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"Alain expected this situation to resolve itself."

ThaliaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"Alain expected this situation to resolve itself."

Can someone please explain why the correct answer is:

"Alain s'attendait à ce que cette situation se résolve d'elle-même."


I don't see any sense of "dread" in the reading of this sentence.  

Asked 1 year ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Tom,

It is no wonder everyone is confused by this lesson, especially when there are explanations such as the following in the responses

«Hi Michael,

1. Alain attendait que cette situation se résolve d'elle même = Alain was waiting for this situation to resolve itself 

2. Alain s'attendait à ce que cette situation se résolve d'elle même = Alain was expecting  this situation to resolve itself

The two sentences have different meanings and implications -

In the first one, it implies that Alain would wait before he intervened.

In the second one, it implies he would not need to do anything as he fully expected it to be resolved by itself.

Hope this helps!»

According to my native-speaking French wife, the explanation of the meanings as written in French is wrong, and as a native English speaker, I have to say that I find the explanations of the translated English to also be quite the opposite of what is written. In English, waiting for something to happen in this setting implies a high degree of certainty that it will happen, expecting something is more hopeful. Maybe that applies both to the understanding of the 2 sentences in French also - it is (to some extent) about the certainty that something will follow (noting that the reflexive is not applied to awaiting 'someone'). This doesn't cover everything, and after discussing with my wife, it seems to me there may be no simple way to explain the subtlety of difference in some settings in English, but it is surely possible to do better than this lesson.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

In my understanding the notion of "something negative to transpire" is not really present in s'attendre. It just means "to expect something". Don't fixate too much on the "doom aspect". It may be present in some circumstances, but I fear it is more of a red herring than being helpful.

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Chris  - it is hard to not focus on the 'doom' aspect when the explanation to assist understanding uses 'apprehension', fear', 'dread', 'sense of discomfort'. T's point that this is a strong contender for the worst written lesson on the site remains valid in my view, although it certainly has some competition. (Sorry, I seem to have assumed T for Tom previously) 

Stephanie C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why "s'attendait à ce que..."? I can't wrap my brain around that well enough to be able to use a similar construction on my own.

"Alain expected this situation to resolve itself."

Can someone please explain why the correct answer is:

"Alain s'attendait à ce que cette situation se résolve d'elle-même."


I don't see any sense of "dread" in the reading of this sentence.  

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