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  5. "Elle s'était tue."

"Elle s'était tue."

Translation:She had kept quiet.

January 23, 2013



Could this be 'She killed herself"?


I made that mistake too! But the past participle of tuer is tué, not (se) tue.


That'd be 'elle s'était tué' with an accent on the E of tuÉ


'She had kept quiet' means she had not been speaking. "Elle s'était tue." means she had been and stopped. So 'She had stopped talking (or she had shut up)' would better convey the meaning.


We cannot infer that she had been speaking and then stopped. When used reflexively "se taire" expresses that idea but "taire" does not mean that invariably. "Shut up" suggests the interruption of speech (in English). But we should use caution when projecting meaning from an English expression into a French word. "Taire"= to conceal, to say nothing, to keep quiet, to keep a secret. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/taire/75555


But it is being used reflexively...


I have updated the link for you so you can see for yourself. "Se taire" may be "to keep quiet" or "to be quiet". It may be that she was talking and then went silent or that she never opened her mouth and remained silent.


Why not: she had been quiet? Duolingo is not consistent with "be quiet" vs "keep quiet" for se taire.


I think it's the same...


Yeah I don't understand this sentence at all


no it's correct. tu(e) is the past participle of se taire, best known in the form of tais-toi / taissez-vous meaning shut up

it is NOt tué


There is an awful lot of discussion of the finer linguistic points, which is probably good but leaves the rest of us wading through this one. I remembered se taire too late and, like tuer, (and/or se tuer?) it does not seem to feature on any unusual verb sites for learners. That leaves us going away for a 30 minute lesson elsewhere, or rolling the dice! Hmmm.......


There is always the possibility of a French dictionary which is only a click away on your computer or portable device.


Why can't this be translated as "She kept quiet"?


We're in the pluperfect tense, so it would be "she HAD kept quiet".


I'm still confused: how would one just say "she kept quiet" please?


Or even "she was quiet" in imperfect form?


« Elle s'est tue »


The other 'correct' answer provided was she'd kept silent As I am not a native speaker of English, I may be wrong, but I think one can either keep quiet or keep silence. To describe a change, a different phrase is used, viz.: fall/become silent. Am I too wrong?


I think you are spot on. "To be quiet" is the simple state of not making a noise; "To fall/become silent" is the changing state that you describe where someone was speaking or making a noise but gradually stops; "To keep silence" is a more deliberate act, such as someone paying respects to the dead, or someone defiantly refusing to speak often when challenged to support or defend something or someone. All of these, I think, can be translations of "se taire", but other expressions also could be used - and as always, the full context would show which was appropriate. (I am English, as you've probably guessed!)


I don't think we would ever say "keep silence" but everything else you mention is correct. :-)


I am no challenger of your word.

1 3 : to continue doing something : MAINTAIN keep silence keep on working keep that up and you'll get into trouble (http://www.wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?keep)

2 1 Corinthians 14:34 reads, 'Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted to them to speak'

3 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. OR The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. OR Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.(*King James Bible, Authorized Version, Cambridge Edition)

4 11. To continue any state, course or action; as, to keep silence; to keep the same road or the same pace; to keep reading or talking; to keep a given distance. (Webster's 1828 English Dictionary as quoted at http://sorabji.com/1828/words/k/keep.html)

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes, 3:1-8.)

DISCLAIMER: I am not a student of Bible nor am I affiliated with any religious society/faith-based organisation

PS And I was wrong regarding keep silent


No, "keep silent" is fine but "keep silence" is never spoken. As you point out, it can be seen in the bible, so it's archaic, but I doubt you'd ever see it written anywhere else.


Uh - sweetie ,,,.? (Dmytro?) Many people think you can learn a lot from the Bible. Modern English - not so much. Sorry! :)


The linguistic term Modern English differentiates English from Old or Middle English and begins with Shakespeare and the King James bible. That translation is one of the codifiers of what Modern English is, sweetie. And the English spoken today is a complex, variegated language. Many of the idioms we use today originate from the KJ bible. Richard Dawkins promotes the teaching of the bible as literature for precisely that reason. Also, English has a lot of regional variation, like any language, and people often use archaisms and antiquated prose. English has a significant body of literature written between the 1500s (the KJ bible) and whenever you consider to be the formation of your very-specific brand of modern English. Some students of English probably want to learn to have access to more literature. That's one of the most prominent reasons I study language. So, sweetie, you can actually learn a lot about English from the bible. It's far more interesting as a linguistic text than as a religious one.


My apologies for my message. It was rather harsh and pompous. I'm a bit of an arrogant person sometimes.

I only mentioned Richard Dawkins to clarify that I'm not defending the bible on religious reasons. I don't know if he's a qualified linguistic authority. I'm unfamiliar with the word tyro. Could you define it for me?

My poorly-formed, acerbic point was that many people use biblical idioms and phrases in their daily language. I found several documents on the influence of the KJV with a quick search (http://www.york.edu/news/2011/documents/Commonidioms.pdf , for example).

