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Message de profdanglais posté le 17-09-2007 à 18:41:30 (S | E | F | I)
What exactly does "on" mean?
Réponse: subject pronouns de jean31, postée le 18-09-2007 à 15:13:14 (S | E)
There are several answers.
1 "On" is an indefinite pronoun which is always subject. It designates an undetermined person or group of persons, someone or people.
eg. On frappe à la porte. Someone's knocking at the door.
2 "On" can be an alternative to the subject pronoun "nous", that is the speaker and the group he belongs to, used very often in the spoken/familiar language.
eg. On a perdu le premier match contre l'Argentine. We lost the first match vs Argentina.
*NB : Both can even be used in the same sentence! eg. Nous, on n'y peut rien. We can do nothing about it.
3 "On" can also designate the person you're talking to.
eg. Alors, on se promène ? Well, you're taking a walk?
4 With "on", the agreement can be done in the feminine and the plural.
eg. On est élégante aujourd'hui ! (to a lady) How smart you are today!
On est tous égaux devant la loi. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.
Hope I didn't confuse you too much.
Modifié par jean31 le 18-09-2007 15:13