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  5. "Ai-je mes lettres ?"

"Ai-je mes lettres ?"

Translation:Do I have my letters?

February 9, 2013



I wish they would introduce you to a concept before speaking it to you...


lol ye! Many times im just guessing and hoping.

The concept of use of colons and commas, and the dropped e on je here caught me totally off-guard.


why not "have i my letters?"


In English, you almost never use inversion with the first person subject pronoun ("I"), unless you are using it with the past tense of a verb immediately after. You would never use this construction with a possessive adjective ("my").

For example:

Does work: "Have I found my letters?"

  • This is a form of inversion with the past tense (normally "I have found"). Using a possessive adjective "my" after this construction is acceptable in English.

Does not work: "Have I my letters?"

  • This is a form of inversion with the present tense (normally "I have"). Using a possessive adjective after this construction is not grammatically correct in English.


I think for British English, "have I my letter?" is correct, isn't it?


What is the point of saying 'Ai-je mes lettres' as opposed to 'J'ai mes lettres'?


"Ai-je" is a more formal way of asking a question by inversion. e.g. "Vous avez mon livre"/"You have my book" changes to "Avez-vous mon livre?"/lit. "Have you my book?"


It should be noted that "Have you", or more generally present tense inversion is not very common in English. It is more correct to say "Do you have my book?" as opposed to "Have you my book?"

Colloquially, the construction Do + subject pronoun + verb (present) is the most common construction for asking questions (present tense).

  • Did + subject pronoun + verb (present) = ask a question about something that happened in the past, e.g. "Did you steal my book?" (past tense).


If'n only I had your knowledge of grammar! I'd be level 20+ assuming of course I had enough brain left to run a memory. In my envy... excellent post.


Well, my knowledge of English grammar is based on my knowledge of French grammar, of which I was taught formally (in college; still learning!). That said, if you know the 'fancy terms' for the parts of speech (subject pronoun, for example: I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they), then you gain a bit of understanding of how languages work in general.

Tenses of verbs, parts of speech, etc. - once you learn things like that, then you can learn how they're put together (like in my example above), and with that, you'll gain a lot of insight into languages and how they work, as well as have an easier time learning them :)


I wrote have I my letters. Surely this is also correct?


Yes David. I think so. J'ai=I have, Ai-Je-Have I. Maybe DL needs a lesson in "perfect" English? Have a lingot.


Do you really say "have I my keys" rather than "do I have my keys"?


Yup! When I wanna be Poshe. Or when I look at the specific word-task DL has set me.


Yes I suppose you might find that line in a Noël Coward play or among a group of "luvvies" - not sure you should be encouraging such eccentricities though lol.

Were you in the acting line before retiring by any chance? ;)


Yup. Lyricist too. Poet and bus driver "Have you your bus pass upon yourself, madam? :)


Well if that construction works for ladies on buses then I should take back my objection lol ;)


The audio is very unclear here


I don't think so, it's very clear and accurate to me.


That's just how it sounds. It kind of gets squished together, rather than carefully pronounced.


Have I my letters - should be acceptable. The word "do" dose not appear.


Do I have my letters was accepted. Although "Catch I my humanities" may lose one a heart.


LOL :) You don't soon realize that 'lettres' also means 'humanities' - humanités - (meaning history, philosophy, literature), do you? And, of course, in this sentence the context is against this translation!!!


LOL...that was great! "Have I my letters" is how I translated it. A heart I did lose. hahaha...


Have I my letters? I think should be accepted. It denotes the same question!


Totally agree. How far are we allowed to translate into 'every day' language and how far are we permitted to stray from a more literal translation I wonder.


Although correct, using the inverted form of a question with "je" is uncommon.


This is interesting, Sally. I'm just learning. What is the most common way to ask this question?. Thanks in advance.


Even on the slow setting I couldn't tell what she said!


Its being prononced wrong. It would be treated like 2 different word not one whole one!

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