"Les filles sont-elles pauvres ?"

Translation:Are the girls poor?

January 30, 2013

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/letisa

is it right to just say "les filles sont pauvres ?" or "sont les filles pauvres ?" with the proper intonation? i don't think i get the reason for the "sont-elles", seems redundant.

October 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pythonenfrancais

I initially read it as "The girls. Are they poor?" and took the first half to just be Duo giving us some context. As an above comment mentioned, when forming questions there seems to be three ways to go about it from most formal/correct to least:

<pre>Est-ce que les filles sont pauvres? Les filles, sont-elles pauvres? Les filles sont pauvres? </pre>

The very last one, as far as I can tell, is used only orally and is highly informal, possibly even heading into slang. The top two are both correct with the top one being the most formal; either of these top ones are ok for writing letters, etc.

The top one is the classic way to form a question. The middle one is an alternative way to form a question and requires inverting the verb-pronoun phrase. The above comment mentions that a pronoun must be used, not a noun. It may be redundant, but every language has it's odd points.

November 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

Just a small correction here, if you don't mind. Inversion verb-subject (or verb-subject pronoun, as here) is always the most formal form of asking a question. Using "Gallicism" (as one of the users here called it on several occasions) "est-ce que" followed by a regular order of subject, verb and object in a sentence is a standard, usual way of asking a question, but it is always a less formal one then the inversion verb-subject form.

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pythonenfrancais

I can accept that. I've seen some back and forth on which of the two ("Gallicism" and the inversion of the verb-subject) is more formal, but I think the general consensus is in agreement with you.

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SilaDey

Thanks you guys, this was helpful!

November 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/urbanglo

Good explanation

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CCruSi

thanks very much

January 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/denialfonseca

I came here looking for this question.

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Marito619854

I agree verly much :)

November 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chartreux

I answered this as "The girls, are they poor?" and is was ok. Is this literal translation as I wrote it valid?

September 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

It's valid, but that construction is rarely used.

October 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/al3x46498

Could you explain better? Please....

January 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

I mean that although "The girls, are they poor?" is grammatically correct, we would normally ask simply "Are the girls poor?".

But "The girls, are they poor?" is the literal, word-for-word translation.

January 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bovinecow

Why elles?

January 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bucko

because the verb conjugation 'elles sont' is being inverted in order to turn the sentence into a question

January 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kikki90

Ok, but the subject is already there. I mean, there are already the words "les filles" Could anyone explain it?

May 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren

You've been waiting a month, so I'll try. Maybe someone more fluent can explain it better later. :) If you use the question form Est-ce que... then you can just leave the words in the usual order and you don't need the extra pronoun 'elles'. (Est-ce que les filles sont pauvres?). However, if you use the inversion form of the question, you have to use the pronoun (elles) after the verb (sont). If you were simply asking "Are they poor?", you wouldn't need the extra subject 'les filles'. Because this example is asking "Are the girls poor?", you have to have 'les filles' in there, but you also need the pronoun 'elles' because of the inversion 'sont-elles'. I think. :) (Sorry this is so long!)

June 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Pratia

thanks for the explanation koolkaren.

August 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren

My pleasure. :)

August 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DuFarge

J'espere si.

May 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CaliforniaKenyan

Thank you for casually blowing my mind with this comment. It was unexpected and enlightening at the bottom of the page here :) I had always thought 'si' to mean 'if'. Because of you, I went researching this and learned more about the french language. Thank you for simply writing, 'I hope so'! :)

September 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/eclairevoyant

Should there be a comma after "les filles", since it's being emphasized?

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

I can only say that the few times I've seen this construction outside of Duo, there's no comma. In any case, I don't think this actually qualifies as a case of emphasis (as you might see with the tonic accent). Rather, it's a case of necessity if you want to use inversion, since you need to preserve the "les" somehow. If I'm right about that, then you wouldn't expect a comma.

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

I guess it should, especially since "elles", as a pronoun for "les filles", comes almost right after... But, then again, I've seen it on several occasions without comma... Maybe they do not consider it as a mistake in writing.

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally410

Just a small question, is there ever a comma in this pattern of phrase e.g. Les filles, sont-elles pauvres ? Or is it more of a known pause?

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

I will never understand how and when the French use commas, and I know that the French feel the same way as to when and how commas are used in English. For that matter, even English speakers will debate the usage of some commas.

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1719

It is a common syntax in French.

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TedMurphy

Why is "are the daughters poor?" not correct?

September 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BampaOwl

Indeed why not? Reported.

August 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Accepted now.

August 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BriBertoia

Am I supposed to know this is a plural subject (les filles) because of sont? I keep making the same mistake where I type the singular forms of nouns because they sound the same as plurals.

April 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Sont is a clue, yes, but you could have known before that because les is pronounced differently than le.

April 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BriBertoia

Ah, thank you!

April 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/pnitish

Can't the correct French translation of this sentence be "Sont-les filles pauvres?"

June 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Algaenon

Why can this not be "Sont les filles pauvres?"? That seems like it would be a correct inversion. I keep getting confused by questions formatted this way.

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

You cannot invert with nouns, which is why the given form exists.

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Algaenon

Oh okay, I think I understand. Do you mean that you can only invert pronouns? That's the clearest anyone's explained it to me so I appreciate it.

November 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Yes, so to "invert" a noun subject, you use the appropriate subject pronoun (matching number and gender).

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Frank-O-Phile

Shouldn't "impoverished" be an acceptable translation for "pauvres" in this case?

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/P_V.
  • 860

Yes.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sierra12770

I literally typed the answer letter for letter and it said i was wrong.

August 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SolitudeNL

Is any one able to tell my why: "Are those girls poor" is incorrect as a translation ?

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1978

Because "the" and "those" are not interchangeable in either language, and for the same reason.

"Those girls" would be "Ces filles".

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SolitudeNL

thanks

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JackieYoung1

Multiple choice error number 45!!!! 'Pauvres' missed from the sentence but only 'pauvre' offered as a choice of answer. Another set of questions I will have to begin again as I can't answer this one correctly. What a bore!!!!

May 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JackieYoung1

Multiple choice error number 59. 'Pauvres' left out of the sentence but not offered as a possible answer. I do not think I am ever going to be able to complete this section on adjectives if these errors aren't corrected. PLEASE, Duolingo, check ALL of your multiple choice questions!

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree

Wow, am I the only one who thinks the audio sounds like it’s saying peuvre or peuvrent? Not pauvre?

Obviously pauvre(s) is a real word and peauv... is just the sound but am I the only one who thinks the pronounciation is off on this one? Is it maybe an accent thing?

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/siyer2014

"are the daughters poor?" - is marked wrong. Aug23,2018. Reported

August 23, 2018
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