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Why is it "on est bientôt arrivés" instead of " on y arrivera bientôt" ?

AdrienneC1Kwiziq community member

Why is it "on est bientôt arrivés" instead of " on y arrivera bientôt" ?

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Adrienne,

Although grammatically correct 'on y arrivera bientôt ' sounds stilted in French and a mother wouldn't say this naturally when speaking to her children.

Because you want to convey that we are nearly there, the present tense is better.

and you could say 'on arrive bientôt'.

Whilst in a car journey young children would ask their parents in English -

'Are we there yet?' or 'Have we got there yet?'

which in French would be -

On est bientôt arrivés? 

So Mum says - We'll be there soon. -

On est bientôt arrivés.

Hope his helps!

NickyA1Kwiziq community member

I'm still confused on this one because you said the present tense is better but  'On est arrivés' is the simple past not the present. 

In France everyone says 'j'arrive' which seems to translate to 'I'm coming' not 'I've arrived' so why can't I say 'On bientôt arrive'? 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Nicky,

You are quite right in saying that it is 'on est arrivés' is the perfect tense and I would probably translate it as 'have we got there yet?' 

I have altered the text to make it clearer...

The mother could answer -

'Oui, on arrive bientôt'   for 

'we'll be there soon'

rather than 'on arrivera bientôt' which doesn't work because of 'bientôt'.

Sorry for the confusion!

Why is it "on est bientôt arrivés" instead of " on y arrivera bientôt" ?

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