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"On va prendre un café ensemble."

Translation:We are going to have a coffee together.

February 15, 2013

66 Comments


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

why is it "On va prendre..." and not "Nous allons prendre..."? is "On va" = "Nous allons"?

Is "On va" more commonly used than "nous allons"?


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

Yes, it's more commonly used, since it's shorter and easier to conjugate.


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

it is because like "ce" , "on" too is third person and masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaBibiko1

'On va' is more informal than 'nous allons'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sdrc22

ok, now I'm a bit confused. I'm trying very hard to understand and absorb all the subtleties of the language and thought I had this one figured out per a previous discussion thread. I understood from an earlier comment on another post that "on" meaning "we" was closer in meaning to the English "one" rather than to the English "we," though we/you/one are used when speaking in generalities, such as "one could get there by bus or train," "we could get there by bus or train," and "you can get there by bus or train." I thought that when speaking about "we" specifically, such as here, you have to use "nous."


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

Everything you said is correct! The only thing is, french natives prefer to use in their day-to-day informal language "on" rather than "nous", because it's simpler and the conjugation is also easier. Check http://www.assistancescolaire.com/eleve/4e/francais/reviser-une-notion/utiliser-le-pronom-indefini-on-4fpr33 if you need more info.


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

So you wouldn't really do this in writing, correct? Thanks for the clarification.


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

I discussed this with my wife (who is a native speaker of Quebecoise French, and also has a university degree in French language and literature) and she thinks that the speaking/writing difference is pretty much artificial. It's a difference between casual speech and formal speech, and the "speaking vs writing" issue comes up because until very recently (within the last two decades) most people didn't do very much casual or informal writing, before the Internet and texting and so forth. So you could say, "Yes, that's right, 'on' is for speech and 'nous' is for writing," because most people just didn't write all that much in a very casual, informal way. You wrote for business, and for school; you wrote letters, but most of us still write more formally in a letter--even if we're just writing to Grandma--than we do on, say, Facebook.

So you would use "on" in conversation, and on Facebook, and in texts (where I frequently see it abbreviated to "n"), and in a quick note to your friend or your spouse--but you would use "nous" not only in things like work reports or school papers, but when you're making an oral presentation or giving a speech (unless you're specifically trying to sound casual and "folksy," like political campaign speeches often do).


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

Ah okay, I guess I sort of mentally slot things like text messages into the speech category without thinking about it. Though, come to think of it, I don't know where I would put something like this.


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

I tend to put things like message boards and forum posts in the "casual/informal" category myself--I have to try to be clearer than I would in a text to my wife, because she actually knows me, can fill in a lot of the gaps through our shared experiences, etc., but I'm still not writing like I did in my thesis.


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

Why is "we are going to grab a coffee together", wrong?


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

I think "grabbing a coffee" is slang (although 'grab' is often a fine translation of 'prendre').


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

It is not necesarrily wrong. It was just not anticipated


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tiiiiii85

Because "grab" is not the correct translation. In French you use "prendre" as in English you say "to have a coffee". Prendre means take, not grab.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

You have taken a common expression and moved it into the realm of extremely familiar speech. "Prendre un café" = to have a coffee.


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

We will have a coffee together. Marked wrong. Why oh why


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

I believe that "We will have a coffee together" requires the indicative future. I.e., "Nous prendrons un café ensemble"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbc666la

We're going to get a coffee together is also correct in English.


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

Hmm, on the basis of how other exercises have gone, I figured it would accept "We will have a coffee together." I know it's not technically future tense, but other exercises have taken "will" for "going to."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/russel.levi

could this mean 'lets go and have a coffee together?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

This sentence is a statement "we are going to have a coffee together". It is not an invitation or encouragement in the form of "let's go have a coffee" (Allons prendre un café).


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

Yes. Duolingo hasn't thought of this one, but it's a decent translation.


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

And the difference between "having coffee together" and "having A coffee together" is...?


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

Depending on the language and the region, the answer may vary.
In French, saying "un café" means they're going to have only one coffee, whereas, "du café" means some, which is unspecified amount, could be one; could be more; could be less.

In English, it depends on whichever is commoner in a region.
Some people say "a coffee" and other would say "coffee" when they both mean the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

In this sense, there is no real difference. The translation is accepted with or without "a".


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

I am convinced that "We are going to take a coffee together" is a pretty translation. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dro1215

In English we don't "take" a beverage, we have a beverage, get a beverage, or drink a beverage.


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

"We are going for a coffee together" was just marked incorrect , for the life of me I don't understand why Duo doesn't accept that translation....please could someone explain why is it wrong?

