EN: tant qu’elle n’a pas rempli

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by octobre, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. octobre New Member

    English - Canada
    I would like someone to confirm or correct my translation of the sentence below:

    La patronne s’entête : tant qu’elle n’a pas rempli toutes les cases de l’écran, elle ne peut encaisser votre paiement.

    The shop-owner is stubborn: as long as she has not filled in all the boxes on the screen, she cannot enter your payment. --or-- The shop-owner is stubborn: until she can fill in all the boxes on the screen, she cannot enter your payment.

    The sentence is from an article in a text-book; the article has been adapted from one originally published in a magazine called Eureka in Oct, 2000. The sentence explains what happens quand un ordinateur coince chez le coiffeur and why that is a source of stress.

    The verb 'encaisser' is a bit puzzling but I am most interested in how to handle the negatives in the two clauses connected by 'tant que'. Why is there no 'pas' after the 'peut' in the second clause?
  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Welcome, Octobre!

    The absence of "pas" after "peut" is explained in this thread, and has nothing to do with tant que. :)
    FR: savoir, pouvoir, oser, cesser - "ne" without "pas" in negative

    It's not quite clear from this little chunk whether the shop owner is truly "stubborn" (i.e., by choice she won't accept payment until she's filled in the boxes)... or if in fact the electronic system will not allow her (or she thinks it won't allow her) to advance to the payment stage until she completes this previous step. Is she making a client wait while she methodically fills in a database? Or is she frustrated at the electronic system that won't let her deal with her client the way she wants to? Or is the computer frozen?

    I think the most natural expression of this idea in English would be a rather loose translation: she can't accept your payment until she has filled in all the boxes on her screen.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2012
  3. octobre New Member

    English - Canada
    Thanks, Jan. That is all very clear.

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