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Dear teachers,

In the following sentence :

"You shouldn't leave a valuable necklace like that in the house, you should put it under lock and key."

Does "like that" modify "valuable", "necklace" or "leave"? i.e., how should I understand the clause " a necklace VALUABLE like that = such a VALUABLE necklace" or "a NECKLACE like that (which is valuable) = such a NECKLACE which is valuable " or "LEAVE like that the necklace in the house"?

Understanding that nuance would help me translate the sentence correctly. Which word should be emphasized in that clause: the noun, the adjective or the verb?

Thank you very much for your help and happy new year 2005!
Best regards,
Hela
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Comments  
"like that" = 'such as this one'. It makes the necklace more specific. It is more emphatic, it adds emphasis to the statement. It's not a general statement about the advisability of leavng valuable items around.

It can be sentence modifying but in this case, due to its position, I'd say that it's pointedly about the valuable necklace.

Sentence modifying: "You shouldn't leave a valuable necklace in the house like that."
I agree. "a valuable necklace like that necklace" "a valuable necklace such as that necklace" "a valuable necklace of that kind" are all possible springboards for translation.

Emotion: smile
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Good evening "just the truth",

If I understood you well the sentence means that "you should not be so negligent as to leave this necklace at anybody's reach"; is that so?

But is this not a different interpretation from that of CalifJim who thinks that the emphasis is put on "necklace" instead?

I don't know if anyone of you understands French, if yes I'll show you how this sentence can be translated in different ways according to the position of the emphasis. That is why I need to know what this sentence means exactly.

Thank you for your reply.
Best regards,
Hela
Il ne faut pas laisser trainer dans la maison un collier de si grande valeur; il faut le mettre sous clef.

That's what I would say, except I'm uncertain whether I should place "dans la maison" after "valeur"!

"un tel collier de si grande valeur" might also be possible if it's grammatical in French.

I'm not sure a literal "comme celui-la" would be the best translation.

CJ
Hela wrote:
But is this not a different interpretation from that of CalifJim who thinks that the emphasis is put on "necklace" instead?

Hi Hela,

I think I agreed with CalifJim. I said,

"It can ['could' would work here too] be sentence modifying but in this case, due to its position, I'd say that it's pointedly about the valuable necklace.

If it were sentence modifying, it would need the 'like that' shifted to the end of the sentence.

Sentence modifying: "You shouldn't leave a valuable necklace in the house like that."
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Thank you both for your answers,

I understand much better now. The prepositional phrase should modify the noun"necklace". The thing is that I could have translated the sentence in different ways in French and that's what troubled me. e.g.

a) "Vous ne devriez pas laisser traîner un TEL COLLIER de cette valeur dans la maison, vous devriez le mettre sous clef."

b) Vous ne devriez pas laisser traîner un collier d’une TELLE VALEUR valeur dans la maison, vous devriez le mettre sous clef.

c) "... laisser traîner un collier AUSSI PRECIEUX QUE CELUI-LA dans la maison..."

d) Vous ne devriez pas laisser un collier précieux (traîner) comme cela dans la maison, vous devriez le mettre sous clé.

I will exclude d) given that "like that" is not sentence modifying, but what should I choose: a), b) or c) ?

Thanks a million,
(I hope I'm not got going to be scolded for having spoken in French!)

Hela

PS: How can we use the emoticons? I tried several times to copy one from the list but it didn't work.
I have looked at these sentences so long that I can no longer think clearly about the subtle differences!
All the while realizing that translation is always a compromise, I would vote for a) as the closest in literal meaning to the English. Nevertheless I find that b) reads better (with just one "valeur", of course!). I would accept any of the three as adequate equivalents. English is neutral (or ambiguous) as to the various ways of expressing this in French. There is no way to know what was in the mind of the speaker/writer when the "like that" was spoken/written. C'est a toi de decider! Choose whichever of the three sounds most idiomatic to you in French.

(I hope you aren't translating a novel because it's going to take you the rest of your life at this rate!) Emotion: smile

__________

You can't copy them. Just use the code given there (:-S,Emotion: smile, ;..., or whatever), but be sure to place a space before and after the code or the emoticon will not appear.

CJ
Don't laugh at me CalifJim, I'm trying my best! Emotion: crying I'm trying to be as accurate as possible not to make any "faux sens" or "contresens" (how do you say that in English?)
But you're right, I will never undertake such an enterprise as to translate a book. It would take my entire life on earth and even in eternity!Emotion: big smile

Thank you SO VERY much (US ?) for your help. You are my saviour!
Hela
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