"Elle ne peut pas lire ni écrire."

Translation:She cannot read nor write.

February 9, 2013

201 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/baris.demiray

Why "She can neither write nor read" is not correct here?

February 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/shimself

i think because they are in a different order. I agree with you should be allowed.

February 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Carina90

In English, we say "read and write." It's in a specific order because English. It sounds strange to me to say "write and read" although it should be accepted.

January 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/milkaturtle

It shouldn't be accepted as the french sentence is 'lire ni ecrire' which is means "read and write' and not the other way around.

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/glaceon953
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The order is not a strong enough excuse not to accept a valid and better sounding translation, this is the same as with adjective order, there's no need to follow it but we know it is a big old round red ball not an old round red big ball

July 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

Unfortunately this phrase landed smack in the middle of an American colloquialism "read and write".

And as tempting as it is to change the word order- I don't think we can.

Our translation must be able to to translate back into the sentence that was given to us (reverse translation)

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaWolven

It sounds strange to me too

September 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BigWayne19
Plus
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------- she cannot either read OR write . . .

Big 21 jul 18

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/taramitzy
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You're right. She can neither read nor write is also correct - but NOT she cannot read nor write.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ronald.mora

Agreed.

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/highlyghost
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+1

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/catpower50

cool picture.

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ronald.mora

U mean my profile pic?

October 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelPh6

none of you guys have profile pics

January 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/baris.demiray

Hmm that'd be why, I overlooked the order. Thanks!

February 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/UlrichW
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As you would in translating.

February 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/markandrew
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Exactly! I don't think the order should matter, really.

May 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fizzletto

It's not just the order. If there were 2 'ni's, you could say "neither nor ". Because there's only one, it's only "or"

October 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095
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DL's exercises are marked correct by a computer program. You need to put them in the correct order to show DL that you know the correct translations for the two words. You might think it obvious, but if the words were a bit more obscure that would not be the case. What is obvious to one person is not necessarily obvious to someone else, and it is never going to be obvious to the DL program. To accept incorrect word orders for all possible exercises would make DL's job impossible as they would have to list all those possibilities in every exercise for them to be marked correct. Easier to just put them in the right order and move on.

March 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shimself

@fizletto the NE counts for the first negative. If you google around English grammar sites you will find that He can't do this OR that won't do.
It's a list of things she can't do so every item in the list after the first should have NOR in front.

October 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/killerman64
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assume Duo is a strict teacher. Honnêtement, nous ne devrions parler la langue que nous apprenons dans la section des commentaires. comme dans une vraie classe française.

May 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Karl-A

Only that somebody who can write will most certainly be able to read, but not vice versa. So there is a slight difference. But that's nitpicking.

October 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Then how would Duolingo know if you know which word means which?

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Goran12
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I've seen cases where the "most correct" solution was order-insensitive, so I supposed this should be accepted here too.

January 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/joannewjoannew

I agree as well, also the "nor"/"ni" totally threw me off...

July 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pudgiebudgie

I would've thought that would be "elle ne peut ni lire ni écrire". As I understand it, "ne...ni...ni" means "neither...nor", whereas "ne...pas...ni" means "not...or".

Can anyone verify this?

July 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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"Or" would be "ou" This is literally "She cannot read nor write." so not one nor the other which is technically the same as neither ... nor. Someone should just report it. In French double negatives don't make something positive, but instead this makes it a stronger negative. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/negation_double.htm

In English "She cannot read or write." feels less strong to me than "She can neither read nor write."; however, I am sure in colloquial English you might find it used as much.

March 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/pudgiebudgie

It's been a while, and it might have changed since then, but the English sentence here "She cannot read nor write" feels off to me. I think it should be either "she can't read or write", or "she can neither read nor write". You can only use "nor" if you first use "neither". If you say "she can't read nor write", that doesn't sound right, does it? And it shouldn't make a difference whether you use cannot or can't.

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LynnSerafi
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I have reported it. Grammatically, "nor" should ONLY be used with "neither". Otherwise, you need to use "or".

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BlackSea
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Looks like "ni" means "or" on its own and that's how it's used in this sentence.

