Ne savoir

CameronC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ne savoir

I was reading in the Louis Segond 1910 French Bible and came across this phrase: Or ceux qui vivent selon la chair ne sauraient plaire à Dieu. The English KJV puts this as: So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. I do not understand why using the conditionnel present of savoir along with ne means 'can not'. Is this an idiomatic phrase? Hopefully this question is clear enough to be understood!
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

You have to take knto account the old form of the language and the literary register. In those circumstances the conditional sometimes replaces the indicative. This is the case in English, too, sometimes. 

They wouldn't come to the gathering. -- They didn't come to the gathering. 

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

Ne savoir

I was reading in the Louis Segond 1910 French Bible and came across this phrase: Or ceux qui vivent selon la chair ne sauraient plaire à Dieu. The English KJV puts this as: So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. I do not understand why using the conditionnel present of savoir along with ne means 'can not'. Is this an idiomatic phrase? Hopefully this question is clear enough to be understood!

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