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Complete post:

Jan

15

2012

beaucoup and bien

Adding emphasis…

One of our site users asked for clarification regarding a point in our Lesson 79: 'Tu veux du café?' ('Would you like coffee?').

One of the speakers in the dialogue of that lesson said:

  • J'aimerais beaucoup une tasse de café …

The word beaucoup in this context adds emphasis to the wish: 'I'd like a coffee… a lot!' So, beaucoup can refer to a large quantity, or can add emphasis.

As for our exercise at the end of lesson 79, we asked our students to consider how to say: 'I'd really love a cold glass of milk'. To convey the idea of really wanting something, we could also add the adverb bien. Our sentence would be:

  • J'aimerais bien un verre de lait froid.

So, in summary, we'll meet both beaucoup and bien in French to accentuate wishes, desires, etc. Consider also the following:

  • J'aimerais beaucoup te voir. [= I would like to see you a lot! / I'd really like to see you.]
  • Ma soeur aimerait beaucoup travailler à l'étranger. [= My sister would really like to work abroad.]
  • Elle aimerait bien faire de l'équitation. [= She would really love to do horse-riding.]

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