EN: tu ne réussiras pas sauf si tu travailles durement

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by hannibal25, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. hannibal25 Member

    algeria arabic
    hi. i'd like to know if this sentence is grammatically correct. "you will succeed unless you don't work hard."
  2. Notquitegenius Senior Member

    North Carolina, USA
    US, English
    Yes, it is grammatically correct, but normally you would say "You will succeed if you work hard" because it sounds less awkward that way.
  3. Sr. Moose

    Sr. Moose Banned

    Frostbite Falls, Alces and English
    Although this sentence appears to be grammatically correct, it is not idiomatic to English and therefore not considered accurate. Normally, when negation of a verb is involved in a conditional factual relation that employs the conjunction "unless", the negation is placed in the main clause, and conditional affirmation resides in the subordinate clause, the inverse of your example sentence:

    "You will not succeed unless you work hard."
    "Unless you work hard (conditional affirmation), you will not succeed (negation)."

    But exceptions do exist. The sentence can be reconstructed to have parallel affirmations, although in the following example the verb within the subordinate clause may misleadingly appear to be a negation:

    "You will succeed (affirmation) unless you choose (conditional affirmation) to not work hard."
  4. anangelaway

    anangelaway Senior Member

    Bonjour hannibal25, :)

    Would you please post the French original sentence? That way, we will know exactly what you're trying to translate.
  5. hannibal25 Member

    algeria arabic
    hi an angelaway. the original sentence is : "tu ne réussiras pas sauf si tu travailles durement" merci d'avoir pris la peine de répondre.bye.
  6. OlivierG

    OlivierG Senior Member

    Toulouse, France
    France / Français
    Hi, hannibal :)

    I changed the title of your thread in order to include the original sentence.
    The Sr. Moose's suggestion (You will not succeed unless you work hard) seems then to be very close to what you are seeking.

    Your translation would match the French sentence "Tu réussiras sauf si tu ne travailles pas durement", which is not exactly the same. ;)

  7. carolineR

    carolineR Senior Member

    Indian Ocean
    ... except I don't think any French speaker would say "... si tu ne travailles pas durement".
    I know this is not grammar but vocabulary, however I feel a French person would say "... si tu ne travailles pas d'arrache pied" or "... si tu ne travailles pas davantage/"... si tu ne travailles pas bien davantage que tu ne le fais" :)
  8. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    ... ou simplement "si tu ne travailles pas dur".
    "Durement" doesn't collocate well with "travailler" in French, I'm afraid, at least nowadays.
  9. hannibal25 Member

    algeria arabic
    Many thanks to all of you for your comments. I could finally make it out and now I feel much more confident when it comes to teaching conditional sentences.
  10. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Travailler durement sounds perfectly correct and common to me.
  11. Anna-chonger Senior Member

    Tilt salut,

    à vos yeux, travailler durement a le même sens que travailler dur ?
  12. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Je dis toujours travailler dur dans le sens voulu. J'ai l'impression, peut-être fausse, que travailler durement suggère travaller avec difficulté.
  13. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Bonjour Anna-chonger,

    Pour moi, travailler durement et travailler dur ont effectivement le même sens.
    Il est vrai que, spontanément, j'associerais plutôt travailler à dur, mais le rencontrer avec durement ne me choque pas.

    Ce graphique montre en tout cas que les deux peuvent s'employer.

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