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  5. "Elles sont au nombre de cinq…

"Elles sont au nombre de cinq."

Translation:They are five in number.

January 13, 2013



cette phrase est vraiment bizzare, cela n'a pas de sens


Yep. While it makes sense in English - "They are 5 in number" - it would be more natural/less formal for an English speaker to say "There are five of them."


in which language. please?


Totalement d'accord. Duolingo devient un folie de phrases sans context.


"There are five of them" is a much less awkward way of saying this


Just accepted (Jan2014)


I wonder if ...au nombre de... would be the normal French way of saying that? Or if it sounds as formal as it does in English?


It may be an age thing -- I'm 69 -- but, "they are five in number" doesn't sound odd to me at all. A bit formal, maybe, but perfectly good English.


why not il y en a cinq?


no, you have to translate 'nombre' in your answer


I thought like: they are at the ( a + le =au) number of 5. ( like they are living in the apartment numner 5) But apparently i was totally wrong. It is difficult to guess the meaning of a/de etc..


I have to check: this french sentence is completely normal?


How is "they number five" a sentence in English?


It's a bit awkward, but the sentence is talking about how many are in their group


It's similar to "They number in the hundreds." It might be slightly uncommon but it is perfectly valid.


It works because "number" is being used as a verb, not as a noun. So it means "They can be numbered up to 5". Hope that helps. It's a bit old-fashioned - the other translations being suggested are better.


Isn't "nombre" (number) a noun? and if so, why doesn't it show me the gender when I move the cursor over the word?


This shouldn't be about literal translations, but what would be actually said in the other language. It is possible that this translation is from some book written in the late 19th or early 20th century? Older English written material is not how we speak today, nor would older French written material be spoken the same today. So is the purpose to learn the language of today, or to just translate older material?


I think the purpose is to learn how the language is used in literature as well as causal conversation when meeting someone on the street. Having learned it, there is nothing stopping you from restricting your speech to simple phrases free of cultural context. Older written material is how we speak today. Otherwise we would have to invent an entirely brand new English (or French) language every generation.

Most, if not all, the material used in Duo text taken from copyright free text available elsewhere. You will see identical phrases used as examples in other language courses, for the same reason. I have learned how to ask M. Durant his name in French in three different courses so far. The same question and answer with the exact same use of person


How would you say:"they are number five" as in they are fifth in line or "they are at number five"? Elles sont a' nombre de cinq" ? The word "au" throws me off completely.


If you mean "they are number five" in the sense that they have been assigned number 5 like what happens when you go to a crowded restaurant and have to wait for a table as you sit holding a number, then I believe that would be "ils/ells sont numéro cinq"


Thanks. and you're a TEN! In case you don't recall, that used to be the buzz expression after some movie with Bo Derek: "She's a ten!"


You're welcome. LOL @ the Bo Derek reference. Thanks!


"They are five in number" is not incorrect but it has an odd, archaic feel in English. "There are five of them" sounds more natural and modern. Is this an odd sentence in French? If it is, what would a young French speaker say instead?


I love how Duo's correction to my answer was "They number five." Lol that was worse than my answer "They are number five." I'm glad the comments section showed the true answer lol.


The issue for me is why singular au nombre is since it clearly refers to more than one person or item.


There is only one number (which is five). They are to the number of, i.e. counting up until you get to five. Imagine counting them; ticking them off on fingers or making tally marks. You keep going until you get to five; and think of nombre as "count", so you're counting up until you get to the count of five.

It's literally counting them. That's what we did before we had video cameras and face-recognizing computers to estimate the size of a crowd for us :o)

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