"Est-ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles ?"

Translation:Are they eating with the girls?

January 3, 2013

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Alexanderthemonk

How can I know if it's, "Does he eat with the girls?" vs "Do they eat with the girls?" strictly by pronunciation?

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/minno726

Context. There isn't any given here, so both should be accepted by the site. In conversation you would have either already been referring to a single person or a group to determine who il/ils refers to, or you could ask "qui?" for clarification.

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/laliga

In this case (and in many others), there is no difference in pronunciation; you just have to infer based on the context (but in this case it's pretty ambiguous and both are pronounced as ehs-keel-mang-zha-vek-lay-fee-yuh). Sometimes, there is a difference, such as in the sentence "Do they read with girls?" (Est-ce qu'il lit avec les filles? = ehs-keel-ee-ah-vek-lay-fee-yuh/Est-ce qu'ils lisent avec les filles? = ehs-keel-eez-ah-vek-les-fee-yuh).

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

In this case, there could be a liaison between "mangent" and "avec" (and sound like: "mangent-T-avec"). Since there is no liaison in this case (so far), both singular ("il mange avec") and plural ("ils mangent avec") are accepted.

We are working on fixing such issues with liaisons.

January 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/waphle

Liaisons that are optional, especially those that are infrequently used by native French speakers, should be clearly marked. I understand the desire to provide clear distinctions to users confused by the lack of difference between the singular and plural forms, but they should know that often they won't hear this difference in the real world either.

May 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/elizinmi

I just answered in the singular and it was not accepted.

April 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mforster1uk

I've just done the same, and it was accepted. The meaning was still shown as plural though.

May 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

the singular is only accepted in challenges where we ask you to "Listen and type in French", because it sounds the same when you do not make the liaison between "mangent" (verb manger, 3rd person plural) and "avec".

If the liaison was made, then we should not accept the singular "il mange avec".

May 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/minno726

I'm not sure, but I don't think that "mangent" does a liaison with the T. It just doesn't sound right.

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/grandmere

No liaison.

February 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mforster1uk

The liaison is optional here - it can be said either way.

May 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/charnz

Similar in English for 'you' - take for example 'Do you eat with the girls?' Whether or not you are referring to one person or many is taken from the context. However often in English we will add in words such as 'all' (you all) to make this distinction. Similar things can be done in French for example you could simply add 'Lui, il mange avec les filles' (or 'Il mange avec les filles, lui'). Here 'lui' means 'him' and the corresponding stressed pronoun for 'them' is 'eux'.

January 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ash2of6

Because it says mangent (for they), rather than mange (for I) I got this wrong too.

November 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ildi9

I am surpised to read that both singular and plural are accepted, because in my case singular was not accepted.

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

The singular "Est-ce qu'il mange avec les filles ?" is accepted.

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Siatsky

what if you wanted to say : Is he eating with the girls?

October 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

It translates to:

  • "Est-ce qu'il mange avec les filles"
  • "Est-ce qu'il est en train de manger avec les filles." (since there is no progressive tense in French, "en train de + infinitive verb" is an idiomatic phrase that implies a progressive action).

"he" translates to "il" (3rd person singular masc.) "they" translates to "ils" (3rd person plural masc.) or "elles" (3rd person plural fem.)

October 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Siatsky

When hearing it and comparing it to Est-ce qu'il mange avec les filles? how can I tell if they are referring to they or he?

October 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/johans2103

I am not sure, but it is also possible to say: "Ils mangent avec les filles"? without lose the sense of the question?

December 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

Yes it is possible.

In French, there are 3 ways to ask a question:

1) Most formal: when the verb and the subject are inverted (the verb is in first position)

  • Boit-il (...) ? = "Does he drink/Is he drinking (...)?"

Here, you have to put a hyphen between the verb and the subject in French.

2) Less formal: when the subject is in first position and the verb in second position

  • Il boit (...) ? = He drinks/He is drinking (...)?"

