What is the meaning of "Aurélie n'est qu'allée au marché"?

ChrisC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What is the meaning of "Aurélie n'est qu'allée au marché"?

The answer choice inlcudes 'Aurelie only went to the market - and nowhere else' and 'Aurelie went to the market - and did nothing else'. Can you please explain why these sentences mean different things? Aurelie only went to the market. End of, surely?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Chris, 

In fact it is clearer in French than in English.

If the restrictive ne ... que is around the auxiliary,  it modifies the verb so in this case - 

Aurélie n'est qu'allée au marché Aurélie only went to the market    (that is all she did, she didn't do anything else)

 

If it goes before the noun, it modifies it -

Aurélie n'est allée qu'au marché = Aurélie went only to the market  (she didn't go to the butcher's or anywhere else) 

The use of 'only' isn't as simple as it looks as you can see from the following link -

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/%E2%80%9Conly%E2%80%9D-the-most-insidious-misplaced-modifier

 Hope this helps!

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Chris,

The subtlety is a matter of where "que" restriction occurs. After the auxiliary or after the past participle? 

Consider this:  "I have found only one key.  --> Je n'ai trouvé qu'une clé"

                           "I have only found one key.  --> Je n'ai que trouvé une clé" (clear direct object of trouver)

Aurélie n'est qu'allée au marché --> Aurélie has only gone to the market. (But will return soon)

Aurélie n'est allée qu'au marché --> Aurélie has gone only to the market  -- (nowhere else)

Let's see what one of the francophone ladies will comment  --  but this is how I understand it.

Hope it helps.

Jim

Chris asked:View original

What is the meaning of "Aurélie n'est qu'allée au marché"?

The answer choice inlcudes 'Aurelie only went to the market - and nowhere else' and 'Aurelie went to the market - and did nothing else'. Can you please explain why these sentences mean different things? Aurelie only went to the market. End of, surely?

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