"Vous avez un chat."
Translation:You have a cat.
99 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
"Vous" is used in two different ways. One is simply as a polite form of "you" (singular). The other is the plural form of "you" (which is translated as...."you"). Some people say "you all" but the context of such statements would generally indicate using "vous tous" in French, such as when you are addressing a group of people and you want to make sure that they all understand your comments are for "all of you". While some people are quite fond of using the expression "you all" or "y'all" either singular or plural, it is not used that way on Duolingo.
Why is the z-sound in "avez" in this pronounciation so pronounced? I've never heard it like that before. I was always taught to lengthen the e and drop the z in pronounciation, so "vous avez" sounds like "vous avée". I checked it on forvo, where it sounds like I was taught, even in this exact same sentence: https://nl.forvo.com/phrase/vous_avez_un_chat/
Is it some sort of dialect? Or a more recent type of informal way of pronounciation?
The "Z" sound you hear at the end of "avez" is called a liaison. It helps the flow of words and is often a good clue to understand what is being said. Using liaisons correctly is a sign of a good education in French. There are lots of rules about using liaisons. Some are required, some are forbidden, and some are optional. If you're interested in learning more about this topic, open this link in your browser: https://www.thoughtco.com/learn-proper-french-pronunciation-liaisons-4083657
You have mixed up the two verbs être=to be and avoir=th have in their respective present tense.
Tu es=you are (informal singular you)
Vous êtes=you are (either formal singular you or informal plural you or informal plural you - the context tells which kind of 'you' is intended)
Tu as=you have (informal singular you)
Vous avez=you have (either formal singular you or informal plural you or informal plural you - the context tells which kind of 'you' is intended)
Use the tu forms when addressing persons you are allowed to address by first name, that is family and close friends, and the vous forms when addressing several persons at once or one person whom you do not address by first name.
There is nothing wrong with y'all or you all, and I say that as a speaker of British English for whom y'all is foreign and somewhat quaint. We also have variations on the plural you: ye, youse, yeese, yis'n and others. But we understand that although we can use them within our own various communities, they are not standard English and come variously under the categories of colloquialisms or slang. Y'all/you all is a strictly American colloquialism for the simple plural you.
Yes, there are times when you want to ensure that everybody within a group is paying attention, and in those circumstances "you all" (not y'all) is valid standard English. For example, you could say to a group of friends about an upcoming trip "Are you all sure you want to come?" where you specifically want all members of the group to hear and understand. But you could equally ask "Is everybody coming?" with the same intent. French might render this inclusivity as "Vous venez tous les deux?" (Are you both coming?) or "Vous venez tous?" (Are you all coming?)
Check out my answer to Rachet111653 below as well as the answers to benncm at the bottom of the page for alternative opinions of other French natives. Chat and Chien clearly have different pronunciations to French ears, you need to train your ears to get the difference which may be quite subtle for foreign ears. Check out chiens et chats.
Several possible ways.
Least formal is just to use this same sequence of words with a questioning intonation at the end, exactly as we do in English: "Vous avez un chat?" "You have a cat?"
Also casual/conversational would be to add "Est-ce que" to the beginning of this sentence: "Est-ce que vous avez un chat?" (Literally: "Is it that you have a cat?", but it's just the way to ask "Do you have a cat?") I gather that this is the most common way to ask.
More formally, you can do what's called an inversion: "Avez-vous un chat?", rather like the English, "Have you a cat?"
Well, the second liaison (between "avez" and "un") is actually optional and often omitted, so you're ok there. The first one, though, ("vous avez") is pretty standard. You'd probably sound like someone who is just learning French, which you are! Don't worry, these things become easier as they become more familiar.
As I understand it, it is unusual to make the liaison after a verb (other than "est" and "ont"). It is allowed, but is considered extremely formal or old-fashioned. The female-sounding computer voice has some errors which are slowly being corrected as Duo brings in the newer, male-sounding, computer voice.
When I click on the icon at the top of this page, I now hear the "male" voice, and he is pronouncing it correctly.
French has different "registers" or levels of formality in speech. One of the more obvious ones is how one refers to "you" as either "tu" (a friend, singular, familiar) or "vous" (more polite, but also used for the plural "you",. any degree of familiarity). The degree of formality extends into many areas of French speech, such as how you might ask a question. That's best saved for later.
