"Did you sit on his knees?"
Translation:Tu t'étais assis sur ses genoux ?
"s'être assis" expresses a past action, "s'asseoir" is for present. Hence "T'es-tu assis sur ses genoux ?" should be accepted here and probably be the best spoken answer. (or maybe "est-ce que tu t'es assis sur ses genoux ?") A wrong answer would be "T'assoies-tu sur ses genoux ?".
As others have pointed out, since this is an English sentence being translated into French, and since there is nothing about the English sentence that makes it obviously "pluperfect" in form, it seems like passé composé ought to be accepted. I take it passé composé was not accepted? I only knew to use pluperfect because I'm encountering this in that unit.
i have two issues with sitting (whethe on someone 'knees' or not: 1. It's the worst thing for your back; 2. difficult to discuss it in French - level 17 and still am rubbish at it, lol, my grey matter seems incapable of absorbing. Anyone shares my issues with s'assesoir? I might be allergic...
Basically, you have 3 verbal forms: 2 active and 1 static (+ 2 conjugations):
j'asseois / j'assieds = I sit (someone) down or up. Active and transitive, using auxiliary "avoir". Past imperfect: j'assoyais/j'asseyais; Passé composé: j'ai assis; Simple future: j'assoirai/j'assierai.
je m'asseois / je m'assieds = I sit down, I am sitting down. Reflexive and using auxiliary "être". Past imperfect: je m'assoyais/je m'asseyais; Passé composé: je me suis assis(e); Simple future: je m'assoirai/je m'assierai.
je suis assis(e) = I am seated. Static with verb "être" (or any other state verb), using "assis/assise/assises" as simple adjectives. Past imperfect: j'étais assis/e; Passé composé: je suis assis/e; Simple future: je serai assis/e.
Thanks Sitesurf. Although your explanation nearly sent me into a panic mode. I'm going to spend a long time one of these days to actually tackle the challenge of the 'sitting' verb forms in French. Written down they look scary. I suspect that people who learnt a bit of French in a class are more familiar with the verb as teachers would use it a lot :)
Hi K..., yes teachers are very good at dealing with verb "asseoir/s'asseoir":
- asseyez-vous, s'il vous plaît ! (please sit down!)
- je vous demande de vous asseoir ! (I am asking you to sit down!)
- quand le professeur entre dans la classe, ne restez pas assis ! (when the teacher steps into the classroom, don't remain seated!)
- je répète, pour ceux qui sont assis au fond de la classe. (I repeat, for those sitting at the back of the class).
(pls check my translations!)
you sat (preterit) = tu t'es assise (passé composé) or tu t'asseyais (imparfait) depending on context.
did you sit on his knees? yes, I sat on his knees = t'es-tu assise sur ses genoux ? oui, je me suis assise sur ses genoux.
I sat (or I used to sit) on his knees whenever I could = je m'asseyais sur ses genoux dès que je le pouvais.
Yes, we say "les" for our own body parts: "je me lave les mains" (it is obvious that these hands are mine).
But if the subject and the object do not belong to the same person, you have to specify whose is what: "je lui lave les mains" ("lui" means that they are someone else's hands).
In this sentence, the direct object is still "te" (= yourself), while the knees do not belong to the subject of the verb:
- you sat on his knees = you seated yourself on his knees = tu t'es assis sur ses genoux
Yes, because this is a reflexive verb using the auxilliary verb être, the past participle agrees in number and gender with the subject, 'tu'. However, I believe that 'his knees' is an indirect object, not a direct object, because it uses the preposition 'sur'. Direct objects do not use a preposition. In the sentence "I give the box to her.", 'the box' is the direct object (no preposition) and 'her' is the indirect object ( using the preposition 'to'). Sorry, that is probably way more information than needed. :)