les deux étaient possibles comme Feilin l'a dit ?
     
  9. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Je ne sais plus, maintenant...
     
  10. genevaCH Member

    Geneva, Switzerland
    Français (de Suisse romande)
    "Quand un garçon est trop près d'une fille pendant une danse...", and a French person corrected it to "Quand un garçon est trop proche d'une fille...". I was wondering why this correction and they said that both are correct but that they preferred the second; would anyone know why the second is preferable?

    Il y a une composante émotionnelle : on dit "je me sens proche de toi", pas "je me sens près de toi".
    Décrire le garçon comme "trop près" ne donne qu'une indication physique de la distance (combien de centimètres) - quand on le dit "trop proche", on peut l'entendre comme proche émotionnellement en plus de physiquement.
     
  11. AmaryllisBunny

    AmaryllisBunny Senior Member

    être as well as (to) be are copular verbs, therefore, they take adjectives. Because, the verb links the predicate to the subject, an adjective is more appropriate.

    Other examples:
    sentir & (to) smell
    Je sens la fleur - I smell like flower, (or I'm smelling the flower).
    I smell good and not I smell well (unless you're talking about your ability to smell).
    (to) taste as well.

    These verbs often have to do with states of being.

    rester calme et non rester calmement.

    You often see this (hypercorrection) mistake with, "you feel well, not good!" when in actuality well is in its adjective form. People often mistaken the fact that certain verbs modify the predicate and as such require adjectives.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  12. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    proche also has the meaning of being close to somebody, either because they are close family members or close friends, whereas if I say - je suis près d'elle, this can mean I'm by her side, I'm near to her (in a physical sense) though we also say this when someone is going through a difficult time, I am there, by her side.
     
  13. AmaryllisBunny

    AmaryllisBunny Senior Member

    C'est lié au fait que proche c'est un adjectif et près c'est un adverbe.
    E.g.: Je me sens bien/coupable/horrible/seul. On ne peut pas dire, «je me sens heureusement».
     
  14. jxi1827 Senior Member

    English - American
    Merci à tout le monde qui a répondu. Néanmoins, je suis encore un peu perdu quant à pourquoi on ne peut pas dire les deux, comme c'est après le verbe "être", comme l'a dit Feilin. N'est-ce pas correct ? Aussi, dans le sens, je ne voulais que dire que le garçon et la fille étaient trop près, l'un de l'autre, physiquement, pas forcément la façon dont ils pensaient à l'autre.
     

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