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  5. "Can I take your watch?"

"Can I take your watch?"

Translation:Puis-je prendre ta montre ?

January 16, 2013



if 'je peux' is correct, why not 'peux-je'?


because that would be "puis-je"


why is it wrong to say "peux-je" instead of "puis-je"?


Yes, I did the same thing. Why is it "Puis-je"?


It's an irregular construct that is unique to pouvoir in the inverted-interrogative form only. Things like this happen with exceptionally common verbs like "Can I." Also, Puis-je is pronounced as one syllable: Pweezh.


DuoLingo sometimes takes kind-of a "tough love" approach to teaching. Sometimes, they let you get something wrong because it makes you pay close attention to the correct answer. Don't forget that the key to foreign language is not getting everything right the first time, it's getting it right on the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth...


The "rule" in French is that every single phrase is an exception to the rules. Seriously, there's almost no point in trying to learn any rules, because not one of them is ever consistent. It's easier just to get used to "puis-je" meaning "can I" and not worrying about the reason behind it.


It'd also be nice if DuoLingo explained this before testing it and taking away a heart for incorrect answer...


HollywoodF1: In my experience it is only in French that DL use "tough love" or as I think of it "gotcha". I do not see anywhere near so much of it in Spanish or Italian.


It's an oversight of the site to not have covered "puis-je" (archaic remnant pronounced as one element [ IPA: pˠɪʒ ]) or "est-ce que je peux". "Je peux....?" is colloquial and over-simplified; in any French grammar book "Je peux..." is demonstrative, not interrogative.


So "je peux prendre..." would be "I can take... if I wanted to/if I felt like it", rather than "would it be ok if I were to take..."? And the correct use of the inverted form of pouvoir in the first person is "puis-je", pronounced as "pweej" (sorry, can't do proper phonetics). Is that right?


So, is the inverted form (first person) of pouvoir an irregularity, or are there many others? If there any irregular inverted verb forms in the first person that are of note, I'd love to know what they are, or if you could point me to a good resource to learn them. Thanks!!


Son montre means "his watch". Here it explicitly requires your watch (ta montre).


Watch this difference between English and French: Possessive pronouns agree with only the the subject in English, but in person with the subject and in gender and number with the object in French.

ex. 3rd person sing. subjects: His car = Sa voiture. Her book = Son livre. His boats = Ses bateaux.

3rd person plur. subjects: Their car = Leur voiture. Their book = Leur livre. Their boats = Leurs bateaux.

mon/ma mes

ton/ta tes

son/sa ses

notre nos

votre vos

leur leurs

Subject tells you which row to pick, object tells you which pronoun from the row to use.

French people mess this up in English: My French friend says things like "My wife has a freckle on his nose."


Actually, "son montre" is wrong also because the gender of the noun "watch" is feminine, not masculine. If you were to say "his watch" or "her watch," it would be "sa montre." :)


what have I done wrong here: puis-je ta montre prendre?


the verb comes always first: Puis-je prendre ta montre?


ah, of course - thank you


Je peux prendre ton horloge?


Horloge means clock and it's feminine.
"Je peux prendre ta horloge" = Can I take your clock?


« est-ce que je peux ta montre prendre ? » est incorrecte? peut-étre «est-ce que je puex prendre ta montre ? » est meilleure?


you cannot change the word order: the object comes after the verb, so your second version is correct. And you would write "(...) est correct?" and "(...) est meilleur?", without the feminine ending.


Thanks, HollywoodF1. We need to hear that. Learning is a process and we often get things wrong. It doesn't mean we're stupid, just that we're learning.


Can la montre mean just the physical watch on my wrist or can it also mean a night watch?


Both my Cassell's F/E dictionary and Google Translate give 'le veilleur' for watchman and 'le veilleur de nuit' for night-watchman. 'La veilleuse' if the watchman is a female.

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