un ami sûr/ ne l'est pas

charlie2

Senior Member
Hi,
I read in another thread a quotation : On voit qu'un ami est sûr quand notre situation ne l'est pas (Cicero).
What does that mean? We see a true friend when things do not go our way? What is the "l" in "l'est" ?
Thank you.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    The "l" refers to "sûr" so "we know a friend is sure when our situation isn't". In other words a true friend is one who is still there when the situation we find ourselves in is difficult.
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    Thank you. :)
    One more question :
    Does this "l", let's assume that it is "le", change its meaning with the context?
    e.g. -Il fait beau. -Ce l'est! (I hope I heard that right.)
    The "l" here will be referring to the fact that the weather is beau?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    charlie2 said:
    Thank you. :)
    One more question :
    Does this "l", let's assume that it is "le", change its meaning with the context?
    e.g. -Il fait beau. -Ce l'est! (I hope I heard that right.)
    The "l" here will be referring to the fact that the weather is beau?
    The "le" can represent any adjective, yes, but your example doesn't work because the first verb is "faire" with the subject "il" and you go on to use "ce" and "être" which makes no sense at all.
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    timpeac said:
    The "le" can represent any adjective, yes, but your example doesn't work because the first verb is "faire" with the subject "il" and you go on to use "ce" and "être" which makes no sense at all.
    Thank you.
    I hope it will not be considered off-topic, what do you say then for " Yes, it sure is, isn't it? " this kind of standard response to a remark of "Il fait beau"? (This sentence is badly written, sorry.)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    charlie2 said:
    Thank you.
    I hope it will not be considered off-topic, what do you say then for " Yes, it sure is, isn't it? " this kind of standard response to a remark of "Il fait beau"? (This sentence is badly written, sorry.)
    "Oui, c'est vrai".

    I think I see what you're getting at now. You can't say "oui il le fait" which is what I think you're getting at. I think the reason is that "le" replaces an adjective whereas "beau" is acting as an adverb here.

    So you could, however, say something like "Elle est très grande. Oui, elle l'est plus que mon frère!"
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    timpeac said:
    "Oui, c'est vrai".

    I think I see what you're getting at now. You can't say "oui il le fait" which is what I think you're getting at. I think the reason is that "le" replaces an adjective whereas "beau" is acting as an adverb here.

    So you could, however, say something like "Elle est très grande. Oui, elle l'est plus que mon frère!"
    Wonderful! That's exactly my question. That has been my question actually but I don't know how to phrase it, until I read that quotation.
    One more example, if you would allow me.
    Il est bon en anglais mais il l'est moins qu'en français. Is that correct?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    charlie2 said:
    Wonderful! That's exactly my question. That has been my question actually but I don't know how to phrase it, until I read that quotation.
    One more example, if you would allow me.
    Il est bon en anglais mais il l'est moins qu'en francais. Is that correct?
    In all this we really need someone else to confirm what I'm saying as I am only saying what sounds ok to me (and obviously as a non-native speaker this may not be what sounds good to a native!!). Anyway with that proviso in place, and since all the French seem to be having a late lunch I'll carry on...

    No your sentence doesn't sound quite right to me. You want to say "he is good at English, but less so than at French". Right?

    Your French phrase is fine grammatically, but I don't think it works because you have "bon" as the adjective plus "moins" later and you wouldn't say "moins bon". If you change the adjective to "fort" from "bon" then I would say it works. It would be better to say, though "il est fort en anglais, mais il l'est encore plus en français". I think!!!

    I'm getting a bit out of my depth here so let's wait for other speakers' opinions in case I am leading you down the garden path!!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top