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  5. "Ils semblent mauvais."

"Ils semblent mauvais."

Translation:They seem to be bad.

January 18, 2013

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackie.Bowers

"bad" meaning morally bad? looking bad? appearing to be bad?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alleigh25

It says the answer is "They seem to be bad," but wouldn't that be "Ils semblent être mauvais"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wkobary

I was about asking the same question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The use of "être" is optional, after "sembler": seem bad or seem to be bad are not very different in English either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alleigh25

I know you can say it either way in English, just not sure why it'd be translated with "to be" if it doesn't have "être." "They seem bad" sounds like a better translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenisBouch7

Merci! Maintenant, je comprends deux façons de le dire!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nati

Is "they look mean" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

it really depends what is meant by "bad/mauvais", but "mean" = "méchant" can work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaylastack

Why just "mauvais" and not "mauvaises" (do you ever use that?) or "mauvaise"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, "they" can also translate in "elles": elles semblent mauvaises.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/klooth

because mauvaises is feminine and the subject of the sentence is masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

Ils semblent mauvais comme Michael Jackson 'Qu'est mauvais?' " Hahaha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Who's bad?" = Qui est mauvais ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

I was going to type that but I that it was necessary for a contraction because of the vowels!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Qui is never elided, not to confuse it with que which gets elided.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sslawek

So what kind of "bad" are we talking about here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2069

It covers such a wide range of possibilities. It could refer to some food that was badly prepared, a job poorly done, exercises poorly completed, bad behavior, a poor student, bad advice, bad/poor/wrong information, etc., etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Great-Wolf

What about food that has "Gone bad" (rotten)? Or do the French not use bad and rotten interchangeably?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2069

"Bad" can mean many things, including something that has "gone bad" (pourri, from the verb "pourrir", to rot). So can "rotten". The food is rotten. I feel rotten. That was a rotten thing to say. So it's best to think specifically about what you want to say. After you have mastered everything DL throws at you, you can branch out and learn a dozen other ways to say it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xakk

"They seem ill" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

no, "ill" = malade(s)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceBurne1

that's what I thought


[deactivated user]

    i wrote "il semble mauvais" and was marked right, but the translation given was "they seem to be bad". was my answer meant to have been wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
    • 2069

    The answer you gave is a homophone for "ils semblent mauvais" and from an audio exercise, it would be accepted. From a written exercise, it would not be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enamrouy

    Will it sound different when saying he seems bad? Il semble mauvais


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
    • 2069

    No, they sound the same.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Goran12

    Why is "They seem to be wrong" wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
    • 2069

    There is a context in which it might apply, e.g., les renseignements semblent mauvais = the information seems (to be) wrong. Context is going to influence the choice of EN word used. "Wrong" would be incorrect in many other contexts involving "mauvais".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igesta

    I think that's "il semble qu'ils aient tort" (impersonal "il") I might be wrong though, sorry not 100% sure


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    Il semble qu'ils aient tort = it seems that they are (be) wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VictorWachira

    1: Que pense vous sur mon paintings. 2: Ils semblent mauvais.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf
    1. Que pensez-vous de mes tableaux/peintures ? 2. Ils/elles semblent mauvais/mauvaises.

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaeciliusEst

    I say hang them, they're mafia!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajmakepeace

    I said "They look bad", using "look" in the figurative sense of "seem" rather than literally "look". Anyway, if I wanted to say, "They look bad" in French, how should I say it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    Ils/Elles ont l'air mauvais

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