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"C'est la ville dont je vous parlais."

Translation:It is the city of which I was telling you.

January 15, 2013

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lozfroston

for the benefit of non-native English speakers, I would also agree that you are much more likely to hear in everyday spoken english:

It's the city I told you about / It's the city which I was telling you about

In England at least... we use about at the end of sentences often.

I don't see what the fuss is about ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SwervinMervin98

It's technically incorrect to end with a preposition, such as "about". This is true for both English and French.

In spite of this, people who speak English do that in everyday language. Yet, I lost marks on a history essay just because I ended a sentence with "in."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mere_des_chats

That no longer holds true. That outdated theory based on Latin rules was debunked long ago.

https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/prepositions/ending-a-sentence-with-a-preposition.html

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/prepositions-ending-a-sentence-with

https://thewritepractice.com/ending-prepositions/

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001702.html

And just to get under the skin of anyone who still thinks this is a rule worth following, a short story:

A father goes up to his son's bedroom, a book under his arm, ready to read him to sleep. The boy notices the book and says: 'Daddy, what did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to out of up for?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deldar182

I think the english here is totally fine, but just not commonly used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WarsawWill

The French is in the imperfect so I think the past continuous is more appropriate here - "It's the town/city (that) I was talking to you about."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smearedink

I completely agree. You can certainly tell someone "of a city." You might actually interpret it slightly differently than telling them "about a city." I'd say if you told someone "of" something, you've probably just mentioned it, whereas if you've told them "about" something, you've described it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juandenil

'It's the city I told you about' avoids stilted grammar like ' of which'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam.gomp

Suggested answer: "it's the city which i was speaking to you"... Not english!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilyCarro4

Was just about to point that out


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brenda42

The word 'about' should be at the end of the sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brenda42

I agree it should be - It is the city that I told you about


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gblico1

This illustrates what I think are some of the major drawbacks of Duolingo: not providing enough instruction in the intricacies and mechanics of French grammer, and translating from French to sometimes gramatically incorrect English. These show especially after one gets past the basic level and moves on to the intermediate. I am finding level 15 - Pronouns - particularly difficult, so much so that I'm thinking of giving Duolingo a rest until I acquire a greater working knowledge of French grammar elsewhere. I would nevertheless recommend Duolingo as a great language-learning tool for beginners. And, it's free!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

<Shrug> You learn by doing, you learn by making errors and having them corrected. Nothing wrong with that. It will work better, mind you, when DL gets smarter and doesn't make so many errors itself....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ewynne

I agree, the errors and weaknesses of this program are very evident beyond the basic level.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

"It is the city I was telling you about" is now accepted. Apr2014


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bookwormer333

Why is there still no option to write 'about' instead of the ridiculously antiquated 'of which' that is not actual English usage.....and I note that on all these French pages with a large number of comments about poor English translations the option to report the English has been taken away... Is there a 300 year-old vampire running the French pages??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth870279

I say “ of which “ all the time - I am American and well-educated - whatever your preference is, please do not criticize others’ preferences


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmematthews

When I put my mouse over the word DONT it says "whose". In this sentence, DONT means "about which" in this sentence, so this could cause confusion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Knightingale122

Those are suggestions on what the word could mean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hcurran

Strictly speaking, it should really be "the town about which I spoke to you" and certainly not as it is translated!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muzorewi1984

I put in "it is the town which I was speaking to you about"

And was told it should be "it is the town OF which I was speaking to you about"

"of which about". What on earth? Is that some sort of weird double preposition use in English I'm not aware of? I'll report it anyway.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Yeah, that's just wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

How can I tell if it's parler or parlais?

Is parler pronounced as, parlehhhh and parlais more abrupt in its ending, like parluh?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mere_des_chats

I believe parler is [pahRlay] while parlais is [pahRleh].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Um....why not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mere_des_chats

I don't think so. Dire is to say. Parler is to talk or speak. If you say something, you just utter the word(s). If you speak about something, you discuss it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alex546141

Duolinguo's sentence is exactly how i translate by my nonenglish mind


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/10Vo8Cvs

Couldn't the present tense be logical? "This is the city I am telling you about"???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mere_des_chats

That would be c'est la ville dont je vous parle.

Please pay attention to the conjugated tense of the verb. The one used here is the first person l'imparfait form of parler (parlais) not le présent (parle).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/teleduncan

... And I'm just sitting here wondering why it's dont and not que /o\


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SwervinMervin98

"Parler de" means "to speak/tell of" or "to talk/speak/tell about".

"Of" and "About" are both English prepositions. "De" is a French preposition. In both English and French, it is incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition (even though many English people do so anyway).

Rather than: "It is the city which I was telling you of." It should be: "It is the city of which I was telling you."

Likewise, you NEVER say: "C'est la ville que je vous parlais de." But instead, it's: "C'est la ville dont je vous parlais."

("De" merges with "que" to form "dont".

"que" = "which/that" "dont" = "of which/about which")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth870279

"De" merges with "que" to form "dont". No kidding? really? I get that lorsque is lors que and pourquoi is from pour quoi, and there are others like this, but really is that where dont comes from?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SwervinMervin98

I mean... I guess I didn't mean that too literally. My point is, "dont" acts as the replacement for both "que" and "de", because we can't have "de", at the end of the sentence. And we can't just simply remove "de", because we want to say "telling [you] of", not "telling [you]".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth870279

I see! But thank you because it’s a useful way for me remember it - else Dont has no associations for me other than violin etudes

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