a billion ways I would have preferred

deddish

Senior Member
English .ca
Hello, all!

"There's a billion ways I would have preffered [it from happening]"

Could I translate that (roughly) as:

"Il y a un autre milliard de façons dont je le préférais!"

I think that's probably incredibly, horribly wrong... but at least I tried? : )
 
  • namyls

    Senior Member
    France
    "Il y a un milliard d'autres façons que j'aurais préférés" would be correct (though it sounds a little strange to me, but i can't find a better way to say it without changing the whole structure).
     

    deddish

    Senior Member
    English .ca
    Thank you! And my French teacher won't mind if it sounds wierd so long as you understand the point of it and it's grammatically correct... I hope...

    Dang, and I was looking forwards to trying to use the word "dont" correctly for once... :)
     

    namyls

    Senior Member
    France
    Hahaha, i must admit, even for french people, the correct use of "dont" is not easy. Though there is a clear rule: it's all about "possession". See the examples below.

    "Le livre dont la couverture est rouge est à moi" : here, the cover belongs to the book, so we can use 'dont'.
    "Les histoires dont les personnages sont des ogres me font peur" : the characters belong to the stories.
    "L'histoire dont je vais vous dire la morale est une fable de La Fontaine" : the moral belongs to the story.
    BUT "L'histoire dont je vais vous raconter est une fable..." is wrong ! The story doesn't own anything here. The correct form would be "L'histoire que je vais vous raconter est une fable...".
     

    deddish

    Senior Member
    English .ca
    Ah... so it's a lot like which/whom as opposed to what/who? I know that's the translation, but until I actually thought about it right now I though it was being used in some odd obscure way...

    Thanks! I can officially say I learned something today. :p
     

    kyu

    Member
    France, French
    I don't agree totally with what has been written.

    If "dont" corresponds to whose : la maison dont la porte est ouverte, it can also be used when the expression "de que" would be incorrect: je vous parle de ce livre -> le livre dont je vous parle (we can't say le livre de que je vous parle).
     

    namyls

    Senior Member
    France
    You're absolutely right. I forgot this use.

    (Notice: be careful when using the "dont" : usually, it changes other elements of the sentence. I'll keep all this for another post about this specific subject)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top