"L'homme offre des roses."

Translation:The man gives roses.

January 31, 2013

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Can anyone tell me, how is 'offrir' different to 'donner' (give?) Is offrir really more like "offer"?


"offrir" is really about giving a present to someone or proposing something to s.o.

"donner" is more generally the physical or figurative act of handing out something to someone.

  • il donne sa carte d'identité au policier (he gives his ID to the policeman)
  • je te donne ma parole (I give you my word)
  • puis-je t'offrir un café ? (may I buy you a cup of coffee?)
  • il me l'a offerte pour mon anniversaire (he gave it to me for my birthday)
  • je leur ai offert mon assistance (I offered them my assistance)


Sitesurf, you are so helpful. Thank you!


I gave you a lingot for making that crystal clear :)


I have a question about the fourth exemple. The original sentence should be" Il a offert . . .“.And in Passé Composé, words with "avoir" don't accord with the gender and number. Why is there an "e" after "offert"?


Because there is "l' " in front of the verb, standing for "la", personal pronoun in direct object form, replacing a feminine (my choice) object.

  • cette rose, il me l'a offerte
  • ce stylo, il me l'a offert


Ah je vois maintenant, merci beaucoup!


Conclusion: In Passé Composé,the past participle almost always agrees with the subject when the auxiliary verb is être. When the auxiliary verb is avoir, the past participle must agree with the direct object(by adding "e" to the verb whose subject is feminine and "s" to the verb whose subject is plural) if the direct object precedes the past participle in the sentence.
Is that correct? :)


And can you, please, explain, what the the difference between "offrir" and "propose". ( Thanks a lot for all your explanation, they really help, always! )


It is not clear how “Il me l’a offerte pour mon anniversaire” makes sense (SiteSurf’s example). It’s a past tense usage, so either he physically GAVE it, or not. It is a statement of fact and not a proposal to do something. Can anyone help clarify this for me?


Offrir = donner ( when you give someone a thing with love such as gifts , flowers


Yes, and I would say "The man offers roses" is a better English translation here. "Offrir des roses" immediately makes me think of someone buying flowers for someone else.


The translator suggested offre (don't know infinitive form, sorry) can mean "to buy". If that's true, how does offre differ from acheter?


It might mean "to buy for [someone]".


In French, it is not very delicate to mention money when it comes to presents. That is why, the French avoid "acheter" and use "offrir" or "donner" instead.

  • may I buy you a drink? = je t'offre un verre ?


That's very helpful, thank you!


From what Sitesurf says, in that the French verb offrir basically equates to the English verb "to gift", shouldn't one of the correct answers be; "The man gifts some roses"?

Merci d'advance. :)


"gift" is a noun (= a present), derived from verb "to give", so "the man gives some roses" is correct.


In English, it is incredibly common to see 'to gift' used as a verb. It does make a difference in meaning when used. For example; "My dad gave me the money." or "My dad gifted me the money." They could mean the same thing but the latter is far more specific.

English aside, in French, does the verb only relate to presents? (Hence why I asked if 'to gift' was more appropriate).


Verb "donner" is not restricted to giving presents. It is used for any usual way of transfering something.

"tu peux me donner l'heure ?"

"j'ai déjà donné" (idiom = "been there, done that")


why is 'des roses' here 'some roses' but 'ils parlent des canards verts' is 'tehy talk of the green ducks'?


verb "offrir" is transitive, ie no preposition:

  • singular: il offre une rose; plural: il offre des roses (he gives a/one rose -> he gives roses)

verb "parler de" is intransitive, ie to be used with preposition "de":

  • singular: il parle du (= de+le) canard vert (about the green duck); plural: il parle des (=de+les) canards verts.


can you explain why "intransitive"? (- parler + de + canards) is it a "complément circonstanciel"?)


The exact expression for 'intransitive' is rather 'indirectly transitive', meaning that the object is introduced by a preposition (parler de quelque chose and not parler quelque chose).

A complément circonstantiel adds information on circumstances: time (when), location (where), manner/means (how):

Il lui offre des roses chaque semaine = time

  • note that in the sentence above, "des roses" is direct object and "lui" indirect object (= à elle = to her)

Il va chez le fleuriste = location

Il lui offre des roses en souriant = manner

Il s'en va avec son vélo = means


Ok, I have a French Grammaire and that is its explanation: "Les verbes intransitifs sont ceux qui expriment une action ne passant pas du sujet sur une personne ou sur une chose; ils n'appellent pas de complément d'object e suffisent avec leur sujet à exprimer l'idée complète de l'action: La terre tourne."Is the English Grammar different?


In French and in English an intransitive verb does not have a direct object as a complement. The action does not pass from the subject directly to a person or a thing and the action is enough. With a transitive verb, we would be left hanging if you did not explain further. For example, "to say" or "dire" is a transitive verb. "I say...." Without a direct object, people will ask "You say what?" http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/dire

"parler" or "to speak" is used as an intransitive verb often, but it can be used as a transitive verb also, taking languages, business, or shop as its object. http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/parler

"tourner" can also be used as a transitive verb (vt) or an intransitive verb (vi). http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/tourner


Why is "the man is giving the roses" incorrect.


If offre means "give" but also "buy", how do we know which is happening. Is he giving or buying roses? Is in just a contextual thing that I'm not seeing?


With "offre" you cannot know if the man actually bought the roses or if he picked them up from his own garder or if he stole them.


Yes sitesurf i too find your post helpful. Thank you


So how is the pronunciation of "des roses" different from "de rose"?


de sounds like "duh" in English with the aspirated "h" clipped off.

des sounds like "day" in English with the "y" not elongated out.

(Same for le and les.)

The ending "s" of roses won't be pronounced so it's often the article that gives away plurality.


I guess that I don't "get it". Offer to me means to extend to someone the opportunity to possess something that I can provide. If subsequently that person accepts the "offered" thing, only THEN did you GIVE them something. This nuance seems to be completely lost in translation with French.

I accept the example of "puis-je t'offrir un cafe" given by Sitesurf as consistent in this case as in "May I buy you a cup of coffee".

But, it is not consistent with the meaning in English of "offer" in the context "The man gives me roses".

There is no mention of the acceptance of the act, completion of the offer is to have GIVEN.

If the the person that received roses from "the man" is saying this sentence, do they actually mean that the man offered them, or GAVE them?

There is a difference in offering to give someone something, and then actually giving it to them.

Is the French language completely oblivious to this difference? Then I have a bridge I'd like to "offer" you.


"Offrir" is synonymous with "proposer" in the sense that it does not assume acceptance of the thing offered.

In business, the nouns "une offre" or "une proposition" is a description of the product or service and a cost estimate.

"Offrir" is also synonymous with "donner" when it comes to presents and gifts. Acceptance of the present or gift is not explicit either.

In other words, "offrir", "proposer" and "donner" are one-way actions. What the receiver does is not implied.

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