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why isn't it "Premiere erreur de ne pas faire" but is "Premieur erreur a ne pas faire"?

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Leah

Kwiziq community member

11 February 2017

5 replies

why isn't it "Premiere erreur de ne pas faire" but is "Premieur erreur a ne pas faire"?

This relates to:
Negating infinitives in indirect speech -

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 March 2017

13/03/17

Bonjour Leah !


This is an excellent question.
The difference here relates to impersonal expressions.

Here's the rule:
- When you have a real subject, like "première erreur" - i.e. to do. - and that the infinitive is used intransitively (without a object), then the structure is:
[subject/adjective] + à + [infinitive]


La première chose  à faire... 
The first thing to do... 
C'est bon  à savoir. 
That's good to know. 


- When you have a *dummy* subject - i.e. it is to do - the structure is:
il est/c'est + [adjective] + de + [infinitive]


Il est difficile de parler. / C'est difficile de parler. 
It's hard to talk. 
Il est important de faire confiance à ses amis. 
It's important to trust one's friends.


I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Leah

Kwiziq community member

13 March 2017

13/03/17

Merci beaucoup! Cela m'aide.

Hope I can remember it.

Best,

Leah

helen

Kwiziq community member

25 May 2018

25/05/18

Je t'ai demandé de ne pas lui dire".  If this is a "real subject"and no direct object"wouldn't this be "à"? >> Je t'ai demandé à ne pas lui dire". Are we using de because there's an indirect object?

Leah

Kwiziq community member

25 May 2018

25/05/18

Bonsoir Aurelie,


Merci beaucoup!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 June 2018

13/06/18

Bonjour Helen !


Here it's not a case of impersonal expressions, but a case of reported (or indirect) speech, hence the use of de  : 


Je lui demande de venir.   -> I ask him to come.


Bonne journée !

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