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What would be the best way to say ..... I washed the car myself. 


J'ai lavé la voiture moi-même or J'ai lavé la voiture tout seul

Also you use tout seul in a sentence in this way would it become toute seule if the subject was female and why/why not?


Thanks in advance for any help. 

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Definitely "J'ai lavé la voiture moi-même" or "J'ai lavé moi-même la voiture" depending how strong the emphasis should be on "myself". "J'ai lavé la voiture tout seul" translates "I washed the car alone" with an emphasis on the loneliness of the washer.

Of course,  "tout seul" becomes "toute seule" when related to a female. Further on this subject, when related to a group of females it becomes "toutes seules", and it's a group of males or of undefined gender or of both males or females, it becomes "toute seule": les filles se sont débrouillées toutes seules, les garçons se sont débrouillés tous seuls,  les touristes se sont débrouillés tous seuls. {tout and seul are adjectives}. [ "les touristes se sont débrouillées toutes seules" allows you to assumes that the tourists were all females !-)].

thanks for your help

"laver" is a reflexive verb.  I'm surprised no one corrected this.  "Je me suis lavé la voiture" 

Hi Alan--

"laver" can indeed be used as a reflexive verb if you're referring to body parts, for example. But in this case, when referring to general washing of an object and "myself" just means "me personally" or "me by myself", the sentences suggested are fine.

Actually, the google translator has it as reflexive as well if you key in the washing the car sentence.      

I should have clarified that the google translator has it reflexive w/o the word "myself."  If you add "myself" then it translates it w/o the reflexive.  

Erm... so what?

Just to clarify: Google Translate is an interesting piece of fun, but I assume that nobody is labouring under the misapprehension that it includes any guarantee of actually producing correct translations!

If I key "I'm washing the dishes"  google has "laver" not as reflexive.  If I type "I washed the dishes" it has laver as reflexive.  I should have checked the Reverso dictionary which I believe is reliable.  It has "laver les vaisselle."                

You know,  web translations are often working with some key words. They are rarely trustworthy,  especially with all the finer points of a language.

In your two sentences "I'm washing the dishes" and "I'm washing the dishes" the difference is only the tense. And the tense doesn't change the reflexive form in French. the  reflexive form depends on the meaning only.

"laver" is reflexive ("se laver") only when you wash yourself one part of your own body.

Je me lave les cheveux = I am washing MY hair

Tu te laves les cheveux = you are washing YOUR hair

il se lavait les cheveux = he washed HIS hair

But !!! Tu me laves les cheveux = you are washing MY hair (it is not a reflexive form here)


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