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Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne

Can you use another word instead of "dès" ? "À," "en" ?
Also, can "où" be replaced with "quand" ? Even should ?


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Hello Robert,

as you know context matters a lot...but as a whole

you can say à l'aube= at down

dès l'aube: from dawn/ as early morning

so it's more a question of nuance.

Definitly not "en"

As for the distinction between "où" and "quand" it's true that it's less rigid or logical than "where" and "when".

You can sometimes replace it with "quand" but you don't really have to and sometimes you can't.

I perfectly understand that an English might be baffled by the fact that "où"can be assimilated to a temporal adverb but actually it makes sense when you understand that it's a relative pronoun (like qui , que, dont).

Où est utilisé dans l'espace ET dans le temps.
Exemples :
Voici la maison où j'ai grandi. (Lieu ou espace)
L'année où j'ai passé mon bac, il a neigé en mai. (Expression de temps)

In the following exemples you can't replace it with "quand":

à l'époque : at the time when 

au moment nous parlons: as we are speaking

Il s’est réveillé au moment l’accident a eu lieu: He woke up when the accident took place

Indique aussi une circonstance:

Dans l’état il est, on ne peut le transporter

.Au train vont les choses, nous ne tiendrons pas très longtemps.

Merci beaucoup.

I guess in most cases, the best English equivalency won't even mention 'when' or any similar conjunctions or relative adverbs.

Au moment où je vous vis.
The moment I saw you.
À l'heure où blanchit la campagne.
The hour the countryside is white.
À l'époque où il a régné comme empereur.
The epoch he reigned as emperor.

And that's also true with your examples of circumstances- no conjunctive elements needed in English:

Dans l’état où il est, on ne peut le transporter
The state it's in, transporting is not possible.
Au train où vont les choses, nous ne tiendrons pas très longtemps.
The way things go, we won't take long.

"Au train où vont les choses, nous ne tiendrons pas très longtemps.
The way things go, we won't take long."

Shouldn't that be "we won't last long"?

It is 'last,' 'sustain oneself.'

There is this in a news story about a French family stranded in dire condition:
"Nous perdons nos forces chaque jour et commençons à être malades, nous ne tiendrons pas longtemps."

So what is a right way to say 'We won't be long (finishing a task)' ?

I think it's Nous n'y sommes pas longtemps. Native French speakers may correct me.


no, rather: nous ne serons pas longs/ on en (aura) a pas (plus) pour longtemps/on a bientôt fini /( nous serons bref)

brefs !


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