"Il tombe de son cheval."

Translation:He falls off his horse.

January 11, 2013

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jamestheproducer

how is " He falls of his horse" correct? That sentence doesn't even make sense.

June 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/potato_jam

I think that when constructed with de, tombre de means to fall off of.

July 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jeanaux

I thought the "de" here means from, so the phrase would be "he falls from his horse" like "il retourne de France" means "he returns from France"

July 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Wunel

If you look in the given translations for 'tombe' the second one is "falls off" so tombe + de can mean "falls off of".

Regardless, "he falls from his horse" and "he falls off of his horse" and "he falls off his horse" all mean the same thing. You can translate it however you like, that is half the joy of translating, you get discretion.

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/StNaive

For what it's worth, "He falls from his horse" is accepted now (7/19/14), and it's grammatically correct in English.

July 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MonicaBurn0

Just- off, not -off of.

November 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

It was a typo in the system. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. It has long since been removed.

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/unbekannt1011010

Agreed

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/IGotDaSkills

nope its he falls OFF his horse did you use google translate... GOOGLE TRANSLATE IS BAD

February 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hello Igot. Please do not "shout" on this site. 1) Deal with and do not delegate your anger. It is yours. 2) Google translate is not bad. It has its flaws, as does Duo, Me and certainly You. None so much as this machine I use and Windows damn 10! In English, Off is good for this task's translation but also the preposition From works. Frome whence learned thou thine English? ( Thy + Thou are both Possessive Determiners, which of course you know. Thine of course is used before a vowel/vowel sound, which of course you know too?)

February 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/shlam

He falls off her horse is not correct.

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Symph0nee

It is - 'son' is taking the gender of the noun 'cheval.'

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

Perhaps shlam meant that "he falls off her horse" was not accepted by Duolingo when it should have been? I have encountered similar situations here.

March 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Superhrundel

yes it is. In French, the possessive pronouns are accord with the noun which it belongs to, not with personal pronouns as in English.

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

Grammatically, "son"/"sa" can both be his or her, but in context, the possessive term will be understood in reference to the subject of the sentence, i.e., he falls from his horse. If you need to clarify that she falls from HER horse, you need to add something, specifically.

  • Il tombe de son cheval = He falls from his horse
  • Elle tombe de son cheval = She falls from her horse
  • Il tombe de son cheval à elle = He falls from her horse
  • Elle tombe de son cheval à lui = She falls from his horse
May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/willijanb

I translated this as "IT falls from his horse", for example "The saddle fell from his horse." I was sure He falls from his horse was correct, but I wanted to find out if IT was correct too. Does anyone know? My answer was marked wrong, but I don't know if this was DL's mistake or mine.

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

Technically, we know that "il/elle" could be "it" referring to something previously mentioned. Without it, stay with the context. What context? Well, what is it that falls from a horse? A person. We can come up with a hypothesis that would justify saying "it" but we are not basing translations on hypotheses. We have precious little context but what we do have is sufficient to render a reasonable translation.

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

I find nothing wrong with your translation and I think you should report it. However this would be in context and here there is none to suggest what the "IT" was that fell from his horse. It is this aspect that I think had brought your answer to be marked wrong.

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Roody-Roo

And maybe it really isn't a horse. It could be a cow pretending to be a horse. So vache should be accepted too. ;-)

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Frenchdude6

"De" can also mean "from" so "he fell from his horse" could also be correct, because you guys are saying "he fell of his horse" is incorrect, which it is.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

Except that "he fell...." is past tense which would be "il est tombé de son cheval". The "he fell OF his horse" was a typo in the system. It has long since been corrected.

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zongyi83

how is 'he falls off from his horse' incorrect?

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

"He falls off his horse" and "He falls from his horse" are both fine, but using "off from" is not correct.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CaeciliusEst

Could this be used in the context of the idiom "he falls off his high horse" as in he humbles himself?

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

No, Emily. The French have the CanCan but not the Can'tCan't.

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sotnosen93

No. To be on a high horse (and, I must assume, all related phrases) is according to my French-English dictionary, to "être avec de grands airs/airs supérieurs".

http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/high%20horse

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/charles751522

the female voice speaking at turtle speed seems to be accenting/emphasizing the 'e' in 'tombe'. I don't believe that is correct for present tense. Can any native speakers or truly knowledgeable people weigh in on this?

November 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Two things to note Charles, every country has accents and dialects. Even in my tiny island of England, I can go not 30 miles away and not understand a word the person says. Secondly, Duo is a programmed computer course and will not have all nuances of accents. It is both free and has its flaws. Votre ami JJ.

November 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hector290697

Imitates French style laughter at the sentence XD

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hector290697

C'est drôl! XD

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Zetland

Why is "he falls off its horse" incorrect? Can't 'son' mean 'its'? Like, imagine he fell off an alien's horse or something.

August 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sashee

Everything in french has a gender. "L'extraterrestre" is masculine, so in french, it would still be his horse. You absolutely could translate "son" as "its", but I think you reeeeeally need to have the sentence in context in order to do that. It is a very simple sentence, trying to take things this far out of context is just pushing it.

August 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/cdifazio

Actually, it has nothing to do with the owner of the horse. 'Le cheval' is masculine, so you have to use 'son'.

