Ce vase Ming vaut plus que tu ne peux l'imaginer.

HarrisC1Kwiziq community member

Ce vase Ming vaut plus que tu ne peux l'imaginer.

Ce vase Ming vaut plus que tu ne peux l'imaginer. This Ming vase is worth more than you can imagine. What is the purpose of "ne" here? The sentence doesn't seem to indicate any negative tense.
Asked 5 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Bonjour Harris,

The lesson that you are working on is a level B1, the «ne explétif is covered in level C1 and is seen primarily with le subjonctif verb conjugations.

Here is the lesson if you are interested:
What is the ne explétif and when to use it in French%252Fsearch%253Fs%253Dne">What is the ne explétif and when to use it in French

That being said, if you are studying at B1, I wouldn't concern myself at this point with C1 lessons other than to familiarize with the «ne explétif» because you will probably run across this again several times before beginning the C1 level, primarily in examples.

J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière.
DraganaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

If the "ne" is an explétif, used with the subjonctive. Then why is "peux" not "puisses"

JamesonC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Even though it is 4 years old, I think your question is still valid and sadly not satisfactorily answered. Also Dragana properly raises an issue with the explanation that the "ne" is the ne expletive.( If the "ne" is an explétif, used with the subjunctive. Then why is "peux" not "puisses"):

I did some digging and it seems this is a somewhat common (and allowable) construction with some PARTICULAR verbs. The authority behind this explanation is "Grevisse note (14e ed. §1014 b. 1º)".

With the verbs pouvoir; oser; cesser and manquer de one can employ NE + infinitive because the intended meaning is not really a negation. And it is NOT the 'ne expletif' + subjunctive!!! It is simply an exceptional usage of 'ne'(maybe an idiomatic usage) just as "J'en vaux vraiment la peine !"

I hope this information triggers further clarification from any of the the site's moderators /experts . It may have been a genuine oversight on their part.

AnneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I’ve dug a little too. I think that when the ne explétif is used after a comparison of inequality (as here) the verb after it doesn’t have to be in the subjunctive. But would welcome clarification. (Also the ne before pouvoir, oser, cesser and manquer is a ne littéraire, which I’m not planning to learn..)

Ce vase Ming vaut plus que tu ne peux l'imaginer.

Ce vase Ming vaut plus que tu ne peux l'imaginer. This Ming vase is worth more than you can imagine. What is the purpose of "ne" here? The sentence doesn't seem to indicate any negative tense.

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