This one is particularly awkward. If you really want to be detailed on where she is sitting, you would say "elle est sur le siège des toilettes" (on the toilet seat). Otherwise, "elle est aux toilettes" means that the is using the toilet/bathroom/washroom.
"toilette" when singular means the act of washing: "il fait sa toilette" (he is washing).
why is it aux toilettes not dans les toilettes? still can't figure out precisely when to use a vs dans
When or if you do manage to work out why its aux and not dans le, let me know too, cheers. My guess is that in english we could say "she is in the toilet" we could also say "she is at the toilet" suppose its very similar en francais.
Many closed places like a restaurant, museum, library, or bathroom can use "à" or "dans". The latter is only more precise, like "in the restaurant" vs "at the restaurant".
As a native speaker of British English I have never come across "at the toilet" meaning to use the toiilet, but I have come across "at (his/her) toilet" meaning "to wash" BrE/"to wash up" AmE. Is this what you meant?
I suspect because "restroom" is only really used in the USA. In most other English-speaking countries it's washroom or bathroom. I'm Canadian and "restroom" is used very rarely, and only on some public signage - not in everyday speech.
in English bathroom is only normal usage in a house where there would be a bath in the same room as a toilet
The timed exercise sticks and does not register that I am clicking away at it. It's just will not advance. However when not on timed, it advances very easily. Today is not the first time this problem arose doing times practice. I wonder if others are having trouble with that. I spent 5 seconds at least trying to enter my answer and then more seconds to advance the program to the next question.
he is washing his butt. he he.. Ha.. HA HA HA HA HA HA AH I GET IT HA HA HA HA
...ladies/loo (ONLY in England itself PLS)/little girls' room/littlest room/heads(nautical)/lavatory etc. etc. etc. etc. We are ridiculous ! N'est pas ? And NO this is NOT toilet humour ! I am serious.
love it ! can't think of anything except 'spend a penny' but that's reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelly old
Why is Duo so resistant to 'loo'? I was half tempted to take a photo of the printed sign in the loo on the Eurostar the other week to prove to them that this is what everyone calls it.
It might be what you call it, it might be what I call it (I'm Australian) but it's definitely not what everyone calls it! Duolingo is written by Americans, predominately for Americans. "Loo" is also very colloquial, so I'm not sure it's a good translation for « les toilettes », even though we can call the toilet "the loo".
To me the word bathroom conjurs up a picture of a room with a bath (tub), which may or may not have a loo in it. There is in fact a definition of the word loo in MerriamWebster so, whilst being a BE word it is clear that it is not unknown in the US.
In my country it's no more colloquial and more universally acceptable than 'bathroom' to mean lavatory.
From the Macquarie dictionary:
- loo /lu/, n. Colloq. a toilet
- toilet /ˈtɔɪlət/, n. 1. a disposal apparatus of any type used for urination and defacation, esp. a water-closet. 2. a room or booth fitted with a water-closet or urinal, often with means for washing face and hands. 3. the act or process of dressing, including bathing, arranging the hair, etc. 4. -> toilet set. 5. the dress or costume of a person; any particular costume: toilet of white silk. 6. Surg. the cleansing of the part or wound after an operation, esp. in the peritoneal cavity. Also, toilette /twa'lɛt/ for defs 3 and 5. [F toilette, diminutive of toile cloth. See toil]
- bathroom /'baθrum/, n. 1. a room fitted with a bath or a shower (or both), and sometimes with a toilet and washbasin. 2. a. a room fitted with a toilet. b. a toilet.
I thought you might have gone with "the dunny"! My Irish origins blessed me with "the jacks", which I think derives from the older, English, "the jakes". I'm no expert on etymology, but I would not mind betting the French are involved there somewhere (Jacques).
Here in the Northeast USA The word "bathroom" is rarely used in mixed company. We feel it is not a polite word so we will say powder room, rest room, mens room or ladies room normally.
You can use loo in Scotland too. And Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands etc too, I suspect.
Yes, I hear it here in Vancouver. Use the term, too, sometimes. Never had anyone not understand me.
You missed out 'going to the bog'.
I can remember back at school (back while the Earth was still cooling) Bogside in Ireland was in the news every night - and some 12-year-old wag put forward a suggestion for the next school debate, viz: 'Bogside homes are rather LAV-ish'.
For some rather colourful euphamisms, and definitely TMI, take a peek here http://www.yelp.co.uk/topic/london-different-ways-of-saying-im-going-to-the-loo-can-we-hit-50
Back to on/at and sur/au - The visuals that come up depending on the individual's native language are quite interesting.
