FR: I wanted to reach out to you

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by mariposa14, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. mariposa14 Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Hello all!

    I'm writing a potential client and want to say "I wanted to reach out to you because I thought our services might be of use to you.” My attempt in French is “J’ai voulu/je voulais vous contacter car je pense que nos services peuvent vous être utiles." Should I use voulu or voulais or are there any better suggestions?
  2. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    French - France

    I would use présent (twice: Je vous contacte car je pense) You could use two imparfait instead but it would suggest you would not want any more).
  3. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Yes, this "wanted to" past tense construction in English is more a feature of Anglophone cultural etiquette than linguistic logic. It somehow "softens" the intrusion of someone writing to you unsolicited.

    If you think about it, "I wanted to...", and in fact I still want to now, otherwise I wouldn't be contacting you, and "I thought ...", and in fact I still think it, otherwise I wouldn't be contacting you.

    And in fact, you don't just want to contact them, you are contacting them - "je vous contacte". The Cartesian logic is impeccable!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  4. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Actually, we have the same feature in French. :)

    Je voulais vous contacter parce que je pensais que nos services pourraient vous être utiles.

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