Please could you answer this one Sitesurf?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

It is not wrong. Some people actually prefer very tight translations to "facilitate" reverse translations. You have nailed the meaning of it and it is accepted.


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

Thank you n6zs :]


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

I don't think so, unless you state at what time. "We're having coffee together" sounds like the present tense. I think, "We're having coffee together at 5pm" would express what you meant in your translation.


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

The French use "on" very frequently as a substitute for we and they. We don't use it that often in English which is why it sounds awkward.


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

"On parle français en France," for example, can be translated as "They speak French in France."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

The French "on" is often used as "we" meaning the generic "we". It can also be used to refer to the generic "they" or the generic "you".


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

Why not 'On va AVOIR un cafe ensemble?


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

The English translation here uses 'have' because that's the common English idiom. But the most commonly used French form is prendre - to take. It's also what is used for ordering food and drink. "Je prends un café" -"I take a coffee" is what you use when you want to order a coffee. So while 'On va avoir un café ensemble' does literally translate to we are going to have a coffee together, it is not on the whole the idiom used in French speaking countries. So prendre is the verb that should be used.


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

In English for some things it is natural to use take: take medicine


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

Yes. And I suspect I've actually heard it ordering food and drinks too. I'll take three coffees and two teas thanks. (Not quite the same, but close)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

This is a mistake that francophones sometimes make. A francophone will not use "avoir" in the sense of "to consume" something. But "prendre" (which learners fixate on as "take") means "to have" in the sense of to eat/drink/consume something (food, medicine, etc). So best get used to the idea that "prendre" has different meanings that are influenced by the context.

  • Je prends un café = I'm having a coffee
  • Il prend ce livre-là = he is taking that book
  • J'ai un café = I have a coffee (it's right here in front of me) does not mean I'm drinking it.

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

Is there anything wrong with, "we go to have coffee together" ?

prendre is infinitive, right? It is highlighting "go to" as incorrect, but the only thing I could think is wrong is that I didn't include an article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

You have missed the notion of the near future. "On va prendre un café" = we are going to have a coffee. The "going to" + infinitive means that the action will happen in the very near future. It does not mean "go to" at all.


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

I wrote "We're having a coffee together" because future is implied in that sentence. But it didn't count :(


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

Tried "we will have a coffee together" and "we'll have a coffe together" Surely those must work too. Why does it have to be "we are going to have a coffee together" I don't get it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dro1215

We will and we'll should work. Synonyms for going to. Exact same meaning. Also how would the translation be different for nous prendons?


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

We're having a coffee together is also present tense, so it's not close enough. And We will/We'll is closer to Nous prendrons un café ensemble or on prendra un café ensemble. We are going to have is a more direct translation as well as being a natural English phrase with no ambiguity about it being in the future.


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

I see. Then it makes sense. Thanks :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hb05203

going to do = aller faire

will do = ferai

Is it right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lonewolfrunning2

To avoid the possible confusion for 'one shared coffee', I tried 'We are taking a coffee break together'. It was marked incorrect, but is it a suitable translation? Further, how would one translate this? Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

There is no confusion over sharing a single cup of coffee. It would not be understood that way. If you are really going to share a single cup of coffee, you could say "on va partager un café".


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

when prendre is take and when is have? there is nothing more frustrating than to learn the wrong way because DL sentence writer is capricious.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

There is nothing capricious about it. It is a matter of context. Please visit this link and look at all the possible meanings of "prendre". In the context of food, it means "to have" (to eat, drink, consume). In the context of medicine, it means "take". https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/prendre/62856


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

why is; we are going to have ONE coffee together wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

The article "un" is generally taken to be an indefinite article, i.e., a (or) an, not a numeral. Using the most natural expression in English does not say things like "I am going to have one coffee".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emma960

why is 'we are going to get a coffee together' incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2312

It is accepted now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkHolden8

We will have coffee together


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

Present progressive "we are having a coffee together" not only conveys an action in progress right now, but also the same idea as the "going to the future. "


[deactivated user]

    What's wrong with "We are going to have a coffee"? "Together" was not specified in French why should it be specified in English?


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

    ensemble = together, so yes it was specified in the French, so should be specified in the English.


    [deactivated user]

      Of course, it seems so obvious now. Thanks


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

      If I am speaking to a random merchant or person on the street in France, will I sound stuffy or odd if I use "nous" to refer to we instead of "on"? If that's the case, shouldn't duo be emphasizing that option a lot more?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon894098

      Whay is "We are going to take a coffee together "? This is a way to say it in english and closer to the literal translation.

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