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You can hear the difference using this synthesizer set to French ... http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html ... enter this text and listen to the slight difference between spoken 'petit' and 'petite'
"Je suis petit. Je suis petite. Je suis petit. Je suis petite."
It's exactly as territrades describes but it helps me to hear both words spoken like this.
SOOO helpful: this link explains their nuances http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conclusions.htm
I agree, at least within the context of Duolingo, I have previously been penalised for translating "petit" as "small" instead of "short"; likewise with "grand" as "big" instead of "tall".
It makes sense, certainly in English there is a difference between saying someone is short and someone is small. It's left me confused as to what the correct context is for using either.
As a native French speaker, I can assure you that "court" is both used as a physical measurement and a length of time, but it is not used for people. You cannot say of someone that he is "court" or "long", but you can say it of a skirt (une jupe courte) or of a period of time for instance.
Bonjour, domidomi !
I have one unrelated question here, and I would appreciate if you could give your opinion on it. There was a discussion on another thread whether "court" should go before or after the noun here. One grammar link lists this adjective (same as "long", its opposite) alongside with "petit", "nouveau", and several other similar, widely used adjectives (about 20 of them in total, as I have seen so far) which should usually go before the noun (that was the claim of this link) - these are so-called BANGS exceptions. To have its literal, usual meaning (short), according to this link, adjective "court" should go before the noun (unlike the vast majority of adjectives in French). If this is correct, placing it after the noun would change its meaning - it would, then, have somewhat changed, more figurative meaning...
Well, considering your superior knowledge as a native French speaker, could you please say something about it: does it matter at all whether it is placed before or after the noun, and would you ever place it before the noun, or only after the noun (as you had above)? Can it have any other meaning then "short" at all? Thanks in advance!
Good question Kristian. It seems that the concept of "Size" in the "BANGS" guide is somewhat an anomaly where Small=Petit/e comes before the noun it modifies but Short=Court/e comes after, however this contradicts your results from your research. I second your wish for clarification.
According to the website (which has been posted twice now), car indicates a justification while parce que indicates a reason. For example, "je t'aime parce que tu es gentil" (I like you because you are kind) versus "il fait froid, car c'est janvrier" (It's cold because it's January). Does that distinction help?
Hi Amanda. You've raised a pertinent query here and as always the answer to a simple question is really involved and lengthy. Too much for this space. Firstly yes you can use both forms and no, in this sentence there is little if any difference. However Parce que and Car have differing functions and there are times when one will not do. I went to "www.about.com/fr grammar parce que vs car" followed the link and a very interesting complete lesson came up. It also goes some way to settle the confusion around the the lesson which used depuis que "since" and the confusing English double usage of "since" both for temporal and causal purposes. Well worth the time for anybody doing this lesson of Duo's here.
I was a bit confused about it myself until I saw this page. It's very helpful. Check it out! http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conclusions.htm Good luck with your french! :)
Some hints are labeled so as to differentiate terms that are more common in AmE from those that are more common in BrE. E.g., "un camion" = a truck (AmE), a lorry (UK). Not every English noun is going to carry such a label so consider it a nice surprise if it is so indicated. When there are US and UK versions shown, it generally means that either will be accepted as part of an otherwise correct answer.
Hi Abubakar. To shift the tongue's position and the mouth shape to go from "ee" of "Suis" and "uh" of "Un" the consonant "Y" is faintly sounded. So the mouth/tongue is actually going from a faint consonant to a vowel sound rather than from a vowel sound to a vowel sound so, no elision. With "In" and "Enfant" however, these are two definite vowel sounds and without the elision would be very difficult to pronounce, hence the "N" of "Un" is sounded to both facilitate ease of pronunciation and separate "Un" from "Enfant."
Nothing against your former teacher but "car" should not be used to begin a sentence. Open this link in a browser to learn more about how "car" and "parce que" are used. https://www.thoughtco.com/because-in-french-1368823
Yes, your old high school French dialogue was, indeed, wrong. At least if it claimed that starting a sentence with "car" was grammatically correct. (We all know that languages as they are spoken by natives do not always follow the rules of grammar strictly. But textbooks, particularly at the high school level, tend to try to teach strictly correct language use, and starting a sentence with "car" is not grammatically correct.)
If the example you posted is correct then your old High School French dialogue (not sure what that is) was also correct.
Your example is not a sentence and thus can begin with anything that seems reasonable. However, according to many knowledgeable people here and the links provided...car cannot start an actual sentence.
The Duo computer reports the first mistake it finds in a sentence. It has no idea what you were thinking. If you have two valid words but one of them conflicts with the other in some way it has no means to know what you intended.
