Il n’a que deux frères - He only has two brothers. Is this correct? or it should be - He has only two brothers?

Mohit

Kwiziq community member

27 August 2018

3 replies

Il n’a que deux frères - He only has two brothers. Is this correct? or it should be - He has only two brothers?

This relates to:
Restrictive ne … que = only (simple tenses) -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 August 2018

27/08/18

Both versions of the English translation are possible, because the difference between them is, at most, ephemeral. ;)

In French you could only reasonably say, "Il n'a que deux frères." Because "il ne qu'a deux frères." sounds impossible to my ears. 

Mohit

Kwiziq community member

27 August 2018

27/08/18

Thanks Chris for your response.

He only has two brothers can also mean - He and only he has two brothers out of a group of people. Sounds like an overkill but since this translation belongs to a quiz, I was wondering that after all the learning on where to put 'only', why would the answer be in a different way.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 August 2018

28/08/18

You'd teally need tone of voice, too, to help you nail down the meaning exactly. 

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
3071questions6489answers127,573users
I'll be right with you...