"La faim est l'un des plus sérieux problèmes qui soient."

Translation:Hunger is one of the most serious problems there are.

January 4, 2013

83 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/hoffmannov95

Shouldn't it be "exists" rather than "exist?" Because the word is defining hunger, not problems, so it should correspond with a singular subject, not a plural one?

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexCGuest

In this case, 'exist' actually is defining 'problems', not hunger.

"Hunger is one of the more serious existing problems." "Hunder is one of the more serious problems that exist."

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sherm456

I think "exist" is defining the problems. Hunger is one of the existing serious problems.

November 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/simpsonll

In English, it should indeed be "exists", but not for the reason everyone seems to think. The subject in the phrase "one of the _____" is always "one", regardless of what goes in the blank. "Exists" goes with "one", not "hunger" or "problems."

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OwenKal
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I was marked wrong for "exists", which is how I would say this sentence intuitively in English, I had to think about it but "exist" just sounds completely wrong to my ear, so I agree with you here...
"The most serious problems that exist" (plural) "One of the most serious problems that exists" (singular) =
"Hunger is one of the most serious problems that exists" (singular) (edit: additionally I would say "that there are" is wrong for the same reason, it has to be "that there is")

April 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

I agree with you guys. Both with the preference of "exist" =be, and also the use of "is" rather than "are".

November 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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I believe this is subjunctive -> hunger is one of the most serious problems that be.

January 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

The subjunctive is, like the Cheshire Cat, fading slowly away in English. Presently there is not much left but the grin.

March 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaTall

nobody says that anymore...in English. I'd suggest: hunger is one of the most serious problems there are. DL accepts it.

September 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/albans
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One would not say "that be". "that exists" is correct.

October 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tylerbbb
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I believe you are correct.

August 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/drummer_robb

I think it would make more sense if you say could be

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"soient" is present tense (subjunctive).

If you use "could be" (= preterit or conditional), it would back translate to:

  • qui aient été (past subj) = past action completed now (these issuers do not exist any longer)

  • qui pourraient être (conditional) = these issues would exist under certain conditions.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SirThatguythere

That is correct. I would go on about it, but it would be repeating what you have said.

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pprince87
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Well one of the correct solutions given sounds completely wrong - "Hunger is one of the most serious problems that's."

November 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ebagares

This totally threw me off as well!

I'm no grammar gorilla but I believe ending a sentence with "is" is not necessarily grammatically wrong but it can contribute to sloppy English. Although I'm not too sure if the same grammatical rule or sloppiness applies in French? One might say "Do you know where my hat is?" versus "Where is my hat?" Big difference between casually speaking and formal writing.

In the correct solution sentence the contraction (of that is => that's) makes it sound especially sloppy and awkward if not completely wrong.

February 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

There is nothing particularly slangy or casual about "Do you know where my hat is?" It's fine.

However, "...one of the most serious problems that's" is quite ridiculous. In the first place, we would never contract "that is" in this structure; in the second, the verb should be plural to match "problems"; and in the third, "...one of the most serious problems that are," while technically correct, is extremely old-fashioned English. You'd never hear or see it.

We would say "...one of the most serious problems there are." (And that was accepted by DL, btw.)

March 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lanny.ripple

The subjective is characterized by an odd verb form even in English.

  • It is important that she sleep.

But we would never say, as a simple present active voice, "She sleep."

Languages change all the time and I agree, "... one of the most serious problems there are", sounds natural to my ear. As does

  • It is important that she sleeps.

But French isn't English. (And everything I've read says the French aren't huge fans of the subjunctive either.)

Totally agree about never contracting "there is" in that position though.

April 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JanetBerry2

You just wouldn't use a contraction here

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLYR0

In English you can't have hunger (singular because of is) and are (plural). It would have to be 'Hunger is one of the most serious problems there is'.

May 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MagPit

I agree

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/anoogc
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... the more serious problems ...

February 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdrc22

One of Duo's answers: "Hunger is one of the most serious problems that's" No kidding. But I missed it by saying, "Hunger is one of the most serious problems." I wrote that because it seemed unnecessary and strangely worded to include "that are."

February 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/kocmohabt99

Yea that sort of thing usually happens when native french speakers come up with sentences... Kinda like adding "some" in some sentences, in order to distinguish singular from plural although that's not needed in english.

September 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/bcb1701
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If I want to say "Hunger is one of the more serious problems...", how would I do it?

December 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Card.Biggles
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Why is that definite article there in "l'un"?

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nicholas_ashley

l'un des plus means one of the most

l'un des moins means one of the least

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RobLeGrand
Plus
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I heard "la fin" and didn't think of "la faim". Is there any pronunciation difference?

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, no difference in sound. Would a film director or a writer make such a statement about the "end" of his work?

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
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Possibly. As always, it's sadistic to give us that kind of sentence when the only way to know the "correct" answer is that it's a strange sentence. DL is chock-full of meaningless sentences, so if it sounds the same, it should be accepted.

