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  5. "La fille s'était tue."

"La fille s'était tue."

Translation:The girl had kept quiet.

January 9, 2013



I put 'The girl had killed herself' too but then I realized that that would probably be 'La fille s'était tuée.' It's 'se taire' that we're conjugating here, not 'se tuer.'


It might be high tide for me to google what auxiliary means.


It basically means "helping" -- an auxiliary verb is a helping verb or a helper verb, one that helps the verb that actually indicates the meaning to form a given tense, as with "has" in "Do you like chocolate?": the meaning is carried by the "like" but the "do" is a necessary helper in English to form a grammatical question.


But if we're conjugating taire and not tuer, then why is the auxiliary verb être and not avoir?


The verb être is used because it is a reflexive past tense action and reflexive past tense actions always use être as the auxiliary.


I do wish it were possible to suppress old comments. Over half the comments here are irrelevant now that the drop-down hints are correct. I came here just to find where this word tue came from. Now I know.


For your information, there are tens of thousands of sentences in the course and the Mod/Contrib team may not receive one email per comment and per sentence.

It seems I was not aware of this issue... until this morning, Jan 4, 2016.

So, please help us help you: do not let comments pile up, please report to a course Moderator !

Thank you!


I so agree. When there are 30-40 comments complaining about a poor translation that has since been fixed, it would make sense to at least "hide" those comments, if not delete them. When the threads get too long, people just skip them - and then they ask the same questions over and over, making the threads even longer!


I wrote The girl had gone quiet. And I actually think this is the correct answer, not the one proposed by Duo. Since "se taire" is an action of going quiet, not a state of being quiet. Any ideas on this, please? Thanks


I think "to go quiet" is a bit of a colloquialism, so it's not surprising DL has not included it in the correct answers. It's not quite the same thing as "to keep quiet" or "to shut up", but it may be that it is also a possible correct translation. You might want to report it.


Yes. The meaning in English is slightly different.

She had gone quiet indicates she had not been quiet but then went quiet. She started to spill the beans on everyone (do they still use that phrase in cheap murder mysteries?) but then stopped.

She had kept quiet says that she was quiet throughout the period of interest at least until some subsequent event or state. She didn't say anything at all until they waterboarded her.

Going quiet (present continuous) doesn't strike me as a meaning that can be expressed by the pluperfect since the action is completed and in the past. The use of the pluperfect indicates that the action was completed in the past but was still connected in some way to the future. One waits to hear the ....until ... that is likely to follow the pluperfect.


Did the same thing, but maybe we're too informal?


what is tue? what is it derived from etc?


Here, it's the past participle of se taire "to fall silent, shut up, be quiet", from Latin tacēre "be silent".


thank you. what does it mean when people have the american flag? does that mean you learned english and it's not your native language? its odd because i'lll see some people with like level 5 american flag but they seem to speak perfect english.


It means that they have done a Duolingo course "English for speakers of ...".

Possible reasons why someone takes such a course include:

  • they are not a native speaker of English and want to learn it
  • they want to do "the reverse course"; for example, someone learning French may do both "English for French speakers" and "French for English speakers" to get more practice with French, especially with translation into French, since Duo does a lot more translation into the base language than into the taught language
  • they like doing various courses
  • surely other reasons as well

For me, for example, most of my English points come from doing the reverse Turkish course while I was concentrating on Turkish, and to some extent, doing the reverse German course for fun.

I'm a native speaker of English and German.


oh cool! thanks for taking the time to answer that.
that makes a lot of sense, i think i will check out the reverse for french.


Often a good idea to do both courses!

Not right from the beginning, of course, since the reverse course assumes that you speak fluent French :) But after you've finished the regular tree is a good time to start, and depending on how good you are, perhaps two-thirds of the way down the forward tree or even half-way down may give you enough to work with when starting the reverse tree.

When switching base languages, it will look as if your previous progress has been lost, but when you switch back to "...from English", it will be there again, waiting for you.


Good idea! I may borrow it! Give Lingot.


Oh thank you Mizinamo, I didn't realise that - when I switched to the reverse course I thought I'd lost my original so I went through a whole new course with a different name!


If "La fille s'était tue" translates to "they girl HAD kept quiet", how would you say "The girl kept quiet"?


