1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I am small because I am a ch…

"I am small because I am a child."

Translation:Je suis petit car je suis un enfant.

January 2, 2013



Why could "Je suis petite car je suis une enfant" also be accepted? I thought "enfant" could only be masculine.


No, it's not just masculine. It's just that there isn't a feminine spelling of the noun.


d) Spéc., au fém. Petite fille et, p. ext., jeune fille. J'ai subi le charme de grâce et de délicatesse qui émanait de cette enfant de vingt ans (Bourget, Disciple,1889, p. 120).Cette enfant est l'innocence même (Martin du G., Thib.,Cah. gr., 1922p. 595).

C'était une enfant abandonnée (Maupass., Contes et nouv.,t. 1, Confess. femme, 1882, p. 800)

Un enfant = a child (male) OR a child (female)

Une enfant = a child (female)


I think that it's similar with other human-like words (for lack of better words). The noun stays the same, but you can differentiate the gender with un/une (or le/la). Un professeur/une professeur Un vétérinaire/une vétérinaire Correct me if I'm wrong, please.


You're right. Nothing to correct. :)


My dictionary says that "une enfant" is rarely used. So I believe it's acceptable to describe a girl as "un enfant", just as it's acceptable to describe a man as "une personne".


"Une enfant" may be rarely used, but it is still correct. I never said that "un enfant" when referring to a female was not acceptable. I only pointed out that "une enfant" is also acceptable.

Also could you please tell me which dictionary you're referring to?

The way that language is used these days is complex

And note that I said "No, it's not just masculine" ... note "not JUST" ;)

A man is "une personne" because "personne" is always feminine, be it a male or a female.

A person (male or female) is ALWAYS "une personne". But either "un enfant" or "une enfant" is correct.


Nor was I correcting you! I was adding information that I have heard « un enfant » is also correct for a girl, which was not clear to me from your original comment. I read it on Wiktionary, my dictionaries are actually silent on its usage.


So all is well here in Duolingoland. Thank you for clarifying and have a wonderful holiday season. :)


So can I assume that the sentence "Je suis petite car je suis un enfant" is also correct?


Yes, that's also correct


Fascinating! I went through 11 years of French immersion and don't remember learning this. Nice to keep expanding my knowledge :)


I always thought for female should be "une enfante" =P


That would mean Princess, like the spanish Infanta. (Like Ravel's Pavanne pour une Enfante Defunte --- pavanne for a dead princess.)


Enfant can be feminine if talking about a female child. When speaking about children in general though the default is the masculine. Example : mes enfants sont toutes les filles. Elles sont petites. Verse Les enfants sont petits -->my children are all girls, they are little verse children are small.


'enfant' can be used as both feminine and masculine. 'Un enfant' would be masculine and 'une enfant' would be feminine.


what is the difference between all the conjunctions that mean "because" or "since"?

puisque, du fait que, depuis que, parce que, car?


Try to think of the word/phrase's overall meaning as opposed to the literal translation and words like this will become easier to remember and differentiate. It will take time and practice no matter what.

From what I can pick up, "car" and "parce que" can be used interchangeably and basically mean "because." They are the words you use to give motivation behind something. The only real difference is that "parce que" may begin a sentence, but "car" cannot begin a sentence.

Puisque is similar, but is used for obvious motivations. A good example sentence is "Tu peux partir, puisque tu est malade."

So, if you got a dog recently, you could say: "Parce que j'ai un chien maintenant, je suis heureux." "Je suis heureux car j'ai un chien mainenant." "Je suis heureux parce que j'ai chien mainenant."

And if, in the situation, it was obvious that dogs provide happiness (which it probably does, but I am not a native speaker so what do I know): "Je suis heureux puisque j'ai un chien." http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conclusions.htm

On the other hand, "depuis que," and "pendant que" (and even "pour," but this is more advanced) don't really have anything to do with motivation, so much as they have to do with what has happened in the passage of time.

