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  5. "Elle a conduit sa voiture."

"Elle a conduit sa voiture."

Translation:She drove her car.

January 13, 2013



"Conduire" is usually used transitively, as in driving someone or something around, while "rouler" is usually used intransitively, as in just "driving." This isn't usually addressed in language courses, but I saw it on about.com's French grammar page and thought I would mention it!


I felt compelled to reward your generous act of knowledge sharing with my lingot ! :)


This exercise was in the "type what you hear" format. could i be forgiven for hearing "ça voiture" (that car), rather than "sa voiture"?


"Ça voiture" is not possible. When you hear something like that, you will recognize it as "sa voiture". I'm sure you know that now, though. Congratulations on your tireless work to learn French!


I did the same. Does anyone know a difference in pronunciation here?


Ça can not be used as an adjective to modify a noun. It usually is treated like a pronoun so can be a subject or object in a sentence. If you want to say that car you would write cette voiture or more precisely cette voiture-là.


How would one say: She has driven his car.


I believe it's the same.


The how does one distinguish between the two ?


In the ordinary way of things, you wouldn't be referring to "her" or "his" without some context, so it would likely be apparent. In the situation where you do need to make it clear, French uses something called the emphatic pronouns.

"Elle a conduit sa voiture à lui, et sa voiture à elle" = She drove his car and her car.

I think I have that right. Francophones, please confirm or correct.


Thank you. That is the way it is done in Spanish. Both French and Spanish suffer from a lack of precision. In English and the Slavic languages this lack of precision does not exist.


It would be "elle a conduit sa voiture à lui".


I thought conduite should be used, not conduit, as the driver is she not he , however it was marked as wrong


The past participle does not agree with the subject of the sentence but with the direct object of the verb, and that is only when the direct object appears before the verb. See my note above: J'avais étudié la leçon que le professeur a expliquée. The past participle in J'avais étudié uses the masculine form because there is no direct object before the verb. However, by the time you get to the end of the sentence, there is the reference to "la leçon" which is the direct object of the verb expliquer, so it must agree, ...que le professeur a expliquée.


Passe compose has actually helped me with English grammar (past perfect, etc)


I'm glad to hear that! Be aware that the English "past perfect" is actually not Passé composé. Because Passé composé is a past tense, we are tempted to say "past perfect" but it is actually "present perfect" (which is a past tense). Confusing, isn't it? English "past perfect" is the same as the French plus-que-parfait (which refers to a previous past action). Unfortunately, Passé composé does not map to a specific English tense though it is most commonly translated as English Simple Past (I drove) or Present Perfect (I have driven). There are even a few other possibilities which are sometimes appropriate but are not applicable in all cases (e.g., English present perfect continuous). Even the Present Perfect version in English sometimes sounds "off".


I thought I heard "Elle l'a conduit sa voiture".


Well there is not supposed to be a break between elle and a so it would sound like [ELLA].

Besides, your proposed sentence sounds like "she drove it her car" which does not make sense. If the noun "her car" (sa voiture) was not there, then elle l'a conduit ("she drove it") would have worked, where the pronoun la replaces "her car".


Now I notice. Thanks!


How would you say "She had driven her car" (as opposed to "has")?


Aldo is right. The difference between "has driven" and "had driven" is confusing to some. The "has driven" comes from Passé composé "elle a conduit" (also "drove"), and the "had driven" comes from the Pluperfect tense "elle avait conduit". The Pluperfect tense is used to refer to an action in the past which occurred before another action in the past (usually expressed in Passé composé or Imperfect). Two examples:

  • J'avais étudié la leçon que le professeur a expliquée = I had studied the lesson which the teacher explained. First I studied the lesson; then the teacher explained it. Both actions are in the past. The action that occurred in the past before the other past action is in the Pluperfect.
  • J'ai étudié la leçon que le professeur avait expliquée = I studied the lesson which the teacher had explained. In other words, the teacher explained the lesson first and then I studied it.


I'm not an expert, but I think that would require the past-perfect (the plus-que-parfait) form of the verb. "Elle avait conduit sa voiture."


Could someone explain why the 'a' used in the sentence. Literally it is 'She has drove her drove'?


"Drove" is the simple preterit (past tense) of the verb "drive". But if you use the English present perfect tense, you must say "has driven", i.e., she drove (or) she has driven. "Voiture" = car.


Thank you so much for you wonderful explanations on this and other topics.


Why not "vehicle" in lieu de "car"?


Because "vehicle" may include a variety of forms of translation whereas "voiture" is specifically a "car", i.e., an "automobile".


would 'she drove his car' still be accepted


We have been hammered with the idea that "sa" may be either "his" or "her" grammatically, and that is true. However, context "Elle a conduit ..." would be understood as "she drove her car**. If you want to say "his car" it would be "elle a conduit sa voiture à lui".

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