"Ai-je mes lettres ?"

Translation:Do I have my letters?

February 9, 2013

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/gloscherrybomb

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

March 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Joel-Iowan

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.

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Imzadi

YES!

June 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/seanriley2

why not "have i my letters?"

July 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisCirefice

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.
May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hasonhai

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

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/adaobi

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

June 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/biokenjistry

"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?"

July 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisCirefice

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).
May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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.

May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisCirefice

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 :)

May 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidBrown64

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye
<h1>Jackjon</h1>

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

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? ;)

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob1234

The audio is very unclear here

February 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/strangeways

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

February 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/froggieogreen

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

March 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Janice33

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

July 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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

October 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mimma.I.

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!!!

November 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ahiwatt

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

November 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraSeifert

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

February 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lynpy

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.

February 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sallypooh

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

June 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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

June 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dchayes

;

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/padburygal

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

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cesttresjolie

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

May 13, 2015
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