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if you say in French, "Prend-moi le vin" or prend-leur le vin", it means "Get me

English translation: see below

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14:54 Aug 27, 2000
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: if you say in French, "Prend-moi le vin" or prend-leur le vin", it means "Get me
the wine" or "Get them the wine." You can't say in French, "Aies-moi le vin" or "Ayez-moi le vin", but you can say, "Tu peux m'avoir le vin" or Tu peux leur avoir le vin." Please correct me if I am wrong. Also, does "tu ne sais pas de quoi tu parles" mean the same as "tu ne sais pas ce dont tu parles?" Thank-you for your suggestions.
Matt
English translation:see below
Explanation:
YOUR FIRST QUESTION

Your first two sentences do indeed mean "get me/them the wine".

(It does not mean, "buy her the wine". For her , or him for that matter, you would see "lui". In a context where a person might be asked to get some wine when he is about to go out shopping, said then as if to mean, "Don't forget the wine", it could be understood. Strictly speaking, this is not the translation or meaning of your sample sentences).

Moreover, the form of the verb in your first examples is the present indicative. There is no reason to use the present subjunctive (aies/ayez) although I think you meant "aie" and "ayez", the imperative forms for commands and orders. "AVOIR" here is being used in the sense of "get" (procure = procurer) in context, "get hold of" "obtain" some wine. Likewise, I would not, as has been suggested, try using this imperative form in a restaurant - you may be asked to leave. Unless, you are in the fortunate position to be well respected by the owner in which case and in certain circumstances, the use of this form is conceiveable if you were asking him if he could get hold of a very special vintage. You would be flattering him.

One answer indicated that you cannot say "ayant" as it is the past participle of the verb [avoir]. This is not correct. "Ayant" is not the past participle of "avoir". This verb's past participle is "eu". Its present participle is "ayant". You can of course use "ayant eu" to mean "having had...". You did not of course refer to this anyway in your question - just to set the record straight!

YOUR SECOND QUESTION

"You don't know what you are talking about".

Both the forms you suggest "de quoi" and "ce dont" are certainly used. Whether they are both correct is another matter.

Where the English 'what' is the equivalent of 'that of which', then "ce dont" is how it must be expressed in French. The forms are :

subject : ce qui
direct object : ce que
'that of which' : ce dont
with other prepositions : ce à quoi, ce avec quoi, etc.

This does not apply to your sentence.

Instead, your example "de quoi" is to be preferred. Take a look at this.
The forms for "what" in indirect questions are :-
subject : ce qui
direct object : ce que
after preopositions : quoi (à quoi, de quoi, avec quoi etc)

Examples :

Subject :
Dites-moi ce qui vous inquiète
=Tell me what is worrying you

Direct object :
Je me demande ce qu'il va faire
=I wonder what he is going to do

After prepositions :
Dites-moi de quoi vous parlez
=Tell me what you were talking about
(THIS IS THE ONE WHICH MATCHES YOU EXAMLPE)

On ne sait jamais à quoi il pense
=One (You) never know what he is thinking (about)

Savez-vous avec quoi il a ouvert la boite?
=Do you knwo whwat he opened the bow with.

I hope that I have made things clearer for you.

If you are getting into this, then I can recommend the two classic grammar works below, the first of which is a university classic in England for students of French, the second being a classic for students of English in France. Both are excellent on the subtlties and tricky bits of French and English when trying to represent an idea correctly.

All the best,

Nikki

Selected response from:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 21:02
Grading comment
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I still, however, am a little confused with the difference between "ce dont" and de quoi." You did a great job
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
na"Take the wine from me", and "take the wine from them" or even "hold the wine for me"Louise Atfield
nasee below
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
naPlease see below:
Luis Luis


  

Answers


5 hrs
Please see below:


Explanation:
I think that the second, "prend leur le vin" means "buy her the wine".
Yes, I don't think you can say "ayant" because that's the past participle of the verb avoir. But it is OK "tu peux m'avoir le vin", however in a restaurant you probably should use the pronoun "vous" instead of "tu", because the former is a more formal way of addressing someone you don't know.

