FR: mal - place de l'adverbe


Senior Member
Polish, English

Is the placement of "mal" correct in the following sentences:

1) Nous nous sommes mal entendus.
2) Nous ne nous sommes pas mal entendus.

Merci d'avance!
  • olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    1) ---> il y eut forte engueulade... (= nous ne nous sommes pas compris)
    2) ---> on a plutôt couché ensemble... (= nous nous sommes plutôt bien compris)

    J'avoue que ma réponse est plutôt "directe", mais... sans contexte il est difficile de répondre.
    Vous mettrez le curseur selon le contexte ;-)

    Hum... je sens que ma réponse risque de ne pas passer auprès des modérateurs ;-)


    Senior Member
    Polish, English
    D'accord, mais si on garde mon expression plus "ennuyeuse", est-ce que j'ai bien mis l'adverbe "mal" devant le participe passé OU est-ce qu'on doit le mettre à la fin de la phrase par hasard?


    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    Le problème est que vous soumettez deux phrases qui sont, chacune, grammaticalement, correctes... mais ont un sens différent.
    Il est difficile de vous indiquer la meilleure formulation sans contexte.
    Doit-on comprendre que la "version la plus ennuyeuse" est la version 1 ?


    Senior Member
    Polish, English
    Well, I think that perhaps my question is more simple in that I was just asking about the grammar. The meaning, I thought was clear but perhaps there are nuances that I don't perceive:

    1) We didn't get along well. (But I see how it could also mean that there was a misunderstanding between us)
    2) We got along fine; there weren't any disputes. (Does the French sentence really imply something more than just being friendly with someone?)

    The context is very innocent: two coworkers who were working on an assignment together and they had differences of opinion. Hence, they didn't get along well. There were some tense moments and perhaps even disputes. What I was trying to say is "We got along poorly."

    Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    Some common short adverbs, like déjà, vite, mal, bien must go between the auxiliary and the past participle in this type of sentence. In a negative statement, clearly after the 'pas' and before the past participle. Some longer ones include vraiment and toujours.


    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    No "Do wrong" means "Mal faire"...
    So, can you say something like "Il vient de mal faire." (He just did something wrong.) in French? Or "Il a mal fait ce travail." (He did this work badly.)? I didn't know "mal" could precede the verb "faire" in French.


    Senior Member
    Français - France
    All adverbs can usually precede the verb, but the meaning can be different.
    1) to do wrong/badly :arrow: mal faire (or faire mal colloquially)
    2) to hurt :arrow: faire mal

    Since faire mal can be ambiguous, it's preferable to say "mal faire" when you want to express the 1st meaning.

    In other cases, there is no ambiguity, so both forms can be used with the infinitive:
    mal voir / voir mal : not to see well
    bien manger / manger bien : to eat well
    In these cases too, the form with the preceding adverb is usually more formal.

    In some conjugated forms however, only one of the order is mandatory:
    Passé composé : j'ai bien mangé :tick: (but not j'ai mangé bien :cross:)
    Impératif : mange bien :tick: (but not bien mange :cross:)
    Last edited:
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