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  5. "Cet outil marche bien."

"Cet outil marche bien."

Translation:This tool works well.

September 17, 2016



Mfw I type "This tool walks well." And for some reason click submit.

  • 1935

Marcher is used in a metaphorical sense, i.e., it cannot be translated literally as "walk" in this context. You must first understand what the sentence means (before translating it); only then can you translate it into an equivalent, correct and natural sentence in English.


Why not, "this tool runs well"? Machines do not walk, in English, but they do run!

  • 1935

Get used to the idea that the verb "marcher" when used in this context, means that it "works". A clock runs; a machine run; but a tool does not run.


Is "Cet outil travaille bien" equivalent? Or is there some intricacy that I'm missing?

  • 1935

It is just the way the French express the idea that something "works". We generally use "marcher". Rather than "travailler", the verb "fonctionner" might be used, such as the sentence that you don't want to hear: "les toilettes ne fonctionnent pas".


Why is this the best expression for "This tool works well"

  • 1935

Because it is the natural equivalent expression in French.


a tool is also a utensil

  • 1935

A tool is a general term: that is "outil". "Utensil" (un ustensile) can be a tool but in a more limited sense. For example, you may have kitchen utensils (ustensiles de cuisine). These may include spoons, pots, ladles, trays, bowls, strainers, containers, etc. You may have garden tools (ustensiles de jardinage) which may include devices both large and small. But you would not call a shovel (une pelle) a utensil.


Why is "this tool works good" wrong?

  • 1935

It may be used that way but the grammar is wrong. It works well, where "well" is an adverb modifying the verb. "Good" is an adjective.

  • 1324

Hints indicate that "good" is an option.


I get that this is an idiomatic use of marcher where english would use "runs". Machine tools "run", well or badly; but can a manual, unpowered tool "run"? A manual screwdriver or hammer can "work" well. Does marcher work here, too, with hand tools that depend on muscle not electricity? Or would my trusty old screwdriver *va bien"?

  • 1935

The tool cannot "va bien". But it can "marche bien".


Why is "this tool works good" wrong? Bien translates to well, fine and good. So it should be accepted.


It does literally translate to that, but unfortunately it is not good English. 'Good' and 'well' are a big headache in English.


I was taught marche means walk so im confused

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