Ne savoir

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Cameron

Kwiziq community member

10 February 2018

1 reply

Ne savoir

I was reading in the Louis Segond 1910 French Bible and came across this phrase: Or ceux qui vivent selon la chair ne sauraient plaire à Dieu. The English KJV puts this as: So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. I do not understand why using the conditionnel present of savoir along with ne means 'can not'. Is this an idiomatic phrase? Hopefully this question is clear enough to be understood!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

12/02/18

You have to take knto account the old form of the language and the literary register. In those circumstances the conditional sometimes replaces the indicative. This is the case in English, too, sometimes. 

They wouldn't come to the gathering. -- They didn't come to the gathering. 

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

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