Lots of interesting idioms in this exercise like - "rien que d'y penser" and "sans que j'y puisse quoi que ce soit".
I'm trying to break down "rien que d'y penser" into English. Rien que = nothing that or nothing but. De = I'm just starting to recognize that "de" often comes after "que" in certain phrases (Je dors plutot que de travailler). Y penser = to think about it.
I still don't see how sans que j'y puisse means I can't or I am not able. What does "y" refer to?
Dictation exercise C1
Just to add to your excellent answers, these are two interesting idiomatic expressions.
Rien que d'y penser = At the very thought/idea of it
Sans que je puisse ( y faire) quoi que ce soit = Without being able to do anything about it
'Y faire ' is implied by just using the y
You might be more familiar with -
Sans pouvoir rien y faire which means the same thing and could have been used instead.
Hope this helps!
Perhaps it's the same as this:
It seems like "faire" is understood "je n'y peux rien" but not used in this phrase, which makes it hard conceptualize. The next dictee also had a good idiomatic phrase, "rien de tel que" - "there's nothing like a ...". Helpful because the meanings of these little French sayings are not immediately obvious to me.
I believe the closest meaning to sans que j'y puisse is "Out of my control" and I think y is a replacement for à + [thing(s)] / [object(s)] So basically y is the thing that is out of my control
Amir, I still don't get the use of "y" with "sans que j'y puisse". You would say, "Je peux le faire" not "je peux à le faire." So, what does "y" refer to?
"Rien que d'y penser" is different because "je pense à quelque chose" so the use of "y" makes sense.
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