Translation:Later, they were watching television.
How do you distinguish "il regardait" from "ils regardaient"? They both sound the same to me.
There is no pronunciation difference. In reality there will be a context to the sentence which will allow you to distinguish whether it is 'il regardait' or 'ils regardaient' but on Duolingo it's just a guessing game really
For a "type what you hear" exercise, "plus tard, il regardait la télévision" will be accepted. It has now been added to the list of homophones but it will take a while for staff to act on it.
it was just this kind of problem that eventually made me turn off robo girl. These kinds of problems went away! Whew!
As I understand it from my French class, the two are ALWAYS indistinguishable in sound, even to a French person. We can only differentiate when there is some context. Therefore it's DL that forgot to mark the second one correct. IMHO
No idea. I just got wrong on the same thing. It's the imperfect tense, which is often translated as "was -ing" in English, but doesn't have to be except in certain contexts. I think it should be reported.
You would use Passé composé for that. Lacking any context to push the translation in another direction, use the continuous past here: "were watching". https://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/FrenchSite1022/FirstVERBS.html
"watching television" is a fixed expression for watching TV program, so you shouldn't put "the" before television In French, however, you should put "la" before "télévision"
i think.... ils regardaient la TV really means ,"They were watching TV" Whereas, "Ils ont regarde la TV" (sorry, i can't put an accent on the e) actually means, "They watched TV"
Not in all contexts, but here I think both are fair answers because there is no context.
Not quite. "They watched" tells us that they have completed their action. "They were watching" does not.
"Later, they were watching television." does not make sense in English. "Later" is for a time in the future whereas "were watching" is in the past...
At 7 p.m. last night, they were eating dinner. Later, they were watching television.
"Later, they'd watch TV"# (Duolingo) The "right" DL translation in my example was: "Later, they'd watch TV." As a phrase it's rather weird (1)"They'd" is equivalent to "they had"? No, since the tense would come as "watched".; (2) "They would"? Unlikely as the tense does not fit with the French phrase. I tried: " (..) watched TV" which did not work; (... had watched TV) that was received the same way, BUT I am under the impression that it has been accepted some time ago. In the end, even after trying to skip the Duolingo choice 4 times, one has to write the chosen answer just to escape the software loop. A bit nonsensical.
First, the contraction "they'd watch" means "they would watch", referring to a habitual action in the past. This contraction is something that the computer inserts because it is unaware of the confusion over had vs. would. This is why the moderators encourage users to avoid contractions although many are accepted. The issue has developed over the clamoring for accepting answers which include all manner of contractions. So be careful what you ask for because you might get it. And when it is delivered, it may not be exactly what you had in mind.
Differentiate 'regardait' and 'regardaient' seems to be a good future upgrade!
It's not possible. They are homophones. I have added "il regardait" to the list for "type what you hear" exercises but it will take staff a while to act on it.
If duo asks to translate 'la télévision' ..it will simply mean- the television.
"Watching television" is idiomatic English. One does not generally say "watching the television.
Yes, "watching television" means watching the shows that are playing on the TV. The other implies a reason such as "He was watching the television to see where the smoke is coming from."
I picture people sitting in the living room. The set is turned off, but they're just sitting there watching "the" television. ;)
There is more than one "would," in English. The conditional one is only when giving a hypothetical situation (that looks to the future: it's hypothetical and not factual, because it hasn't happened yet): "They would punish him if he does it again," or "If he killed the hostages [If he should kill the hostages], they would put him to death ." (Sorry for the violent imagery!) But there is also the "would" that is used as an auxiliary verb to express habitual action in the past; this is the one that corresponds to the French imperfect: "Every summer, we would go to my grandmother's house in the country for six weeks."
Never, because what you have is an English translation where "he" will not be confused with "they". In a "type what you hear" exercise, "ils regardaient" and "il regardait" are homophones. I have added it to the list for this exercise. In the meantime, if you are listening in French, then speak in French.
'Plus tard il regardait la télévision.' Context: Judge: 'What was he doing at the time of the murder?' Witness: Well, from 8pm until 9pm he was eating dinner in his dining room. Later, he was watching television'. This translation of the spoken French sentence is not accepted 6 July 2017.
What you say is perfectly natural and correct. The problem is the "type what you hear" exercise which had not been programmed to accept "il regardait la télévision" as a homophone. I have added it, but it will take a while for staff to act on it.
It's part of the confusion that comes with using "would". It may be conditional...but it may also refer to a habitual past action. They would go to the beach every Saturday (refers to a habitual past action).
Not conditional, but habitual. "Every day, they would wait for the ships to come in." Equivalent to "they used to wait."
Suzanne, Thanks for explaining this here and in your fantastic earlier post on this thread. Our native English speakers seem to have a difficult time with this verb "would". In addition to your previous post, Wikipedia gives a good overview of English modal verbs. In a nutshell, "would" has other uses beyond the conditional voice. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_modal_verbs
This sentence is grammatically incorrect in English. It should be "Later, they will watch television", or even "Lately, they were watching television."
I'm sure that if you spend some time thinking about it, you will come to understand that "later" may be used for a time reference for an action that occurred in the past as well. It is "later" in regard to some other action that is not mentioned here.
Sorry for the long delay, Donna. Tense mapping between French and English is not direct. French present tense is usually translated as EN Present Simple or Present Continuous. But under some circumstances, there are other possibilities.
For FR imparfait tense, it is most commonly translated as a habitual action in the past or an action in progress in the past. There are other possibilities for the imperfect tense, too. To dig a little deeper on the imperfect tense, open this link for an excellent comparison of imperfect and Compound Past: https://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/FrenchSite1022/FirstVERBS.html
No, not at all. Please review the other comments on this page where it is explained.
It says "later" how come this is included in the past imperfect? I guess this should be in the future tense or am I overlooking some English grammar rules.
It is only that "later" may be used in reference to a previous action that occurred in the past. Its use is not limited to the future -- it all depends on the point of reference. Last Saturday, we went to the museum. Later, we stopped and got ice cream. The action of getting ice cream happened after we had gone to the museum but both actions were in the past.
The suggested 'correct solution' it gave me was "later, they would watch the television", but isn't that a different tense? I think that would be 'conditionnel' but I'm not sure.
"They would watch" refers to a habitual action in the past here. Yes, it is confusing that "would" may also be used conditionally. That's why one needs to be careful when using "would".
Surely the word, "Later" implies the sentence is in the future tense so why is the imperfect past tense used and not future.
Please read the post first. This question has already been answered a number of times.
How does "were" sound like the future tense? Are you referring to the fact that it's proceeded by "later"? That only means that it occurred after some other event in the past, not that it's in the future.
This is completely gramatically incorrect according to the English language, whoever made this sentence needs to go back to elementary school.
Could you actually point out the error instead of just insisting it's wrong? Because I don't see any problems.
The problem is the inconsistency of the past and future time frame "Later" and "they WERE".