French to English: Pouvoir and Its Pitfalls

French to English: Pouvoir and Its Pitfalls

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Paperback, Createspace Independent Pub, 2012, ISBN13 9781475217803, ISBN10 1475217803
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Paperback, Createspace Independent Pub, 2012, ISBN13 9781475217803, ISBN10 1475217803

About this item

Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.

Paperback, Createspace Independent Pub, 2012, ISBN13 9781475217803, ISBN10 1475217803

The verb 'pouvoir' is given short shrift in many of the usual sources used for translating French into English. It is noted there that this verb is triply ambiguous, and can mean 'can', 'may' or 'must'. But such information is too meagre to aid the user when faced with some of the complex tenses of 'pouvoir' followed by a variety of possible objects, or predicates. One case is when 'pouvoir' is followed by a perfect infinitive, with or without a negation. Such sequences generally lead to ponderous and inelegant translations for which alternative solutions must be found. These alternate solutions are discussed at length. A second relatively unnoticed and untreated difficulty is the use of the future 'pourra' or the future perfect 'aura pu' as a stylistic variation of the present 'peut' or the present perfect 'a pu'. This particular usage has no equivalent in English, and often traps the French learner into misunderstanding (and mistranslating) certain sentences. This particular stylistic variation is illustrated with many detailed examples showing that the future of 'pouvoir' is frequently translated by a present tense. Another difficulty is the almost totally ignored present and perfect participles 'pouvant' and 'ayant pu'. The problems in using them are never treated in any of the French grammars for English speakers or in any bilingual French-English dictionaries. This neglect of these participles may be due to a mistaken observation of them. They seem to present no problems: the one means 'being able' and the other 'having been able'. It is perhaps for this reason that no current French-English dictionary contains a single example of their use. Yet these two basic translations are not applicable to all the possible contexts in which these participles can appear. Sometimes it is 'pouvoir' as possibility that appears in 'pouvant', at other times it is 'pouvoir' as capability. The two translations above are largely insufficient to the task. The difficulties associated with the translation of each of the tenses of 'pouvoir' are discussed here in detail, something which cannot be found in the usual French grammars for English speakers. Various translations of certain tenses must be used for particular types of subject or object, and few of these are apparent to an English speaker learning French. Many of these variant translations require lengthy explanations, and they are given here. The French learner will surely find all this information of great use in understanding how 'pouvoir' is used in French, something which cannot be obtained from any of the usual grammar sources. The explanations of how its translation depends on the subject and the object which appear with it will also help him when he encounters new sentences with other subjects and objects of this verb.

Specifications

Number of Pages: 120115
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
Publication Date: November, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781475217803
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 5.06 x 7.81 x 0.28 Inches
ISBN-10: 1475217803
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