Que tu y ailles ou pas, ça ne change rien.

Richard C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Que tu y ailles ou pas, ça ne change rien.

The title holds the right answer. If I was speaking to a native French speaker and spoke this wrong answer - Si tu vas ou pas, ça ne change rien - would the French speaker understand but think to him/herself “tsk tsk such poor grammar”, or would my selection be incomprehensible? Actually, I have a similar question - two birds, one stone - regarding the use of ‘passé simple’ as opposed to ‘passé composé’: is there a simple rule which tells one which is the appropriate choice when?

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

1st question: Your sentence is grammatically correct but uses simple grammar and sounds a bit flat footed. Que tu ailles ou pas is more elegant and a higher register of French.

2nd question: You wouldn't use passé simple in spoken French at all (unless you're standing on a stage and reciting some literary text). And even in written French it quickly becoming a dinosaur. You will have to recognize it when you read texts of a higher register or older date, though.

AnneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Chris, I think M Macron often uses the passé simple in his speeches, presumably in a high register and evoking ages past. (Of course you could argue he stands on a stage and recites literary text!). 

For example, speaking to the armed forces in July 

- Voilà l'esprit et l'héritage de ceux qui fondèrent notre République

Que tu y ailles ou pas, ça ne change rien.

The title holds the right answer. If I was speaking to a native French speaker and spoke this wrong answer - Si tu vas ou pas, ça ne change rien - would the French speaker understand but think to him/herself “tsk tsk such poor grammar”, or would my selection be incomprehensible? Actually, I have a similar question - two birds, one stone - regarding the use of ‘passé simple’ as opposed to ‘passé composé’: is there a simple rule which tells one which is the appropriate choice when?

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