If I were to say She is on the toilet - I just think of her as being in the bathroom, sure, I know she's not having a shower, but there is no image of her sitting anywhere in particular - it is just an expression to convey something. A native french speaker hearing Sur la toilette would possibly, without thinking, briefly have an image of someone standing on the toilet. They are accustomed to hearing aux toilettes
She is on the toilet is like She is on the phone, which I learned the hard way many years ago is not Elle est sur le telephone To all the french people around me, the mental picture was Carol, my host Mum, actually sitting or standing on her phone. There are many lovely images so created when direct translations are used - I love it.
Not where I come from and I suspect you are in a minority there. She is in the toilet [lavatory/loo] or she has gone to the toilet but 'she is on the toilet' is something most of us only use in relation to small children or someone who is very frail needing help. It wouldn't be good manners.
Is there a more formal word for bathroom or is "toilettes" formal? If so, what is the informal word?
"les toilettes" is the formal word.
A nice informal phrase is "le petit coin".
There are of course a few other less nice ways you could hear but should not say, like "les chiottes".
how would you say "Which lesson are you on?" I wrote "quelle leçon êtes-vous?" but that is "which lesson are you?" Where should I put the "a la" in a question?
That makes sense. I've seen it before, but when I tried to write it, I couldn't think of a way. Thanks.
This could also mean she's in the the bathroom (she's at the bathroom) right? I feel like that would be more "appropriate"
I don't have any problem with the idea of "les toilettes" referring to a public restroom, but, just to be quite clear, do I correctly understand that one would still use that term even when referring to a bathroom in a private home, where, presumably, there would only be one toilet?
Yes, that's right, private or public, single booth or several, it is always "les toilettes".
It gives Loo when you hover but then marks it wrong. Get your act together Duolingo
Yes. Quite common to say that in the UK. Obviously doesn't mean she is inside the toilet as some people from other parts of the world seem to think lol ! Some people say in the bathroom even if there is no bath. Most houses have the toilet in the bathroom/shower room etc etc
Strange...when in France asking for 'les toilettes' noone ever showed me the bathroom:-) This is my question: how do you make the difference between ' elle est aux toilettes' and 'elle est dans la salle de bain'? The same applies to English.
It very much depends where you are and how the place is equipped (toilettes à l'intérieur de la salle-de-bain?).
Do you mean, "She is to the toilet"? Not English, I'm afraid. It's just not how we say it.
If toilettes means toilet, why does eau de toilette mean perfume? Toilet water?
The Wikipedia article on eau de toilette explains at the bottom:
In this context, "toilette"/"toilet" has its older meaning of personal grooming; the name pre-dates the modern sense of "toilet", which was originally euphemistic.
"un parfum" and "une eau de toilette" are not interchangeable, because the formula is different. "Un parfum" has a higher alcoholic content than "une eau de toilette".
In between, you can also get "une eau de parfum".
The article I linked to explains the typical concentrations of the five(!) types of fragrance. In everyday speech we call all of them perfume, even though it's not technically accurate.
Same for us, and it is also a way of not revealing how much you paid for it!
@ Shahrazad26 In British English yes, toilet water (as in at her toilette, rather than anything to do with loos) is another expression for eau de toilette.
because it was the first question (so I can just restart) I tried 'she's in the loo' just for the hell of it, but DL doesn't accept it. In fact it is far more often used than toilet - which hardly anyone ever says these days.
I don't think "loo" is widely used in North America; mainly UK and Australia.
Interestingly I would say "IN the loo", but I would say "ON the toilet" never "IN the toilet" as DL suggests. To me this would mean they are IN the toilet (actually in the bowl itself). Loo can refer to the room so sounds OK with IN.
Maybe its a regional thing. Guess I'll be swimming in the bowl next time this question comes around - one has to go to great lengths to avoid losing a heart!
LOL - I know, some of the ridiculously unnatural phrases I've put down to keep my hearts make me wince, but hearts are important!!
when is used -aux toilettes- instead of au toilette: i mean why it is in plural?
Just is I'm afraid - good article on French toilet vocab here: http://french.about.com/od/French-Etiquette/fl/Les-Toilettes-The-Restroom-Really-Useful-French-Vocabulary.htm
I agree. WC is used in Paris, Normandy, Lyons, Provence, and Quebec, even though the "W" is rarely used in French otherwise.
elle est au WC (pronounced double-Vé Cé, or Vé-Cé) - this assumes that "water closet" is masculine.
Eau de toilette is a lightly scented cologne used as a skin freshener. The term toilette/toilet used in this context describes the process of washing and personal grooming. Eau de toilette is also referred to as "aromatic waters" and has a high alcohol content.
