FR: It's been a long time since we went bowling


USA, English
Just to confirm I have this straight, even though English expresses the above without negation, this can only be written in French using the passé composé + négation. Without the use of negation, one has to alter the formula and thus the meaning as well. Thanks.

For example, one cannot say:

Ça fait/Il y a longtemps qu'on a joué au bowling.

but if wishing to avoid negation, one can say :

On a joué au bowling il y a longtemps.
  • geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Right for the first one. But your second sentence translates:

    We went bowling a long time ago.

    To express what you want, you would have to say:

    On ne joue plus au bowling depuis longtemps OR On n'a pas joué au bowling depuis longtemps. Or, you could use the expressions you started with, but the negation would have to be used.

    By the way, the use of the negation in French does not alter the meaning. That is precisely what the English sentence means.

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