9

In French, as I'm French, to say that I have spent the night with someone, for instance with my dad in separate beds in a hotel, we were only sleeping, for a holiday weekend for example, I would say:

J'ai dormi avec mon père

When I translate this using Google Translate, I get "I slept with my father", which is definitely not what I want to say, according to the TV shows I've watched!
And the reverse translation is: “J'ai couché avec mon père“ (we had sex together)...

In English, how to simply say that you are spending (or have spent) the night with someone, your boyfriend, your friend, your relative without any doubt that you were only sleeping and nothing else?
Why is Google Translate still wrong for this common sentence?

18

I think the easiest way to phrase this would be "I stayed with". For instance, if you shared a room with your father at a hotel, you can say "I stayed with my dad at the hotel" or "I stayed in a room with my dad". "I shared a room with my father" is also pretty unambiguously platonic.The details of who slept in what bed are probably not necessary to get your point across. Mentioning or alluding to the action of "sleeping" is what starts to move things into that gray area of possible euphemisms. But to simply say you were sharing a room, or staying in the same room, implies that sleeping was involved without implying that anything sexual occurred.

  • You can also say I stayed the night with... – Christoffer Hammarström Apr 15 at 8:00
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    @ChristofferHammarström - only if you want to imply they had sex. Sorry, as Johnny commented on his answer "We English speakers are constantly trying to imply that we're getting laid, it seems!" – Martin Bonner supports Monica Apr 15 at 10:10
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    @ChristofferHammarström that is an odd one "I stayed with" = no sex. "I stayed the night with" = ambiguous was sex involved? – WendyG Apr 15 at 12:31
20

The ambiguity of sleeping with being a euphemism for sex is often the cause of humour, confusion, or embarrassment for English speakers. This Quora discussion gives a brief history of this usage in English, which goes back to the tenth century.

I can't speak to why Google Translate doesn't offer more subtle translations in this case, but I can help with ways to clearly say what you want.

The phrasing in your title, spent the night with, also euphemistically implies sex, so it's no help here.

If an English speaker wanted to make clear that they only slept with another person, they might say

I slept in the same room as my father.

or, avoiding the verb sleep entirely,

I shared a room with my father.

I shared my father's room.

But since English speakers are aware of the ambiguity of sleeping with someone, if you do say "I slept with my father," they will definitely understand your meaning. They'll probably pretend they didn't just for a laugh, though.

Note: I edited my original examples to remove references to sharing the same bed; it was only marginally relevant to the question, which was about sharing a hotel room. For a discussion of shared a bed with and similar examples, see comments below. Thanks for the great input from the commenters!

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    Even "I shared ___'s bed" can mean sex. Heck, nearly anything can, though your first two suggestions are fairly unambiguous. – T.J. Crowder Apr 14 at 17:46
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    @T.J.Crowder, you're right, at could be understood that way, tough to me it's a much weaker implication than slept with. We English speakers are constantly trying to imply that we're getting laid, it seems! – Johnny Apr 14 at 17:49
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    In my experience, "shared a BED" implies sex exactly as much, if not MORE than "slept with." Although, it would imply more romance/love than just physicality. However, "shared a ROOM" doesn't imply it at all, but also would mean they DIDN'T share a bed. That's how those phrases are used around me at least – Aethenosity Apr 14 at 18:25
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    Well, from the input of both these comments I'm inclined to agree. Editing my answer for clarity, thank you both – Johnny Apr 14 at 18:32
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    The easiest phrasing I know of to reduce this ambiguity while mentioning the shared bed is "I slept in the bed with (someone)". It could still probably be taken the wrong way, but it shifts the focus away from the person and onto sleeping in bed. – Roland Heath Apr 15 at 2:48
4

Instead of saying "I slept with my Father", try saying "My father and I slept at ..."

For instance, in your example, instead of:

"I slept with my father in the hotel room"

Say:

"My father and I slept at the hotel"

The second sentences seems much more innocuous than the first

2

The term "slept with" is too frequently used as sex. However, there are some other ways to say the sleeping part without hinting sex:

  • I crashed at...
  • I spent the night at...

I can't think of other sleeping focused terms right now but they do exist.

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    Your examples could benefit from more context and explanation. "I crashed at" or "I spent the night at" definitely don't carry the same meaning as the question is asking for (sleeping together in a non-sexual way), but if you explain what they do mean and how you use them in a sentence they may still be good choices. – Johnny Apr 14 at 17:07
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"My father and I reposed" or "my father and I conked out" don't carry those connotations.

The word reposed has a formal tone and would be unlikely to be heard in casual conversation. However, conked out is informal and rather common. Collins defines it as:

  • to tire suddenly or collapse, as from exhaustion
  • to become very tired and fall asleep

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