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  5. "Elle termine son livre."

"Elle termine son livre."

Translation:She finishes her book.

January 26, 2013

115 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johans2103

When use "Terminer" and when "Finir"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

Here is your answer! - http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=237684

Or, terminer suggests a voluntary act to end something - whether or not it is completed or finished. You might decide to stop eating dinner without eating everything on your plate.

Finir conveys the sense of something coming to an end - a temporary job; a movie; a journey. Here, each has a particular end-point, instead of the voluntary nature implied by the former.

This may not be the complete picture, but is a start to understanding the use of the two verbs which are otherwise considered synonyms.


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

When a story ends, one has no choice but to "finish the book", which in my logic, points rather to the choice of "finir" than "terminer". So, the above explanation doesn't quite do it for me. Thanks anyhow for the clarification - it at least explains the words themselves better, if not the choice in the sentence

I wonder now: Isn't it that SOMETHING ends (movie, journey, etc.) - "finir", but if SOMEONE finishes something, it is "terminer"?


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

Maybe the person ends the book by writing an ending? Maybe it's not the reader.


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

Based on this explanation, "Elle termine son livre" might suggest that she is finishing the book (that she's writing). Is that a logical assumption or am I totally wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

That could be it, yes. I don't see why not in the right context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johans2103

Thank you very much.


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

Even I am also confused between the 2 words. Any explanations/clarity? Sitesurf, need your advise.


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

This is the best explanation I could find: http://frenchforregularfolks.com/terminer-vs-finir/ I hope it helps someone as it was driving me insane for a while.


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

Exactly my question. Any advice, anyone?


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

Exactly! Why not just say'Elle finit son livre"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Balthasar1234

It could also mean "She finishes his book," meaning she has finished reading the author's book. It could also mean that she finishes her male friend's book. Therefore, both answers could possibly be correct.


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

That's what I wrote, and they marked me wrong!


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

yeah it still says were doing wrong -.-


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

That is exactly what I wrote also because son is suppose to be masculine. Unless Book is already a masculine noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

"son" is masculine, but it only reflects that "livre" is masculine, nothing else.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elliot8814

So, how would I say "She finishes his book" then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Same way. But if you want to be 100% perfectly clear, you could say:

Elle termine le livre de lui.
Elle termine le livre d'elle.
Elle termine le livre de [name].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane.May

I thought so! I was wondering... Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane.May

I was wondering about this... would it be phrased differently?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex.Essilfie

When does "terminer" translate to "to finish" and when does it translate to "to end"?

I just lost a heart for using end instead of finish.


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

Generally in English, it would have a different meaning if you said "She ends her book," or at least how I see it, than if you said "She finishes her book." I have rarely heard anyone use the former, the latter is what is meant in this sentence.


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

But given the discussion above, isn't the "different meaning" of end actually appropriate? Perhaps she is writing a book, and she brings it to an abrupt end. It seems that "end" is actually the preferred translation for "terminer":

http://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/terminer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

Terminer is typically used to mean "finish" - there are also good references for that.

Whether in English we use "end" or "finish" depends on what we want to convey.

If "she" voluntarily "finishes / ends" her book it could mean either that she is reading it or writing it. We need more information to determine either way.

The key point is the use of the French verb. Finishing something, as in a task, is generally suited to using 'terminer'. 'Finir' has a similar meaning but can be conveyed in many other contexts.

For example: "Pour finir" (literally "To finish") often translates to "Finally, Lastly, In the end".

I don't think "she ends the book" would work well as a standalone English sentence.


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

Thanks. So the use of terminer means that she chose to focus on reading the book until she reached the end? Or she stopped reading in the middle? For the latter, the English would need to say "she stopped reading her book".

To clarify, it says son livre, so using end would give us "She ends her book". Which is fine if she is the one writing it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

Yes, I did mean "her book" rather than "the book". But the point remains. "She ends her book" sounds awkward whichever way you interpret it.

