Why can "they do not have much to read" not be translated as " ils n'ont pas beaucoup à lire"? Why must it be "grand-chose" instead?

DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why can "they do not have much to read" not be translated as " ils n'ont pas beaucoup à lire"? Why must it be "grand-chose" instead?

Google Translate allows it.

This page offers it in several examples:: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/much

It seems they are equally valid alternatives.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi David,

Yes you can say " Je n'ai pas beaucoup à lire" but you are more likely to hear "Je n'ai pas grand-chose à lire".

Hope this helps!

DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Alright, that is good to know. However it is one of the frustrating things in using Kwiziq (and also Lingvist, but not so much on DuoLingo) that you have to learn to give back what the examiner wants, rather than other correct answers, since only one possible correct answer will be accepted.
JohnB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I think the meaning is a little difference. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

"Je n'ai pas beaucoup à lire" to me means I don't have a lot of homework this week. My boss didn't ask me to go over a lot of cases. So I don't have much to read this week.

"Je n'ai pas grand-chose à lire" makes me think you walk into the doctor's office, and there are only junk magazines to read. You don't have much to read around here.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi John,

I think you would say " Il n'y a pas grand-chose à lire" in the case of the doctor's surgery as it is a general comment.

The difference between 'pas beaucoup' and 'pas grand-chose' is the same as 'not much' and 'hardly anything', in my opinion.

Why can "they do not have much to read" not be translated as " ils n'ont pas beaucoup à lire"? Why must it be "grand-chose" instead?

Google Translate allows it.

This page offers it in several examples:: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/much

It seems they are equally valid alternatives.

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