well i think you mean "le livre ET les livres" because grammatically your sentence doesn't make sense. The difference can be made only by the "le" and "les" in the front. "Le" sounds more like "Luh" while "les" is more like "Leh". So you can then make out if its sing. or plu. "Livre" and "livres" have the same pronunciation.
Thank you Janni! I have been stuck on this lesson because I could not hear the difference in les livres and le livre... to let me know if it is the plural form or not... it has been driving me crazy!
I'd like to point out that "le" sounds like "luh", as Jaani says, but "les" sounds more like "ley". Just if that helps ;D
You know what you're great and i know that just by taking a look at your profile picture.
thanks! I was really confused as to how I was supposed to know the difference.
If I wanted to say 'Let's read the book' in the french would I say 'Lisons le livre'?
Yes. That's called the Imperative verb conjugation (giving an order or a suggestion).
About Imperative http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/imperative.htm
See Imperative conjugation of "Lire" http://french.about.com/od/verb_conjugations/a/lire.htm
cu11- If you want to express something like the continuous present, you'll say : nous sommes en train de lire le livre.
Yes. Nous lisons le livre is translated into both We read the book and We are reading the book.
At the moment, no, though it's, apparently, not technically correct.
In later units, Duolingo will stop accepting the present progressive (am/is/are ____ing--such as 'are reading') as correct, so you may want to break the habit of using it now.
French language doesn't use the "am___ing" structure, nor another one, there's simply no progressive present in French, but only one present to express the two English presents. If you want to be very very specific, and that you are doing a thing right now, say: "je suis en train de lire un livre", but it's only if you need this information.
Right! If you go take the "Michael Thomas" course you will be able to understand the speaker's French.
it does matter since it was a bad choice, for the translation is the past tense of "to read", not the past participle of it. well noticed.
By context, and you can say "en train de ...", il est en train de lire. If you really really need this information.
"luh" vs "lay" sound.
Another clue would be if you hear the 's' on 'livres' forming a liason with a following word.
yes, but the form of the verb is a better clue that the liaison, because it could be skipped, sometimes accidentally, but "sont" is always different from "est" by ex.
Yes, that is annoying. And often a sign that we need to practice more on what we find difficult. Perhaps practising on smaller units, like un livre, le livre, les livres and nous lisons can be of help. You can do that at www.forvo.com, which is a place where we can listen to native speakers pronouncing words and word combinations.
At my level i only learned lit, not lisons, so how could they expect me to know?
They don't. Unlike the french classes I took in school where we spent HOURS on how to conjugate verbs, duolingo just throws it at you. You don't know. You guess, you get it wrong, it shows you. Eventually you get used to it.
This is much more like learning a language by immersion. You hear or read it, it becomes part of the word. By memorizing charts you're really sinking yourself, because there are irregulars, and it gets even more complex when you go beyond present tense.
Present tense, for regular verbs is the following:
Je - e Tu - es Il/Elle/On - e Vous - ez Nous - ons Ils/Elles - ent
It's nice to know... But it's limited.
They do not expect us to know new things, they expect us to do our best no matter if we make it right or wrong. Therefore they can present a new thing without explanation. Instead they expect us to find out why we were right and why we were wrong, for example by reading these discussions. If we don't find any explanation sufficient, then we can ask for clarifications. And we can look it up outside of Duolingo too, like at www.french.about.com for example.
Next time we encounter the difficult feature are we more well prepared and should find it easier, even if we don't get it right.
They shouldn't mention it, but at this level you should now the conjugations.
i completely do not understand differences between lison and lit, and i cannot find it in disscussions.
Lisons and lit are two (out of six) different conjugations of the verb lire (=to read) in present tense indicative. They belong to different pronouns.
Je lis=I read
Tu lis=you read (singular informal you)
Il/elle/on lit=he/it/she/it/one reads
Nous lisons=we read
Vous lisez=you read (singular formal you or plural you)
Ils/elles lisent=they read (ils for all masculine or mixed gender groups, elles for all feminine groups)
Make it a habit to learn each verb form together with its pronoun: je lis=I read instead of separately: je=I and lis=read. Otherwise will you end up with a whole lot of "read" and not know when to use which.
My latest problem is that I have finished level 2, but the program doesn't advance to level 3! Que dois-je faire?
you should report it, and explain with a lot of details 1/what you did 2/what appeared 3/what it was supposed to be
wtf I translate Nous lisons le livre. and it is we are reading one book but at first I was doing we are reading the book and it said we are reading one book and now when I translate we are reading one book it sais we are reading the book I mean ?
