"I am small because I am a child."
Translation:Je suis petit car je suis un enfant.
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)
"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.
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.
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
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.
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.
"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).
Here is a relevant link to your question: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conclusions.htm