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Monday, November 18, 2013

Can "tanndat + time construction" be an equivalent to "se fè + time construction" and "sa gen + times construction" expressing "for" or "since" in a declarative and interrogative sentence? Also, in different tenses like the futures tenses and other tenses(conditional tense, all past tenses) if they exist?

Non, it will not work well here.

I am reposting your examples with corrections :)
Enpi, mwen nimewote egzanp yo pou pi bon referans.


Your examples:
"I have been working for nine hours."

"Tanndat nevèd tan ke mwen travay."
"Sa fè(sa gen) nevèd tan ke mwen m'ap travay"
or you can also say:
Mwen gen nevèd tan depi m'ap travay.

"It has been raining for five days."
"Tanndat senk jou ke li fè lapli."
"Sa fè(sa gen) senk jou ke l'ap fè lapli."
or you can also say:
"Sa fè senk jou depi l'ap fè lapli."

"I have been in Paris for three weeks."
"Tanndat twa semèn ke mwen nan Pari."
"Sa fè(sa gen) twa semèn ke mwen nan Pari."
or you can also say:
"Sa fè twa semèn depi m a Pari." Most of the time we say a Pari instead of nan Pari

"(For)How long have you been studying French?"
"Tanndat konbyen tan ou etidye fransè?" or "konbyen tan tanndat ou etidye fransè?
"Sa fè(se gen) konbyen tan w'ap ou etidye Fransè? or "konbyen tan sa fè(sa gen) depi w'ap ou etidye Fransè?

"How long have you been in Quebec?"
"Konbyen lè tanndat ou nan Quebec? or "Tanndat konbyen lè ou nan Quebec?"
"Konbyen lè sa fè (sa gen) ou nan Quebec? or "Sa fè(sa gen) konbyen lè ou nan Quebec?"
You can say:
"Konbyen tan sa depi ou Kebek?

"It will be six weeks tomorrow since Paul left."

"Tanndat pral sis semèn demen ke Paul pati."
"Sa pral fè(sa pral gen) sis semèn ke depi Paul pati."

"It will soon be a year since the president's resgination."

"Tanndat youn ane talè ke prezidan an demisyone."
"Sa pral fè(sa pral gen) youn ane talè ke depi prezidan an demisyone."

Feel free to correct any grammatical errors you spot, feel free to add any more grammar constructions, words, or phrases pertaining to this topic, feel free to be as detailed as possible. I want to know as much as I can.

Posted by kal to Haitian Creole at November 10, 2013 at 7:35 PM


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  1. You're right. I guess I was thinking it was very similar to the way the french language has its construction. Although, I do have two questions to ask you: (1) So "tanndat" is only used to mean "it has been a long" and it does not attach itself with a specific time expression like "sa fé" and "sa gen"? (2) Isn't "depi" redundant when it is used in combination with "sa fè" and "sa gen" because "sa fè" or "sa gen"already trigger the same meaning as ''depi"? I hope that makes sense, if not let me know.

    1. Regarding first question,
      Yes you are right. We do not attach "tanndat" to a specific time.
      It can also mean "a long time ago" or "for a long time"
      for example, we would say:

      Tanndat m'ap tann ou.
      It's been a long time since I've been waiting for you.
      I've been waiting for you for a long time


      Tanndat manman m pati.
      My mom left a long time ago.

      Regarding second question,
      No. "depi", here, would translate "since"
      For example:

      Sa gen lontan depi m pa we w.
      It's been a long time since I haven't seen you.

      Sa gen lontan depi m pa goute yon ti wonm Ayisyen.
      It's been a long time since I hadn't tasted some Haitian rum.

  2. So "depi" is used instead of "ke" in these constructions in creole? Can the last two sentences without "depi" and still express the same meaning or is "depi" necessary in these constructions? I know french uses "que" so I thought "ke" was used.

  3. I don't quite understand because in sentence 6 and 7, you crossed out the "ke" and replaced it with "depi". Is "depi" interchangeable with "ke" in those contexts? In the additional sentences, starting with "sa gen lontan", you use "depi" instead of "ke", is there any reason for that or is it just your preference? Also, doesn't "sa fè" and "sa gen" mean "since" as well alongside "depi"?

    I had examined your response again and realized that in sentence 1, 2, and 4, you used the present progressive marker and in sentence 3 and 5, you didn't instead you used the simple present tense. Could you explain to me why was that?

    Refresh my memory, just to be sure, how is "depi", "sa fè", "se gen" used with the past progressive marker or other past tenses?

    Can "depi", "sa fè", "se gen" be used with the conditional tenses? If yes, can you give examples? I want to be sure about that as well.


    1. 1. Use “depi” instead of “ke”. “Ke” is actually considered French in this type of sentence. But you can use “ke” if you want. I am inclined to use “depi”.

      2. “Sa fè” or “sa gen”, IN THESE TYPES OF SENTENCES, stand for “it has been”. Your sentences do not necessarily have to include “depi” or “ke”. If you do include “depi” or “ke”, THEY will translate “SINCE”. You may ask a question:
      Depi konbyen tan li malad? (Since how long has he been sick? )
      And the answer might be:
      “Sa gen twa mwa.” Or “Sa fè twa mwa”. (It’s been three months.)

      3. The terms “sa gen” or “sa fè” translate “It has been” in these types of sentences. You can use different tenses with different H. Creole determiners if you’d like. Such as:

      Sa pral gen dezan depi m isit.
      It will be two years since I’m here.

      Si papa m pa’t mouri, sa ta fè l senkantan depi l marye ak manman m ane sa.
      If my father didn’t die, he would have been married to my mom fifty years this year.

      Si w te ale nan konsè a tou, sa t’ap fè nou senk fwa nou wè jodi a.
      If you had gone to the concert too, it would have been five times we saw each other five today. (lit)
      If you had gone to the concert too, we would have seen each other five times today.

      Sa ta pral fè vennkat èdtan depi nou kole sou do kay la si w pa’t vin sove nou.
      It would have been 24 hours that we’re stuck on this roof if you didn’t come to rescue us.

      Does that answer your question?