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oublié ou laissé


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I wrote :

J'ai oublié mes clés à la maison

I left my keys at home

Now I know oublié means forgot, but when I looked left up in my dictionary this is what it said


 1, laisser (deliberately) eg ne laisse pas ton appareil-photo dans la voiture = dont leave your camera in the car

2, Oublier (by mistake) J'ai oublié mon livre à la maison = i've left my book at home

plus others which have nothing to do with what I want .

Now when I checked my answers , it was wrong and its says it should of been

J'ai laissé mes clés à la maison . Which would you of written ?  As the story im translating goes along the lines of her forgetting them , not having left them on purpose !!  

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As in English, you cannot say you forgot your keys at the house (which is what your sentence says).  That would mean you actually did the forgetting when you were at the house!  That is why laisser is the correct verb here.

The only time you would use oublier when in English it would be translated into "to leave" is in a situation such as leaving something out - as in "I left out the verb in that sentence"   "J'ai oublie le verbe dans ce phrase la"

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I think this is where dictionaries really are unhelpful!  In this case you are specifying where the thing was left, so you do not use oublier.   If you were just saying you'd forgotten your keys, then it would be oublier : "j'ai oublie mes cles."  But NOT when you've said where you left them - as I say, follow the English rule in this case.
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My Oxford Hachette monster says...

Leave behind...

fail to bring

(accidentally) oublier, laisser

(deliberately) laisser


But then it also says it also says,

Leave behind (forgetfully)

laiser (person)

oublier (object)

and then gives this example... il a oublié son parapluie dans la train, which matches with your translation.


So, I would have agreed with Coops, but now I'm doubting what I thought I knew [blink]

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Using oublié again in another way:

I forgot how to speak

would it be

J'ai oublié comment parler

Can how be used in this way? beause the only examples of HOW I have seen have been as a question or is there another word for how to ?

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[quote user="Pads"]J'ai oublié mes clés à la maison[/quote]

I checked with my native French speaking daughter-in-law this morning and she confirmed that either oulier or laisser is correct but that oublier may be used where there is a need to emphasise that the keys were forgotten rather than deliberately left.

Usually context will make it clear if laisser is used.

Hope this helps.

Richard T

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