"Il parle alors que je lis."

Translation:He talks while I read.

January 9, 2013



Why is the woman reading it out "liS"? There's nothing no subsequent vowel, and I thought this "s" was otherwise silent?

January 9, 2013


I'm a French native and you should NOT pronounce the "s" at "je lis". The "s" is silent in this context. The "s" at the end of a word are mostly silent except for few words like "tous" ("all" in plural... because there is also an "all" in singular: "tout"... and the "t" is silent here :p )

In general, at the end of a verb you almost never pronouce the "s", the "d", the "t", the "ent" (if so never... but you never know in French with all our exceptions!! Arrrgh!! :p )

May 4, 2016


I agree. French is one of my two native languages as well and "lis" is not pronounced "liSSSSSSSSS." When is Duo EVER going to fix this. It is totally incorrect.

December 3, 2017


Does alors que only indicate contrast, or does it also link actions together in time? Or, both? The English translation, while, can be used as in "my daughter is a major consumer, while i'm very anti-materialistic" with the intention of indicating total contrast, though "while" is also (and more commonly) used in English to make actions contemporaneous. Is this dual-function also true of alors que?

April 7, 2014


Alors que can indicate simultaneity or contrast or contradiction.

From the Tips and notes on this lesson at Duo's website:

Je mange alors que tu manges. — I eat while you eat.

Elle est grande, alors que je suis petit. — She is tall, whereas I am short.

Je mange alors que je n'ai pas faim. — I am eating even though I am not hungry.

September 5, 2015


This is pretty much the same in English with "while". Super interesting.

February 9, 2016


What is 'que' doing in this sentence? I understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole in french, but I don't think I would know that I needed 'que' if I were translating from english into french

November 4, 2013


I think that is because the "while" here is the conjunction "alors que" (http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conjunctions_5.htm) rather than "alors" alone (which means so or then http://french.about.com/od/mistakes/a/then.htm).

November 15, 2013


Yeah agreed. It is necessary to combine those two thoughts together in a sentence. I had a similar question like that in another dicussion about verbs here in this thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1783882$comment_id=1823699

February 14, 2014


Does 'whereas' suit well here too?

March 5, 2014


Yes, that's what i wrote the first time i encountered this sentence.

April 7, 2014


"He speaks ALTHOUGH I read" should be accepted.

April 11, 2013


I just discovered that although is a rare synonym with while thanks to Google dictionary so yep, it's correct.

January 17, 2015


Even though is one of the hints, so that should be accepted and it works better to me than while

March 25, 2014


Said the furious teacher

August 22, 2018


Why is there a 'que'? Can someone kindly briefly explain?

September 27, 2014


"alors" is an exclamation, something like "well!". The two words "alors que" means the one English word "while". Sometimes two words work together as one unit. This kind of thing happens in English too. For example, the one word "blow" has a different meaning to the two words "blow up". Also see Daveremy's answer to the same question earlier in this thread.

September 29, 2014


There are many, many prepositions that add "que" to become conjunctions. eg. "pendant" - it can be used on its own in a prepositional phrase (pendant trois mois), but in a conjunction, you need the "que." The clue is that the next word after the "que" will be another subject: "alors que je lis."

December 29, 2015


Who could please help to explain the difference between "alors que" and "lorsque"?

January 25, 2015


and pendant que :(

March 18, 2015


In a general sense, "Alor que" can be used for 'whereas' in defining actions. "Pendant que" for 'while' in defining the sense of time.

December 28, 2018


So "alors que" means both "whereas (a transition conjunction)" AND "while???" If so, I think it's very unusual to see a rigorous language like French has it's conjunction possess two and more meanings, which are surprisingly far from each other.

