FR: for as long as we will/shall live

jacquesbda

Senior Member
English
Anglophones don't say "for as long as we WILL live", they say "SHALL live."
I don't know what the proper term is for this kind of construction, perhaps an odd form of the subjunctive.

Do Francophones have an equivalent, or would they say "will live"?
"Aussitot longtemps que nous vivrons" ??
"Aussitot longtemps que nous vivrions" ??
 
  • ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Where did you hear/read this? This sounds more like a question of context than one of grammar; the end of traditional wedding vows is "...as long as we both shall live." In ordinary speech, we don't use the future after time expressions. (And I think the "shall/will" distinction is dying out on both sides of the Atlantic, except in certain situations; offers "Shall I open the window?"), suggestions "Shall we go to the movies tonight?")...

    Edit: Not just "in ordinary speech"; we use the present (or the present perfect) instead of the future after time expresssions (before, as soon as, etc.).
     
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    aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    "Shall" is not a subjunctive, it is simply a future, for the first person, both singular and plural. The nuance is, as I recall, that if you reverse the usage of "will" and "shall", i.e., if you use "shall" in the second or third person, or you use "will" in the first person, it expresses more determination, more certainty.
    I could say, for example, to my son: "You shall do your homework". However, ain'ttranslation fun is right, the distinction is dying out.
     
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    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, aztlano, In your example with your son, it's a kind of imperative, isn't it? - Yes, the "shall/will" nuance in the first vs. in the second and third persons is exemplified in the old chestnut: "I shall drown, and no one will save me!", in which the speaker laments his imminent death for want of aid, and "I will drown, and no one shall save me!", indicating the speaker's determination to commit suicide and refusing aid.
     

    aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    In your example with your son, it's a kind of imperative, isn't it? .
    Yes, it amounts to an imperative, but technically it's just a future, feras tes devoirs.
    - the "shall/will" nuance in the first vs. in the second and third persons is exemplified in the old chestnut: "I shall drown, and no one will save me!", in which the speaker laments his imminent death for want of aid, and "I will drown, and no one shall save me!", indicating the speaker's determination to commit suicide and refusing aid.
    :thumbsup:
     
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