That would be "La fille s'est tue."


Okay! What about "the girl is keeping quiet" or "the girl is quiet"?


"La fille se taît" for the first, "La fille est calme/silencieuse/réservée" for the second.


Adding to the latter, "la fille est tranquille".


Does it? That's what I thought, but I was corrected to "the girl had shut up"!


What about "The girl had become silent". If not correct how can that be rendered in French?


La fille était devenue silencieuse.


There is no difference in English between "kept silent" (suggested) and "was silent" (rejected). This appears to be yet another example in which perfectly good English translations are not accepted in a vain attempt to torture English into non-existent distinctions that mimic real distinctions that occur in French. Again, you're not teaching French, you're just teaching people to mimic your exact English translations, which do not teach the French distinctions because they're premised on distinctions that you have imagined rather than distinctions that really occur in English.


The trouble is that "s'était tue" means that she had stopped speaking, not that she was or remained silent, otherwise, the French would be "se taisait" or "était silencieuse" or "restait silencieuse" or "gardait le silence".


In that case, a better translation would be "The girl had stopped speaking," no? In English, there is no difference between "The girl had kept quiet" and "The girl had stayed quiet" (my rejected translation): both mean the girl had not spoken at all during the given period, NOT that she'd started out talking and then stopped...


I wrote "The girl had been quiet", which is a suggested translation but it was still marked wrong?


"the girl had been quiet" NOT accepted 15 Jan 2018. Reported.

There seems to be a lot of confusion in Duo's accepted translations to various exercises which use the pluperfect of se taire. There is no substantial difference between "had been quiet" (which is a more literal translation of s'était tu(e) than "had kept quiet" - so if the latter is accepted, the former should be accepted also.


"Se taire" means exactly "to stop speaking/talking.

It describes an action, rather than a state of being, even if we can be confused by the auxiliary "être", which is solely due to the reflexive nature of the verb.

"to be/remain quiet" meaning "to be/remain silent" is better rendered by "être/rester silencieux/silencieuse".


The girl had been quiet?


Doesn't "tuer" also mean to kill?


"tue" is not the past participle of "tuer" but of "(se) taire.


I just verified in my big honking dictionary. The verb 'se tuer' can mean (1) to fall quiet or quiet down (tais-toi!) (2) to stay silent (3) to kill oneself (4) to kill each other (les factions se tuent.)


tais-toi comes from the verb se taire, the past participle of which is tu, which is used in this case; se tuer is a completely different verb, its past participle is tué. Se taire means to keep oneself quiet, se tuer means to kill oneself(not necessarily literally)


I don't know what dictionary you used, but "se tuer" does not mean to fall quiet or to stay silent. That's an entirely different verb, "se taire".


I wish that they would have at least told me that that could have meant that


DL's method is primarily to correct you when you err, rather than to instruct you in advance. Those drop-down hints are by no means exhaustive, or even sufficient, as possible translations. I often recommend a good online dictionary, like wordreference.com, but in this case you would have had to know the verb was irregular. Another possible resource is Linguée - http://www.linguee.fr/francais-anglais/search?source=auto=s%27%E9tait+tue


I typed, "The girl had kept quiet." Bad ding. I was supposed to say, "The girl had shut up." Why? Thank you.


Anyone can explain why I put "The girl had kept quiet", it marks wrong? Thanks!


"The girl had been silent" not acceptable?


Why was 'the girl had been silent' not accepted?


why isn't "The girl had hushed" accepted ?


Oh lord. I read that as "La fille s'était tuée" and wrote something totally different...


Why not had kept herself quiet (like kept herself occupied) ?


It sounds like a dialogue in a kidnap scene of a film


Why is it:

La fille s'etait tue - the girl had kept quiet Elle s'etait tue - she had been keeping quiet

And you can't swap the answers? Surely they are one and the same?


"She had been keeping quiet" would rather translate into "elle se taisait"

Past perfect continuous implies the idea that the action lasts, while "elle s'était tue" has much of an immediate but not necessarily lasting action.


I would back translate "she had been keeping quiet" to "elle était restée silencieuse" to better express this idea of a lasting "state".


This would imply the given answer is wrong?


Why not "the girl had been quiet" ?


We would commonly say 'the girl stayed quiet ', but this is not a correct option.

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