August 26, 2015


The English word "while" actually also has this dual function, so I don't think it's too surprising. You can think of it as "presenting two facts which coexist in the same setting and which contradict each other"

Curiously, completely unrelated Japanese "-nagara" also has the same dual function, and if more examples are present in other languages, I would postulate that an underlying mental "metaphor" of the human brain is at work. :p

September 5, 2015


I wonder if there is a confusion over which conjugation of lire this is supposed to be. My understanding is that "lis" has a silent "s" but the the subjunctive is spelled "(je) lise." And I'm still confused as to how one would use the subjunctive in the first person in a sentence. Can someone help me with this?

January 9, 2016


In this sentence, "lire" is conjugated in the present indicative. "Alors que" does not take the subjunctive. You are right on the other accounts. The subjunctive is typically used when the statement in question is not an established fact. Often (but not always) it is used to express a desire or a will. In most instances you just have to memorize the verbs and expressions that are followed by a subjunctive. The most common ones are probably:

Il faut que (it is necessary that): Il faut que je m'en aille. Pour que (so that): Il m'a donné son livre pour que je fasse ses devoirs à sa place. Vouloir que (to want that): Je veux que ma fille puisse me joindre à tout moment.

In all of these cases, the sentence in question is not a fact. If you need to do something, you haven't already done it and you don't know if you're going to. If someone does something so that something else happens, we don't know if that something else actually happens. If you want someone to do something, you also don't know if they actually do it. There's a whole bunch of verbs and expressions that you can find at https://www.talkinfrench.com/french-subjunctive-phrases/ if you want a more complete list. Or you can look in a textbook.

In some instances, a verb would take the subjunctive when it is negative and when it is in inverted question form, but not if it is affirmative or in a non-inverted question form. An example would be "penser que" and "croire que:"

Je pense qu'il est vieux = Il est vrai que je le trouve vieux même s'il ne l'est pas.

Je ne pense pas qu'il soit de mon côtê = Il se peut qu'il le soit, mais je n'en suis pas sûre.

The subjunctive is often also used when there is a superlative, expressed after expressions such as "le plus," "le moins," "le seul," etc.

January 9, 2016


Why "even though" did not work?

February 7, 2016


Because they don't mean the same thing. "Even though" suggests that the fact that "I read" should normally prevent the "he talks" part from occurring, but that "he talks" IN SPITE OF it. "While" does not have that connotation. It simply means that they are doing something at the same time. It highlights the difference between the two, but one does not normally prevent the other from occurring.

February 7, 2016


I typed, "He speaks whereas I read", and it was marked incorrect... even though in one of the previous examples I typed "whereas" as I was marked correct. I am very confused as to why "alors que" sometimes means "while", and sometimes means "whereas"... which are two different concepts... but sometimes I am marked wrong if I try one instead of the other. What am I not understanding?

June 25, 2016


Why alors and que together when both mean while?

July 2, 2017


Alors (by itself)=then/so

Que (by itself)=that/what

Alors que=while/when/whereas

Alors que is a conjunctive phrase. There are a large number of similar conjunctions, which usually end in que:

afin que

ainsi que

avant que

bien que

parce que

pour que

tandis que

and many, many more. The que is an integral part of the conjunctive phrase. These can't necessarily be translated word-by-word; they have to be learned as a single concept. But sometimes it's obvious: avant by itself is a preposition or an adverb meaning "before"; if you want to use it as a conjunction (also meaning "before") to join two clauses, you must add "que."

July 2, 2017


'Alors' without 'que' = Then (Adverb)

'Alors' with 'que' = While (conjunction)

So you see 'que' is required to change them into conjunctions. Keep in mind the usage of 'que' fluctuates with sentences.

December 28, 2018


DL refuses "He SPEAKS while I read" ..... why ?

March 23, 2018


And it told me the correct answer is "He speaks when I read."

March 30, 2018


Why is it using alors here instead of lorsque? Or is it a word that would also work? Is there a difference between how the two are used?

May 6, 2018



September 19, 2018


How rude of him.

October 16, 2018


Why is there "que" someone explain please

December 14, 2018


Please see my comment above.

December 15, 2018


How does one know the context in this sentence between whereas and while?

February 15, 2019
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