No, that mean she's in the room with the bath, not the room with the toilet. These are different concepts to the French and some Anglophones, such as Australians and the British. Most Americans use "bathroom" to mean both rooms.
It seems that Americans are particularly coy about bodily functions --- they even take/let their dogs out so that they can "go to the bathroom" with never a bath tub or toilet in sight!
I wrote, “washroom”. Petite Prof. Duo said, “bathroom” - and said my answer was incorrect. Bathroom. Washroom. They’re the same thing - WC. No?
"Washroom" is accepted in translation. Wasn't there a typo somewhere in your sentence?
Calling the toilet the "bathroom" is a pet peeve of mine. I find the idea of going to the toilet in the bathroom disgusting (where would you go? In the bath, shower or basin?), just as taking a bath, having a shower or washing your hands in the toilet would be! Apparently, Americans are too squeamish to say "toilet"! So when the only way to make a correct sentence was "She is on the toilet" (which is how I would naturally say it) I just had to chuckle at the thought of some poor American being forced to say it that way!
Well when you buy a house ask that the toilet is not in the bathroom. Unfortunately most houses have a toilet in the bathroom ! Not like the old days when you had to go outside and do your business like normal folk !
When I redesign this house I live in, the toilet and basin will definitely be in a different room from the shower/bathtub. I look forward to uninterrupted baths.
Actually, I can't for the life of me understand why this practice has fallen out of use.
I spent a few months living with a not-so-great variation of this when I was in my early 20s. It was in an old house that had been converted into several apartments, and while I had my own (tiny) kitchen, I shared the rest of the facilities with the other tenant on my floor. We had a decent-sized bathroom with a big clawfoot bathtub and pedestal sink - very nice. And then we had a toilet room. Just a toilet in a closet, really - no sink or anything else. So after you were done, you had to leave that room and go into the bathroom next door to wash your hands. Or, if the other tenant was having a bath, you'd have to go back to your apartment to do so. Extremely unsanitary! I took to carrying a package of baby wipes around with me, and made sure to always give the doorknob a good wipedown too, since I had no way of knowing if the other tenant and her guests were using wipes as well or just touching things with unwashed hands until they made it to a sink. I found the whole thing pretty horrifying. You idea sounds much nicer!
Yes, it seems to me that the basin is more necessary in the toilet room than the bathroom, but if people want a basin to, say, shave in, or wash out their socks, perhaps one in each room would be a possibility.
My parents' house, which is the one I grew up in, has four toilets. In the original part of the house there is a toilet (containing only a toilet) and a separate bathroom, containing a bath, a basin and a shower. There is also a toilet, a basin and a shower in the tiny ensuite off the original master bedroom.
My parents had an extension built onto the house. In the extension is a toilet with its own basin. The new master bedroom is in the extension and has a large ensuite with a toilet, a basin and a shower (and walking room!).
So, my parents have four toilets, two in toilets and two in bathrooms. Where the toilets are in the bathrooms, the bathrooms contain showers but not baths! The only bathroom in the house that contains a bath does not contain a toilet!
All of this is perfectly understandable to an Australian without any further explanation.
If I could have the toilet down the bottom of the garden I would. Out of the house. I wouldn't want my pet dog going in the house.
This is pretty normal in summer cottages in Finland. It's a nice idea until it rains / is freakishly cold (as summers can be in Finland) / it's dark outside (as it gets at night even in parts of Finland, towards the end of the summer). There's a reason people don't have outhouses in places they live all year round -- imagine going across the garden when it's -30 degrees Celsius.
I don't mind, indeed I welcome, the practice of our North American cousins saying 'bathroom' 'restroom' etc., but it's killing our British identity when sell-outs here label British edifices with Americanisms: 'train station' (instead of 'railway station'), 'restroom' (instead of 'lavatory' or 'toilets'). A number of British actors are asked to play British characters yet pronounce duplicate 'doo-plicate' rather than 'dju-plicate' and duped as 'dooped' rather than 'djuped' – do you want the authentic accent or not!? And don't get me started on 'route' pronounced as 'rout'. What the blazes?
The grammar explanation says specific locations use dans, unspecific use à. As specific they give 'le restaurant' and 'ma chambre'.
Why would 1) the tinier, more specific 'les toilettes' make use of à (aux), 2) DuoLingo pretend this isn't directly contradicting their explanation page and 3) not even saying anything about it?
Bonus question 4) why is no-one else complaining?
You can say "aux toilettes" (overall place, one or several booths) and "dans les toilettes" (in a booth).
"dans" suggests that you are "in/inside" a closed place, from a museum to a car.
