Why does it have to be "Ils nous écrivent un livre." when it could just as easily be "Il nous écrive un livre."? They sound identical!
Why not ? Because that does not exist. The singular form is "il nous écrit" which sounds differently (no V sound)
does this website have any resources to teach the syntax of this language becuase a word for word translation here does not make any sense
No there is not, but you can search on the web. One of learners' favorites is: http://french.about.com/sitesearch.htm?q=French+verbs+%2B+prepositions&SUName=french Just type your topic in the top bar and you will find syntax and grammar tips.
Not word-for-word, but it makes sense. You just have to know that, in French, indirect objects precede the verb. "They write us a book," becomes, "they us write a book": "Ils nous ecrivent un livre."
I'm just beginning to have difficulty with the syntax as it's so different to English.
singular is "il nous écrit" while plural is "ils nous écriVent" (you should hear the V sound)
How are you supposed to know whether it is il (singular) or ils (plural)? They sound the same...
You are supposed to read the thread before posting: the answer to your question appears several times.
Does anyone else think "they write us a book" is bad English? It certainly jars for me, but this is perhaps because my mother tongue is a minority variety of English. I'd say "they're writing a book for us".