3) Idiomatic phrase: "Est-ce que" (literally "Is it that"), or "Est-ce qu'" (before a vowel)

  • Est-ce qu'il boit (...) ? = "Does he drink/Is he drinking (...)?"
December 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/johans2103

Thanks so much.

December 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BurakMandira

That's what I'm looking. Thank you very much sir.

July 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SakhoeunLy

Filles and daughters, same same or not?

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

In French, "fille" has two meanings:

  • "girl", when the sentence is about a female child. Ex: "C'est une jolie fille." translates to "She is a pretty girl." In such case, "daughter" is NOT accepted on Duolingo.
  • "daughter", when the sentence clearly implies a family connection between some parent(s) and the female child. Ex: "C'est notre fille." translates to "She is our daughter." In such case, "girl" is also accepted on Duolingo. Note that "fille" in the sense of "daughter" is often preceded by a possessive adjective (ma/ta/sa/notre/votre/leur).

You have to use the context to determine whether you should translate "fille" to "girl" or "daughter".

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/seanton

So if I want to say "what are they eating with the girls",it should be "Ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles"?,I'm so confuses

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Basically, you need to know that "what" can be used in 2 (main) translations in French:

"What" in questions, as something you ask about. In French: "quoi" (in general) or "que" (when starting a question). Examples:

  • "What ???!! Could you repeat?" = "Quoi ??!! Peux-tu répéter?"

  • "What do you say?" = "Que dis-tu?" (note that "quoi" and "que" are total synonyms, you just don't use "quoi" alone before anything else when asking a question).

  • "What do you like eating?" = "Qu'aimes-tu manger?" (note that " Qu' " is just a "que" before a vowel sound).

  • "What are you talking about ?" = "De quoi parles-tu?" (here the question is "about something", i.e. "de quelque chose"; so "quoi" is not used alone but with "de" as equivalent to "about", hence not "que" but "quoi").

All those questions above in French are in a formal, literary way. Most people in everyday-life language would rather ask them with the gallicism "est-ce que...?" (as shown in this exercise on Duolingo), or simply by keeping it as a normal sentence and making it clear it's a question with the intonation:

  • "Quoi??!! Est-ce que tu peux répéter?" / "Quoi??!! Tu peux répéter?"

  • "Qu'est-ce que tu dis?" / "Tu dis quoi?" (you can again see here and in sentences below how "que" becomes "qu" before a vowel, or "quoi" when not starting the question)

  • "Qu'est-ce que tu aimes manger?" / "Tu aimes manger quoi?"

  • "De quoi est-ce que tu parles?" / "De quoi tu parles?"

Now, a second meaning is "what" in all sentences, as relative pronoun -- in French "ce que" (if "what" is the object) or "ce qui" (if "what" is the subject):

  • "What I think is personal" = "Ce que je pense est personnel"

  • "You can do what you want" = "Tu peux faire ce que tu veux".

  • "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" = "Ce qui ne te tue pas te rend plus fort"

  • "This is what annoys me" = "C'est ce qui m'ennuie".

So in your suggestion, "ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles" can't be a question as it is a relative sentence, i.e. a sentence inside another one. If you want to make a whole sentence of it, there should be something else (e.g. "Ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles est délicieux"). And to make a question of it, what Remy suggested is correct.

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/seanton

That's very clear and most helpful,thank you for the trouble~

March 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

No, "what are they eating with the girls?", translates to:

  • "Qu'est-ce qu'ils/elles mangent avec les filles ?" or
  • "Que mangent-ils/elles avec les filles ?"
March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/seanton

Thanks a lot! That's helpful:)

March 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ryaton

The translation says "Are they eating with the girls?". Wouldn't that be "Est-ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles?"? Does that even exist?

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mforster1uk

It is "Est-ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles ?"

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TeoTN

Why not "Is it what they eat with the girls?"?

November 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Because that would mean something else.

You need to understand that, although "est-ce...?" equals "is it...?" in English, "est-ce que...?" shouldn't be literally translated and only be considered as a Franco-French way (i.e. a gallicism) to make a question. In other words, you could consider only what comes after the " que / qu' ", here being : "[...] Ils mangent avec les filles?" : "They eat with girls?", in correct English "Do they eat with the girls?".

