FR: il m'est nécessaire - impersonal construction

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by ajglywakyta, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. ajglywakyta Member

    U.S.A. English
    I realize you can for phrases like "I need" or "I am not allowed to", you can use "Je dois/j'ai besoin" or "on ne me permet pas de..." respectively, but can you also construct these statements impersonally. I'm pretty sure I can say "Il m'est interdit de" but can I say "Il m'est necessaire de...". Also, for expressing opinions, can you use an impersonal like "il m'est intéressant de" for "It is interesting to me to/I find it interesting to..."? or "il m'est important de" in place of "pour moi, il est important de..."?
  2. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    Yes, I think you are correct on all accounts, however in all instances more common equivalents exist, e.g. il m'est interdit de => je n'ai pas le droit de (suivant le contexte), il m'est nécessaire de => il faut que je.../il me faut..., il m'est important de => il est important que je...
  3. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    No. I don't think it's possible to say such things "il m'est important de", "il m'est nécessaire de".Though, you could say : il m'importe que... but it is an oldand very formal way of speaking.
    il m'est interdit (or il m'est défendu), il m'est permis, il m'est conseillé, il m'est possible (or impossible), il m'est difficile (or facile), il m'est indispensable... all are correct and followed with "de".
  4. Ros_Bif Senior Member

    English - England
    Sorry to bump an old thread, but what's wrong with "il m'est nécessaire de" when other adjectives work with this structure? I did a quick google search and it would appear that this expression is used.

    Could you, or other francophones, clear this up please as I'm unsure as to whether I can say this or not...
  5. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Well, first, Google search results are irrelevant when it comes to the commonness or correctness of an expression. Besides, such a search lists many results where il is not impersonal but personal…

    Anyway, I would not say that the impersonal il m'est nécessaire de is incorrect, but it is definitely unusual. We simply say je dois or j'ai besoin de instead.

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