"How many birds did you recognise?"
Translation:Combien d'oiseaux avez-vous reconnus ?
That has been accepted for over a year. So barring any Duo bugs, I can't explain why it didn't work for you. Here are some common wrong answers:
- Combien d'oiseaux as tu reconnu
- Combien d'oiseaux avez vous reconnu
- Combien des oiseaux as tu reconnu
- Combien de oiseaux as tu reconnu
Note that missing hyphens are forgiven by Duo.
Edited to add: Here are (some of) the accepted answers:
- Combien d'oiseaux as-tu reconnus ?
- Combien d'oiseaux avez-vous reconnus ?
- Tu as reconnu combien d'oiseaux ?
- Vous avez reconnu combien d'oiseaux ?
Note how the "reconnu" changes depending on the location of "oiseaux."
Hi George - thanks for all of your helpful comments to date. Do you need to edit the above to agree with comments below that reconnu should have an s added to the end to match the plural direct object oiseaux ?
Thanks, TJ. My comment above is to demonstrate the common wrong answers. So the missing "S" are on purpose. But we all know that the "S" should be there.
Two months after posting my comment above, 100+ more incorrect reports have arrived to us. So clearly, this is a tricky grammar point.
Apologies George, I can now see that my question was very poorly worded and did not convey my thoughts clearly at all. What I meant to ask, and should have written, was do you think it would be timely and of help to now add the 's' to exemplify the right answers.
The past participle must agree in number with the direct object. So it must be "reconnus."
Note that agreement with the direct object only applies when the direct object comes before the conjugated "avoir" (here "as"), as in the case here. In the more common case where the direct object comes after, there is no agreement.
Don't use "est-ce que" after multi-syllable question words like "combien", "pourquoi", etc.
The phrase "est-ce que" is placed before a statement to turn it into a yes/no question. And it can be modified with a "question" word before "est-ce que" to make it a Who / What / When / Where / How / Why / How much question. See the link in my response to George's answer to your original question.
I think the issue is that there isn't a simple statement here (because of the "d'oiseaux") to modify with "est-ce que", but I look forward to further clarification from George.
George, where did you find this rule? I have found three Internet discussions of "est-ce que" questions that just say to put "question words" before it, with no mention of multiple syllables. This one specifically uses "combien" in an example: https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/how-to-ask-questions-with-qui-que-quoi-quand-ou-comment-pourquoi-and-combien
That rule is actually a bit more lenient, as l'Académie française doesn't like to associate "est-ce que" with all interrogative words. See this entry in the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française: (Part III.2).
It's one of those things that people say all the time, but not really correct according to the Academy.
"How many" translates to "combien de", and "de" elides in front of a vowel.
why is there an S on the end since it is conjugated with avoir and YOU can be singular as a subject? The subject is YOU? You recognize how many birds? Or why must this agree with plural since it is a number I took to be a group? Can you explain?
With "avoir" verbs, you do have to match a direct object if it comes before the conjugated verb. Apparently "oiseaux" (masculine plural) is the direct object of "recognize", and it comes before "avez", so you need an "s" at the end of "reconnu". (I was not sure whether it was a direct object and guessed wrong.)
Assuming everything else in the translation is correct, "tu" is accepted.
One of their accepted answers that showed up after I got it wrong was "Combien d'oiseaux tu as reconnus." I've never seen this construction without the "est-ce que" before the subject before. Is it still correct?
This would probably work as an informal question if followed by a "?", but not with just a period. The "official" answer uses the inversion "avez-vous". One would expect the "as-tu" inversion to also work, although apparently it isn't accepted and there are a bunch of unanswered questions about why.
In general, when you make a mistake that is close to an accepted answer, Duo tries to construct an answer that is correct but close to what you tried (vs. just giving you the "official" answer). Sometimes this this doesn't work so well.
Please note, I am not a moderator in the French forums. I am learning French.
I find I am needing to point out a few things here - which I think are typos.
I am pointing them out - so as to not confuse others that may read this discussion. To assist in reducing the confusion. And especially in this case, I think we need to be accurate. At least for my sake for my learning - I need to accurate. .
msinykin , you mention
the inversion "aves-vous".
and it should be :
the inversion "avez-vous".
And as also now stated elsewhere in this discussion, "as-tu" inversion is also accepted in this sentence.
ie. these examples are also accepted for this sentence:
- Combien d'oiseaux as-tu reconnus.
- Combien d'oiseaux as-tu identifiés.
Thanks. I corrected my "avez" typo (actually an auto-spelling-correct error, since my computer tried to change it again here).
As for accepting "as-tu", the comment that this has been fixed was added by a moderator a couple of hours after I posted. Apparently it has been fixed for a while, but there were a lot of questions about it not working.
I just want to mention a recent discussion further up, that deals with this issue of
I have two questions not answered here 1. Can you have the avez-vous reconnus before the d'oiseaux? Why? 2. I had des oiseaux, and this was marked wrong also, Why?
Can you have the avez-vous reconnus before the d'oiseaux?
It would have to be "reconnu", without the "s". Starting the sentence with "combien" is better. Or for informal situations, just use "Vous avez reconnu combien d'oiseaux?" with intonation.
I had des oiseaux, and this was marked wrong also, Why?
"Combien de" is an adverb of quantity. It's another way to describe the quantity of something, so non article is needed. It replaces the indefinite article "des". You would be inserting a definite article here if you use "combien des."
- Combien d'oiseaux = How many birds
- Combien des oiseaux = How many of the birds
You should have a hyphen for the inversion: "as-tu", although a moderator just wrote that Duo will forgive you for omitting it. So your answer should have worked.
I put "Combien d'oiseaux avez-vous reconnu?" missing the s off reconnus. But instead of just correcting that, Duoling told me I should have put "Combien d'oiseaux avez-vous reconnus?" The English "you" in the original sentence could be either singular or plural, surely?
But it did "correct" your missing S, giving you that response. The S in "reconnus" refers to its plural direct object: "oiseaux". It has nothing to do with the subject pronoun "you", which yes, can be plural or singular.
Hi Leigh - you need to add an s to reconnu as it needs to agree with the (plural) birds not (singular) you. There are a few earlier related posts that you may find helpful and initially you may wish to have a look at georgeoftruth's post 2 months ago in response to DavidLamb3's similar question.