Je l'aime bien mon frère

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Icetrance, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English

    What does this explication mean for "J'aime bien mon frère" below. I don't understand it.

    "Je l'aime bien mon frère" pourrait s'entendre comme "ouiiii, ouiii, je l'aime bien mon frère, oh la la" dit de quelqu'un qui n'a rien à faire de son frère mais qui est obligé de dire que si.

    Thanks a lot
  2. FranParis

    FranParis Banned

    Français - France
    It means that you don't love him at all, like saying, Yeah I love my brother, with that special ironic tone.
  3. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    Merci FranParis. C'est effectivement le sens.
  4. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English

    Why would you have to use the "bien" to get this point across?
  5. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    I thought it meant "I like my brother" ("like" is used to be sarcastic. In other words, you don't love him).
  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Using correct punctuation:

    "Je l'aime bien, mon frère."

    I think you will see that this sentence is emphatic. The speaker is stressing that he or she loves his brother. ;)
  7. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    I'm not sure about that. I think it means that he is justing saying that he *likes* his brother to be sarcastic. In other words, he doesn't love his brother at all.
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The sentence may indeed be sarcastic, hence the (feigned) emphasis.
  9. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    "Bien" *adoucit* or softens the meaning of "aimer."

    I would say that he's saying that he likes his brother to imply that he doesn't love him.

    Yeah, yeah, I like my brother (but, I don't love him). It seems like sarcasm to me.
  10. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    It's not necessarily sarcastic, it could be said in earnest. The only way we could know for sure is by learning more about the person / character who says the sentence.
    I also agree that a comma is needed after bien.
  11. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    Alors, ça pourrait vouloir dire "I like my brother", tout simplement.
  12. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Tout à fait. :) Mais avec un peu plus d'emphase que si l'on disait simplement j'aime bien mon frère.
    Cette emphase pourrait être positive :

    « Comment, toi et Patrick partagez déjà la même chambre toute l'année et tu pars en vacances avec lui ?
    --Oui : je l'aime bien, mon frère. »

    ou introduire une réserve :

    « Je l'aime bien, mon frère. Mais il y a des limites : s'inviter pour toutes les vacances avec sa femme et ses gamins, c'est un peu abusif ! »
  13. Albert 50 Senior Member

    Montreal QC and Dallas TX
    Canada: French and English (bilingual)
    Bonjour à tous

    I agree that "je l'aime bien, mon frère" could be interpreted as both a sarcastic statement but it could also be factual.

    It is the case that the way "liking" and "loving" are expressed in Latin languages does not parallel the English usage. "Liking" and "loving" blend together to some degree in French and emotions are expressed differently.

    1. Je l'aime = I love him/her. "J'aime ma femme" (I love my wife). "J'aime mes parents" (I love my parents).

    2. Je l'aime bien = I really like him/her. Note that "bien" is not an intensifier ("beaucoup" is an intensifier but "bien", used with "aimer" is a "reducer".) It softens the emotional content. So "J'aime bien mon frère" would come closer to saying "I really like my brother". But, a French-speaker would not necessarily notice the "softening" as much as an English-speaker would when he hears "I like my brother", rather than "I love my brother"...

    It's a little complicated to an English-speaker though French-speakers find it very simple...

  14. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    Merci Euguele! Les choses les plus simples semblent m'embrouiller. :) Mais, j'y vois bien clair. Ce qui est drôle, c'est que j'aurais tout de suite compris si j'avais entendu dire ces phrases. Dans ce cas, le contexte explique tout.
  15. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English

    Thanks, Albert!

    I'm not sure if "aimer bien" = to really like. I think it just means "to like" if it isn't used to mean "to love." To love? Yes.

    "Aimer bien" doesn't always mean just "to like". I've seen it used to mean "to love." Tout dépend du contexte.


    Abbé Pierre: On t'aimait bien (Father Pierre: You were loved)

    But, no, it's not used with family members or anyone for whom you feel real deep love.

    But, "aimer bien" means just "to like" (not modifier) or, in some cases, "to love" (actors, famous religious people, stars, etc)

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