FR: having promised to be on her good behavior

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AJ2018

Senior Member
English - United Kingdom
I was trying to write the following phrase in French, and apparently, it caused some confusion.

It turns out that Sophie, having promised to be on her good behavior, went for a walk with her mother and her cousin Paul.
Il se trouve que Sophie, ayant promis de bien se comporter, a pris l'air avec sa mère et son cousin Paul.

Is ayant used correctly here?

Because my tutor is under the impression it should be ... alors qu'elle avait promis. Am I missing something?
 
  • Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Your original attempt is fine although I can't see why "having promised to be on her good behavior" is included in the original sentence as there is no obvious connection between her behaving well and their going for a walk. Could you please clarify the exact context?

    Note that alors que would be odd here as there is no opposition. It would be fine if Sophie had broken her promise. For example:

    Alors qu'elle avait promis de bien se comporter, Sophie a giflé son cousin Paul. :thumbsup:
     

    AJ2018

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    Ahhh, okay. Sure.

    Sophie's mother had previously told her she could NOT go on the walk, because she had misbehaved so badly. So, that's why she had promised.

    Here are a few more sentences that come before this phrase to give you more context.

    Dès le début, il est clair que Sophie a du mal à se conformer aux règles. Comme la fois où elle a failli se faire dévorer par un loup dans la forêt. Il se trouve que Sophie, ayant promis de bien se comporter, a pris l'air avec sa mère et son cousin Paul. Sa mère l’avait interdit de s’éloigner. Mais, pendant la proménade dans les bois, Sophie, ayant été attirée par un framboisier, s’était écartée du chemin.
     
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    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    Hi AJ2018,

    To (try to) complement Capello's answer.
    You here have an "absolute (adverbial) clause", governed by a participe (here : "ayant promis"). The exact interpretation of such clauses usually strongly depends on the context. It can express: anteriority, causality, concession, ... Only the context allows to decide which is the right interpretation.

    Here :

    Sophie avait promis de bien se comporter ---> donc on l'emmena en promenade ("causality: "parce que/du fait que")
    Sophie a été attirée par des framboisiers ---> "causality" également

    Mais il y a finalement ici une opposition entre ces deux causalités, ce qui fait que la première causalité vaut bien un "quoique"/"alors que".

    Note sure to be very clear but hope it helps;-)
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    In your context I'd more naturally say:

    Après avoir promis de bien se comporter, Sophie était allée se promener avec sa mère et son cousin Paul.

    P.S. – You should drop "il se trouve que," which makes little sense here. The sequence of tenses in your excerpt is also not very consistent.
     

    AJ2018

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    You might have a point. It's a process. I'll keep trying and try not to get discouraged.

    Thanks.
     
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