Difference b/n "s'attendre a ce que" and "attendre que"

DinaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Difference b/n "s'attendre a ce que" and "attendre que"

Hi All,

I dont quite understand the necessity of complicating life by using "a ce que" when we can simply use "que" with no losses in meaning. Is there really a difference?

Merci

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dina, 

I think the preposition 'à' makes all the difference. It is not a case of complicating things as the 'ce' is necessary.

The concept of using 'ce' before qui and que, is very difficult to explain to students, and often non-native teachers in my experience can explain it better. 

The two verbs mean totally different things 

1. Attendre que quelqu'un fasse quelque choseTo wait for someone to do something

 verb + que + someone + verb in the subjunctive

J'attends que tu me répondes I am waiting for you to answer me

Il attend que nous ayons fini He is waiting for us to be finished

Elles attendent qu'on leur fasse un gâteau = They are waiting for someone to bake them a cake 

2. S'attendre à ce que quelqu'un fasse quelque choseTo expect someone to do something 

Je m'attends à ce qu'il me fasse une déclaration demain I am ( fully) expecting him to give me a statement tomorrow 

Ils s'attendent à ce que ça soit très difficile = They expect it to be very difficult

Elle s'attend à ce qu'il vienne la chercher She is (fully) expecting him to come and fetch her

Je m'attends à ce qu'il soit en retard I (fully) expect that he will be late

Hope this helps but anyone welcome to jump in and add to this.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The usage is:

S'attendre à + noun
S'attendre à ce que + subject

Strictly speaking, s'attendre is always followed by a noun. It's just that in the second case the noun is ce.

DinaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Chris,

Thank you! I understand the cases with preposition, and think grammatically I have no problems in understanding. My question is more about contextual difference for 2 cases: s'attendre a ce que vs attendre que. To me they look like serving the same purpose, and I dint understand why would one use "a ce que" when just "que" is way easier (quicker). For example, can these two below be used interchangeably?

e.g. Je m'attendais à ce que tu me demandes en mariage = J'attendais que tu me demandes en marriage

Merci en avance!

DinaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Cecile,

Thanks a lot! That is actually very helpful, these extra examples are indeed giving more insight, merci!

Difference b/n "s'attendre a ce que" and "attendre que"

Hi All,

I dont quite understand the necessity of complicating life by using "a ce que" when we can simply use "que" with no losses in meaning. Is there really a difference?

Merci

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