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  5. "You are doctors."

"You are doctors."

Translation:Vous êtes médecins.

January 21, 2013



Why 'tu' is not accepted??


'Tu' is for the second person singular. The sentence implies a second person plural of 'You' (Vous)


Whenever someone wonders if « tu » should be excepted when only « vous » is, they should switch the sentence into third person and see if it makes sense with "he"/"she", as well as "they".

In this case, "they are doctors" makes sense, but "he is (a) doctors" doesn't.


So, médicin or docteur??? What is the difference?


These are the rules:

  • the profession is "médecin": "je suis médecin", "c'est mon médecin", "il faut appeler le médecin"...
  • the title is "docteur": "docteur, j'ai mal ici"; "bonjour, docteur", "voici le docteur Martin"...

Therefore, "vous êtes docteurs" is actually improper French.


Surely the statement "the profession is médecin" is incorrect. The profession is médecine if I am not mistaken. The professional is un médecin or un docteur. Perhaps un médecin is the more commonly used word, but it does not negate the fact that the medical practitioner is also known as un docteur. It is true what you state that docteur is used as a title, not unlike we do in English, Doctor Jones, le docteur Jones. I believe it is also used to refer to a doctorate holder eg Doctor of Law docteur en droit. But to claim that vous êtes docteurs is improper French IMO is a bit of a stretch.

Case in point, Larousse gives an example that is parallel to the one you say is improper French, only using the third person singular subject instead of second person plural subject:

  • "he/she is a doctor" -- il/elle est docteur or médecin

So I maintain that the two words are synonyms and I dare say that vous êtes docteurs is as correct a translation for "you are doctors" as vous êtes médecins.


More precisely:

A doctor is "un docteur en médecine" or "un médecin" (with an -e- in the middle).

"Un médecin" (no feminine noun nor article) is someone who has "un doctorat en médecine".

You can be "docteur... en droit, en physique nucléaire" and even "... ès lettres", but un "docteur en médecine" is "un médecin".

French people with higher education do not use "un docteur" to mean "un médecin".


Thank you Sitesurf!! Always appreciated.


why is "des docteurs" also right? i thought you are not supposed to have an article in front of a profession.


In English yes (singular), in French no (both singular and plural).


i don't understand what you mean by this. maybe my question was not clear. so for the correct translation of "You are doctors.", I chose only "Vous êtes docteurs.", but Duolingo says "Vous êtes des docteurs." is ALSO correct. I was questioning if "Vous êtes des docteurs." also can be correct, or if this is an error. thanks


I understand your not feeling comfortable with my answer, sorry for that. Strictly speaking, when the sentence is in singular, you get:

you are a doctor = vous êtes docteur (actually: médecin)

For plural forms, the English skips the article and the French should remain as in singular:

you are doctors = vous êtes docteurs (médecins)

But, the other parameter is the context, which we obviously do not have here. By that I mean that in certain cases, the French version could be "vous êtes des docteurs". That would rather be an exception to the rule above.


For instance if "docteurs" is qualified:

"vous êtes des docteurs brillants"


so in what cases would it be "vous êtes des docteurs" instead of "vous êtes docteurs"? merci beaucoup!


The plural "vous" does not affect the rule for professions:

  • vous êtes médecin
  • vous êtes médecins
  • vous êtes un bon médecin
  • vous êtes de bons médecins.

Therefore, I removed the wrong alternative: "vous êtes des médecins".


I don't know if you would ever use the article before the noun, with vous êtes + profession without the profession being modified e.g., vous êtes des bons docteurs. (Correction: vous êtes de bons docteurs) Maybe Duolingo made a mistake suggesting vous êtes des docteurs as an answer?--if that is what you are saying. Sitesurf?

I do know, however, that when it comes to c'est vs il est, you can either have:

  • il est médicin (il est + noun)


  • c'est un médicin (c'est + modified noun)

More on this here


"Vous êtes médecins" is good if you speak to 2 or more individuals.

In this case, the profession is used as an adjective and not a noun.

Note that "docteur" is a title and not the name of the profession.

"Vous êtes un bon médecin / de bons médecins" will need the article again, because "médecin(s)" is no longer an adjective but a noun, itself qualified by an adjective.


@Sitesurf, I know vous êtes médecins is a good sentence. It is the given answer actually. However, it seems that jyjoo saw "vous êtes des docteurs" as a suggested solution and so has been asking when one can use this phrase. I have a feeling it can never be used and that DL was wrong to suggest it. Is that right?

(I do see my mistake when I qualify the plural noun as I did in my example: des becomes de. Thanks!)


Do you know why 'tu es docteurs' is not accepted? I flagged this but I am questioning myself now. I'm sure there are informal scenarios one can imagine.


"tu" is singular and "docteurs" is plural, so no, it cannot work.


Why not vous etes docteur ?


Because your sentence is a translation for one person being a doctor. The given sentence refers to doctorS (plural).


Quel est la difference entre docteur et medecin?


"Docteur" is a title, "médecin" is a profession.

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