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
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Sort of. The idea is that it's a "negative" or. In English we generally don't repeat negative words throughout the sentence so once we've said, "She cannot read..." we don't say "nor" because the negative is still operative; we know that neither can she write." However, in the French you've got "ne...ni...ni...ni...." for as many items in the list. I understand that we need to understand how the French grammar works, but when it comes to English, we should be able to take the idea and put it in the best form to express that same idea and not insist that we have a word-for-word correlation. "She cannot read or write" perfectly expresses the same idea in grammatically correct English.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ginagillen
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actually it is more correct English to say neither nor.

December 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Perseph1955
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Nor should be used only with neither. She can neither read nor write. She can't read or write. NEVER She can't read nor write. (Prof. of English.)

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JesusLivesInMe

I agree with you, Perseph1955.

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rimjus
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I googled multiple dictionary definitions, and while 'nor' usually accompanies 'neither', there is no steadfast role preventing its use otherwise.

For instance, on Cambridge's dictionary site, a given example is, "I can't make head nor tail of these instructions on the packet."

I agree it's very uncommon to use nor without neither (it's uncommon to use nor at all, colloquially). But it's not incorrect.

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie531761

Yes, it is incorrect according to the rules of standard English grammar. When you get into these interminable discussions, you aren't learning how to speak French.

October 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hud214
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duoLingo accepts "She can't read nor write." Maybe only sometimes it's "never".

September 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ginagillen
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except that it is not grammatically correct to say neither or!

December 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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No one said anything about "neither...or" the French is not "ne ...ou". "Ne...ni...ni" is "neither....nor" and "ne pas" is "not" http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conjunctions_3.htm I think we are all agreeing that this should be reported. In French a double negative is possible in many cases, but we cannot translate this "ne...pas...ni" to "not...nor" in English. http://grammar.about.com/od/d/g/doubnegterm.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/negation_double.htm

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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Especially since Duo does a poor rendition of ni so that it comes out sounding a little like ou.

Edit: ou in slow version, en in fast version.

I have heard ni on duo elsewhere and it doesn't sound like ou at all.

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Gavin2608

I do not think that Duolinge does a poor rendition of "ni". I am sure duolingo says "ou". I listened to it several times

May 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KedaJohnst

I agree, it's ou.

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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The problem is that in the version of the lesson that is printed in French to translate to English. "ni" is spelled out.

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/shimself

it means both neither and nor like neither this nor that nor the other ni ceci ni cela ni l'autre

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ioaemcl
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No, it does not translate into "or" in this sentence but into "nor" (neither/nor).

March 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/duogm

Its given right now.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilling_Girl

Nothing is perfect including duo :)

September 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SallyDeBain

It's correct, they just want the correct order.

December 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TabiK4
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Because in the French sentence the order is "lire ni écrit." If you swap the order Duo could think that you think that lire means write and that écrit means read. Although this may not be true in your case, swiching the order would imply this.

May 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cenv
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yeah, this should be fixed.

February 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/deldar182

Ffs got caught on this one too

March 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/gijsjeradijsje

the slower sounds like 'elle ne peut pas lire ou ecrire' am i deaf?

September 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/countvlad
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"ni" is not clearly spoken, especially in the slow version. Yeah, I'm deaf, LOL.

November 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/donkeychain

no, you're not. sounded like "mon" to my ears, but i could tell even that was wrong.

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gblico1

What's wrong with 'she can neither read nor write.' This was my translation and it was marked wrong!

November 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Not a darn thing. It's perfectly correct. Report it.

February 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiggy96

Totally agree. This is faultless English grammar, and should be accepted. Hope it has been reported.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/amobms
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Now, the previous question for me - and I do hope I am remembering it accurately - was "Je ne lis pas, ni n'écris." The pattern, then, would be "ne...pas, ni ne..."

I get the sense that, as in English, there are several ways to execute successive negative statements (not...[n]or, neither...nor, not...not, and in practice, any number of grammatically inconsistent but functional hybrids). However, if it's simply that the second "ne" in a "ne...pas, ni ne..." sequence is optional, I imagine that second ne would have dropped out of common use ages ago. So what's changed? The infinitives?

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

The pattern in question (ne...ni...ne...) occurs when "neither...nor..." is negating conjugated verbs. For example:

Il ne boit ni ne mange. = He neither drinks nor eats. Je ne pouvais ni ne voulais répondre. = I neither could nor wanted to answer.

What I don't get is why "pas" is there, since I believe you should be able to write «Je ne lis ni n'écris.»

