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"They are not the enemy."

Translation:Ce ne sont pas les ennemis.

January 9, 2013

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rgrannan36

For me the question is: can "l'ennemi" be used in French to mean all the forces opposed to us, for instance. Would "nous combattons l'ennemi" be said in French? If so, why would not "ce ne sont pas l'ennemi" be accepted by Duolingo?


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

This is my question as well. The English sentence we're asked to translate is "they are not the enemy" because in English it is understood that "the enemy" can refer to a group of people (for instance, the country or countries being fought against in a war, or some sort of ideological enemy).

However, using the singular "l'ennemi" in French is wrong here, according to Duolingo. Can someone who speaks French definitively confirm that the singular cannot be used in this situation in the same way that it's used in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chuckles16

Why is "ils ne sont pas les ennemis" wrong here?


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

C'est/Ce sont is used when the noun has an article, such as les, des, un, une, etc. In your example, it is "les" ennemis. Check out the article: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm


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

The sentence is "they are not the enemy," not "they are not the enemies," therefore shouldn't Ce ne sont pas l'ennemi also be accepted?????


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

The sentence I was given is 'They are not the enemy'. I got the same as curiousnikki, gave the same answer and it was wrong. Can anyone explain why, please?


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

how do I tell when 'enemy' is singular and plural in this kind of context?


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

Well the they would have given it away but it's not correct English to keep "enemy" singular...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michael.richters

Not true. "The enemy" is commonly used in English to refer to any group of opposing soldiers in a war (for example). "They are [not] the enemy" is a perfectly valid English sentence.


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

They are not the enemy (the enemy being a singular group of people united) : ils ne sont pas l'ennemi !


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

See the comment I made to Chuckles16. Because ennemi has an article, Ce sont is used. http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm

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