What is the difference between n’importe qui and personne?

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Stuart

Kwiziq community member

1 January 2018

4 replies

What is the difference between n’importe qui and personne?

I’m probably missing something obvious, but I can’t find it elsewhere, sorry :)

This relates to:
Ne ... personne = No one, nobody (negation) -

Jim

Kwiziq community member

2 January 2018

2/01/18

Personne is a pronoun. N'importe comes from the verb importer -- to be important - to matter, (not the version "To import") In the negative, they seem to convey a similar sense but there is probably a nuance that would be better explained by an expert. Jim

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

2 January 2018

2/01/18

Bonjour Stuart !

The nuance here is of meaning, but it is indeed quite tricky as in English, you could translate either with "anyone".

However, personne means the absence of a person, i.e. noone/not anyone, hence it being used with the negative ne.
N'importe qui means a non-specific person, but definitely someone, i.e. anyone, and therefore will not be used with ne.

N'importe qui peut le faire.
Anyone can do this.

Personne ne peut le faire.
Noone can do this.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Stuart

Kwiziq community member

2 January 2018

2/01/18

Thanks!

Enid

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2018

19/08/18

How is aucune used? Can this also mean « no one »?

Enid

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