August 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelFeil

I have a related question: Why the repetition of "ni ... ni n'/ne" in the other question (one of the comments said it was because repeats the ne with ni when linking two verbs, iirc) but just "ni...ni" here? Hope that's clear. Merci!

August 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

It's different here because you aren't negating conjugated verbs, but rather infinitives.

August 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelFeil

Oh, ok. Thanks!

August 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jupiterrjazz

Can you say "Elle ne peut pas lire ou écrire"

March 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Onoszko
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I say it like that in both English and Swedish sometimes, and in both those languages, it's accepted although the "neither...nor"-form is more correct and thus preferred. I am almost certain that this is the case in French as well.

November 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/xuyang1233321

l have the same question !

May 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/shimself

tu ne le peut ni dire ni écrire

March 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Barbaragirardin

Elle ne peut ni lire ni écrire

November 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Caversham
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"She cannot read nor write" is grammatically incorrect.It should be "not . . . or". However, "neither . . . nor" doesn't fit the French sentence.

December 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/angela1

I agree She cannot read or write was rejected but it's correct english.

January 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

@Caversham - I disagree, it is a perfectly clear translation of the French. Not everything can be translated in a one-to-one correlation.

February 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiggy96

Duo's given correct translation (to the audio version) of: 'She cannot read nor write' is not good English as it constitutes a double negative - not/nor. It should either be 'she cannot read or write', or 'she can neither read nor write'. I think either of these should be accepted as possible translations of the French sentence?

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Well, there are no brackets here as there are in math. So it could mean "She cannot (read or write)" meaning "She cannot read" or "She cannot write.", but "She cannot read nor write." absolutely means that she can do neither of them. To negate both without the "nor" you would have to say "She cannot read and write." from a mathematical point of view. That being said I know that some people use or in this situation, but it is ambiguous as to which meaning is meant. I agree it should be translated as neither... nor for best comprehension.

March 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/advienquepourra

The slow audio version distinctly says "ou" but the correct answer is "ni". Gets me every time!

January 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sundancer1026

Yeah, the same to you

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kyofuu
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Yep, definitely an ou there not a ni on the slow audio

December 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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The slow audio only reads one word at a time separately from the others. http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/ni Perhaps they are trying to hint that it will mean "or" if we use the word "not". I find it strange also. "ne ...ni...ni" would mean "neither...nor"

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BrunnoHC

I think she says a "ni", not a "ou". It can be because I have more practice with Italic languages (my first language is Portuguese)... Maybe...

June 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rebecca.lo3

No English speaker would say "she cannot read nor write"...that's what threw me off...

September 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/shimself

I'm English from England born and raised and I might say that.

September 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/minos157
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In the US we tend to never use nor in negative comparisons. I understand where she feels "we english speakers" never say it, but it is just because American speakers do not use the grammatically correct "nor" in everyday language.

I use it here on duo, but it does feel weird to me spoken out loud. I do not believe Duo should accept it if the "nor" is not used of course :-)

April 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

I'm Australian and "She cannot read nor write." wouldn't be used here.

October 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/spinmuffins

I'm Australian and I can see it being used, but it's more common to use "or". Depends how americanised you are.

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Ha - I wouldn't say that the use of "nor" is markedly American. Or is that not what you meant?

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/spinmuffins

I meant that it seems Americans don't use "nor" as often, going on what other people have described. My use of "American" is interchangeable with "US citizen" - pardon me :P

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Ok, now I am reading it the right way around. <g>

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/shimself

Translated into Australian : The £$%% can't $%^&* read!

October 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

Charming.

October 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

I am in Canada and I might easily say that as well, especially if we slip a comma in after "read". <g>

February 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Somebody should tell that to Shakespeare, Faulkner, and W.E.B. DuBois.

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonSench

Isn't "she cannot read nor write" incorrect? Nor cannot be used without neither (generally). One could say "she can neither read nor write" or "she cannot read or write". Of course that's overly pedantic, at least in the US there are many who aren't so discerning on how they use words; as long as there's a negative implication, "nor" is seen as acceptable. And let's be honest, no meaning is lost when they do so, meh...

July 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Keeying
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I got another question wrong for using the "ne... pas... ni", and here it is used? Shouldn't this be "ne... ni... ni" instead??

August 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wyeager84
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I have the same question. In another question, the forum says that the construct is that it should be "Elle ne peut pas lire ni n'ecrire". Also in this question, i'm wondering why it isn't "Elle ne peut pas lire n'ecrire".

