"S'il vous plaît, dites-moi."

Translation:Please, tell me.

February 5, 2013

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I must say I am finding this whole section on reflexives difficult.


I know how you feel, the last lesson took me about six attempts to finish!


We do it for the lingots!


do the first lesson often for easy lingots!!


Vive les lingots! (Pls tell me that's correct, vivent just doesnt seem right...)


Both can be used when the object is plural.


Thanks site surf for repeatedly answering my queries.. Merci beaucoup


sitesurf, we need more of your explanations toward the beginning of learning these words. the scroll-over translations are way too general and vague so when we run into an exception to a rule, it is so late that we have to either scan through comments or search elsewhere, such as google translate.


Unfortunately, I cannot give any explanation until a question is asked on the forum! So, better late than never...


LOL you cannot? What happened to your mind-reading abilities? hahaha... You’re fantastic bro (assuming you are a “he” of course)... I’m a big fan!


Sitesurf reports herself as she.


thanks norternguy... umm... then “bro” might be slightly inappropriate :P


Is there a reason for the hyphen between dites and moi


it is a mark of the imperative and interrogative forms.


So does imperative forms always use the conjugation like "dites"?


Half the hearts I lose are from the horrible, unclear voice. I'm thinking about disabling audio altogether, but I want to have some idea of how to pronounce new words. I wish they had a way to disable only the "Listen and type in French" lessons.


To me this one sounds like it should. A way to practice the oral comprehension is to use www.forvo.com and there listen to several different native voices reading the same words and phrases.


I know! All I heard was WEETEH-WAH :/


The accent is WAY too thick and it is too muffled!


Yes, the indiscernible enunciations are extremely frustrating. Sometimes I have to take a wild guess based on the context of the sentence.


How do we know the correct conjugation in 'dites-moi'?


You have to learn conjugations together with every new verb:

je dis, tu dis, il/elle/on dit, nous disons, vous dites, ils/elles disent.


This much I know, my question was more along the lines of; How do I know to conjugate dire in this form. Should I take my clue from 's'il vous plait'?

So 'S'til te plait, dis-moi' would be correct?


Oh I see now.

This form is imperative :

  • "dis-moi" for "tu" ;

  • "dites-moi" for "vous" (polite and plural) ;

  • disons-lui (I changed the pronoun so that it makes sense) for "nous".


thanks for all your comments, they are lifesavers


and you remove "-s" from "tu" only in 1st group verbs?


That's right: only first group verbs (infinitive ending in -er) lose their -s at second person, imperative.

Only one exception I can think of right now: verb aller (fake 1st group) :

  • tu vas là-bas (indicative)

  • va là-bas ! (in front of a consonant)

  • vas-y ! (in front of a vowel)


What is a first-group verb?



A first group verb is a verb (except aller) that ends in -er in its infinitive form.

A second group verb is a regular verb that ends in -ir in its infinitive form.

A third group verb is a verb that ends in -ir in its infinitive form and do not belong in the second verb group, i. e. it is irregular, or a verb that ends in -re in its infinitive form.

All verbs in a group share the same basic conjugation pattern, except for those in the third group.


disons-lui (I changed the pronoun so that it makes sense) for "nous".

I don't get the preceding comment.

Why disons-lui when lui means him, her, it, he? That would seem to require third person singular form.

Disons-nous would seem to mean tell us.

What does disons-lui mean?


"disons-lui" = "let's tell him/her"

Indirect forms: "à + il" or "à + elle" are both "lui"

"disons-nous" = "let's tell ourselves"

All these forms are imperative, not interrogative.


Excuse me, can you tell me how to say "Tell me" if I am talking to the person I have just met? (Formal, singular - I mean).


Like Sitesurf said, «S'il vous plaît, dites-moi.» is the polite singular, as well as the plural. There's no difference between them.


Why not 'me' instead of moi


This is due to the imperative form: vous me dites, but dites-moi


An imperative verb, 15 sections early, in a listen and type exercise. Gotta love Duo sometimes.


