"Les roses sont-elles blanches ?"

Translation:Are the roses white?

January 8, 2013

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/thepipingplover

what a confusing sentence!

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Basically, you should have met via Duolingo the 3 ways to ask questions in French, which I repeat here in decreasing order of "formality":

  • Les roses sont-elles blanches ? (very formal)
  • Est-ce que les roses sont blanches (formal)
  • Les roses sont blanches ? (informal)
March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/huayra
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Just so I can wrap my head around this a little better, would the second one closely translate to "Is it that the roses are white?" ? Seems like the first one would be something like "The roses, are they white?" (idk if that is even grammatically correct, but it sounds formal).

Questions are still a little confusing... :\

May 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, word to word, you are right. But "est-ce-que" (pronounced ESKEU" has become kind of "one word", as an introduction to all kinds of questions and we don't think of it as having the meaning of "is it that". "les roses sont-elles blanches ?", once translated word for word sounds clumsy, but in French it is the more formal (and elegant) way of asking a question, even it we have to use a subject + its repetition in a pronoun. The trouble you may have it that Duolingo does not always propose all forms as correct and also that the "main" correct translation does not always match respective registers (ie formal to formal, casual to casual).

May 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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How would you write Are they the white roses?

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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correct translation: "sont-elles les roses blanches ?"

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ArchitSaxena

would "Ce sont les roses blanches?" be correct?

July 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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It is not a suggestion, but a requirement. Punctuation is different from one language to the other, as well as printing conventions.

In French, you need an extra space before ? ; : ! and inside inverted commas:

" blabla ; blabla ! blabla ? blabla : blabla "

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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What you propose is a correct statement. Just adding a question mark at the end (with an extra space, by the way) makes it a relaxed question, exactly translating: "these are the white roses?"

July 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ArchitSaxena

don't know why, but there's no option for replying, on your reply. So here goes:

Why the suggestion for an extra space? I guess punctuation marks work this way (without the extra space). Is it specific to French?

July 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ArchitSaxena

oh, didn't know that! Thanks @sitesurf :)

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profchaos33

sont-ils les roses blanches? i think this is correct.

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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"Roses" is a feminine noun. Ergo, the pronoun for it is "elles". Ergo, "sont-elles", not "sont-ils". ("Ils" is third person plural, masculine. "Elles" is third person plural, feminine.)

October 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/johans2103
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Thanks, but if i want to ask something like this, what's the very formal way?: "Tu as un chat?"- Informal. "Est ce que tu as un chat?"-Formal, and the very formal?

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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very formal: "as-tu un chat ?"

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/johans2103
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Merci beaucoup.

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rkent

You should make this a parent comment so it can get voted to the top of this discussion. Thank you for this Sitesurf

July 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/IchibanGaijin

I never learned the top one in school. They only taught us the second and third one. The way they phrased this sentence I've never seen before. I guess it's more literary.

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dwendl
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Is the appending of "n'est-ce pas" or "non" to a declarative always appropriate or is it considered too informal in some cases? Les roses sont blanches, non ?

January 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dcoleman20

The informal sentence is much easier. I plan to go to Paris one day. I'll probably have a sore throat because, I'll have to do all the translating for my family (who are a bit too lazy to bother learning a new language in my opinion),but i will try to use the very formal version if I ever go to Paris.

February 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alankas

Very strange translation, "Are the roses white?" would be better. Or is the French question asking "Do roses come in white as well as other colours?

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zvisa

This was also my question. Since the article is there, I think it should be "are the roses white?" Otherwise, how would you express "Are the roses (the specific ones you gave me, not all roses) white?"

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You are right, the question would just be weird (asked by someone blind, maybe?) if it were about roses in general.

But, grammatically, "are roses white?" is correct.

However, I downgraded that version from 2nd best translation to "acceptable translation".

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/amzborowska
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why "sont-elles"? wouldn't "les roses sont blanches" be enough? or "sont les roses blanches"?

