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  5. "Il lit un livre, alors que j…

"Il lit un livre, alors que j'écris une lettre."

Translation:He is reading a book, while I am writing a letter.

January 27, 2013



Tell me that "il lit un livre" and "il y a un livre" doesn't sound the same.


They are not suppose to sound the same. I also struggled with this specific one, the exact same way you did. In my case, it could just be that I am more accustomed to hearing English than French, but I'm guessing the computer voice also has something to do with our confusion.


They may sound the same, but 'there is a book, whereas I write a letter' would be a strange phrase even by some duolingo standards.


That would be weird. But what is weird? As now to learn languages, we hear the sentence "you eat like a pig"!


Actually that's a fairly common English idiom. Don't know about French.


Its the same for german, you can eat like a pig, drive like a pig...


Actually, I've never heard about it in India. Here we don't use colloquial terms (here, idioms) a lot. Because we use English (our second language) for official purposes so it's a bit formal. About 'eating like a pig', that is really there in Hindi (National language of India)! You can say- 'soo-ar kaheen kaa' which literally translate into 'a pig of somewhere.' although here the somewhere refers to a weird kind of place or place where pigs live. This phrase means that you behave like a pig or are ill-mannered. BUT REMEMBER!: Never use this phrase. It can be offensive.


What is the difference between alors and alors que?


This seems really nuanced, but I think that "alors que" is a subordinating conjunction while "alors" is other things. A subordinating conjunction is the beginning of an adverbial clause. For instance, "Walk the dog while you're in town" or "He went out even though I didn't want to" ("Il est sorti alors que je ne voulais pas"). The italicized parts are adverbial clauses because they modify the verb in the main clause.

"Alors", on the other hand, can be a number of things:

  • A plain conjunction: "She doesn't understand, so we need to help her" ("Elle ne comprend pas, alors il faut l'aider")
  • A filler: "And then? So what?" ("Et alors?")
  • As part of an adjectival clause: "Then-President Bill Clinton..." ("Le président d'alors Bill Clinton…")


"Alors que" also means "whereas". I just entered "He reads a book, whereas I write a letter", and it was accepted.


Why is this wrong: "He is reading a book, although I am writing a letter"


Because it implies that you writing a letter should somehow prevent him from reading a book. 'whereas' or 'while' make more sense in this context.


But there is no difference between using though and although in sentences such as these, and though is an accepted answer.


You can report it if you like, but I know that I wouldn't use although or though in this situation because it gives an implication that your letter writing and his book reading should have an effect on each other. Although and though can mean - in spite of the fact that... and that isn't the sense that is being used here. If you want that sense you want 'que' on its own for though or bien que or encore que, or même si or bien que or mais or malgre que for although.

Alors que is while, when, whereas, or as. Not although or really even though.


Thanks! So really, though shouldn't be an accepted answer either, then. :~) It actually looks as if that isn't an option any more.


Can I use lorsque instead of alors que?

[deactivated user]

    Why can't pendant also fit in this context, instead of alors que


    The context is slightly different, so while 'pendant' indicates time ('He is reading a book at the same time as I am writing a letter'), 'alors que' indicates difference ('He is reading a book whereas I am writing a letter instead'). I hope that helps!


    Why can alors not mean so?


    It does mean 'so' but not in this context (I think...)


    There is a difference between "alors" and "alors que". "Alors" can mean "so", but "alors que" means "whereas", or "even though"


    I think there's a difference between "alors" and "alors que".


    Is the comma mandatory with "alors que"?


    alors que does not mean when right?


    It can. Depending on context. Here 'while' or 'whereas' are slightly better.


    What's the problem with "although i am writing a letter?"


    Because it implies that his reading a book is or should be affected by your letter writing. While or whereas indicate that these activities are happening at the same time, and that you are doing something different, without suggesting that his book reading should be affected by your letter writing.


    I guess two liaisons are clearly missing here (T and Z):

    "Il lit Tun livre, alors que j'écris Zune lettre".


    Perhaps one of the native French speakers could say if they are needed. But liaisons don't go everywhere. In fact they are only obligatory in rare cases.


    Well, as I see it now, I was actually wrong - these ones are forbidden liaisons. Have a look at this link:


    Thanks for replying, and I apologize for my previous misleading comment. I will not delete it, as I believe it can be useful for future readers - at least not to make the same mistake as I did.


    What is the difference between alors que and lorsque ?


    Please, can anybody explain? As I understand, this sentence with 'alors que' may have two different meanings, that depend on context: -- each of us has different things to do: he reads and I write a letter (neutral sense) -- he reads the book instead of helping me writing a letter (negative sense) Am I right?


    I am so confused with this lesson. Dont know any more when to translate in past tense or present.


    I used although for alors que and it didn't accept it, it said it should have been tough. What is the difference???


    In the version where this sentence is spoken and we're suppose to write it out, did anyone else hear "Il y a un livre..." as opposed to "Il lit un livre..."? After getting it wrong, I listened to what she said again multiple times and I definitely hear too many vowel-sounding words for it to be "Il lit un livre..." Am I hearing it wrong?


    Exactly same for me. I think this should also be accepted.


    It doesn't sound quite the same as 'Il y a un livre' would. That your hearing needs refining isn't a reason to accept an incorrect answer. Also the phrase doesn't actually make sense if you had Il y a un livre alors que j'écris une lettre. - There is a book whereas I write a letter.


    In my opion, it sounds: "I li un..." I think why you hear the "y", because of "lit un" , here "t" is not sound, so "un" is followed "li" , maybe it makes you hear it like "y a"


    It sounds like Il y a'un livre. which makes no sense... But still


    Is it just me, or is "lit" pronounced with two syllables here?


    il y un livre; same mistake with everyone, no :/


    I made a typo and wrote "I lit" instead of "Il lit" and that was the only mistake, but I didn't get credit.

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