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"C'est important qu'elle vive."

Translation:It is important that she live.

4 years ago

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Savage_Hun
Savage_Hun
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For those who aren't native English speakers, the English translation is not grammatically accurate. Because this is a statement with a "that" clause indicating a suggestion or requirement, the verb is subjunctive (as it is in the French), not indicative. The correct answer is: "It is important that she live." Many of the English sentences in this lesson use the indicative rather than the subjunctive (already reported to Duolingo), though the two moods are only different in the third person singular.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John_Swede
John_Swede
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Yes this is a bit of a nuisance. When I try to be correct, writing the way my Oxford friends persist to speak, Duolingo fails me. They could at least be tolerant accepting both moods.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BampaOwl
BampaOwl
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I find both are accepted now (October 2015)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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I just learned something. For the verb to be, I know and use it - even if somehow I just realized I did know why up until now - but for the subjunctive present at the 3rd person of the singular, I think I didn't know it.

  • (Though I'm pretty sure tons of natives don't make the distinction, haha)
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spikypsyche
spikypsyche
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I mean, subjunctive is optional in English outside of very few dialects, and in most dialects its use seems pretty rare, but sure, it should at least be accepted too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OsoGegenHest
OsoGegenHest
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It is required in standard English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Erkte
Erkte
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This is the kind of subtleties of english grammar that I need to re-learn, thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CKOwusu
CKOwusu
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Corrected as of 24/01/2016

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
Alipaulam
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I would take slight issue with this. In English as it is spoken, rather than as it is taught in grammar books, I would guess that most people nowadays would say 'it is important that she lives'. Thus, a 'descriptive' rather than a 'prescriptive' grammar would say that this was standard English. http://grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/f/descpresgrammar.htm

Using the indicative will not mark you out as a foreigner; using the subjunctive could well mark you out as a) highly educated b) rather formal or pedantic c) elderly. Or, possibly, as having learnt your English from a grammar book, and hence, a foreigner!

Personally, I would change my usage depending on who I was talking to - in a formal work presentation, in a university dissertation, the subjunctive: at a football match, down the local pub, in a shop, the indicative.

I believe the same is true in (at least) French and Italian, where the subjunctive is used less and less often, to much disapproval from highly educated people.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

I agree with Alipaulam. I am 65 years old, well educated, and a long-time lover of the English language. I am well acquainted with the use of the subjunctive; I am also well aware that it is slipping out of use in English, with a few exceptions, and not only in casual conversation.

One important consideration in translation is to match the register of the voices. Subjunctive may be becoming more formal in French these days, but it is still much more common than it is in English. To insist on translating all French subjunctive uses into English subjunctive is, at best, misleading to the English-learner.

And yes, this arena is for learning French, but there are many brave souls here who are attempting to learn French via English when their native tongue is something else altogether, so it behooves us not to lead them astray.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BampaOwl
BampaOwl
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Now there's a nice word, behooves. I must remember to try this out on DL when translating "Il faut ..." into English! :-)

But your sentiments agreed 100%, DianaM

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Spirus123
Spirus123
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Don't worry about us)))). Those who's illness is perfectness,would reach any level possible and use "she live", joyfully listening an Arab correcting them. For not so lingustically insane others, she lives. If it's their highest possible level,s'ok.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OrchidBlack
OrchidBlack
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I hear (and use) the subjunctive far more than the indicative in a case like this and I'm a native born speaker, not ancient, and not formal or pedantic. I was just having a similar conversation with a co-worker last night. She's taking classes to remind herself of (and in some cases learn) proper English grammar.

Yes, people are ignoring proper grammar and dumbing everything down, but that doesn't mean that we must all throw our language out the window.

And now I'll put my soapbox away, for now. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spikypsyche
spikypsyche
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You speak as though proper grammar and conversational grammar are different.

This is far from decided; in fact in linguistic circles the dominant side tends to be the other one.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OrchidBlack
OrchidBlack
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I understand what you're saying, and even agree, for the most part. It just irks me when people (offline, not here) refuse to improve their vocabulary because they don't want to be made fun of, when they are the ones making fun of anyone who dares use more than a hundred words in daily speech.

Personally I've always loved words and etymologies, and I really don't begrudge anyone who wants to simply get their point across in as few words as possible. When I'm learning a new language, I want to learn both conversational and proper grammar in order to fully understand and be understood, no matter who I may be talking to.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spikypsyche
spikypsyche
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So ... formal and informal registers?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OrchidBlack
OrchidBlack
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Exactly. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Savage_Hun
Savage_Hun
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That's true, but this isn't a lesson on colloquial English or French usage, it's a lesson on the grammar of the subjunctive. Whether people use the subjunctive in conversation is irrelevant. As you point out, there are times when it is important and times when it isn't, but mistranslating it doesn't help people learn it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spikypsyche
spikypsyche
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What is the difference between grammar and what is used in conversation?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mapwoman
Mapwoman
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I would use 'it is important that she live' for emphasis, to me 'it is imporant that she lives' sounds weak.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/robynbs

Can anyone explain when to use "c'est important" vs "il est important"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rainio

It's odd as in this exercise some sentences use il est and others c'est.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

In impersonal expressions (like this one), either is correct; "c'est" is less formal.

http://french.about.com/od/expressions/a/impersonal.htm

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CatMcCat
CatMcCat
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If I translate this as, "It is important for her to live," is this straying too far from the French? (because I did, and was marked wrong, and am not sure if it's worth reporting or not.) I can't think of any other way to say that in French though, except for what was given: "C'est important qu'elle vive."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdgamble555
jdgamble555Plus
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I completely agree since using "for someone" is accepted regularly throughout the subjunctive lessons. I have reported it many times with no avail here.

It is worth noting that in this case "It is important for her to live" could have two meanings:

  • something is important in order for her to continue to live
  • her being able to live is important

Obviously the second is the intended meaning in french.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John787925

It could also potentially mean "continuing to live is important, in her opinion".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanHogan
AlanHogan
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100%, absolutely, “…for her to live” is the more natural translation. Reported. This section is infuriating because it is insisting on unnatural translations for 30% of the questions (but allowing this infinitive structure for most). Aaargh

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElwiraAm
ElwiraAm
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Why not "that she lives".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anoush9
Anoush9
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Personally I think, "It's important she live" is an acceptable answer here. What do others think?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

I think that works.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amtwt01

Every example given up to now in the subjunctive section is "Il est important que....", but this one uses "c'est important que...." Are they interchangeable?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

More or less - in impersonal expressions like this one. C'est is more conversational/idiomatic. http://french.about.com/od/expressions/a/impersonal.htm

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la.mia
la.mia
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Why would DL refuse "c'est necessaire que..." and accept "c'est important que..." ? Aren't the two words similar in this case?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Quyen736578

"It is important that she live." = "It is important that she LIVES." May anyone explain it to me? Thank you very much.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tani17
tani17
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How can you tell the "elle" is singular. I can't hear it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

If you are working from the audio, there would be no difference at all. "C'est important qu'elle vive." and "C'est important qu'elles vivent." should both be accepted as transcriptions.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikhailKar2
MikhailKar2
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Especially for her.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wuzizname

Who will do my laundry if she dies?!!

I kid, I kid. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreiBurlacu

what about food, cleaning? ain't no sandwich when she's gone... ain't no dust when she's awake

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anne.house

I'm not sure why 'elle' can't mean 'it'.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doolfsaxet
doolfsaxet
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I think we also say : 'it is important that she should live', which is perhaps as posh as just 'live'

2 years ago