By plan or design

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by oui-yes, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. oui-yes New Member

    Hello there,
    Although I get the general meaning, I'm struggling to find a good translation for "by plan or design" in the sentence:"by plan or design, I was collecting fossils that day by the river when i saw Grandfather." Does it mean "par coincidence" or "par dessein", i've never come across that expression before.
    Thanks for helping
  2. Dr. Baha'i Senior Member

    Athens, GA
    English - U.S.
    It sounds as if (s)he means to say, "by chance or by design."

    "Plan" and "design" as used here sound almost synonymous.

    The only way that he would have seen Grandfather "by design/plan," to my way of thinking, would be if someone had sent him to the river to collect fossils that day, knowing that it would be a good place to have Grandfather appear there. Unless the writer is including the possibility of a divine plan, i.e. the idea that his seeing Grandfather was as a result of God's will and plan.
  3. oui-yes New Member

    thank you, that makes complete sense in the context of the passage I'm translating. Should I say "par la force du destin, j'étais en train de ramasser des fossiles ce jour-là au bord de la rivière quand j'ai vu grand-père."?

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