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Unusual English

Ian B.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Unusual English

I can't imagine why one would say "Kissed themselves"It would be like saying " I kissed myself"  Doesn't make senseKissed each other is fine but even "each other" can be omittedTom and Paula kissed in front of the mirror.   Who else would they be kissing?


''Tom et Paula se sont embrassés devant le miroir.'' can mean:Tom and Paula kissed each other in front of the mirror.Tom and Paula kissed him in front of the mirror.Tom and Paula kissed themselves in front of the mirror.



Asked 3 years ago
Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I think this is used to demonstrate that in English you have "each other" and "oneself" to express what, in French, is expressed by the same reflexive. In some instances it is clear from the context or the verb itself which one is implied. In other cases it is ambiguous.

Ils se sont embrassés. -- They kissed each other (and clearly not themselves).
Nous nous aimons depuis des années.
-- We've loved each other for years. / We've loved ourselves for years.  (Could be either of the two)

Yes, the meaning of the two possibilities is very different. That was exactly the point of the exercise to illustrate that the same French sentence can mean two very different things in English. You need context to decide.

Ian B.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
We've loved each other for years.We've loved ourselves for years.

To love oneself has a totally different meaningrom loving each other.    Some really bad examples of English in this lesson
ilinca b.C1Kwiziq community member

I find the suggestion that « Nous nous sommes aimés pendant des années » could be translated as « we’ve loved ourselves for years » ridiculous ! This is not English ! 





We've loved ourselves for years.
chris w.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I work in radio drama and actors frequently kiss themselves in front of a microphone to make the sound of kissing. But doing it in front of a mirror is a bit weird.

Unusual English

I can't imagine why one would say "Kissed themselves"It would be like saying " I kissed myself"  Doesn't make senseKissed each other is fine but even "each other" can be omittedTom and Paula kissed in front of the mirror.   Who else would they be kissing?


''Tom et Paula se sont embrassés devant le miroir.'' can mean:Tom and Paula kissed each other in front of the mirror.Tom and Paula kissed him in front of the mirror.Tom and Paula kissed themselves in front of the mirror.



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