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  5. "He listens to you talk."

"He listens to you talk."

Translation:Il t'écoute parler.

January 27, 2013



Not great english? He listens to you talkING would be nicer


I thought the only time it was okay to have a conjugated verb followed by a verb in the infinitive was when both verbs were being done by the same person. But in this case, HE is listening and YOU are talking. So shouldn't I have to conjugate parler to match who is doing the action of talking? Thanks for any help.


I was thinking that way but made a mistake, and the "acceptable" correction I received was "Il écoute quand tu parles."


What if I didn't want to use "te", how could I rephrase this? "à toi parler" (didn't work)?


Il écoute quand tu parles.


Pour quoi pas, "il t'entend parler"?


That would be "he hears you talk", but may imply that he isn't actually listening, if that makes any sense. « Entendre » and « écouter » are distinct in French as "to hear" and "to listen" are distinct in English. :D HTH!


why can i not say: "il ecoute vous parler"?


If you were using "vous", it would be "il vous écoute parler".


Yes, but why can I not change the order to "Il écoute vous parler" like in spanish: "El la escucha a usted hablar" and "El a usted la escucha hablar".


I know this is a super unsatisfying explanation, but even though French usually uses "subject-verb-object", for pronouns (like in this case) the enclitic goes before the verb. (Nous les écoutons chanter, je te regarde manger etc. etc.) The only way I see the order working would be "il écoute quand vous parlez" (he listens when you talk). Does this help at all? D:

ETA: From the lesson on pronouns (the D means direct object, I means indirect object): "Object pronouns usually come before their verbs.

L'enfant me voit. — The child sees me (D).

Le lion le mange. — The lion eats it (D) (or "him"!).

L'enfant lui parle. — The child talks to him (I) (or "her"/"it").

Personal indirect object pronouns like lui can only refer to people or animals, but you can refer to all indirect objects with à + noun.

Je pense à la maison. — I am thinking about the house (I).

Je lis un livre à ma fille. — I am reading a book (D) to my daughter (I).

Me/te/le/la elide, so make sure you notice them when they hide in the first syllable of a verb.

Elle m'attend. — She is waiting for me.

L'enfant l'appelle. — The child calls to him (or "her")."


Thank you for your help!

Would I be able to say:

L'enfant a moi voit Le lion mange il L'enfant parle à il Je à la maison pense Je à ma fille lis un livre? or Je à ma fille le lis un livre?

How can I tell between correct and incorrect word orders in a sentence?

I guess it's one of those things to get used to when learning a new language (they can't all be the same, even though they share origins).

Appreciate the help, and any suggestions to improve intuitive sentence formation.


Glad it was somewhat helpful!

"L'enfant à moi voit" --> Because you wouldn't follow "voir" with "à", you could technically omit that and say "l'enfant voit moi" (the child sees me).

"Le lion mange il" --> "Il(s)" is a subject (like je, tu, elle(s)), so this would have to be "le lion mange la viande/le garçon/quelque-chose" or the one in Duolingo's example ("le lion le mange")!

"L'enfant parle à il" --> Similar to the one with the lion, "il(s)" can't be an object since it's a subject. If you were to translate this into English, it would be "the child talks to he". So usually you would fill in the object with a person, like "l'enfant parle à sa mère". I Googled it quickly, and it seems that you could not even use an indirect object for this:

""Je lui parle à elle" - colloquial, rather common...

"Je parle à elle" - not French, but perhaps sometimes used, with a strong stress on "elle", in lieu of "Je lui parle à elle".

"Parler à qqn de qqch" is constructed with personal pronouns like all verbs : Je te parle Je lui parle Tu me parles etc.

et jamais "Je parle à toi", "je parle à lui"." (From http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=80654 !) This was something new to me. :) I thought "parler" could be followed with "à + indirect object but apparently not.

"Je à la maison pense" --> Because la maison is an inanimate object, and à is used to follow [some] verbs when you're referring to an indirect object with it, your only option is "je pense à la maison"!

"Je à ma fille lis un livre" --> "Je lui lis un livre" or "je lis un livre à ma fille". I think a key takeaway is that the preposition "à" only follows certain verbs (it doesn't follow subjects)!

A little tidbit from About.com: "À + a person can usually be replaced by an indirect object pronoun that gets placed in front of the verb (e.g., Il me parle ). However, a few verbs and expressions do not allow a preceding indirect object pronoun - instead, they require that you keep the preposition after the verb, and follow it with a stressed pronoun (e.g., Je pense à toi )."

So if it's confusing why some verbs keep the preposition and others don't, hopefully that ^ helps a little bit! :)


Why not "il t'écoute quand tu parles"?


The English "He listens to you talk." is strange. Is it gramatically correct?


It's grammatically correct, although I've never heard it in casual use alone like this ("He listens to you talk"). That's probably in part because it's kind of vague (he listens to you talk... about what?) and partly because we're more likely to say "he listens to you" period (with the talking implied, unless there's some other context provided).


Thanks! Since I'm not a native speaker of English, I have a few more questions. 1) I guess "talk" here should be a verb instead of a noun. Otherwise it should be "He listens to your talk.". Is "listen to sb. do sth." gramatically correct? 2) I guess "you" here should be the indirect object of "listen", instead of the subject of "talk". Otherwise it should be "He listens (to you) while you talk." Any further advice, please ?


Oops, sorry I didn't see this until now.

1) Yep, it's a verb here. It may be a regional thing, but I rarely hear "talk" used as a noun in everyday life. (In fact, I think the only place I've seen it is in a book I read!) "To listen to sb. do sth." is grammatically correct so long as the thing the somebody is doing is producing some sort of sound. "He listens to you read" would indeed be a very odd sentence, without any other context. (*Edit: "He listens to you read [aloud]" would be an example of some other context, for example!)

2) The subject in this sentence is "he" and the verb is "talk", but you are correct that the indirect object is "you". "Talk" in "He listens to you talk" is a bare infinitive. It is a bit of a weird construction, for sure.



Merci beaucoup pour votre explication détaillée ! :)


he listen to you talk??? that doesnt make any sense,more like he listen when you talk

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