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almost or bankrupt?

Donna B.B2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

almost or bankrupt?

When I look up "failli" in Google translate, it has "bankrupt." Yet the words "failli sursauter" translate as "almost startled" (comme "presque sursauter).

So it kind of means "You failed to be startled"? (Failli faire, mais no?) Wow... that's a stretch.

Is the meaning of "presque" (almost) slightly different then? 

Asked 1 week ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Donna, 

Just to add to what Maarten has said -

Let's put ' faire faillite' aside as it means to go bankrupt and has nothing to do with the verb 'faillir' , you can express 'almost or 'nearly' differently in French.

You will use the adverb 'presque' ( almost / nearly/ practically ) in a literal sense-

Il est presque midi = It is almost midday

J'ai presque fini mes devoirs = I have practically finished my homework 

Je suis presque arrivé/e à l'heure = I almost got there on time 

Je suis presque chez moi = I am practically home

 

The verbal expression "faillir faire quelque chose" is used to express that someone "almost did something" or "nearly did something," often with a sense of relief that it didn't happen -

Jai failli tomber dans les escaliers = I almost fell down the stairs

It is often used 'ironically'.

To use the previous examples, if you had said:

J'ai failli finir mes devoirs = I almost finished my homework

you will mean that you had no intention of doing so and could have done so by accident rather than intent.

The same for -

J'ai failli arrivé à l'heure = I almost got there on time

means you are probably always late and nearly were there on time.

I hope this helps!

 

Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Donna -

 Different expressions

faire faillite ‘ go bankrupt’; 

faillir faire qqc - ‘ almost did something’  

 https://www.wordreference.com/enfr/bankrupt https://www.wordreference.com/fren/faire%20faillite

 https://www.wordreference.com/fren/faillir

Donna B.B2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you, Cécile and Maarten. Now I understand. 

almost or bankrupt?

When I look up "failli" in Google translate, it has "bankrupt." Yet the words "failli sursauter" translate as "almost startled" (comme "presque sursauter).

So it kind of means "You failed to be startled"? (Failli faire, mais no?) Wow... that's a stretch.

Is the meaning of "presque" (almost) slightly different then? 

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