"Depuis que" can mean "since" or "for," and relates to something still happening, or something that was interrupted while happening. There is an element of the present in this word, be it that "the present" is the current day, or be it that "the present" is when the interruption happened. For example:

"Depuis que je suis petit, j'ai écouté mes parents" or "Depuis combien de temps écoute-tu tes parents quand tu as arrêtes?" (My verb conjugations are off, je suis désolé.)

The one you didn't list, but is nonetheless related, is "pendant que," which is very similar to "depuis que," but refers to the entire length of time, with no interruptions and generally has little, if anything, to do with the present. "J'ai étudié le français pendant trois ans (mais je ne l’étudie pas maintenant)." http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/depuis-pendant-pour.htm

I'm unfamiliar with "du fait que," but Yahoo Answers says it means "from the fact that," so it's probably used in situations where something is because a fact says so. "J'ai mal à la tête, du fait que je suis malade." (Maybe I'll run into "du fait que" here soon.) http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130115005352AAIwaDR

I'm still learning when to and when to not use "que" with "depuis" and "pendant." From the little duolingo has explained, the ever-appreciated comments in these discussions, and the vastness of the Internet, I think a "que" is required when the rest of the relating phrase has a verb in it, but it is not necessary when the relating phrase is just a noun and adjectives. Since the purpose of conjunctions is to join two complete thoughts into a single more complex thought, it would make sense to me that two complete thoughts would take a conjunction, whereas a single complete thought and a phrase would take something similar, but maybe not as involved. (I'm using "a complete thought" to mean a sentence complete with subject and verb, and maybe more, whereas a "phrase" is only part of a sentence like maybe just a subject but with no verb. I was never officially taught parts of speech; I'm sorry for the odd use of terminology. Because of this, take this last paragraph with a grain of salt.) http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=22432&p=164671#post164671


depuis is related to time and does not mean because

as for the rest i think the differences can only be appreciated and only matter when one has reached an advanced level

in english we have things like due to, owing to, from the fact that, 'cause, as, which all have slightly different nuances which are not that important


Why not "je suis enfant"?


doesen't that translate to "i am child?"


Yes, that is how you do profession and a bunch of other descriptive noun in French "je suis etudiante" rather than "je suis une etudiante." I thought enfant should be that way too, but maybe not since it's not a profession.


Yes, I was taught "depuis que je suis enfant" for "(ever) since I was a child," but maybe that's limited to the "since childhood" meaning??? I also agree about "je suis maman" when it's used as (if you will) an occupation.


I was puzzled because I'm sure I was "taught" quand j'etais enfant at some point...


Probably because that's "I am child" and not Je suis un enfant for "I am a child"


But they translate into the same thing. "Je suis maman" is how you'd say "I am a momma" just as "je suis une maman" would be "I am a momma."


Is that what you typed and Duolingo accepted it? Because this language is very specific about their 'and's and 'the's. I think, to be on the safe side, to always try to include the 'une, un, la, and le'


Occupations/state of beings are different, though. It's actually incorrect, or at least improper to use the article in those examples.

And I'm not saying this just based on duolingo's standards but rather on Rosetta Stone's as well. Also the people in my area (which is a historic French speaking region) use this grammer rule as well.

Articles are really difficult to learn when learning French, so I'm sure in practice people wouldn't get too mad at you for saying it.


That is true for practice with native speakers, but for Duolingo, because it is so picky about using those words, you have to to get it right. I'm pretty positive that if I told my french teacher "Je suis fille", she would take it as I am a girl.


Why can't it be "Je suis petite ..." for a female?


why is not je suis petit parce que C'EST un enfant?


C'est translates to "it is" rather than "I am."


Why is mais not accepted


«Je suis petit mais je suis un enfant» = «I am small but i am a child.»


why is mais not accepted? I used mais. Can someone explain please.


In French, «Mais» means «but». The sense, here, is «because» which is translated, in French, by «parce que» ou «car».


Can I say: Je suis petit car c'est un enfant.


No, because that would mean "I am small because he is a child"

As you can see, that doesn't make sense. You aren't small because someone else is a child. You should say "I am small because I am a child", which, in French, is...