As for your first question. Both. She can stop reading the book or she can finish reading the book. It doesn't have to be @ the end of the book. She could have finished reading for the day for instance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

@CWKgoogle: Take a step back. You originally suggested she was doing something with her book - " Perhaps she is writing a book, and she brings it to an abrupt end".

We elaborated from there. If we go back to the original sentence, the only point I'm making is that "she ends her book", in English, sounds more awkward and ambiguous than "she finished her book".


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

The best I could find is that terminate in english has a more restricted dictionary meaning than "terminer" in french. http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/terminate?showCookiePolicy=true Also "terminer" probably translates as finish ([travail, repas] "to finish") rather than to end.
Difficult


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

I accidentally typed 'She finishes her life' instead of book what's wrong with me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kittylover400

I'll give you one thing, the word looks like life!


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

I do things like that as well when i'm doing the lessons and I'm tired. Lets me know that it is time for bed!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

You were thinking morbidly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spike321

i am confused, would it not be 'sa' livre? i thought 'son' was masculine


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

It's son because "livre" is masculine; the owner's gender does not affect the possessive pronoun


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

Those students who gave the answer she finishes his book may be interested to know that their answer is correct even though Duo marks it wrong. Occasionally, I switch up the gender, when context permits it, to keep clear in my mind through practice that the gender of possessive adjectives says nothing about the subject of the sentence.

Possessive adjectives display the gender of the noun they modify which in this case is livre. Son has nothing to do with the gender of the person doing whatever it is she is doing with the book. It could be either his book or her book. Without context there is no way to know. Duo is wrong to say that there is.


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

You are right; I think that the implied context was that the girl had finished reading/writing her own book which is why duo marked it as such, but in fact there wasn't any other context to support this so either is correct.


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

why can't she be finishing HIS book. It could be her husbands book that she just borrowed and read


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

That's also a legitimate translation.


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

YOU ARE TERMINATED


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael.d.dwyer

Heard 'vivre'. Thought that was a bit dark!


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

I actually saw livre but subconsciously translated to life at first. :P


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

Does cancel sometimes work for termine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gary923893

Why is, "She finished her book," incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

"finished" is past tense, and past tense hasn't yet been taught.


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

Why not "She finished her book?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

"finished" is past tense.


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

Of course, it can also be that "She finishes HIS book"


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

Exactly. How hard can it be to fix these duo? It's not just this, half a dozen of the questions in this section have this problem, have had for a year or so. FIX them please.


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

Are these two verbs interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tagg37

she completed her book surely is also correct


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

What's wrong with "Elles terminent son livre"?


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

The use of son and sa is a bit confusing for me. Which part of the sentence determines whether to use sa or son?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

They are possessive adjectives, use of either is determined by the gender of the noun. I.e. Book is masculine, thus Son livre. Consequently, feminine nouns take Sa and plural nouns of either gender take Ses. Here's the full list (click).


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

so, if the book belongs to a girl, it's still son livre? e.g elle lit son livre. Right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

That's correct. Gender stays with the noun in this case, not the subject.


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

okay. I understand now. Thank you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

Pas de quoi mon ami.


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

So I've read the discussion trail and its helped confuse me just about as much as help me :P When i read that sentence, i was thinking that she was writing it, and I picked the English translation of "She ends her book" which was marked wrong. Should i suggest that as correct, or is there a solid reason why that is not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

There is no solid reason. But there is no 100% right answer here. There is alsways the 1% possibility that someone can intend to convey this meaning. So perhaps think about it in terms of what's most likely to be the meaning. What Duo has suggested is most likely to have this meaning in French.


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

"She ends her book" why isn't this correct?


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

The book has not ended. It is still there unchanged except for the reader's intentions.


