Se motiver pour faire quelque chose

hamlet

Senior Member
Français (FR)
How would you say in English : "J'ai dû me motiver pour aller aux cours", and "j'ai de me persuader d'aller aux cours"
 
  • jusap

    Senior Member
    France/USA French/English
    Here are my suggestions:
    If it's casual: "I had to motivate to get to class".
    If it's less casual: "I had to motivate myself to go to class".
     

    jusap

    Senior Member
    France/USA French/English
    Hamlet, because technically the first is unclear as to what you are motivating, but it is often used casually.
     

    hamlet

    Senior Member
    Français (FR)
    Hamlet, because technically the first is unclear as to what you are motivating, but it is often used casually.
    I mean is it frequent? You wouldn't say "Help" instead of "help yourself" even if it's casual would you?
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    hamlet: "j'ai de me persuader..." seems odd grammatically. Just wanted to check there's no typos in there.

    jusap: "I had to motivate to get to class" sounds odd to me without anyone specified as the target for the motivation. It really needs the 'myself' that you've put in the second example.

    Kelly B: To me, "Push myself" seems to be more about trying harder, not just trying at all. I had to push myself to do more-and-more press-ups each day. I had to motivate myself to do my press-ups.

    hamlet: I certainly wouldn't use "help" in this context. (No more than you would use 'aider' I guess).

    Everyone: Informally, in this part of the world at least, you could say "I had to make myself go...", but "I had to motivate myself" is good too.
     

    hamlet

    Senior Member
    Français (FR)
    I meant "j'ai DÛ me persuader". This was definitely a typo.


    hamlet: I certainly wouldn't use "help" in this context. (No more than you would use 'aider' I guess).

    what I meant here was out of context. it was about the "myself" thing
     

    jusap

    Senior Member
    France/USA French/English
    jusap: "I had to motivate to get to class" sounds odd to me without anyone specified as the target for the motivation. It really needs the 'myself' that you've put in the second example. [/quote said:
    This is actually heard daily on college campuses across the U.S.! It is not completely correct, however, which is why I labeled it as casual. "I really have to/gotta motivate to get to the gym" is another oft heard application...
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    Hmmm... in response to a question "how would you say.... " it sounds more like a recommendation than an observation, but I can well believe that it is heard daily as you say.
     

    edward1529

    Senior Member
    United States--English
    As a retired English professor in New York, I never in my life heard a student, or anyone else for that matter, say, "I had to motivate to get to class"--not even colloquially. It sounds strange to my ears. But then again, I have not been teaching for the last ten years. Languages change under our very noses as we speak! What university do you attend where you ear your "idiotisme" used? I have heard for years now, "Have a good." Are you drawing a parallel here syntactically between the construction of these two expressions with transitive verbs: "to motivate" and "to have"? At least one might argue that "good" is used here as a noun in a similar manner that the French use adjectives as nouns: "le bon," "le mal," "les biens."
     

    jusap

    Senior Member
    France/USA French/English
    edward1529,

    I have not been a student for quite some time now, and yet continue to hear this formulation often, in diverse contexts. I live mostly in California, but also in Paris where I also hear it from young and not-so-young Americans from all regions. (I have, however, never heard anyone utter "have a good". "Have a good one", yes, which sometimes sounds like "have a good'un".)


    One example from Google:
    Tri-ing Races Not Cases: December 2007

    After I dried off, had some lunch and snuggled with Lulu next to the fire, I had to motivate to go back out into the rain and head to the Y for my swim. ...
    tri-ingracesnotcases.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html - 93k -

    I agree that this construction is improper. Without knowing the purpose of the translation, I prefer to give options based on both common casual usage and proper form. If hamlet were translating a conversation between teenagers, the latter would be inappropriate.
     

    edward1529

    Senior Member
    United States--English
    For me the reality about languages is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to ever pin down (split infinitives have become "correct grammar") any word, phrase, clause, idiom, slang expression being used at any time or in any place. The Heraclitian adage, "The only constant in the universe is change," applies equally to language usage and use. The people on my own apartment house floor do not speak the same American language in the same way, let alone all users of any language in any place at any time.
     
    Top