You can use "Pardon me?" meaning you didn't understand what the other person said, the same as "how?"
It does literally mean "how" but when used in this case, I think it means you didn't hear somebody and you want them to repeat themselves. Kind of how we would use "How's that?"
Because of the conjugation of verb "pardonner" in the imperative form, which is:
- "pardonne" (2nd person, singular)
- "pardonnons" (1st person plural)
- "pardonnez (2nd person plural and polite singular).
By the way, verb "pardonner" means "to forgive".
"pardon me?" is an invitation to repeat that we would more directly translate with the formal "je vous demande pardon ?" or more simply "pardon ?".
"comment ?" is less formal and "quoi ?" not very polite at all.
Opps, I meant to write "pardonne-moi".
But anyway, my problem seems to be with the original english. I read 'Pardon me?' to mean "will you excuse me", not as 'please repeat'. It really needs some sort of context here.
Is it supposed to use Imperative form/mode in French questions? While in English it appears to be implicit a kind of future tense "Will you pardon me?"
exactly "will you pardon me?" or "would you pardon me?".
In French, we rather say:
- "je vous demande pardon ?" or "pardon ?"
- or "excusez-moi ?" (less polite than: "je vous prie de m'excuser" = statement, not question).
Can you explain why you consider "quoi" not polite at all. My French speaking friends say it all the time and I want to make sure I'm not repeating something I shouldn't.
How many times have I told my kids "Don't say 'what?' ... It's Pardon!" They do it all the time, but adults don't like it! :-)
Interesting! When i first learn english, say "what" in this context was out of question, we had to say "excuse me" or " pardon me", because "what" sounds rude for english speakers haha
You are speaking to someone, singular or plural. You may say pardonne, [second person singular] or Pardonnez, [1st person plural.]
So according to the level of politeness, in english, 1. 'Je vous demande pardon' could be, 'I beg your pardon'. 2. 'Comment' could be, 'come again?' Or 'say again'. 3. 'Quoi' could be, 'what'? ..the least polite.
thank you for your explanation, sitesurf. are we to understand then that this expression is used only to indicate that the speaker has not heard or misunderstood what has been said? thank you in advance.
Yes, you understood well. But don't forget to raise your voice on the 2nd syllable to make the word sound like a question.
Hey! Where did these come from: Je vous demande pardon, Je te demande pardon? It looks like I you demand pardon....what does that mean? I know duo slips in stuff that you haven't learned before, but these don't even look right. Thank goodness this time it was in the first few questions and I can just start over but what do they mean? Why would you have a sentence that begins I you?
Object pronouns (direct and indirect) are placed in front of the verb:
I ask you = je te/vous demande
Je te/vous demande pardon = I beg your pardon
For each sentence, the program has one Best translation and other Accepted translations.
When you are shown "je vous/te demande pardon", you should consider them as alternative translations. By the way, it is the most polite way of asking someone to repeat what he/she has just said.
For your information, there are not just beginners learning French through this course, but also many advanced learners, who already have an extended vocabulary and may propose alternative answers that beginners do not know yet. Duo would be wrong to not accept these.
So now demande could also mean ask and/or beg?
Also, I am not questioning Duo's methods in this query, just what that je te/vous meant because I'd not seen it before. No need to chastise and if you didn't mean it that way, it's the way it reads.
You may also use extra resources like a good and free dictionary:
Thank you. I have an actual hard copy Larousse dictionary that I consult often when I'm at home, but I do practice at work during my lunch break as well. I'm getting the hang of it and I thank you for all of your help.
It is not incorrect, but it is not the way the French express it. Alternatively to "comment ?", you can also say "pardon ?". Then your counterpart will understand he/she has to repeat.
I answered with "excuse moi?" and it did the trick. I wouldnt have ever thought of comment...
To me comment means "What"... I guess it is the rude version of "pardon"! lol
My fiance is French. He just told me that "comment" does mean "pardon me" in the context of asking someone to repeat what they said. He said it was more common in his grandmother's time and only used in formal settings.
"Comment" means how in French. So how is it related to "Pardon" ?? I think this is an error in Duolingo
Actually, you use "comment ?" when you have not heard/understood what someone told you and you would like him/her to repeat.
The full question should be : "comment dites-vous ?" (more or less meaning "what did you say?")
This is not the most polite invite we have: "Excusez-moi ?" or "Pardon ?" would be much better.
The less polite question is : "Quoi ?"
