I always wondered why please in French is 3 words, so am I right to translate it as "If you please"?
It would rather translate to:.. (S'il)...Si il Vous Plait= If it you please, meaning: If it pleases you
Some languages are like that; so don't be surprised. It's just "please". Ask the Contributors.
If somebody's going to read this: I'm pretty sure "sa" never gets elided (it never becomes s'). As for the "se", that, indeed, gets elided (e.g. s'améliorer), but 1) I'm pretty sure "se" is only before a verb and 2) very obviously, if you would replace the s' with si or se, you'd see which one is right. So, theoretically, in this sentence, s' could be "se" but it would make no sense :)
Hi, broconuts. Good question. It is "Si Elle" and now I hear you ask Why? Well short answer is "Because it just IS", but there is a little sanity though.... "Si-Il" just rolls off the tongue as "S'Il" any way and I'm sure that in any language such a combination will evolve to the easiest oration. However "Si Elle" does not only have the hint of a consonant sound between Si and Elle (a "Y" as in You...Almost like "See-Yell") but also will have over the millennia developed almost sensibly to differentiate the phrase from "S'Il". Another fun-giving exception? Hooray!
Hi broconuts and Jackjon IT made me think of ciel (sky) except in si elle (See-yell to use your example) the ee is minimally longer and has just a tiny bit more stress on it! To say it differently, you could say the space between si and elle should be minimally audible (so to speak! or silent if you would!) And yet another way to putting it is that ciel is like one syllable while si elle should be heard as two distinct brief syllables. But of course the best way to tell them apart is context. Cheers
You can if you really don't like him and you want to put him down but DL won't understand and will mark you down.
Hi Jackjon. I got to thinking about this and decided that "it" could refer to an animal. If we don't know the gender of an animal, we refer to said animal as "it". It's a weird thing to say, but then this sentence is weird even if referring to a person...
That would be the future tense, but this sentence is in the present tense. There are 2 ways to say "I will eat" in French: "je va manger" or "je mangerai"
However, "je mange" can only translate to "I eat" or "I am eating"
I disagree. As it has been pointed out in other discussions, the French present tense can be used to describe something that will happen in the very near future. Thus, "je mange" can also be translated as "I shall/will eat" in addition to what you already have listed, patlaf. Elsewhere in this lesson, Duo has already accepted "If you eat my lunch, I'll eat your dinner," as a translation for "Si tu manges mon déjeuner, je mange ton dîner." Time to fix the inconsistency here too!
You are making this an idiomatic simple future condition in English, while this is only a simple present condition in the French. The correct translation is "If he drinks, I eat" as stated by patlaf.
I agree. I mean, I get that this is in the simple present in French, but I find it weird to say "If he drinks, I eat" in English - unless that's some kind of over-dramatic declaration for comedic purposes or whatnot. I find it more natural to say "If he drinks, I will eat" to indicated the conditional nature in the statement.
Hi Tinaille. Beware of using the logic and Usage of English when understanding the same in French. Annoyingly enough, it just doesn't work like that often. Translating the other way, from English to French, you could not use Je manger for "I will eat". You'd need, I think, Je vais manger. (I may need correcting with that but surely you get my drift?) So, however awkward the French, when translated to English sounds, and so much of it does in this course, it is something which we must endure, if not accept, in order to progress with our understanding of French, rather than English. Look, we are a whale, a fly, the turtle eats pasta, there are blue ducks. Which matters most, learning a language or whether a duck is blue or not? I hope that this post doesn't seem harsh, I mean well.
yeah, I understand the awkwardness, but I'm not using English to understand the same in French, quite the opposite. In my previous comment, I did not mean that the answer "if he drinks, I eat" is wrong, just that "If he drinks, I will eat" should also be considered correct, considering the fact that languages are not linear in relation to one another and the reality in which such a sentence is usually used. Sorry for not having specified it as such and possibly causing confusion.
I agree with Tinaille, specifically because the translation went from French to English and not the other way around.