It's not like we learn our first language "in order"... .


Sure, but there's a lot about how we learn our first language that we shouldn't repeat when learning our second language. It would be very inefficient and wouldn't leverage our expertise as speakers of some language. In any case, I was mostly being silly since I'm fine with being thrown curve balls. I just got unlucky with having this one come for the first time on a listening exercise.


it sounds more like vites moi!!!


Not to me, but I'm used to French. Perhaps you need some more oral comprehension practice? www.forvo.com is a good place to practice that, in smaller portions than Duolingo's full phrases, over and over again and with several accents.


Can't "dites-moi" also be say to me?


Yes, someone asks you to tell him/her something.


Hang on, why is "If it pleases you, tell me" incorrect? DL says it should be "If you please, tell me" but how is that different from my answer? Doesn't "S'il" = "if it"?


In french, 's'il vous plait' is kind of a phrase which means 'please'. We don't see the meaning of each word in it.


Yes, "if it pleases you" and "if you please" are both equivalents of "please."


Why won't it accept "y'all"? My dad is from Alabama; he says it all the time! Is Duo too posh?


If promoting proper English and proper French is posh, so yes, Duo is posh.


'Y'all' is not improper English; it's perfectly lovely English. Besides finding a place in most English dictionaries (with the simple indication that it's a second person plural pronoun and no indication of impropriety), it's used systematically and spontaneously by something approaching half of the population of the United States, as well as many other dialects unrelated to the US.

And for good reason: it fills a linguistic void created when thou and ye fell out of favor (mostly through the influence of French after the Norman conquest, it so happens), and serves to avoid certain kinds of ambiguity. What's actually being promoted by declaring it improper is the same prescriptivism that squashed the spontaneous rise of "You is" and "You was" to fill that void around the late 18th and early 19th century. There is no doubt in my mind that "y'all" has more than met the standard of what makes something part of a language, if we would only get out of the way.

So far from promoting improper English, it would be recognizing the fact that languages change, that "y'all" stands at the forefront of an important change brought about by building linguistic tension. If none of that is convincing, or you think it's too regional, how about the fact that "y'all" occurs with more than 7 times the frequency of "billfold" (a word accepted by DL for « portefeuille ») in published English?


Would "S'il te plaît, me dis" be acceptable?


There is no reason to change the word order when you change the personal pronoun: dîtes-moi -> dis-moi, dis-lui, dis-nous...


I'm not talking about the word order per se. I've seen "me dis" used in different contexts and was wondering why it would be incorrect or inappropriate here.


The context here is that of the imperative voice.

when you give an order, you have to switch subject and verb and add a hyphen:

tu me dis -> dis-moi !


That helps. Thank you!


"S'il te plaît, dis-moi" (if you like, tell me, or, more literally, if it pleases you, tell me).


What's the difference between lites-moi and dites-moi? Both are correct apparently!


"lites-moi" is not French.

from verb "lire": lisez-moi

from verb "dire": dites-moi


In what context? Like, was this when it read to you, or when you were translating from English, or...?


At this stage do we lose hearts for not using the circumflex? It's happened to me twice while practicing this chapter.


You answer your question yourself, it seems. Think of î as another letter than i, just like E and F are different letters with minor graphical difference.


Shouldn't "If it pleases you" be right? Si + il + vous + plait = If it (you) pleases.... If it pleases you. Even if, as some say, the French do not see the meaning of each word, it's still acceptable in English. Now I have only one heart left that's why I'm ranting xD


Yes, I think it should be accepted.


At this stage do we lose hearts for not using the circumflex? It's happened to me twice while practicing this chapter.


I think Duolingo should just put the reminder and not take away hearts. I imagine it would be quite a nuisance doing timed practice and having to use the mouse to get your letters


Could you not also say "S'il vous plaît, me dire"?


This is the imperative for verb "dire":

  • dis (tu)
  • dites (vous)
  • disons (nous)

you may use "me dire" but in another construction:

  • merci de me dire si je peux entrer.
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