I'm learning English (I'm French) and I was wondering which word to use.

I met friends yesterday night but one of them left a little before I arrived. I want to tell him that next time, it won't be like this and I will manage to catch him. In french I would have said it like this

"La prochaine fois, tu ne m'échapperas pas!"

(Literally, "The next time, you me not will-escape not", or "The next time, you will not escape me.".)

I found several translations for the verb "échapper" and I don't know which one would sound right. I thought about things like "Next time I won't let you flee like that!" or "You won't be able to escape from me next time!".

How would you say it?

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  • "Next time, I won't let you depart like that" is how I might say it. – Skaperen Oct 1 '16 at 9:08
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    I don't speak French. Would you mind editing to add a word-for-word translation of the French sentence? – Lawrence Oct 1 '16 at 9:12
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    @Lawrence: word-for-word? "The next time, you will not escape me." (Or even more word-for-word, The next time, you me not will-escape not".) Of course, that's assuming we use escape for the translation of the verb échapper, which is exactly what he's asking about. Sometimes, elude is a better translation than escape. – Peter Shor Oct 1 '16 at 17:26
  • @PeterShor A literal translation: Next time, you won't get away from me! I used linguee.com to find "get away." There is an indirect pronoun me which gives us the "from me." The correct translation of la prochaîne fois in this type of sentence is "next time" (no article) -- see e.g. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/french-english/prochain. // I like elude. Then we wouldn't need the "from." – aparente001 May 13 at 13:54

Escape is better than flee. However, more natural would be get away from or avoid.

Next time you won't be able to avoid me so easily.

This is the most natural equivalent I can come up with. It's still a little weird. As you gain more experience with English, the itch you currently have to look for equivalences will subside to some extent. (It is natural to have this itch in the beginning.)

You want to express yourself in English with people who don't share your language. Think of the set of authentic phrases you have learned so far as the color palette you have been given, to carry out a particular exercise in your painting class. The teacher squeezes out some specific colors onto your palette at the beginning of the class, and asks you to restrict yourself to those colors. Use them in a creative way. You need not feel too frustrated by not having been given, say, yellow, because there will be another class next week, and you'll be given a different palette of colors to start with.

As you gain experience functioning in English, your repertoire of natural, authentic phrases will grow.

  • +1 for your analogy and the associated advice in a learning environment to use what's available to its fullest potential, knowing that greater variety and versatility are just lessons away. – Lawrence Oct 1 '16 at 23:33

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