March 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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No the other construction did not have "peut" so that was "Elle ne lit ni n'écrit." , but here the only conjugated verb is "peut" as "lire" and "ecrire" are infinitives

March 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Without knowing the other sentence you got wrong, it's hard to say.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
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my question is why isn't "ni" contracted to form "n'écrire"? Or is it necessary to avoid the contraction because you wouldn't know if it was "ne" or "ni?

January 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

As far as I know, you just don't contract "ni". Possibly for the reason you mention.

February 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/richmarq

"She is unable to read or write." should be an acceptable answer.

April 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyndiluwho

She can't read or write is accepted.

March 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sedy

Personally, I would say elle ne peut pas lire OU ecrire, or elle ni lit ni ecrit and eliminate "ne peut pas".

June 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sophiegxm

The normal speed one sounds like "Elle ne peut pas lire en ni écrire". I don't know why there is a sound like "en" after lire. Maybe i'm a bad listener but I didn't hear it in the slow one. And I hear the same "en" sound in google.

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BobGeor

The regular time pronunciation is ridiculously fast

June 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sonjo
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Is 'she can no longer read nor write' the translation of 'elle ne peut plus lire ni écrire'?

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Yes, I believe so.

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/angela1

I agree - neither/nor ......either/or

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/h.dave
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Actually the French should be "Elle ne sait pas lire ni écrire" as pouvoir means physically able (or here unable) while savoir is used in thesense of can as 'knows how to'. Unless of course she is totally blind and does not know braille and has a problem with her hands.

October 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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"not able to" is about ability, but that does not necessarily mean that the ability is physical. It could be "emotional" as in she was so upset that she was unable to read and write and yes it could be a mental ability "They tried to teach her for years, but she was unable to read and write." "She doesn't know how to read and write." indicates that someone has just to teach her how and the problem will be solved.

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
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Wouldn't "She can no longer read or write" be a correct translation?

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Nope. That would be, "Elle ne peut plus lire ni écrire."

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
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So that's why it wasn't accepted. Thanks!

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Betelgeuse11
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'She cannot read nor write" would not be acceptable English. It's either "she can neither read nor write" or "she cannot read or write".

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/buddha6

Is "Elle ne peut NI lire ni écrire." possible?

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nicolettov

I've got a question here, if you had to choose between "she can't read nor write" and "she can't read or write" in a "questions à choix multiples" exam, what would you choose?

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Perseph1955
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Choose "She can't read or write." The other option is incorrect because it's missing the word "neither." Remember that "nor" is only used as part of the pair "neither . . . nor." That pair, by the way, won't appear with "can't," since "neither" would take the place of "not," the -n't part of "can't." Great question.

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nicolettov

Great answer, lingot for you :)

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Chaos_Sorcerer

Why not just say: "She is illiterate."?

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
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That would translate to "Elle est analphabète" or "Elle est illettrée".

July 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/IvPu4

It is bad grammar to say cannot-nor.The proper translation might be: Neither-nor/ Cannot-or. Please advise re your opinion. TY

October 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BillyCox2321

This is not proper English.

January 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Asutayb

I just wrote, she does not want to read nor write. And it marked as wrong? Duo insist me that i should use "able to" here... Weird

February 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejandroMolina9
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What does "pas" mean ? Why in some sentences it is there and in others it is not ? Is there a rule for this ? Please help

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KehuiLi
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why doesn't it elide? shouldn't it be "n'ecrire"?

April 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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"ne" elides, "ni" never does.

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Wanda525452

You can't say, in English, 'she cannot read nor write'. The correct English is she 'she cannot read or write'. You can, however, say, 'she can neither read nor write."

July 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/c5nest

I've used Duolingo long enough to know that it would insist on translating the sentence as: "She cannot read nor write."

As others have pointed out, this is grammatically incorrect English. It should be: "She cannot read or write."

Translating another language correctly should NEVER produce incorrect English in an effort to adhere rigidly to the grammatical structure of the original language. This is the way rote computer language translation functions and why translation is still a daunting task for a computer.

Since Duolingo is a software program it can, therefore, be expected to have limitations. Whenever possible, however, its goal should be to teach correct translation, not correct computer translation.

