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"Boys will be boys."

Translation:Les garçons seront toujours des garçons.

4 years ago

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lordy.byro
lordy.byro
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Why is this using future tense which has not been covered yet?!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricFranca

It isnt really future tense since the direct translation is more like the boys remain boys.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pedro_Muniz

Well, I've learned somewhere else that "seront" is the "ils/elles" form of the future tense of être, with is irregular, so it has a different stem: "ser_". The whole conjugation would be: je serais tu seras il sera nous serons vous serez ils seront If I'm not mistaken.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmniaIbrah

There are two translations, one is using "seront" and the other is using "restent"...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

And the present tense version, "Les garçons restent des garçons" is what's actually given as the answer at the top of the page, at least it is at present (03Sep14).

By the way, I googled both versions, and "Les garçons seront des garçons" seems far more common (143,000) than "Les garçons restent des garçons" (9,520)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pedro_Muniz

Thank you, you all! It's nice that they've changed the standard translation for a phrase in French that makes no use of the future tense. Though the version with the future is more common, like DianaM kindly pointed out.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ichorr
ichorr
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another, easier future tense one could use would be le futur proche, or the near future (what you describe is le futur simple, the simple future). just conjugate aller (to go) and then put the infinitive.

like, i put "Les garçons vont être des garçons." which is more literally "The boys are going to be boys." it comes more quickly to me than the simple so i use it most of the time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ronkisimo
ronkisimo
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the problem I had is the verb restener is not found anywhere in the suggestions for the original sentence.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/malabhargava

Why not " Des garçons seront des garçons

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

It's an expression, just as the English is. So...not a literal translation.

Later Edit: "Les garçons seront des garçons" is also accepted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

Why is it not "Des garcons seront des garcons."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Coolcatpat

yes someone explain !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mdb.j00
mdb.j00
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The first part is the entirty of boydom, as in, "all boys will be boys."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thejoemotion

It's an idiom

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sobmar
sobmar
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It doesn't explain grammar rules. Idioms are fixed expressions, but they are made accordingly to grammar rules, not against them. :) In this case it is strange for me, that you can't say "des garcons seront des garcons". These are "some boys" for me, not specific boys. What is more, I think that any mix shouldn't be accepted. So either "Des garcons seront des garcons" or, if it is incorrect, then "Les garcons seront les garcons". "Les garcons seront des garcons" or "Des garcons seront les garcons" is incorrect for me, as both nouns in this sentence are of the same, general type.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Did you read Awwami's explanation below about the role the definite article plays here and why it has to be les not des?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sobmar
sobmar
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Yes, I've read it and I think that Awwami is wrong saying that his explanation explains, why DL accepts "Les garcons restent des garcons", as for me it is a situation in which "ALL boys will still be ALL boys", not "SOME boys". So it should be "Les garcons restent les garcons".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

How would you translate "these are boys"? Would it not need be ce sont des garçons? No article before boys, becomes des. Yet if it were "these are the boys" it would be ce sont les garçons.

While Reverso is not necessarily always right, I wondered how it would translate "living things are plants and animals". I found that it seems to follow Awwami's construction: Les êtres vivants sont des animaux et des plantes even though it is all plants and all animals in general that are living things.

Then I typed "boys will be boys" at Linguee.com and all translations followed this construction les...des

Reverso.com also seems to agree with Awwami too.

And here is one more for good measure: "pork is the meat we get from pigs". Now, not some pigs, but pigs in general. Translation: Le porc est la viande que nous obtenons de cochons. Why de? Because when you have de (which in this case means "from") followed by des, it becomes de. Just like de followed by les becomes des.

So there you are.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122
ion1122
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You are talking about ALL boys, so the first article must be "les", not "des".

As for the second article, compare with the sentence "All boys are cowards". That means that every boy is a coward, but there are some other cowards as well who are not boys. So the French would use "les" for the boys and "des" for the cowards.