I wouldn't recommend Shakespeare or the KJV to any non-native speaker either. It would be like me trying to read Les Misérables in French instead of English. Madness.

I think I noticed that bit, but by then I had a rant forming. I'm very sorry for my unpleasantness. I hate to have been another faceless internet bugbear. Please forgive me and have a bonne journée.


Hello, Lucas.

I get the impression I somehow offended you by calling Dmytro 'sweetie'. That's the exact opposite of the effect I was aiming for, so I confess I am puzzled by that. It seems to me that your use of the word is meant ironically. I meant it kindly.

I wouldn't argue for a second with you about the linguistic case for studying the Bible. Faced with Richard Dawkins, I would shut up and listen: I know when I am mentally out-gunned.

That being said, Dawkins is an English speaker, with a way above average command of spoken and written English. With an English vocabulary at his fingertips of between 35 and 40 thousand words. Not the 500 words that a tyro in the language would have.

I am a fan of Shakespeare, and I love to look closely at the language, as well as the 'poetry' of it - but that doesn't mean I would recommend it to a relative beginner in English to help them make sense of English conversation in a coffee shop.

I stand by my statement, as it was meant, to Dmytro. To pick up modern English, as a fledgling second language speaker, there are better and easier ways than reading the Bible.

I am sorry I offended you. Especially sorry since I find the tone of your reply unpleasant.

Should we need to interact again, I promise not to call you sweetie.

PS I wasn't using the linguistic term Modern English. I was using everyday parlance, modern English. The capital M was merely because I started the sentence with it.

But I am guessing you know that, right?


Please note that there are newer translations of the Bible that may be more easily understood by people with a lesser grasp of the literary style of the early 17th century. There are even Bibles in English more suitable for those with a limited English vocabulary. See: https://www.easyenglish.bible/english-learners-bible/genesis-taw.htm which only needs a vocabulary of 1200 words. So, if someone has a Bible in their own language, plus this Bible in English, it could be used to help learn English.

When I lived with the Zulus I had a Bible in Zulu which was not in simple Zulu but I certainly learned some Zulu from it with the help of my English Bible.

I have looked but failed to find a French Bible in simple French so that I can use this in the same way. Currently I am stuck with a St. John's Gospel in the Segond 21 translation. I am not as advanced in French as I was in Zulu, and would appreciate it if someone could let me know of a simpler French version.

It is so helpful to read something in another language when one knows it is one's first language. At school when learning Latin which I did for just one year we had a Latin 'Winnie the Pooh' which was fun.


Your references are correct however i think their age makes them less relevant when one is referring to modern English. Basically, your sources are archaic and therefore so is the language employed.


I think you were not at school when I was in the 1950's; keep silence was very often used by masters and mistresses to talkative children.....usually uttered loudly!


"keep silence" is in the imperative case, though - it wouldn't be an appropriate translation of this question.


I was fooled too about the "kill" confusion, but now I understand "tu" is the participle of the verb "taire" which means "to say nothing". What I don't understand is why does this verb uses "être" as an auxiliary verb. I thoght "être" is used only when the verb implies motion.


I think it is because it's used reflexively--"se tuer."


For "My aunt had gone quiet," Duolingo gives the correct answer as "Ma tante s'était tue." But when you translate, "Elle s'était tue" (same sentence except for the use of a subject pronoun) as "She had gone quiet," it is marked as wrong. Reported it, but the discussion here goes back 5 years, so I can't imagine it hasn't been reported before. A little consistency, please!


I just had that same issue. Duolingo tells me that the right answer is "She had been quiet," not "She had gone quiet." I'll report it, too. I'm glad I wasn't alone!


She kept quiet shoul be accepted.


The verb tense used is pluperfect where the imperfect tense of the auxiliary verb is translated as "had" before the past participle (kept quiet/been quiet).


How different would it be if we translate it as "She kept quiet" - removing the 'had' in the translation? Would the 'etait' in the original somehow go?


tue comes from se taire


probably the weirdest english phrase in the whole course


DL didn't like "she had shut up" too colloquial perhaps! :-)


If she had indeed killed herself, then perhaps 'se suicider' would have been the verb employed.


But couldn't you also say 'she had killed herself' without 'se suicider' Would that be 'Elle se avait tuée'?


I think we use être as helping verb with all reflexives, so, "Elle s'était tuée." (I think)


I do not understand why there is had. It should be a choice if you want to write had or not.


It is the way the pluperfect tense is translated. Using "had" before the past participle places the action farther in the past than the Passé composé.

  • Elle s'était tue = she had kept quiet
  • Elle s'est tue = she kept quiet


Why not "she had quieted herself"?

[deactivated user]

    'She had gone quiet' should be accepted.


    I saw from another exercise that saying "had gone quiet" was acceptable. How come it isn't possible for this one?


    What's wrong with she was silent?


    Why not she was quiet

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