As always, the context should help you. Obviously, when you only have a single sentence without context, as is the case here, things can get a bit more complicated. One indicator is adjectives. If there's an adjective in the sentence, it'll agree in number and be singular if you're talking to just one person in a formal tone, or plural if you're speaking to several people. The tone of the sentence/conversation in general might help you. In any case, if you don't have adjectives in the sentence, whether you're speaking to "vous" plural or "vous" formal, the conjugation will be the same so not knowing won't be much of a problem. In this sentence, you could be addressing both a group of people and a single person with whom you have a distant/formal relation.
It's all about the fact that French nouns have genders. "Un" and "une" are called indefinite articles and are used with masculine and feminine nouns, respectively. "Le" and "la" are called definite articles and are used with masculine and feminine nouns, respectively. The plural form or "un(e)" is "des". The plural form or either "le" or "la" is "les". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/determiners.htm
It can seem like an impossible challenge, especially when you consider that by the time you finish the French tree, you will have learned many, many verb tenses. The good news is that you only have to learn one of them at a time. And some of them may not be used that much. But isn't it fun to learn French? ;-)
In English, the verb "to have" is conjugated the same way (have) for all situations (except 3rd person singular, which uses "has"). But in French, they are all different. So you will have to learn how to conjugate the verbs in French.
- J'ai = I have
- tu as = you have ("tu" is singular and familiar)
- Il a (he has) or Elle a (she has)
- Nous avons = we have
- Vous avez = you have ("vous" may be either singular/polite or plural, regardless of familiarity). "Vous" is always just "you", not "you all", "you guys", "y'all", etc.
- Ils/Elles ont = they have ("ils" refers to a group of either all males or mixed; "elles" refers to a group consisting of all females). Note that "elles" is never translated as "the women", "the girls", or "the females".
There are many rules about using liaisons in French. Some are required, some are forbidden, and some are optional. Take a look here by opening the link in your browser: https://www.thoughtco.com/learn-proper-french-pronunciation-liaisons-4083657
"We" is "nous" and "you" may be either "tu" (singular, informal) or "vous" (singular/polite or plural). What you are referring to is the conjugation of the verb. In English, the verb "to have" uses "have" in the present tense for everything except the 3rd person singular (which uses "has"). But in French, each one has a different word.
- J'ai = I have
- Tu as = you have
- Il a (he has), elle a (she has)
- Nous avons = we have
- Vous avez = you have ("vous" may be either singular or plural).
- Ils ont (they have, where "ils" refers to a group of all males or a mixed group). Elles ont (they have, where "elles" refers to a group of all females). "Elles" is always translated as "they", never "the women", "the girls", or "the females".
Yet another MULIPLE choice question without the correct solution offered. Which idiot did you get to put these questions together, DUOLINGO? They certainly weren't French speakers! I am now keeping a tally of the number of errors I find in multiple choice questions. 2 so far today. So, 2 sections I have been unable to complete. I don't think'frustrating' quite covers it. I am using an iPad
Don't want to offend you either, sorry if my native ear distinctively hears « chat » and would swear that it is not « chien ». Along with the missing « i » (which can indeed be quite elusive - although it must be pronounced), the « a » in the female audio is definitely not a nasal « en » (from chien, bien, rien, etc.) here. But again, that's just my French ear. I sympathize with your difficulties, though, the French language can be quite hard on the ears when you were not born in a French speaking country, I know since my wife is not French. Just like it is difficult for a French speaker to distinguish “deer” from “dear”. I also can't blame you for having doubts about native speakers when I see my fellow citizens confusing « a » with « à » or « é » and « er » at the end of verbs, just like native English speakers write “it's” in place of “its”. If you don't trust me, maybe we should let other natives chime in and see what they have to say. But I know what I hear. And I speak not only French but also a couple of other languages so I'm not exactly ignorant about languages in general. :)
Don't get me wrong, you're definitely right, but I think honestly Duo is really crushing language learning. However, if they were to improve anything, the audio would definitely be it. It seems silly to me when people defend the audio.
Have a lingot for dealing with my misplaced rage.