January 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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It is an interrogative form. The same question could also be "est-ce-que les roses sont blanches ?".

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jmm97138
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Which lesson teaches sont-ils and sont-elles? I need to review it.

September 14, 2013

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There is no specific lesson devoted to interrogative forms, which I think would be very useful.

September 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/IchibanGaijin

Seriously. Interrogatives are one of the most important parts of learning a language after the particles. I know they're going for more conversational here, but how can you hold a conversation without asking questions?!

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kikki90

why there isn't the article? I wrote "Are THE roses white?"

March 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mibeshu

If not, what would make it 'are the roses' instead of just 'are roses'?

April 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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are the roses = the ones from your garden, the ones your boyfriend offered to you...

are roses = roses in general

April 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderS66

I answered "are the roses white?" why is that not correct?

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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I don't know, this is correct though.

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dcoleman20

Well, I finally found a sentence that stumped me.......

February 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lederhosen42

Ouf, clearly I missed something in the early lessons! I remember being introduced to sont-ils and sont-elles, but since most (or all?) the sentences had a reference to a group of people, I came to the conclusion that the elles/ils was meaning "they," as elle/ils would normally when sont is not tacked on the front.

But it doesn't make much sense to me to say ----- Oh man, wait. I JUST got it, I think. Would a literal translation to English be, "The roses, are they white?"

Sheesh, I was making it out to be much more difficult than it was, I think, heh!

May 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mibeshu

That's what I understood from it too but as with many translations I've learnt, often it's better to interpret than to apply literal translation.

May 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Murphae

Are there any differences between "blanch" and "blanc"?

January 26, 2014

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blanc is the masculine singular adjective; plural: blancs

blanche is feminine singular; plural: blanches

January 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/b_adger
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The "correct" translation of "Are roses white" has a different English meaning to "Are the roses white" The former would be "Des roses sont-elles blanches" in french?

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, sorry an English "the" does not translate to a French "des", because the latter is indefinite (plural of "un/une") whereas the former is definite and should translate to a definite article as well.

Are the roses (that you received) white? and "Are roses white (in general)?" both translate to "les roses sont-elles blanches ?"

Context would tell if these roses are specific or roses in general, in the French version.

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/b_adger
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Sorry I see I have structured my question poorly (edited now). Why is "Des roses sont-elles blanches" not used for the general case?

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Generalities are constructed with definite articles le, la, les, always.

February 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KATEJ15

Thankyou for cleaning up so many queries for us

February 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/willijanb

What I am wondering is whether this could also be translated as "The roses are white?" Would that be another correct answer? I am not referring to the form of the question, but to the use/lack of use of "the."

June 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jinlanfeng

Can i translate it into "Are they white roses?"

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Back translation: "sont-ce des roses blanches ?"

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jinlanfeng

Merci beaucoup!

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dovid1365

why isnt "the roses, they are white?" correct?

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/holtdwyer
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This may be a basic question, but: if les roses is masculine, why do we ask "sont-elles blanches" instead of "sont-ils blancs"?

July 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaani

Because rose is not masculine.

July 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You should learn nouns as follows: "une-rose", as if it were one word.

July 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CamiMarie

After reading what is formal and "very formal", why isn't, "The roses, they are white?" not correct?

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/10004017
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Oui, mais nous devons les peindre en rouge!

December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/daisy.scott
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Why does it say 'sont-elles'? For this I would say 'Est-ce que les roses sont blanches?'

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Please read post nb2 on this page.

January 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/french_kitten

why did it say I was wrong when I said "are their roses white?" ? It does say sont-elles, doesn't it?

January 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dwendl
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"Sont-elles" means "are they" as "Elles sont" means "they are". "Leurs roses sont-elles blanches ?" means "Are their roses white?".

January 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/french_kitten

Merci beaucoup :-)

January 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mouslamor

Can't we use flowers here instead of roses?

February 17, 2015
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