We're reading one/a book = nous lisons un livre. We're reading the book=nous lisons le livre. You shouldn't translate with "one", but with "a" when you see "un" or "une".
It is because there's no difference, but the articles are different and the verbs are different.
All verb forms belonging to the nous pronoun in present tense end with -ons. Sometimes it is -eons, -issons, but all in all it ends in -ons.
Can someone explain why "un" is indefinite and "le" is definite and what that means? I can't wrap my head around it.
Un means "a" or "an" ex. "Give me an apple." Le means "the" ex. "Give me the apple." Definite: the, you want that particular apple. Indefinite: a or an, you want any apple.
I am trying to figure out when its appropriate to use lison, lisent, and lisez?
Someone pls explain " lisons and lisent" how to these two words and where to use them. Thanks
Both means "read". But "lisons" has the "nous" conjugation (1st person plural conjugation), just like écrivons, pouvons, etc.. You can notice that the pattern is -ons.
"Lisent" has the "Ils" and "Elles" conjugation (3rd person plural conjugation), just like mettent, écrivons, etc.. You can notice that the pattern is -ent.
Lisons is also an imperative form which can be translated into Let us read. But then the verb form starts the phrase: Lisons le livre !=Let us read the book!
"Let us read the book!" is not "Lisons le livre!", but "Laissez-nous lire le livre!", not the same, but it's another imperative.
Lisons! Laissons! = imperative for we, the order is given to us, (by me), (it's an order, an advice, or an encouragement.)
Lisez! Laissez!= imperative for you, the order is given to you (by me)
@snowflake77 Yes. Umm kind of... Let's is short for let us. However, most modern English speakers make a distinction between let's and let us in most situations.
'Let us' in most situations is a request or demand to be allowed to do something. Let us in!= Allow us to enter!
'Let's' always means “I'm inviting (or commanding) you to do something with me." Let's go bowling=I want to go bowling with you.
Other than very formal situations, using 'let us' when you mean 'let's' comes across as a pretentious affectation or as being sanctimonious. Let's is a contraction of let and us, but most English speakers no longer mix the two in everyday speech.
@ THeNeeno: Interesting! To me, like for snowflake77, is Let's and Let us the same. Or it was until I read your explanation. Hence the confusion.
benjamin- for imperative, there's no pronoun with the verb : mangeons, courons, parlons.
What I found confusing is lison vs. lisent, because there isn't any sound difference, and as far as I know, I can't figure out any grammar difference. I am particularly upset, because I am of french descent.
It is difficult as a beginner to hear the difference of all new sounds, but they are different.
First, it is lisons and lisent.
Second, there is a clear grammar difference. Lisons do always belong to nous - nous lisons which means we read/we are reading, and lisent do always belong to ils - ils lisent which means they read/they are reading, or to elles - elles lisent which means they read/they are reading. Ils is used for all masculine or mixed gender "they" and elles is used for all feminine "they".
Third, the pronounciation of lisons and lisent are different. First type Nous lisons into www.forvo.com and listen to the recordings of that, then type Ils lisent and listen to those recordings and then type Elles lisent* and listen to those recordings. Repeat until you do hear the difference.
What is the difference between et and est. It seems to be a toss up every time.
They can sound the same (regional differences of pronounciation can make them sound the same and different respectively) but they mean different things.
Et=and. Et is never part of any liaison with a following vowel.
Est is third person singular form of the verb être=to be in present tense, that is est=is.
frenchgirl- with the verb EST, always a subject with it. never with ET, who only reunites 2 parts of a sentence.
She says that smokinly fast, it's like a tongue-twister. I don't know how I will ever be able to say that sentence. :/
plus "et" for 'and' is pronounced 'eh'...."est" is pronounced with an 'a' sound
as far as i know "le" is for boy, "la" is for woman and girl, "l' " is for man and child so, when to use le, la, and l' for things (ex: la lettre, le livre)?
Where can I find a conjugation table? I'm barely into this and I'm lost on what words to use when
Why there will be no s after livre, when everything else in the sentence is plural?
Because even though we (plural) read it, there is still only one book. The subject of the sentence doesn't affect the object. "Nous lisons le livre" -one book. "Nous lisons les livres" -more than one book.
There is no continuous tense in French. So you can translate "Nous lisons" into "We read" or "We are reading".
Might be useful :
LIRE Je lis Tu lis Il/Elle/On lit Nous lisons Vous lisez Ils/Elles lisent
le and l' are easy to mix up, they should have a bonus lesson or something on it.
What do you mean? You do realize that l' is only ever written before a noun starting with a vowel, right, whether the noun is masculine or feminine, right? And that le comes only before masculine nouns.