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  5. "But I had to do it."

"But I had to do it."

Translation:Mais je devais le faire.

January 3, 2013

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/6Iron

I believe that there should be an accent circonflexe over the u of du, if item three is to be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You are right : "Mais j'ai dû le faire".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2075

I did not select "Mais j'ai du le faire" when I noticed that it should be "Mais j'ai dû le faire" so Duo still has it wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Problem fixed!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2075

Thank you, Sitesurf! I wish I could send you a box of chocolates!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Be my guest! (by the way, chocolate is my 'péché mignon' !)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timmmmo

I noticed that - but aren't circumflexes now optional after the spelling reform?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The spelling "reform" was just a bunch of "suggestions", which have never really come true.

In addition, I don't think that the reform included "dû"(which may be confused with contracted article "du")

So, Duo sticks to traditional spelling and that is a wise decision.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oinophilos

Only accents are regularly omitted for capitals, which is a typographical option (not accepted, wisely, by Duo)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cosmopolita61

Why 'la faire', not 'le faire'? I didn't choose the sentence because the feminine article irritated me. But then,maybe it stood for 'faire la vaisselle' or something like that :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oinophilos

"Il m'a fallu faire cela" was not accepted. Couldn't it be a translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, and a very good one at that. You may report it (adding "mais") if you can.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Wouldn't that be "I had to do that." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonofuf

"cela/ça" is the objective form for both "it" and "that."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonofuf

Since "had" can represent both imperative and passé composé, I agree they probably should accept your phrase... except for the fact that you forgot "Mais" so you were doomed from the start!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ionakillerroach

Subjonctive, "Mais il a fallait que le fasse" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oinophilos

The construction isn't quite right--"Mais il a fallu que je le fasse"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AvecAnnie

Why is "je le devais faire?" wrong when for example "je le savais?" is right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"le" is the object of "faire", not of "devais".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ppl12

I'm not sure what's wrong with "Mais je devais faire ça". Any help?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonofuf

ça is "that", not "it". Though such subtleties do not change the overall semantics of the sentence, it is not as correct a translation as the given one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RGL14

"Mais j'avais besoin de le faire" did not work. Is "avoir besoin" mean only "it was necessary" - and therefore not the same verb as "I had to"? Aren't they interchangeable? Thanks for any feedback.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"avoir besoin de" is only a secondary meaning of "devoir", which primarily means must/have to (a duty, an obligation).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RGL14

Thanks - I think I get it now. Both express the need to do something. "Avoir besoin de" is a need to do something, but using"devoir" means you have a duty/obligation to do something and because of an implied moral obligation devoir is stronger?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"devoir" is very broad in meaning and it can mean "need to", but only when context makes sense:

  • je dois payer mes impôts avant lundi = I have to/must pay my taxes by Monday
  • je dois/j'ai besoin de boire et manger pour survivre = I need to drink and eat to survive.

It may be subtle but I have noticed that English speakers use "need to" much more often than French speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RGL14

Thank you for trying to explain. Unfortunately it is too subtle for me - the two words still seem interchangeable. Probably one of those things I'd pick up if I heard both words used often enough by native French-speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonofuf

From other comments in this thread, it's a typo in place of "dû"

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