If you use a feminine adjective with a noun spelled in the masculine form the computer has no way of knowing the actual gender of what you are discussing. Both the feminine adjective and the masculine ending noun are correct, just not together. It can't decide ...you must have meant masculine and made a mistake with the adjective.........
Typically it will report the first word that seems out of order. It is a computer. It moves in a linear fashion. Or it could be something as simple as a missing apostrophe or one that is incorrectly typed. You believe it was there but the computer doesn't see it.
There is little point in doing what many people do here and that is typing their oven version of something that is obviously correct. You have to post the whole sentence since your use of I'm was incorrect when applied to the rest of the sentence.
Depends on where one is located, Callie, France is a very large country and in addition, in which French-speaking country one is. The main thing to remember is that Car can not be used to begin a sentence. There are finer academic references to the use of each and I'm not confident enough to broach them.
You are incorrect. It can mean child, baby, kid, youngster, and infant. There are other words that can translate as infant (such as bebe), but enfant is the go-to word that can be translated to a number of words. There are, according to Google translate, twelve words that enfant can translate as.
An infant is a particular type of child. An infant is always a child but a child is not always an infant. Your translation of child to infant without any supporting context is introducing qualities to the child that are not present in the sentence.
It is not correct to say that child and infant have the same meaning and can be freely interchanged, both in English and French.
You misunderstand how to use Google Translate. You have it backwards. It isn't saying all those other words can replace enfant. It is saying enfant can replace all those other words because it has a different, more general, more inclusive meaning than those other words. Enfant is the go to word that all those other words can be translated to not from.
And that is only if you are not trying to provide a precise definition but deliberately avoiding doing so by replacing a more narrowly defined word with a more general word. Nothing wrong with that of course. Unless someone is asking you to be reasonably precise as Duo does.
Other than to tell him that if he doesn't have a high end system complete with expensive microphone, lots of available ram, a very high speed connection and software at the other end that doesn't dumb down the accuracy requirements when lossy input arrives, he is wasting his time if he thinks Duo will help him with improving his spoken efforts.
From other comments I have read, Duo doesn't have very high requirements when grading spoken input. Not surprising when you consider all the variables between the Duo server and the student speaking into the microphone. Leaving aside all the issues surrounding just exactly how any given word should be pronounced and what is a wrong pronunciation compared to one that is slightly different and perhaps even common.
Of course, it always good to practice speaking the target language no matter what your reason for doing so is. So for those so inclined, continue using Duo's option to have it grade your spoken input.
Take heart from being judged correct. Don't pay too much attention when it says you are wrong. I mean it is just a computer. What does it know about human conversation anyway?
"Cause" (the way you're using it here) is not an actual word. It's "because," so if anything, you'd need an apostrophe before it to denote a contraction. It would need to be " 'cause " and I doubt you would find that in any dictionary except perhaps a slang dictionary. IMHO " 'cause " would be too slangy to qualify as correct.
Hi Katarina. 'Cause won't work just as "coz" won't. "Aintit" and "Innit" won't work for "Isn't it" even though "Isn't it" works for "Is it not" and there's the crux. So long as a phrase or word (as here) is considered preferentially "correct" and an abbreviation or slang is not, Duo will mark it down, as incorrect English rather than incorrect translation. Duo does have some "Couth". Another reason is that Duo will want to teach us the word "Cause" as in "Cause and Effect" and 'cause is just going to confuse things, especially for those whose English is a second language. Have a thought for them, eh?.
Many people use informal speech patterns in everyday conversation: gonna, wanna, cause (for "because"), shoulda, coulda, etc. This extends to the use of what looks like contractions which are really the transliteration of slurred speech. When writing, you must use correct English (and correct French).
You may never use this precise sentence, but the point is not to give you a set of sentences to memorize.
You can't picture any circumstances where you might want to say, "I am [SOMETHING], because [SOMETHING]?" "I am short because I am a child." "I am tired because I am ill." "I am hungry because I haven't eaten since yesterday." They're all going to use the same basic sentence structure.
Perhaps not, but the point of Duolingo is not to give you a list of sentences to memorize and then use. Maybe nobody would say, "I am short because I am a child" (although I have heard a child say exactly that... in French), but this gives you the structure to say, "I am X because Y," which might be useful. "I am tired because I am ill." "I am hungry because I haven't eaten since yesterday." "I am hurrying because I am late." And so on.
Because the speaker is just reading a sentence. If I read a book out loud, and the first-person narrator is male, I'm not going to change the gender of things because I'm a woman.
Pay attention to the grammatical/pronunciation markers in the sentence, not the Duobot's apparent gender.