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!

Am I wrong, or is this verb missing from the French language? It would appear that you have to describe how someone is holding his/herself. (ie. se tenir debout). 

If I want to point out someone in a crowd and I say "It's the bloke in the blue T-shirt standing at the bar" or I say to some "Please stand over there near the window" is se tenir debout the only solution?

Views: 3967

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

In the English "stand" can be used in the sense of either "stay standing " or "go and stand".

If it was (as it seems to be in your case" )the latter then I would be tempted to use "se mettre"

So "mettez-vous là-bas" could work , I think.

Also I don't think it is always necessary to "se tenir debout " as "se tenir " may convey what is required in many situations.

I am not sure if "se mettre debout " can be used at all (I think it may mean "to get up on your feet" )

"rester debout" can also be used in some circumstances.


You are right, "to stand" doesn't have a match in French. To find the best translation you will have to know well all the forms related to position in space that exist in French ^^

For example :

"It's the bloke in the blue T-shirt standing at the bar" - " c'est le type en T-shirt bleu près du bar" ( "qui se tient près du bar" would be useless and too heavy in the sentence, and by the use of "bloke"  I suppose it's spoken language so you don't need extra details or sophisticated forms.) or "c'est le type en T-shirt bleu au bar".

"Please stand over there near the window" - "Placez-vous près de la fenètre s'il vous plait"

"To stand on your two feet" - "Se tenir sur ses deux pieds"

"He stands out from the crowd" - "Il se démarque de la foule" or "On le remarque dans la foule"

"Only one building was left standing" - "Un seul batiment restait debout"

"Please stand up" - "Levez-vous s'il vous plait"

"This is our last stand" - "C'est notre dernière bataille"

"to stand" already have a lot of different uses in English and  even more different ways of translating it in French. Instead of looking for a matching word I would advice to focus more on context and don't fear to take some distance with the literal translation. But this require a certain knowledge of French of course :/

No miracle tip here, sorry...

No "miracle tip" but an excellent and comprehensive explanation Sandra.  Merci a vous.


Follow BitterCoffey on Twitter

© 2024   Created by Neil Coffey.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service