"Est-il sûr ?"

Translation:Is he sure?

January 3, 2013

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  • 1224

why is it pronounced "eh-ss-t" instead of "eh-t" as it usually is?


The duolingo pronunciation here is wrong. It should be the same as usual.

  • 1634

I believe when the following word starts with a vowel sound you actually do pronounce the "t". There was some other word I saw this done with I can't recall at the moment...


Yes, you'd pronounce the t, but not the s.

  • 1634

Oh, yeah, you're probably right. I think I misunderstood.


Her pronunciation is awful. No one in the french-speaking world would say "Essss til sur." It is "Ey-t-il sur." Many people have complained about this and Duo apparently just does not care.


I propose a duolingo rule: new words cannot be presented through audio-only when they appear for the first time. What say you all?


No, I don't agree anymore, at least not if gaining competence in French is your ultimate goal. It is absolutely annoying and frustrating and seems unfair-- all of which would also seem to make it stick in one's head better than if it came right after Duo had introduced in a written example with a "hint" 10 seconds earlier. That's imho, after making it through the tree. If it doesn't annoy you enough to make you quit Duo, then it might actually be pedagogically effective.


Sounds far more like 'Est-ce qu'il sûr?'


Ikr, it seriously does ;-;


That is what I wrote. Is that not a valid way to ask?


It is not a valid sentence as it lacks a verb. Consider « est-ce que » as “do you”. So the correct sentence is « Est-ce qu'il est sûr ? ».


Bad pronouciation !:-(


"Is it safe?" is not possible?!?


Only if your "it" in the question "Is it safe?" refers to a specific object (or animal). Here's a THEORETICAL example:

  • It's a beautiful neighbourhood = C'est un beau quartier

  • But is it safe? = Mais est-il sûr ?

I say theoretical, because it's little likely someone would phrase it like that. "Est-il sûr ?" sounds too much like "Is he sure / certain?", that we'd rather re-use the specific noun : "Mais est-ce que c'est un quartier sûr ?".

But if the "it" is a general reference, or about a situation, then you must use "ce":

  • Is it safe here? = C'est sûr ici ?

Yet, again, "sûr" is so much perceived in the sense of "sure / certain" that we don't often use it like "safe" is used in English. So the example just above would rather be expressed like this:

  • Is it safe here? = On est en sécurité ici ? (word per word "Are we in safety here ?").


Can anyone help me with the pronunciation of "sur"? (Sorry I'm not sure how to do the accent). I have a lot of trouble with it - ends up sound like either "sure" or "sir". I think "sur" should be somewhere in between those two?


To get the u sound in sûr, try using the oo sound from the english word food


More like syure? The û sounds long and drawn out to me.


On ne prononce pas S dans EST!


Why doesn't it mean "for sure"?


"For sure" means "certainly", which is a different thing than what this sentence means : "is he sure" or "is he safe" (in the sense that he is faithful and keeps his word).


Ignoring the odd pronunciation, I'm puzzled by the fact that sûr is given as the correct form of the masculine adjective for this example, but when I picked sûr from the drop down list for an earlier sentence (Mais comment être [choice]?) DL said that was wrong, and that the correct answer was sûre. So when is the masculine for "sure" sûr and when is it sûre?


The previous example you mentioned required feminine sûre when it was not grammatically necessary to use feminine. In that case Duo was wrong and has yet to correct it. That construction you posted allows either masculine or feminine (sûr/sûre)

In this example, the presence of il in est- il does grammatically require a specific gender. Il being masculine, sûr is the required form. Here, Duo is correct.


Thanks, northernguy. I went back and found the discussion of the "Mais comment être sûr[e]" and I see that the problem was reported a long time ago. Odd that it still hasn't been fixed. Usually DL jumps on these things right away (particularly for problems with the French modules).


I'm not so sure they do it right away but that one has been hanging around for a couple of years. Since Duo is a great, free service I cut them a lot of slack. but after such a long while even I wonder why no one has either corrected it or posted a surprising explanation for the apparent discrepancy.

Maybe it is waiting for what was described at the Academy Awards last night as ...gender confirmation surgery.....


So when is "en" necessary for the unstated (in English) "object" of being sure? A previous lesson had "En sommes-nous sûrs ?" for "Are we sure?". This seems like the same sentence, except in the third-person singular, but no "en".


« En » as a pronoun (it can have other roles) is the equivalent of “about it” or “some” (of it). So:

Sommes-nous sûrs ? Are we sure?

En sommes-nous sûrs ? Are we sure about it?

Il parle. He speaks.

Il en parle. He speaks about it.


Agreed about how "en" works here as a pronoun. What is confusing that that I saw this exercise (without "en" and the English without "about it"), just after seeing another exercise with "En sommes-nous sûrs ?" translated as "Are we sure?" (not "Are we sure about it?"). Seems like Duo is being inconsistent.


Indeed. I believe you should report it.


Is there a difference between "sur" and "sûr" ?

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