how to translate "must have" using "devoir"

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abt

Kwiziq community member

29 March 2018

5 replies

how to translate "must have" using "devoir"

Which will be the better translation into French for the phrase "together with the coca, it must have made people feel good"?

(1) "avec la coca, ça les gens devait se sentir bien"; or

(2) "avec la coca, ça a dû faire que les gens se sentir bien"

This relates to:
to have to -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 March 2018

29/03/18

Hi abt,

I am afraid there are problems with either of the two sentences. I would have said "Avec la coca, les gens devaient se sentir bien."

The second sentence uses passé composé, which isn't the proper tense to use in this context. But you could say, "avec la coca, ça faisait du bien aux gens."

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

abt

Kwiziq community member

30 March 2018

30/03/18

Chris, I agree with both of your comments on my 2 translations. In your 2nd translation, however, I experience a change in nuance from "the coca probably made the people feel good" to "the coca made the people feel good. Could one perhaps translate it using the subjunctive and thereby including the element of uncertainty associated with "must"? E.g. "avec la coca, ça aient dû faire sentir les gens bien".

Chris

Kwiziq community member

30 March 2018

30/03/18

Yes, th change in nuance is there. The su junctive, however, is not the right grammatical tool in this case, as I understand it. You can interject the word "probablement" to introduce uncertainty:

Avec la coca, ça probablement faisait du bien aux gens. 

-- Chris (not a anative speaker). 

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

30 March 2018

30/03/18

Bonjour abt !

Here are two correct options for you to express that sentence "together with the coca, it must have made people feel good":

Avec la coca, ça a dû aider les gens à se sentir bien.

Ça plus la coca, ça a probablement aidé les gens à se sentir bien.

I hope that's helpful!

Bonne journée !

abt

Kwiziq community member

31 March 2018

31/03/18

Merci à tous pour les réponses!

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