use of diff prepositions and meaning intended by "colloquially"

MelodyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

use of diff prepositions and meaning intended by "colloquially"

—from lesson

To express in those days in French, you won't colloquially use ces jours-là, but rather à cette époque-là or en ce temps-là.

 

À cette époque-là, les femmes n'avaient pas le droit de vote.  

In those days, women didn't have the right to vote.

 

In the first sentence, which I copy from the lesson, what is “colloquially” meant to convey? That “ces jours-là” is wrong but it’s used anyway?  Or?

 

When a preposition is used, are there particular rules for using à vs. en vs.  dans?   Would “en cette époque-là” be incorrect?  Likewise for “en ce temps-là” ?  Or “dans ce temps-là”?  

 

I came across this sentence recently:

Dans ce temps-là, ajoute Gaétan, il n’y avait pas de lampe électrique. Juste des bougies. Brrrrrr ! 

 

It is from Le trésor du vieux moulin p. 101.  

https://beq.ebooksgratuits.com/contemporain/Boucher-moulin.pdf

 

Hence, my questions.  THX

 

Asked 1 month ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Melody,

Christian is correct that "colloquially" means in "informal situations".

Using "ces jours-là" in French is correct if you are specific about something:

Le mercredi et le vendredi, je m'occupe de moi. Donc, ces jours-là, je vais à la gym. = On Wednesdays and Fridays, I take care of myself. So, those days, I go to the gym.

-> "ces jours-là" refers to specific days (for example, days when you're free to do what you want)

You can also come across "ces jours-ci" to mean "at the moment".

Ces jours-ci, je vais à la gym le mercredi et le vendredi =These days (at the moment), I go to the gym on Wednesdays and Fridays

However, you would not say :

en cette époque-là” -> à cette époque / à cette époque-là

dans ce temps-là” -> en ce temps-là

en ces jours-là” -> ces jours-là

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

ChristianC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

"colloquially" means what it normally it does: You would not use "ces jours-là" in informal situations, talking with your friends, colleagues, etc. As far as I can tell you can use it in formal writing to express "in those days" e.g. https://www.academie-francaise.fr/hommage-prononce-en-seance-loccasion-du-deces-de-maurice-druon-secretaire-perpetuel-honoraire:
"Il paraît en effet impossible de ne pas mettre en rapport l’insistance de d’Astier de La Vigerie, ces jours-là, d’écrire un chant pour la Résistance [...]"

I think for these phrases you just use the exact specific prepositions. As you noticed "dans ce temps-là" is used but from what I can tell only rarely. So I would stick to "en ce temps-là".

For the use of en vs dans as temporal prepositions in general, see https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/talking-about-time-when-to-use-en-versus-dans-prepositions-of-time. But I guess you know this already.



MelodyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Céline, thank you very much for your helpful reply.  

use of diff prepositions and meaning intended by "colloquially"

—from lesson

To express in those days in French, you won't colloquially use ces jours-là, but rather à cette époque-là or en ce temps-là.

 

À cette époque-là, les femmes n'avaient pas le droit de vote.  

In those days, women didn't have the right to vote.

 

In the first sentence, which I copy from the lesson, what is “colloquially” meant to convey? That “ces jours-là” is wrong but it’s used anyway?  Or?

 

When a preposition is used, are there particular rules for using à vs. en vs.  dans?   Would “en cette époque-là” be incorrect?  Likewise for “en ce temps-là” ?  Or “dans ce temps-là”?  

 

I came across this sentence recently:

Dans ce temps-là, ajoute Gaétan, il n’y avait pas de lampe électrique. Juste des bougies. Brrrrrr ! 

 

It is from Le trésor du vieux moulin p. 101.  

https://beq.ebooksgratuits.com/contemporain/Boucher-moulin.pdf

 

Hence, my questions.  THX

 

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