"Les ours mangent des citrons."

Translation:The bears are eating lemons.

February 10, 2013

49 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimbop85

Should "les ours mangent des citrons", here, be translated as "the bears are eating lemons"? Whereas "des ours mangent des citrons" would translate as "bears are eating lemons". The former refers to a specific groups of bears and the latter refers to bears in general, or some bears.

February 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duomail

At least accepted "the bears eat lemon", but now that I think it over, it could have been rejected.
"bears eat lemon" sounds better than "bears are eating lemon", since "are eating" is like indicating a particular group, not all bears in the world are eating lemon (just now or at the same time), Instead "eat" gives a sense that the speaker thinks that bears usually eat lemon, as a habit, kind of "bears eat berries".
And, for generality or in a sense including all members of a group denoted by a word, they say that definite articles are used too.

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

Duolingo seems pretty relaxed about "les" vs "des" (and "le" vs "de") at the beginnings of sentences. This isn't the first time it's been flexible about having or not having a "the" in the English counterpart. I don't know whether this is an artifact of their software or a true property of French.

March 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelKovich

In French, a noun can never be alone - each one needs an article. However, when translating a phrase into English, it is at your discretion since English has no such rule.

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steverino2

After some prepositions such as de or à, you sometimes don't need an article when you're talking about some general concept ("Un morceau de pain").

March 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TwoWholeWorms

Antithesis of Italian and Catalan, where they added in extra prepositions for extra fun. :)

November 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

This has nothing to do with the software since all translations are entered by hand by real people.

Generalizations need a definite article. But specific subjects too.

  • "Les ours mangent des citrons" looks and feels like a generalization, like "les vaches mangent de l'herbe"; but in reality, bears do not eat lemons because there are few if any lemon trees where bears live.

My feeling is that the best (sensible) translation should be "The bears eat/are eating lemons" because it is possible in specific situations.

However, both "bears" and "the bears" are accepted for the sake of consistency with other sentences and generalizations.

At last, I don't understand your comment: about "les" vs "des" (and "le" vs "de") at the beginnings of sentences. At best, I can tell you that the indefinite "des" never translate to "the".

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/an1msaj

I think the second one should not be continous form but "bears eat lemons".

March 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Benjamin_qin

why does the "s" in "ours" make a sound?

May 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

The 's' is part of the singular form of the word and so you don't add the silent plural 's' to the end and continue to pronounce the word as you always would, which, in this case, includes the 's' sound. The article is the only way you know it's plural.

January 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suzan442

bears eating lemon!! really!? oh please Doulingo stop giving us weird sentences!!

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/10may

quand la vie vous donne des citrons, donner à ces citrons pour ces ours! (:

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LindaB_Duolingo

No wonder bears always seem so cross ... :)

June 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astha284889

At least the animals are eating other things now...in previous lessons they would only eat 'pommes' :D

April 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eryashnik

Les ours ne mangent pas des pommes. Les ours mangent des citrons.

February 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArnieRoss

"DES citrons." Shouldn't that be SOME lemons?

May 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbeth

It can be "some lemons", but the "some" can also just be implied. Like you can say "I'm eating popcorn" or "I'm eating some popcorn" and it means the same thing.

June 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enilevkay

Does anyone else gets ticked off with Duo mixing up the simple and continuous present tenses? In. All. Courses.

September 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FirsToStrike

Is "ours" feminine? If not, how am i supposed to tell plural from singular? It didn't accept "le ours mange des citrons".

June 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

No, it's masculine but it would be l'ours either way. And the pronunciation is very different. Lurs vs layz-urs.

June 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJw3lz

It's not "le ours" because "ours" starts with a vowel. It's "l'ours" whether female or male. That's why you were marked as incorrect.

November 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joaofbarr

Delicious meal for a bear indeed.

April 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David_Metroland

To me, in the audio version, both 'ours' and 'citron' are pronounced very strangely. When this happens, [us humans] try to find a logical match but this sentence is unlikely to arise in everyday french life! Come on Duolingo - you are great but - please stop inventing nonsensical sentences just to include words that you want to test - please. Rant over!

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enilevkay

Seriously, the correct version should be something like "les ours sont en train de manger des citrons", which is the present continuous in French. I speak a little French but I have a hard time wriiting, so I may have made spelling mistakes.

September 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You don't need "être en train de" every time the English sentence uses a continuous present. The French simple present is used in most cases to translate a continuous present. "Être en train de" is more emphatic than a continuous present tense.

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RICHA_GARG

Is 'ours' used for both 'bear' and 'bears'? Why 'the bear' isn't used for 'les ours'?

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

Yes. «L'ours» («le ours» contracted) = "the bear," «les ours» = "the bears." «Les» is the plural definite article, so it wouldn't ever be "the bear."

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RICHA_GARG

thanks. can 'les ours' be 'the bears'?

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

Yes.

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zwaglette

I simply wrote 'est ' instead of eat... This app is very good, but I think it needs to be able to recognize simple typos...

July 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1757

It does recognize them. It recognizes them as errors.

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tatonka71

How come in this sentence you can here the s on the end of "les" and "ours"? Do you pronounce the s in les if a noun that starts with a vowel follows or something?

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1757
April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/unionfan1

Confused about the pronunciation of the s at the end of ours.... thought we weren't supposed to pronounce PDST at the end of nouns...???

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1757

It is an exception to the rule. The "s" is pronounced.

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ungewitig_Wiht

That audio sound like "Ils ours mangent des citrons"

January 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1757

I can't help you with what you think you heard. But try the audio again a few times and listen carefully.

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElenaMoloc

Why cannot I use "de citron" instead of "des citrons"? Shouldn't it be accepted as well?

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1757

No, you can't use "de citron". Let's back it up a little. "Un citron" = a lemon. "Des citrons" = lemons, or (some) lemons. "Les citrons" = the lemons. English does not have a specific counterpart to the French "des" (meaning the plural of "un" or "une"). If it helps the expression in English, you may use "some" when you are only referring to more than one, but it is nearly always ignored in English. English nouns can easily be distinguished in spelling and by hearing. French nouns often sound exactly the same in singular or plural form so in French, the "des" is very important. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/souza_J

I answered 'The bears are eating lemons' and it was marked wrong. DL show me the same sentence as correct :/

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonicaNorb2

Cannot hear what she says in the beginning.

September 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FerneBrown1

If you here monge it normaly means mange in french (eat)

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom419655

This is the first time in my memory that the correct answer has required the verb modifier "are" to specifically indicate action in the present moment. "X eats Y" and "X are eating Y" have both been acceptable before now. Are bears special somehow?

February 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suppremer

I am the only one who hears "Les ours" as "Lay-Zeus" ?

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AMbGw8

i do not understand why it is not "the bears are eating SOME lemons the previous question was Je mange des fraises rouges and the right answer was I eat SOME red strawberries. Go figure.....

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryBrion

"The bears eat the lemons" is equally correct.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/driftwood-33

Bears do not eat lemons.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adriana16801

Shouldn't the noun bears be written in a plural form?

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is: "les ours" = (the) bears.

In the singular: "l'ours" = the bear

February 11, 2019
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