1) Je suis petit car je suis un enfant (if you're male)

2) Je suis petit parce que je suis un enfant (If you're male)

3) Je suis petite car je suis un enfant (if you're female)

4) Je suis petite parce que je suis un enfant (if you're female)


I don't want to complicate things but, if I'm a girl, in French, I would say: 1) Je suis petite, car je suis une enfant. 2) Je suis petite parce que je suis une enfant. Also, «car» and «parce que» are almost synonyms, they have not complitely the same signification... But, the difference is so subtle that I won't explain it here.


What is the difference between using CAR and PARCE QUE?


"Parce que" is essentially used where we would use "because" in English. "Car" is more formal and almost entirely only used in writing, closer to "For" (ex., I am small, for I am a child // Je suis petit car je suis un enfant") and you never begin a sentence with it. Then you also have "puisque" which is basically "since" (ex., Since I'm already late, I'm not going to hurry // Puisque je suis déjà en retard, je ne vais pas me dépêcher).


When to use ♢parce que♢ and when to use ♢car♢? Is it like: Parce que - because of... Car - because...

There's something similiar to this in hebrew so i thiught i'd ask. Merci d'avance pour tous.


"because of" is « à cause de » and has a slightly negative connotation (it's the fault of). "because" is both « parce que » and « car ». If I'm getting this right, you can start a sentence with « parce que » but not with « car ».


OK! nice. thanks a lot! anyone can verify this so we can both know for sure? is it really that you can't start a sentence with <sub>car</sub>?


Question: Why does it have "Je suis un enfant?" I thought it would have to be "Je suis enfant," especially seeing how you must use "un" for things like "C'est un acteur" vs "Il est acteur" without the "un." Clarification please?


"acteur/actor" is an occupation.

"enfant/child" is not an occupation

If you say "Je suis enfant", it's like you're saying that being a child is an occupation

  • 259

Shouldn't the second translation for a female child include the spelling "enfante"?


No, enfant is both the masculine and feminine spelling.


Is 'car' interchangeable with 'parce que'?


why is 'puisque' wrong in this sentences? as it's been explained, it's used to comment on sth evident. so i did and was rejected


As a French, I would have accept your answer. It works here.


why can't we us "mais" for but in this sentence?


If you are talking about the French and English used in the example on this page, it is because but is not present in either sentence. If you include but in either the French, English or both you are significantly changing the mean of the sentence.


Shouldn't enfant in the feminine form be enfantE?


No, « enfant » is invariable. It's either « un enfant » or « une enfant ».


but it's variable when it's plural "Des enfants"

And.. "enfante" exist but it's a different meaning "Cette femme enfante" mean that that woman gives birth. But never used, we prefere "Cette femme accouche"


To all those who say there are two identical answers: there are not. At first I thought the same, but if you look carefully, in one of them it says "Je suis petit car je suis un enfant" (right) and in the second one "Je suis petit car je suis AN enfant" (wrong).


Whats the difference between "parce que" and "car"?


"parce que" is more common.

"car" is more formal


At school we always used to use "parce que" for because. Is this still in use generally?


Yes, "parce que" is still in use and more common. You will hear/read "car" from time to time, but it's more formal. I like to use it because it's easier to write lol


What is the difference between "car" and "par-ce que" ?


There is no difference in meaning.

"car" is more formal.

"parce que" is more common.


Hi! Why not "je suis petit comme je suis un enfant"?


I answered "Je suis petite parce que je suis un enfant." and it was accepted as correct.

I am now unclear as to whether it should have been rejected because it ought to be "Je suis petite parce que je suis une enfant.".

Any comments?


It's confusing because either "un enfant" OR "une enfant" can refer to a child who is a girl. Therefore, "Je suis petite parce que je suis un enfant" and "Je suis petite parce que je suis une enfant" are both correct.


Thanks for the clarification. I thought that was the case, but it is nice to have it confirmed.


My translation was correct! In fact two of were answers were the same!


How come it's fine to eliminate "un/une" for an occupation (e.g. "je suis advocat"), but I need it for "enfant"?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.