Translation:It is useless to speak with him.
"Ne sert a rien" = is useless. Makes sense but it's also something that may need to be memorized.
Correct solutions: • That is not useful to discuss with him. • It is useless to speak with him.
What happened to the rien in this sentence. Presumably rien means something different from pas. I would think ne sert à pas means something different from ne sert à rien. Close but different.
Cela is more formal; ça is informal. So if register isn't important, they are interchangeable. In cases where Duo accepts a construction with one of them, it accepts the same construction with the other (there may be a few exceptions, and they will probably be corrected).
Could I use what I think is a more direct translation: "It serves nothing to discuss with him"? Duolingo didn't accept it.
i don't think i've heard that in english. the translation suggested though 'It is useless to discuss with him.' is more common
Hmmm, I don't know. "Discuss" is usually used in a transitive sense, as in "there's no use discussing it with him", notice the "it". But that was marked wrong too.
I agree that if we use discuss in the English translation you need it but I think that in french you would then need le before discuter.
In English we discuss something, so discuss with him should be incorrect in my opinion, which it isn't. Speak with him is a good, if somewhat old-fashioned option. We would possibly say talk to him which DL may not like.
I like the intransitive "debate" or "argue" rather than "discuss". "It is useless to debate/argue with him."
That construction works now! When all else fails, I try my best to translate word for word...it worked this time :)
it serves no use = it is useless = it serves no purpose; the first one is not accepted
so after prepositions such as avec use "French Stressed Pronouns - Pronoms disjoints" (?)
That is correct. This site http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns_stressed.htm gives a good, short review of how stressed pronouns are used . ( part V deals with the use of stressed pronouns after prepositions).
That is interesting. How many Americans say to their spouse, "It's no use arguing with you!" That's a valid expression.
It would be really, really great if Duo could change the "correct" answer from "There is no point discussing with him" which is in fact grammatically incorrect because "discuss" lacks the required object, to "There is no point discussing it with him." It is the same kind of thing as French requiring an object (specific or "y") with "aller" when English does not require one with "go," and Duo has been able to deal with that!
with respect, i disagree, it's no use in this context means it is no use and is quite a common expression http://www.talkenglish.com/LessonDetails.aspx?ALID=2086#
The contracted it's is for it is, which is what we need because discuss is a verb.
It is no use learing Latin - it's a dead language (not my opinion BTW)
It is no use trying to walk - you'll never make it in time
It has is not contracted and is used with nouns
This silly bit of plastic HAS no use, I am throwing it out
You are mostly right, but "it has" IS sometimes contracted to "it's", usually as an auxiliary. E.g. "he's been there before, she's done it" etc..
How about 'its been a long day' or 'it's got something to do with the present I bought her'? 'It has' can and does contract into 'it's'.
As I understand it :
"It is not worth" is more "ça ne vaut pas le peine"
or "ce n'est pas la peine" (In speech - "c'est pas la peine")
as opposed to "it is useless" or "serves nothing" (Ça ne sert a rein) A very slight nuance in english but the "worth" expression implies "worth the effort or the bother" Maybe the same nuance applies in french.
It does not serve to argue with him. This is accepted in English. When s/thing serves it is useful. Should be accepted by duo.
argue = SE disPuter
The French word discuter doesn't mean "argue" - it just means to discuss, talk about, speak to etc. Unlike "discuss" in English, it doesn't need an object.
Is lui specifically masculine here because it's a disjoint pronoun?