August 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sashee

@cdifazio Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with the owner when talking about this expression in French, it will always be "son cheval", the same way as it will always be "sa maison".. We were discussing the translation of the phrase into English, and whether it was possible that "son" could have meant "hers", or "its", as well as the Duo accepted "his". What I meant by my comment is that there is no equivalent to its in French--- everything is either his or hers ("son" or "sa", and yes, depending on the gender of the object, not the owner), because everything has a gender. My apologies if the comment was confusing

@zetland I hear what you are saying, and technically/grammatically it works, but I am having a very hard time imagining a situation where you would say, "He fell off her horse" in French. If "I" was the subject of that sentence (Je tombe de son cheval), then "son" could absolutely be his/her/its. It seems to me that in sentences where the subject is a third person pronoun (or any sort of 3rd person), possessives "sa/son/ses" assume that the object (here, cheval) belongs to that 3rd person subject.

"J'aime ses enfants"-- I love his/her children, whereas "elle aime ses enfants"--- she loves her (own) children; if the children she loves belong to someone else, "elle aime les enfants de [..son mari..]" would be more appropriate, no? Even "Elle éléve les enfants de son mari depuis neuf ans. Elle aime ses enfants.." sounds a bit awkward... "Elle les aime" sounds a bit better to me..

Any native French speakers have an opinion/answer to this? It is bugging me now..

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

Please see my reply to shlam above.

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RonSercely

what if the horse is female? Then I think it would be "sa", but probabley chevale ?????

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

If the horse is female = sa jument.

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Zetland

It's a very odd translation, agreed, but it's still a legitimate one, which is what should matter. Duolingo asks (and accepts) plenty of bizarre sentences. To reject a translation on the basis that it requires a pretty elaborate context just seems a bit fickle.

That's not to say that I was complaining though. I just wanted to make sure that 'son' could mean 'its' - and wasn't some kind of reflexive possessive.

August 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

Any time we come up with a justification that requires aliens, we need to realize that we are pushing the limits or a reasonable translation too far. For learning purposes, stay with the standard.

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sillabando

"fall off" is incorrect. The best is to use "fall down" but "fall" without any preposition is correct. In this case I suppose that "fall off" is a misreading of "fall of". I am doing several courses and I should say that the quality of French is really poor.

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

The reference to "fall of" was a typo in the system. It has been removed. The French is correct "il tombe de son cheval" = He falls from his horse (or) He falls off (of) his horse. In English, one would not generally say "fall down from" in this context. When one falls, of course it is down. But it is not said here in English. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/tomber/77422

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Not as "Cut And Dried" as that. "He falls off....." and "He falls from...." are fine to this native English speaker, as Smearedink states. "Falls of..." just will never do. But "I take the item FROM the shelf", not "OFF" the shelf. "I remove the hat FROM my head..." not "I remove the hat OFF my head..." But "I take the hat OFF my head..." not "I take the hat FROM my head...". I think that some confusion arises from (not Off) the usage of "DE". It can mean Of. But also From and Off, and in that context it cannot mean "Of".

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sillabando

Tomber means a specific direction, from high to down. "Fall off" means to fall in an unidentified direction. For this reason I am saying that "fall down" is the most correct translation for "tomber".

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

I am not sure how fall could be in another direction unless you are living on a planet without gravity. If someone told me "Janine tombe" or "Janine falls" I would understand that they mean she fell down. There is no such thing as to fall up that I know of.

To fall off a horse makes a lot of sense to me. It means you were on the horse and then you came from that high position on the horse's back at an acceleration of about 9.8 miles per second and landed on the ground. In other words, vous êtes tombés du cheval.

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PeregrinaMia

Re: il tombe de son cheval, I must disagree with you , Illario, when you suggest that 'to fall down' is the 'most correct translation' for tomber. In fact, I would say 'to fall down' is an incorrect translation in this context. The English phrasal verb 'to fall down' generally means that the subject of the verb is falling / has fallen. It is equivalent to the phrasal verb 'to fall over'.

Examples:

'The little girl fell down and burst into tears.' = 'The little girl fell over and burst into tears.' (One moment she was standing / walking / running, the next moment, she was on the ground / floor.)

We can also use this phrasal verb 'to fall down' if the subject is inanimate. For example:

'No one was surprised when the old wall fell down; the bricks had been crumbling away for years.'

I have never seen or heard anyone use the phrasal verb 'to fall down' when talking about a horse, unless the horse was the subject of the sentence, for example, 'the horse fell down, having been severely injured'.

When talking about riding accidents, the phrasal verbs a native speaker would typically use are:

'to fall off' (of) a horse,

'to fall from' a horse.

Examples:

'The rider fell from his horse as it went over the first fence.' 'They always say that if you fall off your horse, you should get straight back in the saddle.' 'As the child was afraid of falling off (of) her horse, the instructor just led them slowly around the arena a few times.'

I think that you may be getting confused between phrasal verbs and verbs that just happen to be followed by a preposition. Prepositions are words that show the relationship between words in a sentence. They can indicate movement, directionality, and ownership, for example.

Phrasal verbs are best considered and learned as a complete unit, as their meaning and usage can often quite idiomatic, and can seem illogical.

Returning to the specific example given, il tombe de son cheval would be translated in English in one of the following ways:

'he falls from his horse' (every time he goes riding), 'he is falling from his horse' (right now), 'he falls off his horse', 'he is falling off his horse', 'he falls off of his horse', 'he falls off of his horse'.

I hope that this helps clarify the situation.

~ native English speaker (UK and Ireland) ~ teacher of English as a second or other language

  • Following an excellent question from one of the participants in this thread, I should perhaps add that the 'of' is completely superfluous after the phrasal verb 'to fall off'. Personally, I would not use it, and I would not recommend students to use it. However, I recognise that some other native speakers do add in this preposition.
August 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/roblox

Would 'to tumble' be an acceptable translation of 'tomber'?

December 22, 2015
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