"Je vous lis un livre."

Translation:I read you a book.

January 7, 2013

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This sounds like a Borat-type translation ... very nice, I like... Although not evident, there is an intent in this "I'll read you a book" is much more the likely translation.


Because "I'll read you a book" is in the future tense, a more accurate, likely translation might be "I am reading you a book".


"I'll read" is future tense whereas "I read" is present tense. Are you sure that this can be taken to be future tense?


'je vous' is really throwing me off?

[deactivated user]

    y'all? Since when is that generally excepted? It is right up there with ain't. My english teacher is rolling over in her grave.


    "Y'all" is just a contraction of "you all", and it can help clarify whether you are speaking to one or multiple people.


    Please summarize why on earth it isn't "Je lis vous un livre" or "Je lis un livre pour vous" so that I can use your explanation to remember this "rule" for all future examples. As a native English speaking person, this correct example is not exactly backwards to me, but more or less jumbled. It would almost be 'easier' to remember if it were translated completely backwards. But throwing I and you or they and us one after the other is confusing my poor little brain! :) Is there a quick rule or summary that I've somehow forgotten or overlooked that would help make sense out of this portion of this lesson? Thanks in advance for all and any help!


    I agree. I'm really struggling with the sentence structure.


    Why is "I read to you a book" not acceptable?


    Because no one says that in English? You can't just directly translate a sentence in French - word by word - and expect it to be correct English.


    I'm with georgiad on this one.


    I would translate it: 'I read a book to you'. Would it be wrong?


    Shouldn't this be 'Je lis vous un livre' or 'Je te lis un livre' ??


    This is incorrect and clinky. It looks past tense when it is supposedly present tense. if it is present tense, it is wrong. It sounds like a caveman talking or the Hulk. In the present, you would say: I am reading you a book. "I read you a book" sounds like you are new to English.


    Yes and no... "I read you a book" IS correct present tense; we just don't use this 'simple present tense' in English for describing things that are happening right now in the present, despite what the name might seem to imply. Simple present tense will sound more natural in English if you imagine it in the context of generalizations or recurring things.

    Example: "I read you a book every night to help you fall asleep."

    Just remember that 'present tense' in French can translate to 'simple present tense' OR 'present continuous tense' (e.g. "I am reading") in English, with only one of these English tenses making sense if put in a specific context. If you don't have context, Duo generally accepts either.


    Why is it not "I read them a book"? 'Vous' is 'they', right?


    I believe "vous" is formal "you" and "elles" (feminine)/"ils" (masculine) is "they".


    I put I am reading your book. ;-)


    Yeah, the english on this is off.


    "I read you a book" isn't English...


    is the way you say "je veux lire un livre" different to "je vous lis un livre" ? i thought it was veux and got this wrong.

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