"D'où vous connaissez-vous ?"

Translation:From where do you know each other?

January 4, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I got from this "From where do you know" Now where is the each other? It seems duo has jumped into difficult sentences without the prior preparation.


Vous appears twice. It's asking where do you (all) know you (all).


Not quite, I think. It's a reflexive construction (se connaître) and plural reflexive verbs can have a reciprocal or 'each other' sense as well. So it doesn't have to be 'you all' as it could just as much be two people knowing each other.

Other plural possibilities are 'nous nous connaisons' (we know each other) and 'ils/elles se connaissent' (they know each other).


But it's expressed in the third person, (where do you know each other). There is no reflexive 'se' involved. Your examples involve 1st and 2nd persons. Can it mean both?


"Where do you know each other?" is in second person. The examples from BrianBoru4 are in first and third person. My belief is that the reflexive construction can mean a sort of "each other" regardless of the point of view.


Making a parallel with the 1st person plural is maybe clearer as english uses 2 different pronouns, we and us. D’où nous connaissons-nous ? (word to word) > From where us know-we? D’où vous connaissez-vous ? (word to word) > From where you (obj.) know-you (subj.)? Remember (or know) that in french, we invert subject and verb in questions (or we use "est-ce que …" = "is-it that…"), there is no modal as do. And the object pronoun is before the verb, as in "je t’aime" (I you love) whether it is a question or not. Respect and congrats to those who chose french ;)


Wonderful deconstruction -- thanks!

But one more question. I still don't get where the "each other" part comes from. I can know you without you knowing me, right? (Eg, in a large class, many students may feel they know their teacher, but the teacher certainly does not know each of the students.) Or does the verb connaître imply mutual knowledge?


If you know me but I don't know you, you'd say "I know you". If we say "we know us", it automatically implies "one another/each other" (except meaning ourselves in spiritual/psychological context). If I talk to Alice and Bob saying "you (both) know you (both)" it implies "one another", while "you (Alice) know you (Bob)" or something like "you (alone) know him/her", may be a one-way knowledge. "each other" comes from no other part than your brain when you mean "you all know you all". "one another" exists (l’un l’autre) but is unnecessary in french as "vous vous" logically implies it. There helps the difference between tu te connais (sing, you know yourself) / vous vous connaissez (plur, you know one another). - just be careful of the formal vous, which is used both singular and plural.

"connaître" implies nothing more than "know" does.

I know how frustrating it can be not to understand a structure. But don't forget to let it flow in. Translation (except in these confusing cases) is a bad habit over time. Sorry for the length, I've reread my answer several times and hope I neither forgot anything, nor confused you more :x

Keep going ;)


Not frustrating -- fascinating! Thanks for another helpful response.


Now, this is a better response than the previous one


I think DL should accept 'How do you know each other'. It implies' from where' but sounds better. What do native English speakers think?


I agree 100% (I am a native English speaker). I have never in my entire life said or heard someone say "from where do you know each other?", whereas I have heard and said "how do you know each other?" countless times. "From where do you know each other" sounds unnatural in modern English, at least in the US. "How" in this context means the same thing and sounds more natural. It should be accepted as an answer. The person who translated this vainly wanted the translation to be literal. In general this site is pretty good about going for natural translations over literal translations. Not sure why the deviation here.


From where do you know each other is unusual but not ...Where do you know each other from?


That is true. That definitely does sound more natural -- I have heard people say that before (and probably said it myself). Had that been the suggested correct answer, I probably would have accepted it. Still, I think "how" implies the same thing, for all practical purposes, in this specific context.

(edit: of course, the problem with using "where ... from?" is that you'll get scolded by prescriptivist grammarians who forbid you to end anything with a preposition. Which is a silly rule borrowed needlessly from Latin grammar, but which might actually explain why the average English speaker usually avoids this construction entirely and substitutes the simpler "How do you know each other?")


I wrote "Where do you know each other?" and it was marked wrong. So I guess I'm not that great with English grammar either. :P


Try: Where do you know each other from? or From where do we know each other?


Is there any difference in English? For me "from where" is same as "where".


You need the "from". "Where are you from?" "I'm from London". "Where are you?" "I'm in the kitchen."


I understand there is a difference in your example, but in the specific sentence above, I still don't get any difference...



From where is an invocation of provenance (origin). De in D'où invokes provenance. It specifically says...from where.

Where is about location. To ask about location, you use the form without the de.

Asking where do you know each other is a request for all the places that you know each other. It doesn't make sense to give that sort of answer because it doesn't make sense to ask the question.


Via audio isn't the way we should be first introduced to "D'où"


"How do you know each other" is a much better translation.


I agree. It is more natural. It's disappointing that people voted you down. Natural-sounding translations that preserve essential meaning > literal word-for-word translations that sound unnatural.


'one another' means 'each other'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


True but they could not possibly have every single possible answer in the system. It takes time. English is a hard language to learn because of the different ways to say every single thing. Thus translating it all to French is a little hard.


learning French is hard too!


I translated this as from where do you know one another, which is perfectly good, idiomatic English, but was marked wrong. Arrrgh!


Struggling to hear the first vous - is it dl being unclear or is it supposed to be that clipped?


Can someone help deconstruct how "vous connaissez-vous" turned into "you know each other"? I understand vous = "you" and connaissez = "know", it's the "each other" part I'm having trouble with. (I mentally translated this as "From where do you know you", which of course makes no sense, but then I was lost on what to turn that into.)


It is true that « vous vous connaissez » can mean « you know each other » as well as « you know yourself / yourselves ». Both are possible translations. The context helps choosing. And in that sentence, it is very difficult to imagine that it could mean « know yourself ». Because it would be kind of a synonym for « where did you meet yourself ? », which would be very poetical or spiritual way of speaking!!


Thanks Gijom, that is very helpful. Although “where did you meet yourself” would be weird, it probably wouldn't be the strangest sentence that Duolingo asks you to translate :p


I guess it's because ‘vous’ is plural and the speaker is talking to two people who know each other? I find this very confusing too.


I totally guessed with this, knowing vous was plural for like "you all" so vous connaisez-vous I figured was "you (formally) know you (all --plural) and thought "each other sounded better.

I don't know...it's kind of a messy sentence.


Why does 'ou' mean where here and not when?


Thank you. Is there any context in which it means "when"?

I'm asking because the mouse-over translation lists "when" as well as "where".


Yes, it does, I came across it in a sentences like 'It was at school when I learnt to fight'. Do you get a gist?


Yeah, I guess that makes sense. Merci.


What is D' on D'ou?


De où = D'où = from where.


is "From where do you know yourself' said the same?


If the question was "D'où nous connaissez-vous ?", that would mean "From where do you know us?", am I right? Or would it mean "From where do we know you?" ?. I am making this question because I want to be for sure if the last vous in the phrase stands for the subject or not.


I said "From where do you know one another" and was marked incorrect. Is there a distinction here or is it just a quirk?


I just thought- where did you meet each other? This is wrong too, but much nore likely to say in a real conversation


I got dinged for my more traditional, "From whence do you (I would have said 'y'all', but I learned that lesson before), know each other. :(


I placed: From where do you know one another?


'How do you know each other?' was marked incorrect.


D'ou est-ce-que vous ont connaissez?


DL: please tell me why my translation is wrong: "From where do you know one another?"

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