Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.

What is the capital of Tunisia?

Please type your username.

Please type your E-Mail.

Please choose the appropriate section so the question can be searched easily.

Please choose suitable Keywords Ex: question, poll.

Type the description thoroughly and in details.

What is the capital of Tunisia?

Can someone explain the structure of “n’attendre que”?

In English you’d say simply this;

  • Franprix products are waiting only for you.

The word “que” is the basic translation of “only”; as a matter of fact, in very relaxed French you could do away with “ne” and put that sentence this way;

  • Les produits Franprix attendent que vous.

However, people considered to speak French well always add the particle “ne”; the construction “ne … que” serves the purpose of expressing a restriction; in this usage “ne” is called a “particule de semi négation”; it is, according to certain authors “un peu plus qu’explétif et un peu moins que négatif”.

The turn of phrase ne… que… is used to mark the restriction. Ne is Placed before the verb of the sentence and que in front of the term to which the restriction applies.

It means seulement (only). It does not imply a negation.

Je ne bois que de l’eau = Je bois seulement de l’eau.

Ils ne font que travailler = Ils ne font pas autre chose.





Ne … que doesn’t negate anything here, it is what we call a restrictive ne que. It has the meaning of seulement/uniquement.

It is used here to draw the customer’s attention that the products are specially meant for them. You could translate the sentence as:

  • Our products are just meant for you.
  • Our products are just (only) waiting for you.

Further examples:

Je n’attendrai qu’une heure. (I’ll only wait for an hour.)

Je ne veux parler qu’à toi. (You’re the only one I want to talk to).

Look also at this question and its answer: Using the restrictive « ne … que » construction to emphasise a degree/extent

Edit to respond to StephenJaifséphaneGimenez’s comment.
In order to negate using ne..que you would need to add the negative adverb pas.

Here’s what Grevisse (Le bon usage) writes:

Ne… que n’a pas vraiment un sens négatif, puisque cette locution équivaut à seulement. C’est en quelque sorte une négation infirmée.
[…] Le sens positif de la construction explique les faits suivants : 1) on emploie et et non ni s’il y a coordination […] : Le prisonnier ne recevait que du pain ET de l’eau. ; 2) on approuve par oui une phrase avec ne…que et on la conteste par non : Ne prenez-vous que l’eau ? OUI, ou au contraire NON ; 3) cette phrase peut recevoir une forme négative : Je NE bois PAS QUE de l’eau.

The use of pas with ne…que has been criticized in the past (half a page of quotes and arguments in Le bon usage) but it is widely accepted nowadays.

From the bdl:

Par ailleurs, on peut nier la restriction exprimée par ne…que en employant l’adverbe pas entre ne et que. La tournure ne…pas…que, qui a déjà été critiquée, est aujourd’hui passée dans l’usage.


Leave a comment

What is the capital of Tunisia?