"My brother wants to be an engineer."

Translation:Mon frère veut être un ingénieur.

February 1, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Can someone explain why there are the two correct translations - one with an "un" and another without?


Because you can technically say an engineer, but french professions don't require it.


Yes this is true and what they teach us throughout but then they throw this in for the sake of it, simply because it is also technically correct. But it's a most unnecessary point to prove. People want to learn, not to be caught out like some game.


what's frustrating is I have put un before other occupations and been marked wrong. Games are fine as long as the rules are clear.


Ah, but the game is the only way Duolingo teaches us. Besides, a heart is a small price for clarification, I'd say.


I agree. Consistency is better than trickery


Agreed. In another example using an article is marked as incorrect!


I checked several grammar sites and they say that you should not use the indefinite article between the verb "être" and a profession. For example: http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/professions.htm http://www.learn-french-help.com/indefinite-article.html

I will comment that this seems wrong and if it is technically correct ask that they (1) have a native speaker join this discussion and explain the rule and (2) correct the rest of the lessons to accept "un" or "une" between "être" and a profession.

[deactivated user]

    I think that the un is accidentally slipped in once in a while. I'm pretty sure when talking about people's professions, there is no 'un'. It's just He is lawyer_...


    I thought that as a rule we can't put "un". How is it?


    There should be no article here.


    If the translation with "un" is also correct, why Duo didn't accept it in other examples?


    why not 'devenir'?


    I think because devinir is "to become" and etre is just "to be" ..


    Yes, however to an English speaker "wants to be" and "wants to become" mean the same for the context of the sentence given here.


    Pretty close in common usage, but the meaning is not exactly the same - "to become" implies the process of becoming a lawyer - law school, bar exams, etc. "To be" is focused on the final state. Real life example - last night at dinner my daughter said she wants to be a lawyer. What she doesn't want is to go to law school or study for exams. :-)


    I thought the rule was that you didn't say 'an' unless it was qualified. For example, I want to be a great engineer. Okay, learning something now.

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