"On connaît les enfants."

Translation:We know the children.

January 16, 2013

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gunner10

I have a doubt, is there any difference between "on" and "nous"? Can we use them as the same?

January 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes and no... the French use "on" a lot to mean "someone" or "nous".

So, if you get "on connaît les enfants", you'd better translate in "we" (makes more sense).

On the contrary, if you get "we know the children", the best translation is "nous connaissons les enfants".

And if you get "you know how children are", you may translate by "on sait comment sont les enfants" (generality), because it is not obvious that the "you" is really one or several persons in particular.

January 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/gabriellecastil

You are an angel. Merci beaucoup!

July 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Enqland

Not necessarily, most people associate that 'on' means one. Like one eats a cracker, I am I right in some senses or is there a whole new concept that I haven't understood?

May 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BetterThanErica
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So if someone asks "who knows these kids" and you reply "on connaît les enfants" it means someone knows them (certainly not us) or the opposite, we know them

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/7laymanc

How frustrating and ambiguous.

I imagine that in order to really understand French, you have to be clued into context but why not just use the pronoun which undeniably says, "WE" as opposed to using one that might mean "SOMEONE" or "WE"?

March 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Richard842034

Keep in mind that in English we use 'you' to mean three different things: 1) I love you man. (one person); 2) How many of you have been here before? (more than one but from a specific group); 3) You see some pretty interesting sentences on duolingo. (anyone: the impersonal you).

That's probably frustrating and ambiguous too, at first, for people learning English. Yet, somehow we'll all manage.

Keep on keeping on. Good luck with your progress.

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gerardmcgv

BIG help...thank you!

April 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ps-stepanov

Merci!

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WilliamKir513325

So, to speak some aspects of French, you need to learn the psychology of French users, more or less.

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lama.EgypSyrian

what is the difference between connaitre and savoir ?

July 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidSinghiser
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Connaitre - Conocer - Kennen - to know someone, to familiar with..... Savoir - Saber - Wissen - to know something, to know how

March 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/luigi2013

I wrote in french: "On connaissons les enfants - They marked my answer wrong because they claim the verb is wrong, s/h/b On connait les enfants. According to the conjugation of the verb, connait belongs to Il/elle/on and connaissons refers to we. Can anybody explain why the the third person verb is being used as the plural of we? Thanks for the help before hand.

October 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"on" is a personal pronoun that does not exist in English. Therefore, when the French use "on", depending on what they mean, you can interpret it as "we", "you", "one"... So, the meaning can be singular or plural, but in any event "on" remains singular.

October 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sauderj

When I took French ages ago in high school, we touched on "on" very briefly, mainly in the context of spreading gossip: "On dit." In English, it is "They say." So I thought that "on" was that indefinite "they" out there, spreading gossip or coming up with wise sayings that begin with, "You know what they say."

But I'm realizing from duolingo and these discussions that "on" is actually "we" not "they." I'm wondering, however, if "on" is more indefinite than "nous," like I had understood "on dit" to be.

October 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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All what you mention about "on" used to mean "they" is still perfectly valid.

but I think that with time, "on" has also increasingly replaced "nous". My theory about it is that conjugations for "on" (similar to il, elle) are much easier than those for "nous". In other words, only laziness would explain why "on dit 'on' et moins 'nous' ".

October 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/deCalle
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doesn't on mean in that case: the children are known? like in german we would say 'man kennt die kinder' like it is normal to know the children?

November 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes "on" and "man" are equivalent in this case. At least in writing.

In a speech in English, you will probably tend to personalize that statement, either with "we" or with "you".

November 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mac747116

It sounds like the guy is going to kidnap the kids!

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/magikian

I have often wondered why 'on' is listed with il/elle for verb endings and I still don't understand why 'on' doesn't have the same verb ending as nous when it is used to mean 'we'. Would somebody please explain this to me before I lose heart!

June 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"on" is like "one" = 3rd person singular.

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nested
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Why didn't "We understand the children" get a pass ?

November 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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understand = comprendre

December 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/uchual
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Can "on" be translated as "one" in this particular sentence?

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, "one knows (the) children" is accepted

April 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/uchual
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Merci!

April 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bug_french

Can someone tell me when les means the, and when it doesn't mean anything? This trips me up a lot. Thank you!

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"the" translates to "le, la, l' or les", definite articles.

  • the children (specific) are eating now = les enfants mangent maintenant

When the French sentence has "le, la, l' or les", you have to determine if the object is specific. If so, you can translate to "the".

  • les enfants mangent maintenant = the children are eating now

When the noun refers to a whole category or when the sentence is a blanket statement, the French nouns still have a definite article, but the English ones will not need any:

  • soup (in general) is good for children (in general) = la soupe est bonne pour les enfants
December 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bug_french

Thank you!

December 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlbertMartin1

This on is driving me crazy.

July 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kallutvictor

I'd just like to know why I can't write "kids" instead of "children".

September 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Kids" and "children" are not the same register of speech.

Enfants = children

Kids = gamins/gamines

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/catszymusiak

connait was not studied before this lesson...not fair

November 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/WesleySaway

I cheat sometimes and refer to a French dictionary to help with verb conjugations.

February 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Searching for further info is certainly not cheating! Anyhow it is a much better learning method than just posting here a question which can be answered in a couple of minutes with any good dictionary. One lingot for your method!

February 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/WesleySaway

Merci! http://www.larousse.fr has a very good set of bilingual dictionaries.

February 8, 2014
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