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"Il sert de frontière."

Translation:It serves as a border.

5 years ago

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"Il sert de frontière" probably relates to a masculine, geographical element like "un fleuve" (river) or "un glacier", "un canal" (channel), "un pont" (bridge) which is used as (serves as, constitutes, stands for, marks... ?) the border (boundary), between two countries/regions.

Quote: "The witness and his family nevertheless managed to cross the bridge that served as the border and went to Bujumbura"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lukman.A
lukman.A
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[QUESTION]

In this sentence case, why isn't "...as a frontier" translated to be "...comme une frontière"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"servir de" + noun or "utiliser comme" + noun drop the article.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yandarn2

This makes absolutely no sense in English! "It is used as a frontier" huh?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nat10sk2
nat10sk2
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I agree, "border" would be a better translation in this case.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DarrenMc

Makes perfect sense to me, although maybe not the most natural way of expressing the idea.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CatMcCat
CatMcCat
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Could one not say, "It acts as a border"? (not accepted by Duo.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Sounds right to me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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Of course. It is accepted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jyjoo
jyjoo
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why is there no article (une) in front of frontière?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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Not needed. "Servir de" translates to "to serve as" or "to be used for".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jyjoo
jyjoo
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i see that it is not needed obviously, but i wanted to know why. or at least what cases one should not use articles after the preposition. for example, when you use a negative sentence such as "il n'y a pas de pain". you shouldn't use "du" in this case, and i understand why. i'd like some sort of explanation like this, if there's any.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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Sorry! I'll keep looking for a better explanation, but start here at "VI. Means/Manner": http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/preposition_de.htm

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jyjoo
jyjoo
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you don't have to be sorry, i appreciate your help!!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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Message from Sitesurf:
Cases where the article is dropped after "de" 1. With specific verbs constructed with de, and followed by an unmodified noun, the article is dropped: - avoir besoin de / avoir envie de / changer de (train, chemise, etc.) / manquer de / s'occuper de / se passer de / servir de (to put to use as) / vivre de / se tromper de... 2. Content or description (complément de nom): un mur de pierre, une tasse de thé, une chanson d'amour, salle de classe, jus d'orange... 3. With adverbial expressions about quantity: peu de, moins de, plus de (more), beaucoup de, autant de... 4. All negative expressions: plus de (no more), pas de, jamais de...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joyce7774
joyce7774
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thank you - now I get it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la.coccinelle

How would you translate 'It serves as the frontier'? I was marked wrong for this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/niklasmf
niklasmf
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I'm pretty sure it's the same. If you enter "il sert de" in linguee, it's translated to "it serves as the" in about half of the cases. To me, "It serves as the frontier" seems actually a more likely sentence, i.e., when talking about the border between two countries.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

"He serves at the border" is incorrect, and I understand why after reading these comments.
However, Duo offered * He serves as one border.* as a correct translation, which is odd. Is that translation correct?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Sounds ludicrous to me, the English, at least.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RollingUphill

I agree that "He serves as a border" or "He serves as a frontier" are ridiculous. The only translation/s that make sense to me are "It serves / is used as a border/frontier"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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No, neither of the expressions using "he" is correct, nor the use of "one". Someone had the idea that it would simplify things if "a" was universally interpreted as "one". In fact, much of the time it is very awkward (despite being grammatically correct) to use "one". To make it worse, the computer now thinks that one can insert "1" for "one" anytime and we occasionally see this in answers being displayed. It's utterly ridiculous but we're stuck with it until the problem is fixed.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lingolizard
Lingolizard
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In the audio, the "t" in "frontier" sounds strange to me, in that you almost can't hear it.

Is this an error in the recording, or is it just the way it is pronounced?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You're right, that T sounds weird. However, there is no difference between a French and an English T sound.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/19Shelley51

Sounds like "fronpierre" to these aging ears...there's a 'p' sound & don't understand why.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lingolizard
Lingolizard
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Ok, thanks

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Flossy22

These comments are most illuminating, thanks.."It acts as a border" makes the most sense to me. No 'person' is a frontier or border, me thinks.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VincentDiC2

Should accept "it acts as a boundary"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Whether "it" is a bridge or a river, I feel it just stands there. The meaning of "servir de" is rather passive, whereby geographers or politicians decided that "it" would be a boundary or frontier or border. So, in my opinion, there is no action on its part.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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English is strange that way. Something that isn't doing anything at all can still be acting as something, which makes no sense whatsoever. "It acts as a boundary" sounds fine to me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Fair enough, I added it. Thanks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

i heard various things over and over: Il sert de St. Pierre. Il sert de pierre....and none of that was close. I hope this is not a problem with my hearing. I hope to take a tablet to all conversations so folks can write me what they are saying. I fear I will never get it. I thought someone was going to eat St. Peter.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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It's not only you, the woman's voice is very bad here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaIramendy

All I can hear is de son père

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaleLewis

Frontier is not the same thing as a border in English. It's more than a border. It's the edge of something that is extremely different - not yet explored. The Old West was called The Frontier. Outer space is the new frontier.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/philwalding

It serves as a frontier . Makes more sense in English

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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Frontier, border, boundary. All are accepted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jill114763

I think the issue lies in DL use of "frontier" as the English translation for "frontière". Although it may also mean the same per Webster, the commonly used word is "border". Had they used it, the F to E translation would make sense to the majority of E speakers.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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But "border" is accepted, provided the rest of the sentence is correct as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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I get your point that "border" is the word used by English speakers and you will see that reflected in the "best answer". Sometimes non-native English speakers assume that it must be translated as "frontier" (which is also correct) because it just looks that way. While it may be understood, it is not natural (idiomatic) English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JulesF.
JulesF.
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Why is it not "Il sert comme une frontière."?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"Servir de" is a set construction.

Alternatively, with "comme", you would have to change the verb:

  • il/elle est utilisé(e) comme (une) frontière.
  • il/elle est considéré(e) comme une frontière
9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JulesF.
JulesF.
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thanks!

9 months ago