When formulating the English equivalent for a French expression, priority absolutely should be given to English usage and phrasing over literal, word-for-word mirroring of the original French. Otherwise, students lose out on a chance to see how the two languages sometimes handle the same task differently, especially for conversational utterances. Insisting on transliteration over translation encourages learners to develop the terrible habit of translating every expression word-for-word from one language to the other, which often results in inaccuracies and confusion, and even sometimes word salad. Duo wouldn't (I trust) encourage students to translate "Il fait du soleil" as "It's doing some sun," for example; nor would "Il est ensoleillé" be acceptable for describing the general weather conditions if the translation went in the other direction.
If the translation had been from English to French, then yes, the way in which French handles the grammar should have carried more weight than the English version.
If the goal of translation in general is to communicate the meaning of the source material in another language, and if the purpose of translation exercises is to examine how two languages communicate the same idea similarly or differently in order to foster language learners' capacity for comprehension and natural expression in both, then doesn't target-oriented translation make more sense than source-oriented translation?
WOW! Well met! I wouldn't like to engage in an argument with you. Beautifully written. So much food for thought and research. Thank you for this precious post Brigids. May I give you a lingot to draw attention to it as I don't "do" up/downvotes? JJ.
Jackjon, sure -- and thank you! My mother's an English professor, my father's a Philosophy professor, and I'm a former French major / Philosophy minor who did a senior thesis on translating genre fiction, and who now teaches French... so it's kind of easy for me to slip into academic persuasive writing about language learning and translation in particular. I hope my arguments came across as earnest and passionate, rather than pedantic.
(Also: I think we may have met the limit on levels of comment nesting, because Duo won't give me the option to reply to your comment instead of my own.)
Hah! You just go to the last post in the current conversation which has a "reply" facility, as I've just done, type there and it will work (Spanky Botty Duo! This is a useful exchange!) Aaannnddd, yes! your posts are passionate and no way pedantic. JJ. Watch.................See? It works :)
Wouldn't manager take on the conditional present conjugation "mangerais" since it is conditional on the other person drinking?
Because we need to respect the verb conjugation:
il, elle, on boit
ils, elles boivent
Yeah, it's hard. We all struggle with it.
Is this not a si clause, so if one part of the sentence is in the present tense, the other should be in the future tense? SO s'il boit, je mangerai, or s'il boira, je mange?
I'm not exactly sure, but I think it IS a si clause, because it is saying if he drinks, I eat, not I WILL eat. Therefore, it shouldn't be future, right?
Also-- (I'm rlly not sure about this) the rules might be different in other dialects (like Canadian French, etc.)
I agree with you Dolphin. In English I would either say If He Drinks, I Eat or If He Is Going To Drink, I Will Eat.
I dont get why it cant be 'when' for si. In most languages - also French - I'm pretty sure it's interchangeable in usage. When he drinks, ...
Because, Julia and Michielf If=Si and When=Quand. Looky here, even in English If and When are not necessarily interchangeable, are they? "If the bus comes" is not a certainty but "When the bus comes is." Very different.
Of course!! That's sounds super logical. Thank you Jackjon. Have a lingot for your clarification! :)
Could actually be very nice and supportive. She went on a hunger strike because he was on a water strike.
Would you normally have to use the conditional mood here or can you get away with the indicative?
Yes TheNIC. You were marked wrong because you neglected the elision between Si and Il. In French, when a vowel is followed by a vowel sound the connection is elided. So your "Si il boit...." should have read "S'il boit. Refer to De l'eau. L'homme. L'enfant. Does this help?
Thanks Jackjon..I knew it's normally elided, I just didn't know it's wrong if you don't do so. I thought of it kind of like the english that's it where you could instead say that is it. Cheers
En francais, would it be more grammatically correct to say "S'il boit, alors je mange"? Or is the 'alors' implied in the sentence? Thanks!
The "Alors" (So) may be implied in both French and English but I'm pretty sure that if Duo wanted it there it would be there or included as "Another correct translation" at the bottom of the task, so my thought is no, it's not implied here in this task sentence.
I did the same thing. Came here to read this thread to see if there was a reason why.
I am eating =Je suis en train de manger. However it must be included that the progressive present in English solutions are more than less accepted. Bit weird Duo?
