soi vs. soi-même redux

HamiltonC1Kwiziq community member

soi vs. soi-même redux

I realize this has come up before but it doesn’t seem there’s been a satisfactory answer yet: Why is only “On peut toujours trouver plus fort que soi” and not also “On peut toujours trouver plus fort que soi-même” correct? 

Asked 8 months ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Hamilton,

This is an excellent question! Maarten is correct that using "soi-même" in this situation emphasises that you are doing the action.

Take a look here (although you may have seen this explanation already): How to know when to use "soi" or "soi-même" to say "oneself"?

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hamilton, 

I think it is that the expression “ On peut toujours trouver plus fort que soi “ is an impersonal one - using ‘on’ where English might (formally) use ‘one’ (people). 

The lesson notes ‘soi’ is used in ‘impersonal’ or general contexts, with the impersonal pronoun ‘il’ or the impersonal and general use of ‘on’ (that is when it is not substitute pronoun for ‘nous’).  

As with much grammar, the easiest is to accept that ‘that is just the way it is’, although thinking of “ -même “ as an emphasiser of the ‘personal’ further underlines the different usage.

soi vs. soi-même redux

I realize this has come up before but it doesn’t seem there’s been a satisfactory answer yet: Why is only “On peut toujours trouver plus fort que soi” and not also “On peut toujours trouver plus fort que soi-même” correct? 

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