"à" is used for both static positions and movements: je vais au restaurant, je suis au restaurant.
Bonus answer: learners ask questions, help others with their own knowledge and give comments on the language or cultural background.
Some years ago I heard a derivation for the word "loo" which contributors to this thread might find amusing if not convincing. The way I heard it, French public toilets at that time had the soubriquet of "Numéro Cent" - [Cent/Sent- geddit?!]. The written number 100 was mistakenly transcribed by English travelers [WW2 --Tommies?] as L00 and the rest is ... not exactly history, but the only remotely credible derivation I've heard! Language, eh?
the first time in Paris, after high school, I asked un policier where I could fine a bathroom. He looked long and hard at me, then in a moment of inspiration said " Ah, le pissoir" while putting his white gloved hand down to fly of his dark blue uniform be sure he was communicating! I'm sure everyone within a mile could see what I was asking about!
When I was young, the accepted term was lavatory; itself a euphemism for water closet, derived from the French term for "washhouse" from lavage - wash. The Americans brought in their delicate term, toilet, which had hitherto referred to personal grooming, as the fashionable next euphemism. This has now become embedded in the language as the term for the porcelain item itself and the space in which it is housed. And now that it is so universally recognised, our squeamish US cousins can't bring themselves to use it any longer, so are now imposing "bathroom" What will they come up with next - the Aquatic Facility?
Different Regions either UK or anywhere else has their own name bout loo/ toilet/ bathroom...
Or bathroom or restroom. I hear all three here in Vancouver. (Although, being close to the border, we may have absorbed some American usages.) Just don't say "toilet". Sorry, but that's just too direct for us!
When "il est aux toilettes" they have he is on the toilet (bathroom). What is the difference with her?
I answered, She is in the toilet (choosing from the only Duolingo multiple choice English words offered to me). However, saying this in English sound like she fell in. Better English coices might be, She is in the toilet room, or She is in the restroom or bathroom. In English, one goes to use the toilet in a restroom or a bathroom.
Never heard that in English. 'She is in the toilet room'. We say 'In the toilet/she(he) is in the toilet', or she(he) is in the bathroom' even if there is no bath lol !
I say it still even though I have no bath just a shower lol. But he is in the shower room just sounds weird to me.
Agreed. Shower room, to me, only works if you're talking about a public pool or gym or something.
It depends on where you live. Where I live, some people do say "in the toilet" or "in the loo" (I say "in the loo" sometimes) - because toilet/loo can mean either the toilet itself or the little room where the toilet is.
Can anyone help me to quickly distinguish "en", "dans" and "au". They all mean "in". So confusing but I know there should be a rule.
« Elle est aux toilettes » could be either "She is in the toilet" (in the room) or "She is on the toilet" (sitting on the device). Prepositions are tricky to translate because they are often idiomatic in each language and don't translate exactly. A gloss of the French sentence would be "She is at the toilets".
- « à » - at, in. « Je suis à Paris » - "I am at/in Paris"
- « dans » - in, into, inside. « Je suis dans le train » - "I am in/inside (on) the train"
- « en » - in, to, by. « Je suis en France » - "I am in France"; « Je vais en France » - "I am going to France"
Note how the idiomatic form "on the train" doesn't match the French form « dans le train » - "inside the train", which actually makes more sense.
« à » combines with « le », « la » and « les » to form the following:
- « à » + « le » = « au »
- « à » + « la » = « à la »
- « à » + « les » = « aux »
« dans » requires an article if you would normally use one and no article is used with « en ». So you can't say *« dans train » or *« en la France ».
No, I wish I did! I've got a multilingual keyboard on my phone, but unfortunately, the only thing it seems to be missing in French are the guillemets!
On my computer I have to type [Alt]+(,,,) for «, [Alt]+(,,,) for » and [Alt]+(,,,) for a non-breaking space to prevent orphaned guillemets.
What I usually do is type « », then copy it before typing French into it. Then every time I need another French word or phrase, I paste the guillemet sequence and go back and edit it.
I have installed a French keyboard driver on my computer but I don't know where the guillemets are because, of course, the key markings no longer completely match! Perhaps you would be especially nice to me and tell me how to type them? ;-)
I realize my comment was stupid because Duo is pre-formatted and I cannot get proper guillemets with my French keyboard either.
So I also use your copy-paste-go back-edit sequence on Duolingo, but only in Immersion because it is so tedious!
Only when I type on the French version of Microsoft Office can I get the French guillemets (+ automatic spacing) with the usual key 3.
This phrase was translated on the toilet a while back, which I thought very odd. Now it is in the bathroom.
We are not at school, so you can use a dictionary. Besides, if you read the whole thread, you would find all the details you could need.
