does "n'a pas eu a" mean "didn't have to"

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Carl

Kwiziq community member

10 February 2019

3 replies

does "n'a pas eu a" mean "didn't have to"

I'm looking at the "Manon n'a pas eu a payer" as the translation of the English "Manon didn't have to pay."  This translates literally but is it correct French.  I would think "Manon didn't have to pay" would be something like "Manon n'a pas du a payer."  

This question relates to:
French writing exercise "Splitting the bill (B1)"

Paul

Kwiziq community member

11 February 2019

11/02/19

Yes. It is correct French. I think you could also say “Manon n’a pas dû payer” as you suggested (but without ‘a’ before payer) but I’m pretty sure that in this case they asked us to use “avoir à”  for to have to.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

11 February 2019

11/02/19

Hi Carl,

‘Avoir à faire’ in French indicates a need rather than the idea of must when ‘devoir’ is used.

Tu ne dois pas payer = You must not  pay

Tu n’as pas à payer =  There’s not need for you to pay

Which I think is the meaning required in the exercise ....

 

Carl

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2019

12/02/19

Thank you both for the replies.  This is a subtlety I have never seen before.

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