Clarification of grammar guideline from the lesson

RobC1Kwiziq community member

Clarification of grammar guideline from the lesson

I don't understand the following guideline given in the lesson: "If the main verb is NOT used with negations, then you CANNOT use the ne explétif." Could you possibly clarify? 
Asked 3 months ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Rob,

It's a simple case of subordinate clauses introduced by "sans que" cannot contain a "ne explétif" EXCEPT, optionally,  when the principal clause is negative. e.g.:

Il le fera sans que vous le demandiez - He will do it without asking

BUT

Il ne fera pas sans que vous N'y autorisiez. - He won't do it without permission.

The use of the "ne explétif"  after "sans que" is optional and is a great source of disagreement among the grammarians, some consider it optional and others consider it erroneous.

Even the  Académie francaise equivocates. On the one hand it considers it optional but recommends it for "langue soutenue"(formal language) in its " Emplois fautifs" blog  but elsewhere it condemns  it use : "sans que doit se construire sans négation, même s’il est suivi d’un mot comme aucun, personne ou rien, qui ont dans ces phrases un sens positif"  1966

(my emphasis)

Personally I am happy to dispense with its use after sans que.

Hope this helps,

Tom

 

 

Clarification of grammar guideline from the lesson

I don't understand the following guideline given in the lesson: "If the main verb is NOT used with negations, then you CANNOT use the ne explétif." Could you possibly clarify? 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Clever stuff underway!