Now switch to "all boys are boys". It's a little harder to see, but we are still saying that the first thing mentioned is a subset of ("partakes of") the second thing mentioned. So still "les" first and then "des" second.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CMMBtFordt
CMMBtFordt
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Can me anybody explain why "des garçons" and why not simply: "Les garçons restent les garçons."?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Awwami
Awwami
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First, you have to know that you need to use definite articles to talk about something in general. Ex, "apples are red" is " les pommes sont rouges"

Second, to talk about unknown plural things, you use the indefinite article "des". Ex, " (some) men are eating the apples" is " Des hommes mangent les pommes "

Now how would we say "the men are eating apples" or "the men eat apples". That would be " les hommes mangent des pommes " ( yes there's no difference between present simple and continuos in French )

And then how would we say " men are eating apples " as in " some men are eating some apples ". That would be " Des hommes mangent des pommes "

Last step would be " men eat apples " and notice that "men" here isn't like the one in " men are eating apples" because here we are talking about all men so, "men eat apples" would be " les hommes mangent des pommes"

I hope it's clear now because " les garçons restent des garçons " is just like my last sentence. If it isn't clear, please tell me and I will try and provide further explanation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rdylancollins

To me this doesn't really clarify why the second article should be "des" and not "les," given that "garçons" are being referred to the same way in both instances. The second "garçons" is also referring to boys in general, so why doesn't the rule for using "les" with the first "garçons" apply to the second – the rule being that "les" must be used when the statement is referring to a general instance of whatever the noun is? In the idiom "boys will be boys," both "boys" refer to boys in general, and that seems to be true in French as well. Am I missing something?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tpamm
tpamm
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I gave you a lingot, but i don't know if you got my comment which was to thank you for a clear explanation of something that had been confusing me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Awwami
Awwami
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Oh thank you. This makes me happy.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/divaluisa
divaluisa
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This is a great explanation. I used "les" for both and I see now that the difference between some men and all men decide which article to use.Thank for your input.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricFranca

Perhaps because it's more like the boys you are referring to will be like boys (in general, not specifically). I think using les garcons would translate more like the boys will remain the boys...like these boys will never change? In summation...I do not know, but that's how I think about it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CMMBtFordt
CMMBtFordt
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Thank you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Awwami
Awwami
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Please see my other comment.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122
ion1122
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You are talking about ALL boys, so the first article must be "les", not "des".

As for the second article, compare with the sentence "All boys are cowards". That means that every boy is a coward, but there are some other cowards as well who are not boys. So the French would use "les" for the boys and "des" for the cowards.

Now switch to "all boys are boys". It's a little harder to see, but we are still saying that the first thing mentioned is a subset of ("partakes of") the second thing mentioned. So still "les" first and then "des" second.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BaronNoOne73
BaronNoOne73
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Is this an actual French idiom or is it just a translation of the English saying?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NellyLusch
NellyLusch
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(Native speaker here) Frankly, I've never heard anyone say it in France. Maybe in other places (?), but I don't think it is a Frenchy French idiom.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nadyakande

Jfc duo it's not 1960

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeoAvk
LeoAvk
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Why not les garçons seront les garçons ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

Awwami gives an explanation above, but I can understand why it's a bit of a tough nut to crack. Does the idiom require les and des, or should variations be accepted?

With "les garçons seront des garçons", it's as though we're saying "all boys in general will be among the boys that exist in the world (and will act as boys in the world do)". Arguably it could also mean "the boys (that we know) will be (some of the) boys (in the world, and will act accordingly)".

But why not "boys (in general) will be boys (in general)", i.e. "les garçons seront les garçons", if we're thinking of them in a general, all-encompassing way? It's not entirely clear. Indeed, "orders are orders" is translated by Duo as "les ordres sont les ordres":

However, "les ordres sont les ordres" can mean "the orders (that have been given) are the orders (that have been given, and we have no choice but to follow them)", so the sense is not necessarily a general one; it could be specific. That begs the question, perhaps, of why we couldn't also think of "les garçons" as indicating a specific set of boys that will always remain as they (specifically) are, again using "les" in both halves of the expression, but then it doesn't quite match the English "boys will be boys".

There's also an argument for "des garçons seront des garçons", as a simple pluralization of "un garçon seront un garçon" ("a boy will be a boy"). In that respect, see Sitesurf's comment on the question of "happy employees are good employees" (which works with the pattern of les/des as well as des/des):

I haven't answered your question definitively, but perhaps the further discussion will help somewhat.