June 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Max771692

I would reply to a later comment you made in this thread but it was too far indented. Regarding "un des plus serieux," this appears not to obey the rule that des turns into de before adjectives. Does plus, as an adverb, not follow this rule? Secondly as for the translation, is this necessarily superlative, or could it also be comparative "hnunger is one of the more serious problems"?

November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"un des plus sérieux" has "des" as a contracted definite article: it is the contraction of "de + les":

un des (= de+les) plus sérieux = one of the most serious

With "des" as the plural indefinite article, you get:

  • j'ai des problèmes sérieux - plural of "j'ai un problème sérieux"

or

  • j'ai de sérieux problèmes - plural of "j'ai un sérieux problème"
November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ZibranAhmed
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Hi, so what is the difference between "La faim est un des plus sérieux problèmes..." and "La faim est l'un des plus sérieux problèmes..."? They both seem to be accepted as correct. Why "l'un" instead of just "un"?

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ArpsTnd
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Superlatives tend to add an article

"l'un des (de les) plus sérieux problèmes" (one of the serious problems)
"l'homme le plus sage" (the wisest man)

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tomas-francis
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Shouldn't the English sentence say ...."there is"?

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
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Yes, it should.

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ashley675307

Shouldn't the translation be "Hunger is one of the most serious problems that there is" since the verb "to be" should agree with "one of" not "problems"?

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
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Yep. Keep reporting it, and eventually someone will fix it.

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph297228
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"Hunger is one of the most serious problems there is."

The object here (Hunger) is singular, not plural.

Therefore, the correct answer is "... there is." and not "...there are."

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/erinarlinghaus

There's no good way to render this sentence into English word-for-word, because it uses a turn of phrase that is uncommon at worst and sounds awkward at best. "Hunger is one of the most serious problems that exist" just doesn't sound right in English, and even worse would be "one of the most serious problems that are." The only sensible translation would recast the sentence to something appropriate to the context in which the sentence appears, e.g., something like "Hunger is one of the world's most serious problems" (with the adjective "world's" providing the connotation of "problems that exist everywhere") or perhaps "Hunger is currently one of the most serious problems" (with the adverb "currently" giving a connotation of "problems that exist right now").

In any case, Duolingo, ditch "Hunger is one of the most serious problems that's."

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"world's" is a noun, not an adjective.

Probably "one of the most serious problems that exist/be" with the verb in subjunctive, sound formal but both are correct and the closer "mirror" of the French sentence's construction. Now the issue is that if we considered "hunger is currently one of the most serious problems" as the Best translation, you would never find the French original sentence in back translation.

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Anneduol1ngo

Help please!! I've a few problems I don't understand with this sentence. 1. is 'more' really wrong? I have tried to look online for 'more' and 'most' in French in Reverso and my poor skills failed me and I got confused as there seemed to be several answers for 'most'. Please remind me of the French for 'more' and 'most'. 2. is 'famine' wrong? Must it be 'hunger'? I checked reverso and it seems either could be right. 3. I agree with nerevarine1138 the last verb should be 'is' not 'are', since the subject of that verb is the singular ONE (of the more/most serious problems).

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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1) French does not have a relative "(the) more", only "plus" (comparative) and "le plus" (superlative, including "le plus des deux").

2) "La famine" is a good word but "la faim dans le monde" is almost fixed and more frequent. Let's say that "la faim" also covers "la malnutrition", whereas "la famine" is an almost total lack of food resources.

3) There is an everlasting debate about "is" vs "are" when you have a real + an apparent subject: which should prevail, "one" or "problems"? Same issue in French.

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Anneduol1ngo

Thanks. I translated from French and said 'Famine is one of the more serious problems there is.' and was marked wrong. Should it be marked wrong? As French does not have a separate translation for 'the more', surely we can use the context to decide what to say in English? Also, since it seems the debate continues on 'is' and 'are', shouldn't either of the two be accepted. Finally, if I want to say 'the more' or the most in French how would I do it? Reverso tells me that 'He chose the bigger of the two' and 'He chose the biggest of the three' both translate to 'il a choisi le plus grand des deux/trois. Back translation was not helpful. Thanks for your help as ever.

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Mais, s'il vous plaît, ma traduction anglaise est-elle juste ou fausse ?

"Famine is one of the more serious problems there is" = La famine est (l')un des plus sérieux problèmes qui soi(en)t.

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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We say "vous êtes une star" (easy to remember, isn't it?)

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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This course teaches simple words and concepts, and "la faim" is taught as meaning "hunger". Learners will have some work to do with "avoir faim" and it was not felt that they should need "la famine".

There are 173 English variants listed in the system for this sentence, but we have not added "famine, "the more" or "that be", based on the more probable American English ways of expressing the idea.