July 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Woobeeton

I put down "She is illiterate" and was marked wrong. does this not mean the same thing?

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/h.dave
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It is too loose a translation from the French sentence

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/vfoao014
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When I listened to the slow version , I distinctly heard "nous" rather than "ni."

January 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Youcef

I wrote she neither can read nor write it's wrong??

August 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Yes, we put the words the other way around - she can neither read nor write.

August 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/catpower50

i said "she can't read, neither can she write." how was i wrong?!

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/funny-tigre

Why is it not: "Elle ne peut pas lire n'écrire."?

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Knightingale122

"Ni" does not become "n'." However, "ne" becomes "n'" when it is before a word that starts with a vowel.

July 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/highlyghost
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She can not read or write?

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/highlyghost
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Here

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Royal683522

The order shouldn't matter it says the same thing just switched around, it really shouldn't matter it's acting as if used a wrong word or something like that.

August 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Knightingale122

The order does matter. Believe me. I gotten a couple of problems wrong because I wasn't paying attention to the order. Honestly, for me at least, I would say read (n)or write and that's probably what I would hear other people that I know say. Anyway, kids are taught to read a letter before they are taught how to write it.

July 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlinaGabri10177
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She cannot read or write

August 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/divyansh_raka

Why it is not "elle ne peut lire ni n'écrire"In hints I read different verb will need another ne.

September 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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It's multiple conjugated verbs, not multiple verbs. "lire" and "écrire" are both infinitives.

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/divyansh_raka

Thanks.Got it

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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You're welcome!

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/wenrisfolf

We are The Knights Who Say... "Ni"!

October 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paigeepie

When do I use lire versus lit?

November 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sotnosen93

I don't think I can give you a comprehensive explanation of all possible situations, but in this particular case it's because it's "chained together" with the verb "pouvoir" or "peut", and only the first verb in a chain is conjugated. The others remain in infinitive.

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CeriSantarelli

i agree totally with baisdemiray

December 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianM101

The translation should either be "She cannot read or write" or, "She can neither read nor write".

February 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/StTropezG91

Not was not one of the options

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NigelHeffernan

That's bad English! 'Cannot' is is used with 'or'; 'Can neither' is used with 'or'. While 'nor' is correct in that sentence on a very careful study of archaic English, it is neither current nor idiomatic.

April 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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I think that depends on your dialect of English. I say "Can neither....nor" regularly.

April 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageLover.

Wouldn't "She cannot read or write" be more natural English?

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Paigeepie

Yes, however, if you weren't fluent in English and needed to improvise you could use this too.

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mghent1
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There's no 'neither' in this sentence. It should be 'or'.

May 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Sorry, but "nor" can, in some cases, appear without "neither." This is one of those cases, in fact, because when the second part of the negative is a verb phrase (as it is here and as opposed to a noun, adjective, or adverb phrase), it's acceptable to use either "nor" or "or". Writer's/speaker's choice.

May 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Entree2014

Instead of "Pas" it should say ni, right?

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Can be either.

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jennifer875214

that is exactly the same in English!

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KBq311

I don't get what "pas" is doing here...

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FionaRober14

The answer marked as correct is grammatically incorrect in English. In English it should be She cannot read or write.

July 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HaBrit
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Completely off: The "correct" answer expected was: she is not allowed to read or write!!!

September 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HernanCor

more than 150 posts just means that Duolingo is wrong with this one

September 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EEDIEPEREZ

To xbecenti 15 comment: If you read DL's notes carefully, it states CONJUGATED VERBS

September 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jacky473623

why doesn't she cannot to read or write work????????????

October 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gotoparis

That's what I wrote. Correction said "read OR write". ??

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Margaret931563

Incorrect translation into English. These related words operate in tandem here. It is "either"/"or" or "neither"/"nor." It is never a mix.

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SILEI06

Isn't "She cannot read and write" correct?

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SkinnyMessican

We don't elide "ni" ever? Or are there exceptions?

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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Nope, never.

April 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/John27805

The audio does not sound write - the "ni" sounds like "nous"

April 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy
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English learners be aware: 'nor' is becoming very formal and somewhat dated. In everyday use, you would now be much more likely to hear/see the more modern 'She cannot read or write'. Languages evolve.

April 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/garasaratnam

why is it "elle ne peut pas lire ni écrire" but in another duolingo example: "je ne veux ni ces chaussures ni ce pantalon" ?

i applied the ne...ni...ni... "rule" the the first lesson (i.e. elle ne peut ni lire ni ecrire" and was wrong.

