Questions on the French language

Je n’ai pas habité longtemps à Paris (translate to English)

Duolingo accepted my answer -

I haven’t lived long in Paris.

Was it incorrect or should the action be in the past ie I haven’t lived in Paris for a long time (or similar).

I thought the past tense was easier in Spanish - especially differentiating the preterite from the past perfect tenses.

It’s grammatically correct but not idiomatically correct. The idiomatic rendering would be “l haven’t lived in Paris long”.

Compare “l was expected to die prematurely in my own country, but for some happy reason l lived long in Paris”. :smiley:

Thanks Peter. How would I say -I didn’t live in Paris long?

sorry I didn’t understand… and am now bowing out…

If you mean in French, “Je n’habitais (or ne vivais) pas longtemps à Paris”, I suggest.
I am not francophone, be advised!

Je n’ai pas vécu longtemps à Paris… is how I would say it…

but that’s me… there are many ways of saying the same thing I reckon…

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… responding graciously to a curtain call after “bowing out” , presumably :smiley::innocent:

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I misunderstood and gave my French phrase, when the English translation was what was asked for… at that time…

once the French was asked for… then I felt OK to offer my own thoughts…

I’m rather hesitant to offer what I say in French … as being correct… I merely know that folk seem to understand what I am trying to say… :wink:


I’ve been thinking about what I say in French… and how I say it… and I’m sure it’s not necessarily correct… but who cares… :wink:

I tend to use phrases and words… which I hear when I am out and about with French friends (not so much nowadays of course)…

I used to have a notebook for writing down such stuff… very useful…


‘You women’ :kissing_heart: have the advantage of handbags in which to pop useful odds and ends like Notebooks and pencils etc. So life is much easier for you than us simple guys who only have trouser pockets where such items as manicure scissors, nail-files, pencils, coil-bound notebooks etc etc are a hazard to manly health, without putting too fine a point on it :woozy_face: and why men don’t usually cross their legs when sitting down, especially in these days of tailored slim-fitting trousers or denim jeans…

That’s another reason why you speak better French too :hugs:

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Haven’t you got a “manbag”? I resisted for a long time but now have one. Very practical.

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I would say “cela ne faisait (pas) longtemps que j’habitais à Paris”

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A sacoche, as it was know in 1981, when I had one. A must have accessory idea imported from Italians who didn’t want the line of their exquisitely tailored clothes to be ruined by fag packets, car keys, wallets etc. It was also a very efficient way if loosing everything in one go.

a neighbour keeps using the words “le canton” (sounds like conton) when she is talking about the dead-end alley which is privately owned by the householders… (she is one such householder)

Because she says that… I now say " le canton" … when discussing that area

but, for the life of me… it doesn’t make any sense…

@vero what are your thoughts??? gives the fourth possible meaning of Le Canton as being;
(Vieilli) Section de route, généralement départementale ou communale, entretenue par un cantonnier.
Perhaps your neighbour is using that name in the archaic sense because she is in part responsible for the maintenance.

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Well, that does make some sort of sense… as she and the other 3 are the co-owners and (as you suggest) responsible for the little dead-end… it’s “access only” and there’s no parking allowed…


Raphael and Thierry are the two cantonniers who work for our commune, and that is what they are called in daily life…not archaic at all here.

I wouldn’t say canton myself because I didn’t grow up somewhere they are called that, however I’d use it here talking to locals because they do. Does that help? :grin:
I come from the Cote d’Azur and lots of things are different eg I put my pains au chocolat in a sac for when I finis ma journée whereas here they put their chocolatines in a poche pour quand ils débauchent. When I want more of something eg pasta, I ask if I may have encore or davantage whereas here they say d’autres which to me means another sort.
There’s a site with maps showing isoglosses but I can’t remember what it is called.

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If you haven’t lived long in Paris but are still doing so then you use the present tense in French. J’habite a Paris depuis … So I would translate it as I didn’t live in Paris for long (in other words you no longer live there hence the past tense in French) …
At least that is my understanding…

… et je charge toutes les poches dans la malle, je romegue pas, même si mes pattes pèguent après avoir touché mes chocolatines et que je m’enganne à la tâche mais, en fin, ba pla aqui !

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