m'aider

Andrew-C

Andrew-C

Lesson 1.8 Culture I don't understand why in, ''Excusez-moi, pouvez-vous m’aider s’il vous plaît? Excuse me, can you please help me?''. why,in m'aider, is the verb aider still in it's neutral form.
Pascal-P

Pascal-P

Hi. "aider" in its neutral, or infinitive form means "to help". "Pouvez" is from "Pouvoir", which means "to be able to". and is followed by "-vous" to make it a question (verb and subject are inverted to form a question) so "pouvez-vous" means "are you able to.." Hence "pouvez-vous aider" would mean "are you able to help.." or "can you help". In the sentence "Can you help me?", "you" is the subject and "me " is the direct object. Hence, "me" can be replaced with the direct object pronoun "me" (pronounced as MUH). This gives you "me aider" which sounds stilted, so the "e" is dropped to give you "m'aider". Hope this helps.
Andrew-C

Andrew-C

Sorry but i don't quite understand why is it only when there and a subject and a direct object can i change it into a direct object pronoun. I still do not understand why it is still in it's infinitive form ''aider''.
Pascal-P

Pascal-P

Okay. "aider" literally means "to help". "Pouvez-vous" means "Are you able?", hence "Pouvez-vous aider" means "Are you able to help?". In French, you can replace direct objects with pronouns. The pronouns are: Me/m'-me te/t'-you le/l'-him/it la/l'-her/it nous-us vous-you les-them. The direct object pronoun always precedes a verb, and an infinitive if one is present. Eg. I see Pierre. Je vois Pierre. > I see him. Je "le" vois. I want to buy a car. Je veux acheter une voiture. > I want to buy it. Je veux l'acheter. So in "Pouvez-vous m'aider" the "m' " is shortened for "me" meaning "me". Therefore "Pouvez-vous m'aider" means "Are you able to help me" Regarding the pronouns, there is an article on when to use "vous" and "tu" here. http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/grammar/tu_and_vous.shtml
Marie-Claire-Riviere

Marie-Claire-Riviere

Salut, Pascal P you are absolutely correct. "M'" is the direct object pronoun for the verb 'aider'. Andrew, try thinking about it in terms of English. We also wouldn't conjugate 'help' when making this kind of sentence. In English, it's easiest to talk about using 'he', so let's switch to using the third person: 'Can he help me?' If you were to conjugate 'help' to the third person singular in English, it would be 'helps', but as you see in this question, it doesn't have that 's' and stays in the infinitive no matter who the direct object is - just like in the French! I hope this helps explain. If you're still having trouble, try emailing our tech support team at support@rocketlanguages.com - they may be able to help further. Merci, Marie-Claire
Sami-Zaki

Sami-Zaki

Pouvez-vous m'aider" is formal My friends prefer informal words. can i say Peux- tu m'aider?? I prefer to say Merci pour votre aide. ( but it is formal too) Sorry, I'm very comfused
Pascal-P

Pascal-P

@ Sami Zaki Yes, informally you could use "Peux-tu m'aider", though I think"Est-ce que tu peux m'aider" sounds nicer. Or you could be commanding and say "Aide-moi svp!" :) You could say "merci pour toute l'aide", for "thanks for all your help".
Sami-Zaki

Sami-Zaki

Merci pour toute l'aide. à bientôt
Marie-Claire-Riviere

Marie-Claire-Riviere

Merci beaucoup Pascal - these are great explanations. A bientot Marie-Claire
Sami-Zaki

Sami-Zaki

How can I say?? Your answer is very useful. I appreciate your help. Thank you

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