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  5. "Elles portent leurs petits c…

"Elles portent leurs petits chapeaux noirs."

Translation:They are wearing their little black hats.

January 11, 2013



Since they have no articles to indicate whether its plural or not how am i supposed to tell whether its plural or singular? Seems like they sound exactly the same.


Yes, they sound exactly the same and you are not supposed to hear any difference. That means that you can translate by "leur petit chapeau noir", in singular, because in French a plural subject (like Elles here) can have a singular object, not only to mean that there is only one hat for all (which is not the case here, but think about a bigger object: Elles viennent avec leur voiture) but as it is the case here, to mean that these women each have one hat. In English, the plural form is preferable, as far as I know.

When it comes to "elles portent", it cannot be a singular, since the possessive pronoun is "leur" which indicates a plural. In the singular form, it would be "elle porte SON petit chapeau noir".


why can't it be : "elle porte leurs petits chapeaux noirs"


How would this be pronounced any differently as Elle porte leur petit chapeau noir.... Don't see why a group can't share one hat??
Elle porte leurs petits chapeaux noirs. Little help, please.


You are right, there is no difference at all between singular "elle porte" and plural "elles portent".

Duo has implemented a system of recognition of homophones for dictation exercises, and many are already cleared.

However, since all verbs from the 1st group (infinitive in -er, except "aller"), share the same issue of homophony between: 'il Verb-e' vs 'ils Verb-ent' and 'elle Verb-e' vs 'elles Verb-ent', it may take a little while until all case have been covered.

Thanks for your patience.


When I play the audio at normal speed, I can't hear the difference between 'la' and 'leurs'. It becomes clear at the slow speed, but I didn't click that because I thought I understood it already :(.

  • 2582

Same here - I try to remember to listen to both. Often one is clearer than the other.


The correction of my sentence was not correct. I wrote: "Elles portent leurs petits chapeaux noir." The correction was "you incorrectly used the plural of hats, but should have used singular." All else was correct. Since the subject was plural and the possessive and descriptive adjectives were plural, why would use the singular of hat? Not adjudicating, just trying to understand. Tom M.


Did you really write "noir"? if so its is wrong (noirs). But that doesn't either explain the comment about singular hat.


sorry, but how was i supposed to hear that this was plural and not singular?


There is one plural form you cannot miss: "leur(s)" (several women-owners), which would be "son" in singular (one single woman-owner).

For all the other words of that sentence, they are all pronounced the same and without proper context, you may be overwhelmed in interpretations (is it carry or wear, is the wearer/carrier a woman or several women, are we referring to one hat each or several hats, whose hat(s) is it/are they...?).

Therefore, don't worry, try and memorize the correct answer to your first mistake on every question you fail, they use it again next time you are shown the same sentence.


I'm assuming she meant "Elle porte" or "Elles portent"? because that was my dilemma too. I think both are correct because I put the singular form and was marked correct. See my reply to Coru above.


This came up as a spoken sentence for me. It sounds exactly like "Elle porte le petit chapeau noir" to me, which I think is a perfectly legitimate sentence. Of course I was marked wrong. But I really cannot hear anything that would differentiate it. Am I missing something?


"le" and "leur(s)" should sound differently.


Should but didn't. I had the same problem. Even listening to it after I knew it was 'leur', I could only hear 'le'.


Why isn't "They wear their little black hats" also correct?


It is correct and already accepted.

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