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"Les enfants trouvent un canard."

Translation:The children find a duck.

January 8, 2013

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sue102

How can you possibly mark "are finding" as wrong when it is one of the choices you list in the drop-down box below the verb!! "Find" and "are finding" are equivalent English translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"are finding" in continuous is not the usual way to use that verb, because "find something" is a one-shot action.

Hints you can see when hovering on words can contain translations which are not applicable to the sentence you are working on. Generally, the first choice is right, but you have to think about the very meaning of the sentence before picking the right word.

In any event, "trouvent" translates to "find" in this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slinkous

also find is not saying what time they find the duck are finding clearly says that they are in the process of finding it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The time when they find the duck has to be defined by context:

  • they find a duck every time they go to the pond = repeated action/habit
  • they found a duck = past
  • they will find a duck = future

"to find" remains a one-time action, whatever the time of the discovery.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

I accept that this is the French meaning, but it's totally inaccurate in English. "I am finding [thing]," is totally acceptable English, and given how French uses its present to also signify the present progressive, this verb should probably have a special note on it (along with any others that fall in the category). It's just confusing from an English-speaking perspective, because it's not following the rules that were set down earlier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r0ckdj

A real poor audio of "canard"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2261

It sounds fine to me and I'm a native English speaker. Sometimes words that we are less familiar with leave us with a blank stare. That's the time to crank up the ears and write down what you honestly hear, rather than trying to hear a word (if you know what I mean). Then look at it and ask yourself, "What French word do I know that is like this one? Could that be it?" Add to that whatever context you have. In the end, it must make sense. By using this technique as you learn, you will find yourself sharpening your awareness of French pronunciation, such as dropping final consonants. You will find your confidence growing and you will look back on this with a smile.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theboxman

The first definition of "trouvent" in its list is "are". In what situation would you use the verb "trouver" as "etre"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

One example coming to my mind: je me trouve dans le jardin = I am in the garden Note that I used "trouve" in its pronominal form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

So, in that sense, 'je me trouve' would be closer to 'I find myself in the garden' as a literal translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/capt.basil

Yes, exactly. It's often used for locations, like "l'ecole se trouve sur la rue Pomme", where the English phrase would be "the school is found on Apple street"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bruceay3

I put "the children are finding a duck", which was corrected to "the children find a duck". I though the present tense in French was equivalent to all the present tenses in English (simple, continuous, etc...)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Big_See

Agreed. I was corrected in the opposite direction on a previous question. I believed 'find' and 'are finding' were interchangeable here. Confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"to find" does not work with a continuous tense, because, by essence, finding something is a one-time, short action/event.

You can be searching for something for a long time, but you will simply "find" something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffWeihl

I am finding this conversation boring.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LavaAndDiamond

The children... are a duck?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2261

You have just learned a very valuable lesson. Drop-down hints list some of the ways the word might be used. It in no way suggests that any of them are appropriate in this particular instance. I.e., don't blindly trust the drop-down dictionary. If it doesn't make sense, your own common sense will tell you, "Maybe I should look in the dictionary." http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/trouver/79064


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackeddie04

in the slower version, shouldn't they pronounce the s in les, like they do in the regular recording?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

In the slow version alas, they pronounce each word individually, separate from the others, so it doesn't know about the word following it and the liaison is not pronounced. However it should still sound like 'les' (pron lay) rather than le


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

the liaison is not pronounced


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobFaiol

Since when can we not translate present verbs into english with -ing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2261

There are action verbs and stative verbs. "To find" doesn't seem like a stative verb but it nevertheless is not something that expresses action in the same way as "walk" or "eat" or "speak". For verbs which are clearly not action verbs, continuous tenses are not used in English. Yes, there are exceptions, but this is one where the continuous form just does not sound right. We should be aware that of course you can speak about the action of such verbs, e.g. thinking in a foreign language can be difficult. But: (I love you, not "I am loving you"), (I know that man, not "I am knowing that man"), (I understand the concept, not "I am understanding the concept"), etc. The point is that not all verbs work the same in a continuous form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Verb "find" is a one time action, so maybe "are finding" would be a little too stretched.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frenchwol

Easter morning comes to mind.

"Where are the children?" "They are outside finding Easter eggs."

More than one object, they are in the middle of "finding" all that need to be "found". Not a particular moment in time, but an ongoing present action.

Their goal on leaving the house is not to merely look for the eggs, but to find them. All of them. Ask any of them and they will tell you that they are about the business of "finding" them. They don't stop after finding one. They are busy finding them "all", however long that might take.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucymga

How would you say 'the kids have found a duck' ? Thanks in advance


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Les enfants ont trouvé un canard (compound past = passé composé).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/legrosH

If someone asked "what are the kids doing?", how would you answer "the kids are finding a duck" in French?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

This does not make much sense, does it? Finding one thing is such a short event that it does not match the idea of "be doing something".

They can be "en train de chercher", but not "en train de trouver".

However, it would be valid in a broader context of a longer span of time, like "en train de trouver quelques idées", with a sense of collecting several things, one after another.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/legrosH

Sorry for the late reply. Of course you are right, but actually it does make sense. "Finding" and "looking for" are sometimes interchanged colloquially in the USA, for instance when the searching is delaying some other activity but is expected to result in the item being found, if that makes sense: "Where's Mom? She's finding her shoes; where's Dad? He's finding the car keys; where's Grandma? She's finding her glasses". Of course they are all incorrect, but this may explain why some Americans would translate this phrase in that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gpbalis

why was "discover" not acceptable for "find"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Because translations have to be back-translatable as well:

to discover = découvrir


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TammyAnn

"sth" is a word option here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

As far as I know, this should be the short version of "something".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_D

My friend said that it would be better to say ont trouvé. Because a duck is not a stone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Without context, you cannot really know which would be the most appropriate. So, in cases where you have no context, you should stick to the basic present -> present


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shelina1

Doesn't it make more sense (grammatically) if it was to say: "the children are looking for/searching for a duck."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is not so much a matter of grammar than of vocabulary.

to be looking for/searching for = chercher.

trouver = to find.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Royal683522

Wouldn't it be found a duck


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"found" is past tense = ont trouvé un canard


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mayra122487

It should be found not find


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

See some of the other comments here. "Found" is past tense, so that would be "ont trouvé", not "trouvent".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BSMP-18

Why can't I use "trouve"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

All verbs in any mood and tense get the ending -ent in 3rd person plural: Les enfants trouvent


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bob_conklin

I get it, but this is just trying to shoe horn a present tense frech verb into bad English by avoiding "is finding". In English, we are either looking for it, or we found it. I find this exercise of poor quality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

What you believe is bad English can be acceptable in another language. Duolingo cannot teach you that "trouvent" translates to "(have) found" because a present tense should not translate to a past tense. By the way, it is not absolutely impossible to find an English present tense in a context were repeated events are described.

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