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Hi! Why do the French say "Ca se mange..." but not "C'est mange"

English translation: passive vs reflexive

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18:59 Sep 26, 2000
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: Hi! Why do the French say "Ca se mange..." but not "C'est mange"
Using the reflexive is grammatically correct sometimes, and other times you use the past participle as with "c'est fait" (as opposed to "ca se fait.) Also, I don't understand why the French say,"Tous les tickets etaient vendus" and not "...ont ete vendus" Why is this? It's just like when they say, "Combien de voitures etaient impliquees dans l'accident" and not..."ont ete impliquees...

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Steve
English translation:passive vs reflexive
Explanation:
you use two different kinds of examples: in the first type "ca se mange/c'est mange'" "this is eaten/has been eaten"; c'est fait/ca se fait = it is done or it is finished/ this is something that is done". As for the tickets you are using two different tenses: were sold/have been sold. Go to your Bescherelle or any good grammar and check the difference between passe' compose' and imparfait.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
Paola L M
Selected response from:

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 01:56
Grading comment
Thank you for your response. I agree roughly with your translations of "tous les tickets etaient vendus" and "...ont ete vendus." First of all, in English, "were sold" and "have been sold" are two different tenses, but (I am native English speaker) have the same meaning in this context. If you say in French, "Est-ce qu'il etait implique dans (a) l'accident de voiture" (Was he involved in the car accident?, are you saying the same thing as "...a ete implique...?" (Has he been involved the car accident?" I do believe, however, that this second sentence (Est-ce qu'il a ete implique...) would mean that he has been "implicated" (charged) in the accident which is a totally different meaning.

Also, do you see a difference in meaning between "Les tickets se vendent ici" and "Les tickets sont vendus ici?"
To me, this is nothing more than a stylistic difference, "se vendent" being more formal or perhaps more literary.

Thanks again for your suggestions
Steve
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
napassive vs reflexive
CLS Lexi-tech
nait's a question of linguisticsSuzanne Flynn


  

Answers


9 hrs
it's a question of linguistics


Explanation:
There is often a simple explanation for how and why language develops as it does. Human vocal chords are only capable of a certain number of sound combinations. Linguistically, people say what is easiest to say, what takes the least effort physically. Maybe looking at how French developed from Latin would help you + influence of invaders. It's fascinating. You'll see there truly is a system. The letter "A" as in the Latin "Mare" changes to "e" "mer" in French, etc.



    linguistics course I took in school
Suzanne Flynn
Local time: 00:56
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Yolanda Broad
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9 hrs
passive vs reflexive


Explanation:
you use two different kinds of examples: in the first type "ca se mange/c'est mange'" "this is eaten/has been eaten"; c'est fait/ca se fait = it is done or it is finished/ this is something that is done". As for the tickets you are using two different tenses: were sold/have been sold. Go to your Bescherelle or any good grammar and check the difference between passe' compose' and imparfait.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
Paola L M


CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 01:56
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in pair: 162
Grading comment
Thank you for your response. I agree roughly with your translations of "tous les tickets etaient vendus" and "...ont ete vendus." First of all, in English, "were sold" and "have been sold" are two different tenses, but (I am native English speaker) have the same meaning in this context. If you say in French, "Est-ce qu'il etait implique dans (a) l'accident de voiture" (Was he involved in the car accident?, are you saying the same thing as "...a ete implique...?" (Has he been involved the car accident?" I do believe, however, that this second sentence (Est-ce qu'il a ete implique...) would mean that he has been "implicated" (charged) in the accident which is a totally different meaning.

Also, do you see a difference in meaning between "Les tickets se vendent ici" and "Les tickets sont vendus ici?"
To me, this is nothing more than a stylistic difference, "se vendent" being more formal or perhaps more literary.

Thanks again for your suggestions
Steve

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

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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