"How many birds did you recognise?"

Translation:Combien d'oiseaux avez-vous reconnus ?

October 27, 2016

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/msviolets1

Why is "Combien d'oiseaux as-tu reconnus" wrong?

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

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."

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

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 ?

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

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.

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

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.

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

No worries. I edited my post above.

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLYR0

Combien d'oiseaux as-tu reconnu. Why is this wrong?

July 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

The past participle must agree in number with the direct object. So it must be "reconnus."

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jared.phel

Why is "Combien d'oiseaux est-ce que tu as reconnus?" not accepted?

September 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

Don't use "est-ce que" after multi-syllable question words like "combien", "pourquoi", etc.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Summerdawn659

yep, that's what I did...... thanks.

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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.

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

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).

https://academie.atilf.fr/9/consulter/CE?options=motExact

It's one of those things that people say all the time, but not really correct according to the Academy.

May 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Grenash

What purpose does the d' before oiseaux serve?

October 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

"How many" translates to "combien de", and "de" elides in front of a vowel.

October 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

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?

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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.)

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucybarb2002

Thanks

February 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Grenash

Thanks

October 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Carla472872

why is 'tu' wrong?

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

Assuming everything else in the translation is correct, "tu" is accepted.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/quine23

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?

December 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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.

December 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga

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.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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.

December 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

Thanks for your observations. They helped verify my understanding.

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga

I just want to mention a recent discussion further up, that deals with this issue of
"est-ce que"

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/18646953$comment_id=24298396

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KomaGawa

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?

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

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
December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Swansea2331

Combien d'oiseaux as tu reconnus?

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

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.

December 23, 2017

[deactivated user]

    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?

    January 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

    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.

    January 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Leigh40774

    Why is Combien d'oiseaux as-tu reconnu incorrect?

    April 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

    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.

    April 9, 2018
    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.