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.
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.
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.
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.
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' ".
"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