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  5. "En sommes-nous sûrs ?"

"En sommes-nous sûrs ?"

Translation:Are we sure of this?

January 30, 2013

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelo000

Dear lord, "en" sure is a tricky word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vagabond.Prodigy

Or,a powerful word,:-)


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

It looks like the portuguese "de, dessa, disso".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@angelo000 if I could give you more than 1 lingot for that statement... I think I would give you 20.


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

In French, it is similar in the way that when you want to say, "I want some (of it)" you have to say, "j'en veux" - meaning I want some (with "en" replacing the "of it". So instead of being able to say, "Are we sure?", you need to keep what English lost which is the thing of which you are sure. So you have to say, "Are we sure about this?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Megs1404

The way you have explained this is fantastic, just one question - why does the "en" have to come before "sommes-nous"? Is it something to do with the sentence being inverted to make it a question?


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

Yes - when sentences are inverted, the order of the objects changes.


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

Thank you so much for this! A lot is lost, or implied, in English in comparison to other languages. Since I can't think in French I really need triggers like this.


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

This 'EN' is complicated...need to pay close attention to get the real meaning of it. Could someone make an easy explanation of 'EN' and its variety of meaning?Please! Thanks in advance!


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

"of it/them", basically the complement of a word involving "de": j'en ai 3, I have 3 of them.
j'en suis sûr, I am sure of it.
ils s'en rendent compte, they realize it (the expression is se rendre compte de qqch).
ça en vaut la peine, it's worth the pain of it


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

Where is the "it" or "this" in the sentence? I just put "Are we sure?".


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

'En' acts in this capacity


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machu1093

en takes the place of phrases that come after the preposition "de" so an example would be je veux du vin -- j'en veux. in the latter of these two sentences en = du vin. so in the case of this sentence en sommes nous surs? en = of this


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

That's what I wrote too. I'm guessing that it's just an idiom?


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

To me it sounds something like /somenes/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel-Iowan

Is 'en' here an adverbial pronoun or a preposition. Im guessing the later(since we ARE in the preposition lesson) but its use here seems to indicate this is more of an idiom than the general use of it as a preposition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mforster1uk

"En" is a pronoun with a basic meaning "of this/that" or "of these/those". It is used extensively in French. It always goes with a verb as here. Literally "Of this are you sure?"

It's not to be confused with "en" as used in "en France" (in France) or "en marchant" (while walking) which is a different word.

I think Duolingo should have given a better explanation of the word here.


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

That made sense to me, thanks!


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

what about "est-ce que nous en sommes sûrs? "


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

If you rearrange the phrase, "En sommes-nous sûrs?", you will find that the declarative phrase was, "Nous sommes en sûrs." And that's why we should say, "Est-ce que nous sommes en sûrs?".


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

Actually, JeanPaul_G's version is the correct one. The declarative phrase would be "Nous en sommes sûrs". (source: native :) )

"Nous sommes en + something" isn't actually incorrect per se, but in this case en would be a preposition and the phrase would mean "We are in + something".
Nous sommes en France = We are in France,
Nous sommes en cours = We are in class.


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

Thank you for the clarification.


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

En sommes-nous surs. En = of that. Sommes-nous = are we. Surs= sure. It's not "en-sommes", it is "en sommes-nous".....


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

is "sommes-nous en surs" also correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/10756302

Can someone please explain to me, what is "en" when to use it.. and also, how did "en somme-nous surs" became "are we sure of this".. i don't understand at all :( thank you in advance !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetBerry2

Rearrage literal ...Of this are we sure.... to Are we sure of it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KrysseAl-e

Anyone else having trouble with Duo Lingo accepting this as a spoken phrase? I've tried 30 or so times and it has not accepted my spoken version of it once. I'm by no means fluent or speak with a perfect accent, but it's getting ridiculous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanJo3

I also can't get Duo to register that I'm saying this correctly! Haha I did about 30 retries as well before giving up and turning off my microphone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mikes390384

I turned off the mike months ago. I was having to speak the French with big gaps between the words to get duo to swallow it. Not really a useful exercise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CR.Olivia

Mikes390384...me too....tooooooo frustrating...I just keep repeating after DL's audios to translate from choosing the tiles below it. I'm saving $$$$ to taking lessons (after I've got a solid grip on all the verb tenses) to work mainly on pronunciation! Aug. 18, 2018


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

can it be translated as are we sure about this?


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

Yes, as well as "are we sure about it."


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

Is it grammatical to reconstruct the sentence as , Sommes-nous en surs ? , then the direct translation could be 'are we in surety ' ?


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

No, that is not correct. It has been a long time since I have taken a class in grammar and I have forgotten about placement of objects, prepositions, etc., in relation with verbs. All I can say is that the sentence in the exercise "En somme-nous surs" is correct. Another way of translating the sentence could be "Are we sure about it." The French would still be the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sangokhan99

Is there any french speaker who can explain what is the main role of "en"? so tricky


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

Why not "Are we safe?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ivo3185

Could you also avoid the "en" and say "Somme-nous sûrs"?


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

"Somme-nous surs?" is an incomplete sentence in French. You have to say, " en somme-nous surs?" to be understood. In English we can get away with, "are we sure?" and is considered a full sentence, even though it is not in a literal sense, as 'of it' or 'of this/that' is implied already.


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

The way that I heard it explained is that 'en' can replace a phrase beginning with 'de'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/austingelo07

I think the best explanation to this is the rule of "Object Inversion".


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

so how we express "we are sure of this." in affirmative sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mudhar99

It's weird because "En sommes-nous sûrs?" could also mean in English "are we safe?" Yes I know it's totally different but some sentences in the french language could mean more than one meaning so you should let the learner understand that (one sentence = more than one meaning). and thanks for your good job at duolingo.


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

c'est quoi la deferance entre "En sommes-nous sûrs ?" et "sommes-nous sûrs ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jytou
  • 1114

« En sommes-nous sûrs ? » => "Are we sure about it/this ?"

« Sommes-nous sûrs ? » => "Are we sure ?" (or "Are we safe ?" - in the sense of being reliable, you could see that in a mafia movie, one character speaking about his own team to his boss : « Sommes-nous sûrs ? Bien sûr que nous le sommes ! » "Are we safe ? Of course we are !")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean697340

It is much more common to hear something like "est ce qu'on est surs?"


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

Why not only "sommes-nous" insted of "en sommes-nous"?


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

Read the thread, it is explained quite clearly . You question was particularly addressed by jytou in a response to senna47 only 3 or 4 posts above yours.


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

Would it still be understandable if one say "Nous en sommes sûrs?" (with raising the voice at the end of the sentence to imply a question)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jytou
  • 1114

In fact, you will hear many French people saying it that way, instead of Duo's correct version, especially in casual talk, but I would refrain from using it in a more formal environment. The only thing is that it becomes ambiguous with the affirmation: « Nous en sommes sûrs! » ("we are sure of it"). So you have to realize that the tone is crucial here.


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

I agree. Here is an upvote!


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

Why not " are we sure about them"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/STRADS1551

Are the following also correct? 1) "Est-ce qu'on en est sûr?" 2) "En est-on sûr?" and 3) with"sûrs" because "on stands for "nous"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jytou
  • 1114

Both 1 and 2 are correct with the extra “s” as you guessed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/STRADS1551

Merci pour votre explication.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AHMAD822745

Sommes nous en sûr Couldn't that be correct?

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