Just take it as it is. :) In Romania we also say "Cum?" (=comment/how) when we don't understand what someone told us. I know it makes more sense to ask "what did you say?" then "how did you say?" but it just happens to be like this too.
Yes, that 'not very polite' "huh?" directly translates to "hein ?" (nasal vowel sound like in "pain")
The only translation I've learned for "Pardon me?" so far is "Pardon?" Annoying.
hey what is pardonnez ,pardonne and what is je vous demande pardon And how are they different
"pardonnez" is 2nd person plural in indicative present and imperative
- vous pardonnez
- pardonnez(-moi) !
"pardonne" is 1st and 3rd person singular in indicative present and 2nd person imperative
- je pardonne, il/elle/on pardonne
- pardonne(-moi) !
Can we say 'je demande vous pardonne' inspite of 'je vous demande pardonne'
No, you can't because "pardonne" is 1st or 3rd person singular indicative present of verb "pardonner".
The noun is "le pardon".
And object pronouns are placed in front of the verb.
"je vous demande pardon"
I was taught (decades ago) that pardonnez-moi and excusez-moi had different inferences...one was used to gain attention politely and the other was to excuse poor manners (like flatulence). Are they to be interchangeable?
There is not much difference between "excusez-moi" (excuse me) and "pardonnez-moi" (forgive me) other than more formality in the latter.
By the way, the most polite way of apologizing is "je vous prie de m'excuser/me pardonner", because (that's what I was taught as well), you should not assume you will be excused/forgiven.
But, nowadays, good manners are not really taught anymore so why uttering 8/9 syllables when "désolé" or "pardon" is so handy?
The French verb is "pardonner", that you have to conjugate to 2nd person singular or plural, in imperative:
- pardonne-moi !
- pardonnez-moi !
Hyphens are required notably in this case of a verb and its object in imperative:
- donne-moi, laisse-le, appelle-la...
and also in formal questions where the verb and the subject are reversed:
- manges-tu ? avez-vous ? savons-nous ?...
"pardon" is a noun and you need the verb "pardonner":
"pardonne-moi" or "pardonnez-moi" is the correct conjugation in imperative
The correct spelling is "excuse-moi".
Note that "tu" conjugations always an -s, except for the 1st group verbs (infinitive ending in -er) in the imperative mood, unless they are followed by a pronoun starting with a vowel:
- va !
- vas-y !
- mange !
- manges-en !
The French verb is "pardonner". In imperative: "pardonne-moi !" or "pardonnez-moi !"
"Le pardon" is a noun (forgiveness).
I was brought up not to say "pardon" (a command/imperative) nor "what" - both deemed common and vulgar by parents and teachers alike. We were told to say "I beg your pardon" or "I'm sorry, what did you say?"
The impolite equivalent of "what" is "quoi ?".
"Pardon" is very polite and "comment" is a standard alternative, whenever you invite someone to repeat what they just said.
"Pardon" is only the masculine noun.
"Pardon me" has a verb in imperative, and the French verb is "pardonner", which once conjugated in imperative gives:
- pardonne-moi ! (for "tu")
- pardonnez-moi ! (for "vous")
I am asked to cboose between answers could I chhse to type the words I think that'll help alot in recalling
No, the verb is "pardonner": je pardonne, tu pardonnes, il/elle/on pardonne, nous pardonnons, vous pardonnez, ils/elles pardonnent.
In the imperative mood: "pardonne-moi !" or "pardonnez-moi !"
Sorry .It's a bit tricky : I have never heard a native English person say " pardon me" only "pardon"
I'm a native of the U.S. and am much more likely to say "pardon me" than "pardon". I would raise the tone if I am asking a speaker to repeat an utterance, starting with the second syllable of "pardon" and slightly higher still with "me". If I were moving through a crowd of people and asking them politely to move aside to let me pass, I would say "pardon me" lowering the tone on "me". I'd call that polite imperative, but I am not a linguist.
Hey, merci beaucoup for the beautiful explanation between "comment" and "pardonner", and why using "quoi" is considered impolite...the equivalent here in hawaii for hawaiian creole english speakers is "EH" lol...those two letters are also a rude way of getting someone's attention. :-)
I live in Hawaii as well. Had no idea there was Hawaiian Creole here- never heard it... but very interesting. I think EH is an impolite form of WHAT in any form of English. Since Creole has French roots I'm curious if this makes learning French easier or harder?