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fkoziar
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I don't think this is correct in English (the translation aside). It should either be "She cannot read or write", or "She can neither read nor write"

May 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/taramitzy
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Please!! She cannot read OR write, or She can neither read NOR write! She cannot read nor write is grammatically incorrect.

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SMAKCANADA

This answer is grammatically incorrect in English. The translation should be 'She can neither read nor write.' It would also be correct to state: 'She can neither read nor write'.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/taramitzy
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"She can neither read nor write" accepted today

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mark150300
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Why is 'she is not able to read or write' also not correct. Pedants!

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhonda859305
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This is already a very long thread - but if you were to say, "She cannot read.", someone else would be using correct grammar if they responded, "Nor can she write." Therefore, the word "nor" is not used exclusively with the word "neither."

September 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie531761

Should be "She cannot read or write.

or

"She can neither read nor write."

Fix this, Duolingo. There should be no need for 180 comments. It is wrong. Any halfway intelligent English-speaker, let alone a grammarian, could tell you that it's just wrong. How long could it take you to fix this? These comments were written 5 years ago. Fix this! Stop feeding students wrong information and confusing them.

September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Wilson909040

This is bad English. You cannot use "nor" on its own. It must be accompanied with "neither".

October 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie531761

This English sentence is ungrammatical. Correct translations:

She cannot read or write. She can neither read nor write.

October 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ruziskey2283
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As a native English speaker, I believe this sentence should be: "she cannot read or write" since double negatives are a thing. If you had said, "she can neither read nor write", that would have been fine since the negation on "read" comes from the "neither" and the negation on "write" comes from the "nor". Since the original sentence has already said that she "cannot" do whatever follows in the rest of the sentence, you can just use "or" since you will be negating twice if you use "nor". This is one of those weird English things if I am correct since we really only use "nor" with "neither"

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/buddha6

The problem is, that in French double negations are the common thing. So when it comes to the question of double negations, I'd say there is no way to compare french and English sentences directly. In the end it's more a question of translating the meaning from one language to the other one. Though I'm nether English nor French native speaker, your suggestion seems to be right to me too ;-)

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mridulkthomas

The recommended translation of "She cannot read nor write" is grammatically incorrect in English, because there is no 'neither' to precede 'nor'.

It should either be "She can neither read nor write" (which is accepted) or "She cannot read or write".

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judy223068

My answer was the same as the example. Why is it marked wrong

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judy223068

Again I have the same answer and its marked wrong

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/thanhphu

Does Duolingo's pronunciation of "ni" sounds a lot like "non" to anyone else? Not just this sentence but for other sentences too

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sundancer1026

That's quite incorrect.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/seidhool

Why not " ni écrire" is " n'écrire " because two vowels are standing at front of each other

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

It just...isn't. Sorry.

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ruziskey2283
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It's like how "qui il" doesn't become "qu'il". The meaning would become uncertain because "qu'il" could be "que il" or "qui il". In the same way, "n'écrire" could be both "ne écrire" or "ni écrire". The general rule is that when the word in question ends with an "i", you don't contract it with the next word

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xbecenti15

According to the notes for this lesson, when two verbs are coordinated by 'ni' they are supposed to both have 'ne' precede the two verbs.

'Ne peut pas lire ni n'écrire .' How come there is no 'ne' preceding écrire in this sentence?

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/larry007

Why not "she can neither read OR write?

April 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Perseph1955
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Reading the whole thread first will frequently answer your question without having to post, then wait for a response. This issue has been dealt with in depth above. Good luck in your learning!

April 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie531761

Because it's incorrect according to the rules of English grammar that are used by publishing and academia. That's why. "Neither" should correspond with "nor."

October 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Suhayb19

Cannot is not a word

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LynnSerafi
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Native English speaker here. "Cannot" is most certainly a word.

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

@Suhayb19, of course "cannot" is a word... Where do you think the contraction "can't" comes from?

I'm not going to assume...

Cannot becomes can't when you add a hyphen ( '). You get rid of the extra n, and the o. Add a hyphen where they used to be. Then you push the characters together until the all the empty spaces go away.

Can't Cannot

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/domofun145

❤❤❤❤ you

May 21, 2015
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