bien / quite well

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by vivrenfr, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. vivrenfr New Member

    Bonjour à tous,

    Je viens de lire une phrase et sa traduction anglais dans le dictionnaire "Robert & Collins 2009" :

    Voilà mes questions :

    Pourquoi on traduit l'expression "se porter bien" ici en "be quite well" ? Et comment on traduit "se porter très bien" en anglais ?

    Merci d'avance !
  2. vivrenfr New Member

    What does it means here, "quite"?
  3. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Hello, vivrenfr! The problem with this word "well" is that it's a bit ambiguous. "Well" on its own normally means "en bonne santé". If you say, "She's well", generally that would mean, "Elle est en bonne santé", "Elle s'est remise d'une maladie," etc. If someone has been ill and now they've recovered, we'd say, "He's well now."

    But "quite/very well" (quite = very) doesn't necessarily mean that the person has been sick. E.g., my dictionary gives this:

    "How are you?" "Very well, thank you." = "Comment allez-vous?" "Très bien, merci." That is, there's no reference to any sickness here. The person is simply doing well. "Tout va bien."

    So, if your sentence said, "She's well, apart from feeling very tired," for me that would imply that she has been sick; now she's much better, though she still feels very tired.

    Whereas "She's quite well, apart from feeling very tired," doesn't necessarily mean that she's been sick. She could have been sick. But she could, for example, be pregnant, and it's her pregnancy that is making her tired. Apart from that, everything's OK.

    So, this is difficult to explain, and I don't know if I'm helping you. I may just be confusing you, because our use of "well" and "quite/very well" aren't consistent. Also, there are exceptions to the rules I've given above.
  4. vivrenfr New Member

    Hi Seneca the Duck,

    Thanks a lot for your kind and patience. You really saved my day! :)

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