French Language

Discuss and learn French: French vocabulary, French grammar, French culture etc.

French Vocab Games app for iPhone/iPad French-English dictionary French grammar French vocab/phrases

For the latest updates, follow @FrenchUpdates on Twitter!

I came across this sentence in a posting:

"La guerre ne fait que commencer" which google translates as "The war has just begun."  

I would have said "La guerre vient de commencer."  In researching this, I came across 

"Ça ne fait que commencer" - "it’s only the beginning" or  "it’s just begun".  I again would have used "venir de" or "C'est seulement (or "Ce n'est que") le debout (or commencement)."  

I can't find "ne fait que" as an idiomatic expression.  I suspect it's used often this way.   



Views: 3401

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I did find that Neil addresses "ne faire que" in his "key words" section:

The construction ne faire que... is equivalent to English to do nothing but...:  

Il ne fait que travailler.  He does nothing but work.  (All he does is work).  

Unfortunately, it wouldn't come to mind in the two sentences I cited above.     

The idiomatic expression here is  "cela ne fait que commencer", meaning "it has just begun" (I would even emphasize it by translating it as "it has only just begun"), it is often used to add a bit of drama (I can't help but read it with a movie trailer type voice).

I can't really think of any other expression that uses "ne fait que" like this. Ce n'est que le début/cela vient de commencer/c'est seulement le début, are all grammatically correct and mean more or less the same thing. 

Cela ne fait que commencer cannot be a simple sentence as Nausikaa highlighted. It is used to add a bit of dram but link to some prior statements 

Il y a déjà 3 morts la guerre ne fait que commencer (2nd part could be said by another person to add a bit of drama)


La guerre ne fait que commencer et il y a déjà 3 mois

in both case the most important info is the 3 deaths, by adding la guerre ne fait que commencer it implies it might be worsening

It's way different from : la guerre a commencé which is a statement

very informative.  thank you.  


Follow BitterCoffey on Twitter

© 2022   Created by Neil Coffey.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service