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The use of 'ses'

FrankC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

The use of 'ses'

In the phrase, "...il faut défendre ses opinions", why do the French use 'ses'?  I would have expected 'vos', i.e. it is necessary to defende YOUR opinions.  Is it simply the way the French express this allusion to others?

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Frank, 

Because il faut is used and as it is a general statement the correct possessive adjectives to use is 'ses'.

It is a rare case when I would translate it as one's 

Il faut défendre ses opinions = It is necessary to defend one's opininions

could have been 

On doit défendre ses opinions 

as opposed to 

Vous devez défendre vos opinions = You have to defend your opinions

Hope this helps!

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Frank,

It's the plural of their(s) in English.

son (nm) sa (nf) ses (npl)      third person plural, but you are expecting second person plural?

"il faut défendre ses opinions" -->    "It is necessary to defend your? or their? options"

Bonne journée

Jim

The use of 'ses'

In the phrase, "...il faut défendre ses opinions", why do the French use 'ses'?  I would have expected 'vos', i.e. it is necessary to defende YOUR opinions.  Is it simply the way the French express this allusion to others?

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