But if you want to know the meaning underneath (cause they are not "just empty words"), "est-ce que...?" literally means "is it THAT...?", the word "that" having the same role more or less as in "I think that...", "The problem is that...". So, not as in "the man that I saw" or "cities that are sustainable". Rather, like when you say "It's not that I don't love you, it's just that my feelings have changed".

"Is it WHAT they eat with the girls?" means something else: you're not asking whether they eat with the girls, but you want to know if it is WHAT they eat with them.

So in French you would need to find/hear/say the "what", which in this case is "CE QUE": e.g. "What I like" = "Ce que j'aime", "What you think" = "ce que tu penses", etc.

Therefore, "is is WHAT they eat with the girls" would be "Est-ce CE qu'ils mangent avec les filles?". Yep, two "ce" one after the other. (But you won't be likely to hear that question that way, but rather with this form: "C'est ça / ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles?". You would use the affirmative form of "est-ce", which is "c'est", to avoid the reptition of "ce").

November 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kaishodge

Est-ce qu'elles mangent avec les filles. Why was this wrong? I'm confused isnt a group of girls feminine?

February 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1044

"les filles" is feminine plural, but it is the complement in the sentence, not the subject ("ils": masculine plural).

If you talk about men, you can ask: "The men, are they eating with the women?" = "Les hommes, est-ce qu'ils mangent avec les femmes ?"

February 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SamsPark

"eating" they say

March 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tessa.rans

Can anyone else not hear the "ce" on the end on "est-ce"??

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

I do hear it.

But maybe you're confused because 'est' is actually just pronounced "È", i.e. as in the starting sound of letters like F, L or M.

The 's' sound that you hear here is actually the "ce", as in this case the final "-e" is mute.

"Est-ce que" is in fact pronounced [ESS-K-UH].

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoseGuerre5

how can I posibbly know if it is: "Est-ce qu'il mange avec les filles?" or "Est-ce qu'ils mangent avec les filles?" the pronunciation is not clear enough to be sure

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karlibob

After reading the comments I'm gathering that "Est-ce qu" can mean both is and does. Is this correct? When I hover over it on the exercise it does not give me both options.

July 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kathy2659

doesn't est-ce que mean what instead of do/does?

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BurakMandira

As soon as I know, no. Qu'est-ce que means "what do/does", est-ce que means "do/does". Qu'est-ce qu'il mange? means 'What does he eat' for example.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidRowe6

les filles can be "their daughters"

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/XZMd

Well,could they eat with their daughters? I guess yes

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Feeniqs

OMG. French questions are soooooo madly difficult and complicated, at least for somebody who hasn't ever read or heard French before(exactly like me), it is......hmm......

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Dear,

I totally understand your... distress, and as I wrote in the past, I'm happy French is my mother tongue (as opposed to not having to "learn" it, not compared to another language! :-)), but please...

  1. this is a forum, often full and overloaded only with the questions and answers, including by those who didn't take the time to read the rest beforehand. I can imagine you want to "share" your point of view, but to what extent is it constructive, or even interesting for others ?!? You can't even finish your own sentence...

  2. All languages are, in principle, more or less difficult and complicated when you start learning them as an adult, especially in such "unnatural" way. But in this case, seriously ? Madly difficult ??!! Come on, you just take ANY affirmative sentence (here: "Ils mangent avec les filles") and add the structure "Est-ce que" (qu' before a vowel), which you simply pronounce [ess - kuh / esk'].

  3. This is in any case not more "complicated" than having to use "do" or "does" (see, already two different forms! lol) in English to make questions, and certainly not less logical (when you think about it, why use some other verb of action i.e. "to do", to make questions... not even ALL of them ?!?).

All is relative, and well, sorry again that you find it so complex, but you'll see... it's getting worse! ;-)

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/aurevoirmarie

Conpletely impossible to distinguish plural and singular.

November 28, 2014
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