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

lol i wrote and thought it's vivre she finishes her life


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kittylover400

well, the word livre does sorta look like life


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerekMcMul1

Hi, if I wanted to differentiate between the two sentences "she finishes his book" or "she finishes her book" ; how do I do it if son refers to the book being masculine. Is there another possessive term?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louisa62

HOW CAN BOOKS BE MASCULINE?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Grammatical gender has nothing to do with biological sex. Plenty of languages do this. You're just not used to it because English doesn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

It messes me up because I always think son=his and sa=hers (4 years of French and for some reason this is what I remember.. and it isn't even right!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisamariek79

When the french 'woman' speaks, I have a hard time understanding her (usually I lose the beginning sound when she speaks). When the french 'man' speaks, it is more clear. Can this be improved?


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

"she ends his book," This is also possible because we don't have context. Think about it. :)


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

Equallly correct would be ' She finishes HIS book' n'est-ce pas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

That's right. "Son" only agrees with "livre".


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

Rae.F Be careful, there is also a feminine "livre" = pound, e.g. "This bag weighs one pound" = "Ce sac pèse UNE livre". Since "livre" can identify a book as well as a pound, the french make the distinction with the gender. One less word to memorize if it was different. Ravissante!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

This is true, but I was referring to "livre=book" in this sentence.


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

Justement. I was tempted by "only", without due consideration of the sentence, an oversight.


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

en plus, normalement on n'est fini pas 'pounds' ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

I meant "only" as in "only agrees with 'livre', not 'elle' or anything else that could go in the subject". Maybe I should have said "agrees only with 'livre'."


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

why could it not be 'his book'? in the context that she has finished reading a book that she borrowed from a male acquaintance?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Yes, that is an equally valid translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Don't forget: If you're given three options to select from and more than one answer is good, you need to select all of the valid answers, not just one of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlbertZhou2

CONGRATULATION FOR FINISHING!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

The expression is "Congratulations ON [whatever]".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlbertZhou2

ok CONGRATULATIONS ON FINISHING!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

It could go either way. son has to agree with livre, not elle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ImranAhmed78646

Just confused why cant use Elle termine sa livre ? Because sa and son are same meanings ''my'' .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

The possessive, like articles and other adjectives, must agree in gender and number with the noun it's attached to. "Livre" is singular masculine, so it takes the articles "un" and "le" and the possessive "mon/ton/son/notre/votre/leur". The plural "livres" takes the articles "des" and "les" and the possessive "mes/tes/ses/nos/vos/leurs".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelagp2

Why is wrong "She ends her book"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cow45

wanna ❤❤❤❤


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kittylover400

I almost wrote "His" not " Her" XD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

"Elle termine son livre" can just as easily be "She finishes his book" as "She finishes her book". The reader and the owner don't have to be the same person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Then what was the problem behind your first comment?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kittylover400

nothing I just said that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorothyAsa1

"Elle termine sa livre"...is that correct too ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

No. "Livre" is a masculine noun and "son" must agree with it, not the owner.


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

Reading or writing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emmett705338

"she finishes his book" is grammatically correct, and she could have borrowed the book off someone. grumble answer was marked wrong though


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

If you typed it in, then you should have flagged it as "My answer should have been accepted."
If it was multiple choice, you need to select all valid options, not just one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RAULLANDER8

I wrote She finished her book :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Past tense comes much later.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tasha53505

why is it "son" because isn't that mas, shouldn't it be "sa"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

Possessives must agree with the thing that is possessed, not with who possesses it. It's "son" livre because "livre" is masculine and singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2335

It is "son" because "livre" is masculine, not the reader.

"son livre" can equally mean "his book" or "her book". Given that the reader is "elle", it makes a certain amount of sense to translate it as "her book".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ImNazHam03

Termin means appointment in german


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex.Essilfie

Finir means to finish in the sense of consuming an item until none of it is left.

Terminer, on the other hand, is more akin to to bring to an end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew748026

Golly, I didn't finish my tea yet so my sleepy eyes thought it said, "she finishes her life." I need more tea, yes tea is good... Tea makes thinkers work...

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