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is this a word i should learn?  the dictionary defines it as "hold" and "influence" and gives the example "e'tendre son emprise sur qch."  it also says "sous l'emprise de" which is "under the influence of" and gives the examples "sous l'emprise de l'alcool" and "sous l'emprise de la colere".  

i see that "sous l'influence de" is an expression and would guess it's more common esp. since it correlates directly to the english expression.  


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I am fairly familiar with "emprise" 

Again we need Chantal  or someone  else  for a more detailed description .

Just from google though , "sous l'influence" seems to be a far more common expression than "sous l'emprise" (a good 20 times more common in the search returns) and I suspect that  there may be  a distinct difference between the two that would require more familiarity than I have  to  know.


Yes it's a word you should learn. It's used and "influence" is used too.

(I explain in french.) 

l'influence = quand quelqu'un ou quelque chose exerce lentement mais en permanence une action sur quelqu'un et que cette personne se met à changer.

La publicité influence les enfants à boire des boissons sucrées.

Paul influence notre fils, il a changé.

sous l'emprise  = influence très forte avec une notion de pouvoir. La personne sous emprise n'est plus maitre d'elle même.

Il a tué sa femme sous l'emprise de l'alcool. Être sous l'emprise de la drogue. Être sous l'emprise d'une personne.

in truth, u only used "influence" as a verb.  would it b incorrect to say "sous l'influence de l'alcool"?  if not, then "sous l'emprise" is merely stronger.  maybe u would use it w regard to a heroin addict, for example -- the person is a slave to the substance, is addicted whereas in english, u can say someone was "under the influence of alcohol" but they could have merely been mildly intoxicated.  


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