Edit: I have further thoughts of mice and men here and here, and ion1122's comments also shed light on the matter.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeoAvk
LeoAvk
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Amazing answer! Thanks. Have a lingot.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122
ion1122
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You are talking about ALL boys, so the first article must be "les", not "des".

As for the second article, compare with the sentence "All boys are cowards". That means that every boy is a coward, but there are some other cowards as well who are not boys. So the French would use "les" for the boys and "des" for the cowards.

Now switch to "all boys are boys". It's a little harder to see, but we are still saying that the first thing mentioned is a subset of ("partakes of") the second thing mentioned. So still "les" first and then "des" second.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

It's a passable analogy, but the rationale doesn't exactly fit, because whereas there may be cowards that aren't boys, there are no boys that aren't boys, which is where the main problem arises.

In the end we might just have to accept the phraseology to be a matter of idiom, even if it follows the pattern of the sort of sentence in your "cowards" example.

However, I think we get a little closer to the meaning of "des" in this expression if we relate it to the fact that "Of Mice and Men" is translated as "Des souris et des hommes". Boys will always be "of boys": they will have the characteristics of boys, they will demonstrate the behavior of boys, they will act according to the preferences of boys, etc.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122
ion1122
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PeaceJoy, I think we are saying much the same thing. Consider, for example, "All men are boys". I think it is fairly easy to see that here the French needs "les" the first time and "des" the second time.

Now let's consider two definitions of boys. B1 = people who are biologically boys. B2 = people who are boys in spirit. I think one can see that B1 is a subset of B2.

We are dealing here with an aphorism or adage that involves a sort of play on words. We are saying: "B1s will be B2s". So again the pattern called for in the French is "les" followed by "des".

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

I think that's a good way of looking at it, and I think between us we've fleshed out the idiom pretty well.

I'll just add that I've also found the example "le vin est du vin", "wine is wine", where it's pretty hard to put something else in the first position, like in "all men are boys", but it's still consistent with the general idea that we're getting at, i.e. the "partaking of the qualities of" sense, or the "des souris et des hommes" sense.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleBr71604

Or they can take responsibility for their actions.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LarsX
LarsX
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No fair: We haven't had future tense yet nor have we been introduced to this sense of "rester." We won't mention the tricky use of les...des. Foul!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dcesarfr1

Why not "Les garçons vont être des garcon"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

That^^ is correct. It was the answer I got when I mistakenly used veulent (want) instead of vont (go). My sentence was rewritten exactly as you have yours, dcesarfr1.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Janus8536

Except that the correct answer given by Duo was 'Les garçons vont être des garçonS.' But yes, I too got tripped up by the use of 'veulent' instead of 'vont'.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Aha! Nice catch 1046278536!

I really need to be more attentive to detail! I cannot tell you how many hearts I lose because I overlook articles or because I miss a letter or because, in haste, I mistype a word. Humility I think is what I need. I seem to get so excited when I think I know an answer that my head swells so much--a change that somehow seems to affect my vision and focus. LOL

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Janus8536

My experience exactly! ; )

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChaseSmith5

Les garçons vont être des garçons?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lozzaface

When i touch on "will" it came up with vouloir, so i put "les garçons veulent être les garçons". It was marked as wrong but it feels a bit mislead

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtimesWinters

When I first learned this I could swear it used to accept les or des. Does it make a difference

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Please take a moment to read the thread as the answer to your question is very well explained by Awwami. You will find reading the thread before asking a question sometimes saves you the trouble of having to ask.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beebopadoobop

DL says "les garçons seront des garçons" is acceptable. In this case, is "des" a contraction of "de" and "les"? If so, why? If not, why is the first article definite ("les") and the second ("des") indefinite?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beebopadoobop

Oops. I guess my search on the page was too specific. thanks PJP.

But I really don't get it. This goes in the idiom pile for me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

That seems like a reasonable place for it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sara66620

How does one know when to use "les" at the beginning of a sentence?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

It helps to read all the posts before asking a question. Hence the warning to avoid adding clutter. This has already been explained up-thread so please refer to previous posts for the answer. .

1 year ago