Hi Alison. Il=both He and It. The solution at the top of this thread=He.Although when I've been really annoyed with my partner, I admit that I did call her "It" and that sometimes when I see a drunk on a Friday night I may say "Look at the state of THAT!" I really do think that the correct solution is as it is put at the top of this page....."It" wouldn't work for me mate. Report it.
Ouch... I guess I don't mind if I'm a little pudgy, as long as I wasn't eating McDonald's and got diabetes.... I'm sure some day I will be the alcoholic!!
Don't "if" sentences mean the verb is going to be in its conditional form?
Hi Parsamana. If you please (or for short, Please)=S'il vous plait or S'il te plait. S'il=If He.
Have the French dropped the circumflex? I always thought these expressions were s'il vous plaît or s'il te plaît?
No, Ymeagain. Some of us cannot access the accents. I used to have access but then the wonderful system cocked up. Please don't try to tell me how to gain access to accents mate, it won't work and I won't understand the jargon. WE, the most of us, understand this and tolerate it. You are correct with your use of accents and very lucky to have the knowledge and funding to gain them. The rest of us serfs do the best we can, mate. With respect, JJ. Oh, also, a tiny flea was crawling around between the laminates of my screen and I got really annoyed with it. I killed it but unfortunately it is now splatted right where I need to see accents anyroad. Life is a ❤❤❤❤❤. Hrumph...........
Sorry to touch on a sore point, Jackjon, I had no idea! It was partly from a selfish point of view, hoping for some simplification: the languages I have seen so far do not all use them to the same extent as in France - but as they say 'Hey, that's the way it is. Get over it!'
That's well OK Ymeagain. I'm 70 and there are 8 year-olds here whose English is their second language and I learn from them and English is my native tongue. I'm not too proud to learn, just annoyed at that blasted flea. :)
What does the "s'il" mean?
I think that this lesson needs to be rewritten, because it doesn't really teach you what it is supposed to, like the other lessons.
Hi Dolphin, "S'il" is an elision comprising Si=If and Il which here means He. often in French when two vowels, or vowel sounds collide the elision becomes a structure. French doesn't have Le Homme, it is elided to L'homme. Note that even though Homme begins with a consonant, the "H" is not sounded which is why I said Vowel Sounds. So there is no Si Il. It is S'il. S'il may translate to If He and If It.So, here S'il boit=If He drinks. S'il vous pait= If It You Please which translates to just Please. Is this of some help?
Because, Dmgjr, "If he drinks, I am eating" just doesn't work in English. The continuous present is limited to context and action. If just that tiny and enormous word "If" were changed to "As", for example, "I am eating" would work. Here the Cause for your eating is the fact that he has started to drink. But in the sentence "As he drinks, I am eating" there is No Cause for you to eat, you just happen to be eating while he drinks. Do you see this?.
Well, my word is fallible. I'm just offering debate as all language seems to be interpretive and therefore debatable. Sometimes Interpretation seems to work where translation seems to fail, no?
Thanks for trying. Languages are not my thing, just trying to pick up a little french. Even if it is not perfect I think I can be understood. I found the french to be very understanding if you give it a try.
Calm down Alex in Hell. Blimey what a profile? Your sentence structure is awkward in English. I Am Eating usually starts a sentence or answers a question. A language learning site may well mark down even your post for not using higher case where appropriate and over use of punctuation (question marks in your case.) I mean well and only wish to assist in a friendly way. JJ.
I feel like this sentence in English would be 'If he drinks, then I will eat' in practical usage. Does this sentence mean that, despite the lack of using future tense?
At this stage of our leaning Suchiththa, we are only in present tense. For your calm, don't try to make sense out Duo's lessons tasks. Duo teaches structure, grammar, gender, verbs and adjectives. It is Not a French phrase book for your holiday. Turtles do not eat pasta, the cat does not wear red boots, you are not a whale nor a fly. It is If He Eats (Is Eating) I Drink.
Jackjon is the one who will give you the full on answer for your questions, that is for sure. He sure helped me out on the other sentence, "He is big because he eats fries."
French is so similar to Spanish! Makes it much easier for me (a native Spanish speaker).