EN: Il a insisté que je vienne

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by hamlet, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. hamlet Senior Member

    Français (FR)
    Comment peut-on traduire ce genre de constructions en anglais?

    Il a insisté que je vienne/que je sois là
    Il n'a rien dit malgré mon retard
    Malgré le fait que son mari l'ait insulté, elle l'a accompagné
    Ca te gêne si j'ouvre la fenêtre?

    He insisted that I come? For me to come? On me to come? On me coming? On my coming?
  2. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    "He insisted that I come"
    "He insisted that I should come"
    "He insisted on my coming"

    "He insisted that I be there"
    "He insisted that I should be there"
    "He insisted on my being there"

    Note that the last two examples of each group are often incorrectly rendered in English with "me" instead of "my".


    "He said nothing despite my lateness/my being late"
    "Despite the fact that her husband had insulted her, she accompanied him"
    "Do you mind if I open the window ?"
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2014
  3. hamlet Senior Member

    Français (FR)
    So you could say "do you mind my opening the window?"

    By the way what do you mean by "often incorrectly rendered in English"? Is it really incorrect or only an AE difference maybe? Who would be likely to say it with "ME"
  4. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    Yes, that's fine.

    It is as "really incorrect" as anything can be. In the sentence above, "opening" is not a verb: it is a noun. It is a particular kind of noun called a gerund, which is a noun formed from the present participle of the verb. So if you say:

    "Do you mind me opening the window ?"

    it is incorrect for the same reason that it would be incorrect if you said:

    "Do you mind me cat ?" rather than "Do you mind my cat ?"

    However, it's such a common error that it will eventually be accepted as correct English at some point.

    Everyone says it as some time or other, and many people say it exclusively. (but they usually don't say it in uppercase :) )
  5. givemeabeach Senior Member

    Britain, English
    In British English you'd often use a subjunctive "he insisted I come" or "he insisted I be there when he arrived"
  6. hamlet Senior Member

    Français (FR)
    I think there's another way to interpret it (correct me if I'm wrong) : the gerund is also a verb when you say "I'm opening the window", then I imagine you would mind me while opening the window. Make any sense at all?
  7. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    If you say:

    "I am opening"

    then I don't think that you would normally classify "opening" as a gerund; it's merely the present participle of "to open", and you're using it in the progressive form of the present tense. To my mind, a gerund has to be a verb playing the role of a noun. Maybe others would disagree.
  8. ayupshiplad Senior Member

    Scotland, English
    The gerund is a verbal noun (as far as I am aware). There is a difference between the gerund, the gerundive and the present participle, a subject on which I should be able to talk about at length, but unfortunately do not feel equipped to do so :eek:

    I did a search of the English Only forum, but there seems to be no thread on purely on the difference between these. But then again, maybe I just can't use the search properly! I would suggest you check out http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=509454&highlight=gerund -it's quite interesting! :) Otherwise, start a new thread. I'm sure you'll get pretty comprehensive answers. Good luck!
  9. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Peut-on dire "Il a insisté que je vienne."? J'ai toujours dit: "Il a insisté pour que je vienne." Quant aux traductions, les suggestions de englishman sont parfaites.
  10. hamlet Senior Member

    Français (FR)
    Yes you can both are correct. I would be more likely to say it without "pour", in spoken language at least (anyway, in any event?)

    Besides, to put it differently, if you say "do you mind his opening the window" you should also say "do you mind John's opening the window, don't you think?
  11. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada

    BTW, you might be interested in this thread:


  12. hamlet Senior Member

    Français (FR)
    what were you actually referring to? John's opening?
  13. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Both. Since opening is a gerund, it requires an adjective or adjective equivalent as a modifier. Still, in every-day parlance the incorrect forms are heard quite commonly.

  14. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Insister que sounds totally incorrect to me!
    And the CNTRL does say this is an indirect transitive verb.
  15. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    I completely agree with you, tilt ! It's not possible to say "il a insisté que je vienne". It sounds like a mistake made by a foreigner...

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