"Le plus grand des deux" and "le plus grand des trois" are indeed the only way to move from the bigger of the two to the biggest of the three. And frankly, I don't think the French miss a lot here.

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Anneduol1ngo

Ok. I get what you say. En bref, c'est comme ca (with cedilla) dans DL. Mais, s'il vous plait, est mon traduction anglaise vraie ou(accent) fausse? I hope you understand my first attempt at making my own sentences. Please correct where wrong. I'll get to accents on my laptop at some point. Easy on a tablet with a touch screen!

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Anneduol1ngo

Merci, Sitesurf, vous etes une etoile. (with circumflex and accent). Does one say this in French?

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

Perhaps duolingo will save the subjunctive and I hope so because it's useful, People listen up and sit straighter, prepare to act...or is that just my experience with it. I do recall again in Idaho being hit in the nose by a cowboy for being correct. it's always nice to part company with men who hit women in the nose.

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RfQxZNDE

Is French grammar different in this regard than English? Should be soit and not soient? The translation gives it away--one would never say "are" in English because subject is "one" singular

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pfeil
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why not "starvation"?

September 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/b_det
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It's just not the word they used... La faim means hunger.

April 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SkrentyzMienty
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"Hunger is one of the most serious problems WHICH can be" should also be accepted, right?

January 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/b_det
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Here you can use "that" or "which," but you cannot use "can be" because that changes the meaning of the translation.

April 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/drockalgzemoser
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I'd venture to say "can be" is more accurate of a translation, since subjunctive use requires some form of doubt. Like... "Of all the problems that could possibly exist [we haven't mentioned them yet, so we use subjunctive], hunger is [indicative—no doubt] one of the worst."

Would you agree with this?

May 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

I wouldn't. The sentence is discussing problems that exist, not problems that "could be" or "can be", which introduces the element of speculation.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/drockalgzemoser
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So wait... I can't believe no one else in the forum has addressed this yet. Why subjunctive in the first place? Because you don't know what are the other problems?

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The use of subjunctive has to do with "un des plus", which is a superlative.

Relative clauses connected with a superlative are generally in subjunctive:

  • c'est le type le plus talentueux que je connaisse = he is the most talented guy I know
  • nous avons bu le meilleur vin que j'aie jamais goûté = I drank the best wine I ever tasted

Along the same lines, the subjunctive is frequent when the main clause includes: le seul, l'unique, le premier, le dernier.

  • c'est la première idée que j'aie eue = it is the first idea I had.
September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Maureen_Rivkin

Shouldn't a correct translation be "Hunger is one of the most serious problems that there is?" rather than "....there are?"

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
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I know this is old, but the grammatical notes provided above are 100% wrong. The only correct version here is "there is", because the subject of the subordinate clause is "one of", not "serious problems".

September 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RabbieY
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the That is referring to problems so are is correct. in spoken English you could use either

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

...but "there is" would still be wrong. :)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/j.sprangers

I assume this sentence could also be used when trapped on a deserted Island. Wouldn't 'THE hunger is one of the most serious problems that be' also be a correct solution?

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey24

correct usage in English is "hunger is one of the more serious problems that exist." you can only have one most serious problem.

March 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lanny.ripple
  • Hunger is one of the most serious problems that be.

The subjunctive exits in English. It's being phased out (as I believe it is in French too) but it's still there.

  • She is one of the most hurt that sleep.

-but-

  • She sleep. (???)
April 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tobarse

Adjetive is plural "sérieux", so then why putting "l'un de plus sérieux" is wrong?

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Des" becomes "de" in front of a plural adjective, but "plus" is an adverb, so you should keep "des".

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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btw why isn't it l'une if faim is feminine, or does it refer to problèmes? - -

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Un problème - le problème - un des problèmes - l'un des problèmes

Whatever happens elsewhere in the sentence, the noun's gender remains the same.

  • Cet homme est une victime.
  • Cette femme est un témoin.
November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

You have to say: Hunger is one of the....that can be." It does not accept "that be" as of March13, 2018 despite Sitesurf knowing it's right.

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Anne_de_Bretagne

Come on Duolingo--"hunger" is SINGULAR. Please don't make the following verb agree with the plural "problems."

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Anne_de_Bretagne

In English, it is not necessary to say "there are," which is incorrect anyway (should be singular verb) as well as redundant.

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ArpsTnd
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Why "qui" not "que"?

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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The subject relative pronoun is "qui". In this sentence, "qui" is the subject of "soient".

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EmdKi1
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Am I the only one hearing a random sound effect toward the end?

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JanetBerry2

Grammar Shouldnt there be agreement here Hunger is ONE of ..........that there is ...singular

January 19, 2019

[deactivated user]

    "One of the most" is grammatically incorrect. "The most" is the ultimate position, whereas "one of" indicates penultimate. Therefore, the correct grammar is "one of the more," which was marked incorrect.

    June 27, 2015
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