"Quand marchent-ils ?"

Translation:When do they walk?

January 6, 2013

This discussion is locked.


This "quand" sounds more like "comment" to me...


"Comment" is two syllables, so you shouldn't miss them.


marchet-il and marchent-ils sound the same ;)


It is "marche-t-il' in singular. But yes, you are right, same pronounciation.


So you've got a 50/50 guess at getting this right.


That's what I wrote as it happens. It was given correct but the meaning came back as "when do they walk" - hence I am in discuss. Satisfied now though :-)


My French teacher told us that "marcher" means "to work"; why didn't this work when I typed it in?


"Marcher" means "to work" when it comes to objects (machines, engines, etc).

Otherwise, it means "to walk"


But since the identity of "ils" is not specified here, couldn't "work" also be a correct translation in this context? I'm wondering whether to submit a report or not.


It is accepted now, thanks.


They're accepting the singular 3rd person now.


why not "When do they walk?"


I believe that "when do they walk?" is a much more relevant proposition than "when are they walking?".


I think either is likely


Too true sitesurf, but we're a funny lot we Brits. We are indeed far more likely to say "When do they walk" and yet we are far more likely to say "When are they Going" rather than "When do they Go". (I also here respond to Gongniu who posted below). When we get uptight over foreign languages we just need humouring really. :)


why not when do they go?


because the verb proposed is not "aller" (to go) but "marcher" (to walk)


The drop-down has "go" as a meaning. Can this be fixed if it is wrong?


The drop-down menu offers a few possible translations, but it does not clarify context, it does not propose specific translations for the sentence you are working on nor the actual meaning of the words proposed. It is by no means a dictionary and if you want to be more accurate in your learning, I suggest you open another tab open on a good online dictionary which you can refer to as you go.


Wow, sitesurf. I would find that very helpful but I am puter ignorent, so, how do I simultaneously get that dictionary access as I use Duo tasks?


Your browser should have the capacity to open a new tab which will be positioned in the tab bar at the top of your browser. This enables you to move from an open tab to one that is temporarily hidden. I typically run with about fifty tabs in the tab bar which include French verb conjugation sites, four multi-language dictionaries and various reference sites.

If you are using a p.c. based browser, just hold down the control key and type T. It will open a new tab.

Copy this link: http://translate.reference.com/translate?query=kittensrc=endst=f ....and paste it into the address bar of the new tab, then hit enter. This will give you one dictionary. Repeat the process of opening a new tab for Google Translate which is a poor dictionary but does give you pretty good sound reproduction of any word you type in. Larousse is another good dictionary for French.

When you have a string of tabs open, just place your mouse cursor over the tab in the tab bar that you are interested in. Click with your mouse and that tab will suddenly appear, hiding the one you were looking at previously. Repeat as desired.

If you are using apple, I can't help you.


What are you working on: smartphone? pad? laptop?


Hi sitesurf. Laptop with windows 7 northernguy has also responded to this and I'm afraid the lingo is above my puter vocabulary however I have help and mentor here so I'll take puter lessons here this coming weekend and let's see. If you can instruct using layman's language that would be great but possibly too involved for a Comments Thread. Also, thank you northernguy



Check out youtube for help with computer tasks. They will show videos on how to do just about anything you can imagine. Lots of stuff walking you through computer things.

Tell your mentor that you want your browser to display a tab bar in your toolbars. Also that you want to be able to open new tabs and keep them open for easy access. Get him to show you how to search and save youtube stuff.


In English, If in a paragraph you have used walk/marchent a couple of times you can use go/aller as a substitute subsequently because it is clear what you mean.

The test for using the alternative definitions offered by Duo is not whether you should be allowed to squeeze them into French but rather do they work in English.

As for this example Quand marchent-ils:

If you don't believe that an English speaker on seeing the statement when do they go ,by itself, will immediately know that you actually mean when do they walk, then it is self defeating to tell Duo that Quand marchent-ils means when do they go.


why is there a T at all? why isnt it quand marche il? where does the t come from?


to ease pronunciation, the French language uses forced liaisons, like T or S, when the usual form of conjugation + the pronoun used (il/elle/on, all starting with a vowel) introduce a sound conflict:

"marche il" is therefore changed to "marche-t-il".

the same phenomenon occurs with all verbs of the 1st group (infinitive ending in -er): parle-t-il, mange-t-on, chante-t-elle, etc...


Il marche = he walks

Ils marchent = they walk

Duo example ..Quand marchent ils? = When are they walking?


Could it also be "When do they march" as in a parade?


No, because in this case, the French would probably use another verb: "quand défilent-ils ?"


Is 'marchent-ils' or 'marche-t-il' supposed to sound like mar-shew-til? It sounds like 3 syllables and I thought It should be only 2 (marsh-til). Can it be pronounced either way, or is this just a way to emphasize the enunciation?


You may hear both pronounced with or without a little -shEU- before the T sound, it depends on regions.


Can this mean.... when do they work.... as well ?


I can understand how it could mean "they work" for cars or other machines, but would it also be for people? Or would that be "ils travaillent?"


No, "marcher" with the meaning of "work" is only applicable to machines and stuff.


Thought so, but wanted to be sure. Thanks for the confirmation!


If both the singular and plural sound the same ...how can marche t-ils be wrong?


Because that is the wrong spelling. French verbs are conjugated Dawn. Look at "www.about.com/fr/marcher/conjugate" for full explanation. Also, "marcher" is in the "first group" or French verb conjugations and that is also worth investigating.


I meant marche t-il, not marche-tils, my answer was marche t-il is that still wrong? I accept my own typos.


No, not wrong. It is right. There is no difference in pronunciation between "quand marche-t-il" and "Quand marchent-ils". Unless both are accepted then you just have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. Welcome to Duo, the poker lesson. :)


Oh, gee thanks! I am a trained paalegal and ambiguity is not tolerated. I guess I need to just deal!



A paalegal is the person the paralegal blames for the mistakes. As in I had my pal type it and she messed it up, don't worry, I'm on it. I'll fix it right away.


Yup. Duo has you bet blind sometimes. Whats a paalegal? There is no "reply" tool on this post; use the post above to reply if you wish to or go to my home stream. Bonne chance.


! am a paralegal with a severe typing disability, evidently!


I heard comment marche-t-il


I feel like ive missed something. Why is it "marchent-ils"? Why not Quand ils marchent? Whats the rule here?

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