Se comporter différemment selon ...

Dsimson

Senior Member
Hi !
I'm trying to translate into English this sentence :
"Il se comportait différemment (ou de manière différente) selon les personnes à qui il parlait".

My try:
He didn't act the same with everybody.
Does it sound correct ? Thanks !
 
  • the dazzler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Perfectly OK language-wise, but "with everybody" doesn't quite convey the subtlety of the French. Try: He behaved/used to behave differently depending who [more formally: whom] he was with.
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    There's nothing wrong with your English sentence, but it doesn't really convey the same information your French sentence does.

    He behaved differently depending on who(m) he was talking to.
    The way he acted changed based on who(m) he was talking to.
    He suited his action to his audience. (This option makes it sound like a good thing!)
     

    the dazzler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    mga - great minds think [fairly] alike!! I think in BE we'd probably say "depending who(m)..." and drop the "on" - does AE do it either way?
     

    Dsimson

    Senior Member
    Thanks both. Actually, I just wanted to make a sentence with "act", so I created a French sentence.
    Anyway, your answers were very interesting ! Thanks a million !
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    mga - great minds think [fairly] alike!! I think in BE we'd probably say "depending who(m)..." and drop the "on" - does AE do it either way?
    Yep, either way over here. The 'on' makes for a more relaxed sentence. "Depending who(m)"--- especially with the 'm'--- sounds a little stiffer, more stilted, more ... well, British? <g>
     

    the dazzler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'd agree that "whom" is stiff here. But to these BE ears at least, "depending on who" sounds more stilted than just "depending who"! Put it down to an AE/BE difference...
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    LOL ... thank you for that ... it's somehow heartening to learn that we can sound stilted to British ears ... I'd assumed we just always sounded like bumpkins.
     
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