Where i grew up at least you would say "she is on the toilet" to mean she is using the bathroom.
She is in the toilet would mean she is literally inside of a toilet.
I wrote "she is on the toilet", it got corrected to "she is in the toilet" .. really?
"She's gone to the toilet" is possibly the most usual way of saying this in real English , and it neatly avoids the "at" "on" "in" dilemma. Not worth trying out on Duo though, alas.
'She is at the toilet' worked fine and isn't too detailed, although I'd never say that in English.
What if she is at the toilets, i.e. not inside, would the sentence be the same? For example "elle est devant les toilettes" ~ "elle est aux toilettes" Same but less specific?
I used toilet instead of bathroom and i got it wrong. Toilet is also an English word
loo is a derivative of "garde de l'eau" when chamber pots were emptied out of windows into the streets and a polite house keeper would warn pedestrians below of the foul shower coming!
- Yes,recently DL is slowing down considerably and frustratingly. Why is this? Sometimes it reboots itself ,loosing all answers just done!
- Why not "dans la" instead of "aux"?
Sitesurf answered this question several years ago:
"You can say "aux toilettes" (overall place, one or several booths) and "dans les toilettes" (in a booth).
"dans" suggests that you are "in/inside" a closed place, from a museum to a car.
"à" is used for both static positions and movements: je vais au restaurant, je suis au restaurant."
(PS, you triple-posted this question. And I've also been having some trouble with the app since the last big Android update - the one that changed the interface to look more like the browser version.)
Yes, we Americans have some odd hangups about toilets. ? Puritanism, ? Victorian atavisms? My first trip to France at age 18 was marked by plumbing shock and amazement. Pissoirs were still on the streets of Paris-your head and feet sticking out, folks walking by, no sink. Restaurant toilets with no doors to the toilet areas to men and woman with common sink areas, elderly women handing you towels for tips in the toilet area, a totally confusing array of flushing devices scattered all around the toilet (treasure hunt every time you went) area, toilets in tiny closets without ventilation off your hotel room, showers whose drain was out the wall and then just freely draining into the grass outside, I can go on. I am a gastroenterologist and can tell you Americans have a broad spectrum of descriptions for bodily functions, most either euphamistic or gross! By the way, my dogs are asked if they want to "do their very important dog business"!
Fortunately, the time has passed since you were 18, no offense intended, of course!
I want to know that "aux " is used for plural things and in the question its "elle". So how a single person can use multiple bathrooms at the same time?
Sitesurf, having read all the discussion about "toilettes/ loo/ bathroom" etc., I have a question DL translates "toilettes" as "bathroom". Would it not be appropriate to use "la salle de bains" as bathroom? Admittedly, most bathrooms have a toilet but some don't. At most public places, airports, malls etc one finds only a toilet sans a bathing facility. so translating les toilettes as bathroom somehow doesn't seem correct. Any thoughts?
As you may know, the system here is binary. The source sentences are written in French, then translated to English and among the English variants, one is elected as the preferred translation which will be used to create reverse exercises from English to French.
In this specific case, the original sentence is "Elle est aux toilettes". There are 30 English translations and the preferred one is "She is in the bathroom" because it is the most common way of saying it in the US. This version with "bathroom" will be used for back translation into French and, mechanically, the preferred French back translation will be the original French sentence with "toilettes", but there will be 22 French variants including those with "salle de bains".
The real issue is that only when you can enter your own translation, can you compose a variant, in either way of translation.
It is just not that difficult. In the US-a large English speaking country whose version of the language is used as standard by Duolingo, the term Bathroom is common, widely accepted usage for both a room with a bath/shower/toilet or any part of combination of them. While "toilet" is used, it is most often in reference to the actual porcelain appliance rather than the room containing it. Even in public places where a variety of signs may be used, when verbally referred to, the overwhelming number of Americans use "bathroom". This is no different than the countless examples in French, German, etc. etc. where the American learner is simply told-that is the way it is, learn it, get used to it.
When I took French in school (late '80s, early '90s) we were taught that "le w.c." was the correct way to ask for the bathroom and that since "la toilette" was for washing asking for "les loilettes" would most often direct you to a room with a sink and perhaps tub or shower, but no toilet.
Interesting that both the language and the plumbing in France has changed in 30 years.
Why does it only say the variations when hovered in but not actually allow you to choose your native word. As this is English/French not American/French why does it use american variations of words.
"the"? "THE"? Don't you mean "a"? I agree that "lavatory" should be accepted but not that it's the only English (do you mean British?) translation.
I was scared to respond to this lol. A part of me also said eeeeewwwww