"Le cheval boit l'eau, seul."

Translation:The horse is drinking the water, alone.

6 years ago

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/fyggs
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The comma just makes the horse seem a sad figure, like he would usually drink with his mate, but since the wagon accident and funeral...

But seriously, the commas do, I've noticed, crop up in odd places on Duo. Is that just me?

In English there would be no comma before "alone" unless it was being specifically emphasized.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/McKeagle

That.......made me laugh

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anyabones
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and how would you say "the horse only drinks water"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Le cheval ne boit que de l'eau

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/entmenscht

Is there a translation with "seul" but without negation?

E.g.: Le cheval boit seul de l'eau?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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There is no negation here, but "le cheval boit seul de l'eau" is grammatically correct.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krista189497
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could I understand your suggestion in the English translation like this: the horse does not drink anything else but water ?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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My previous post was a translation for "the horse only drinks water", as a response to Anyabones.

The French sentence given for translation "Le cheval boit l'eau, seul" has "seul" describing the horse, not the water.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Diogo.Alvarez
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Can "l'eau" mean water in general? Or should it be "de l'eau"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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l'eau = la eau = the water = that water right there

de l'eau = de la eau = of the water = some water

l'eau = la eau = water in general, all the water in the world, the idea of water, all examples of water

La/le/les is a dual purpose article in French. It can mean either the very specific or the very general depending on context.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Diogo.Alvarez
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So the sentence "Le cheval boit l'eau, seul" could not mean "The horse drinks water, alone", right? I mean, if it was to drink "water", and not "the water", it would have to drink some water, not "all the water in the world" or "the idea of water". Therefore, "The horse drinks water, alone" has to be "Le cheval boit de l'eau, seul". Am I correct? Or just overthinking this? Thank you for your answer, northernguy!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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You are correct.

de l'eau is taken as some water. English speakers drop the some a lot of the time

One problem is that difference between French and English. English speakers routinely drop the article and let the listener/reader figure out whether it was some or all.

I like music leaves unstated whether it is all music, all examples of music, all the music ever made, or just some music which quite likely will exclude much of the music made in the history of the world by all its varied cultures.

But the French don't leave out the article. It is the speaker/writer that has to figure out if he means the particular, the general or some. He can't just brush aside the difference because it seems like most of the time it doesn't matter much either way. The article is required so he has to choose the correct one.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Diogo.Alvarez
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Thank you very much, northernguy! I guess I understand it much better now. See you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deborah853655
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but for most of the other phrases we were not marked wrong for dropping 'the' - why here do they insist on us including 'the'?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Because this horse is specific.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joejoejoeget

Why not, "Le cheval boit DE l'eau, seul"?a

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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l'eau = the water

de l'eau = some water

For more information, see answers to your question already posted on this thread.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShadeNitro

Can someone please tell me the difference between seul and seule ? Thanks in advance :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"seul" is masculine: un cheval seul ; "seule" is feminine: une vache seule

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EDK-Learner
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Why is "The horse is drinking water by itself" incorrect?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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le cheval = masculine

itself = neuter

seul = alone = no gender assigned.

If you are going to use your preferred construction instead of alone,, you have to use the masculine form himself. The problem with doing that is using the masculine form in English suggests that you know that the horse is male.

It makes sense to change the French masculine to English neuter to avoid confusion but it isn't an accurate translation of the French. In those cases where an alternative, more accurate translation is available it is best to use that one.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StephenHoy1
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I tried, "The horse is drinking water, by himself." Because naturally I imagined this sentence alludes to "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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In addition, "l'eau" is "the water", not "water" which would be "de l'eau".

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tilo_K
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To me, in this sentence, “alone” is an adverb, and I suppose the translation would be “seulement”. However natives here explain it refers to the horse, not to the activity of drinking, thus is an adjective. Well, maybe, but how do I know?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Seul(e)" is an adjective (alone), not an adverb. It may also be used as a noun, but it is adjective in this sentence.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeilaZai

How does one get back to the previous question after accidentally tripping the "comments" ❤❤❤❤❤ trap? Attempts are futile....

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thoscorco
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Why not the horse drinks water alone? Usually the simple present is accepted and Duo does not require the present progressive.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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The problem with your answer is you left out a word.

The horse drinks the water alone. Talking about that water that we know about places it in the present in our conversation. Your sentence says that when the horse drinks water, it is alone. It is not at all what the French sentence says and places its actions outside the present tense.

The is in the French sentence and Duo wants to see it in the English translation.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thoscorco
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Thanks, the article seemed completely unessential but I note the difference in meaning. Merci.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BSMP-18

Why not : The horse drinks water alone? Why is this wrong?

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"The horse drinks the water alone" is correct.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally969926

what is wrong with 'the horse drinks the water, alone' ...!

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulsub63

The lone horse drinks water. is a better English translation and means pretty much the same. I thought the object of this website was to translate a 'foreign' language into our own.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The purpose is to translate into English, which happens to be your own language. There are plenty of learners here who are not Anglophones.

However, I believe there is a nuance, that you may have grasped, since you say "pretty much the same".

The nuance is as follows: "le cheval seul boit l'eau" is the translation of what you suggest. It means (in both languages) that the "lonely horse" is drinking.

On the other hand, "le cheval boit l'eau, seul" = "the horse drinks the water, alone" means that the horse just happens to be alone at the time it is drinking.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sashakazantsev

the correct translation sounds like something no one would ever use outside the classroom. should "le cheval seul boit l'eau" be included in the system too, then? just to learn the contrast

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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Actually Duo does provide examples where seul is used to mean alone or lonely depending on the placement, as you suggest.

However, they don't use cheval in those other examples.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy
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If we put in man, and tonic (as opposed to gin and tonic) would the grammar be the same, please? Obviously the variables would have already been mentioned as possibilities). On a totally different note, do the French consume Gin. It is a bit like Marmite, as we say.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Changing the horse for a man would not change the grammar. Most French people might drink gin if there were no other liquor in town, I think.

1 week ago
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