Yes, both last sentences have the same meaning.

Hoping to help.
Luis M. Luis

Luis Luis
United States
Local time: 14:02
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 35

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 hrs
see below


Explanation:
YOUR FIRST QUESTION

Your first two sentences do indeed mean "get me/them the wine".

(It does not mean, "buy her the wine". For her , or him for that matter, you would see "lui". In a context where a person might be asked to get some wine when he is about to go out shopping, said then as if to mean, "Don't forget the wine", it could be understood. Strictly speaking, this is not the translation or meaning of your sample sentences).

Moreover, the form of the verb in your first examples is the present indicative. There is no reason to use the present subjunctive (aies/ayez) although I think you meant "aie" and "ayez", the imperative forms for commands and orders. "AVOIR" here is being used in the sense of "get" (procure = procurer) in context, "get hold of" "obtain" some wine. Likewise, I would not, as has been suggested, try using this imperative form in a restaurant - you may be asked to leave. Unless, you are in the fortunate position to be well respected by the owner in which case and in certain circumstances, the use of this form is conceiveable if you were asking him if he could get hold of a very special vintage. You would be flattering him.

One answer indicated that you cannot say "ayant" as it is the past participle of the verb [avoir]. This is not correct. "Ayant" is not the past participle of "avoir". This verb's past participle is "eu". Its present participle is "ayant". You can of course use "ayant eu" to mean "having had...". You did not of course refer to this anyway in your question - just to set the record straight!

YOUR SECOND QUESTION

"You don't know what you are talking about".

Both the forms you suggest "de quoi" and "ce dont" are certainly used. Whether they are both correct is another matter.

Where the English 'what' is the equivalent of 'that of which', then "ce dont" is how it must be expressed in French. The forms are :

subject : ce qui
direct object : ce que
'that of which' : ce dont
with other prepositions : ce à quoi, ce avec quoi, etc.

This does not apply to your sentence.

Instead, your example "de quoi" is to be preferred. Take a look at this.
The forms for "what" in indirect questions are :-
subject : ce qui
direct object : ce que
after preopositions : quoi (à quoi, de quoi, avec quoi etc)

Examples :

Subject :
Dites-moi ce qui vous inquiète
=Tell me what is worrying you

Direct object :
Je me demande ce qu'il va faire
=I wonder what he is going to do

After prepositions :
Dites-moi de quoi vous parlez
=Tell me what you were talking about
(THIS IS THE ONE WHICH MATCHES YOU EXAMLPE)

On ne sait jamais à quoi il pense
=One (You) never know what he is thinking (about)

Savez-vous avec quoi il a ouvert la boite?
=Do you knwo whwat he opened the bow with.

I hope that I have made things clearer for you.

If you are getting into this, then I can recommend the two classic grammar works below, the first of which is a university classic in England for students of French, the second being a classic for students of English in France. Both are excellent on the subtlties and tricky bits of French and English when trying to represent an idea correctly.

All the best,

Nikki




    A Comprehensive French Grammar, Glanville Price (Byrne & Churchill) 4th ed. 1999, Blackwell's ISBN 0-631-18165-2
    L'Anglais de A-Z, Swan & Houdart, 1998, Hatier ISBN 2-21871 797-2
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 21:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4416
Grading comment
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I still, however, am a little confused with the difference between "ce dont" and de quoi." You did a great job

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day1 hr
"Take the wine from me", and "take the wine from them" or even "hold the wine for me"


Explanation:
This is an interesting question. "Prendre quelque chose" with the meaning of "to get" or "to take to" is an anglicism and is not proper French.

"Get them the wine" would be translated by "apportez-leur le vin"

Now, "moi" is often used in French with no equivalent in English. For instance "Regarde-moi ca!" would be translated by "Just look at that!". "Ramasse-moi ca!" would be "You'd better pick this up!" Therefore, "moi" is used to emphasize rather than refer to myself as a person. In the case you give "prend-moi le vin" may be translated by something like "Just hold this wine for me!" Just a bit of colourful French...

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 300

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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