Christmas is a time when we give each other presents

Tenorman

Senior Member
English. United Kingdom.
I want to write, 'Christmas is a time when we give each other presents.'
My attempt is, 'Noël est un temps quand nous nous donnons des présents.' But couldn't this be taken to mean '..... when we give ourselves presents.'? Could it mean either? Merci d’avance.
 
  • DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Actually I would say something like
    "Noël est l'époque à laquelle/pendant laquelle nous nous échangeons des cadeaux"

    "échanger" implies "each other" and not "ourselves". No more ambiguity this way :)
    because you're right "nous nous donnons des présents" could mean "give present to ourselves" though in the context we guess it's rather "to each other"
     

    Tenorman

    Senior Member
    English. United Kingdom.
    OK, fair enough. Thankyou Dear Prudence, but, at the risk of being pedantic, couldn't '....nous nous échangeons des cadeaux" be taken as exchanginging with ourselves rather than 'others'?
    I mean, when we say 'nous nous lavons' we don't normally mean washing each other. In the back of my mind is the expresion 'l'un a l'autre' - No?
     

    Tenorman

    Senior Member
    English. United Kingdom.
    OK, fair enough. Thankyou Dear Prudence, but, at the risk of being pedantic, couldn't '....nous nous échangeons des cadeaux" be taken as exchanginging with ourselves rather than 'others'?
    I mean, when we say 'nous nous lavons' we don't normally mean washing each other. In the back of my mind is the expresion 'l'un a l'autre' - No?
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Argh, I'm getting lost.
    Actually, the verb "échanger" is very important here.
    As I see it in French,
    nous nous échangeons des cadeaux

    nous: the person who give the presents
    échangeons des cadeaux: we give presents to : see complement below
    nous: the recepients, the group, the people who will receive the presents

    I know it doesn't help but waiting for more answers ...
     

    pieanne

    Senior Member
    Belgium/French
    Actually I don't think the reflective "nous" is necessary, since "échanger" implies it is mutual... It would be redundant.
    We don't say "les jeunes mariés se sont échangé leurs whatever, voeux, serments", but "ils ont échangé leurs whatever".

    Maybe others will think differently...

    Argh, I'm getting lost.
    Actually, the verb "échanger" is very important here.
    As I see it in French,
    nous nous échangeons des cadeaux

    nous: the person who give the presents
    échangeons des cadeaux: we give presents to : see complement below
    nous: the recepients, the group, the people who will receive the presents

    I know it doesn't help but waiting for more answers ...
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Actually I don't think the reflective "nous" is necessary, since "échanger" implies it is mutual... It would be redundant.
    We don't say "les jeunes mariés se sont échangé leurs whatever, voeux, serments", but "ils ont échangé leurs whatever".
    Yes pieanne, you're right, I thought about it afterwards. :eek:
     
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