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  5. "Un œuf et des fruits"

"Un œuf et des fruits"

Translation:An egg and some fruit

February 16, 2013



frites sounds like fruits to me


Fruit seems to be pronounced more like "frwee", frites more like "freetuh"


I understood: Un oeuf est de fruit :(


I know! I thought I was smarter than duolingo, "Pshhh, eggs aren't fruits! I may not know French but I know THAT!" And then I was educated.


haahhaha, dont we all think we are smarter than the owl at the start???

=) I share your pain


the owl is wise indeed :0


Someone on another post says that in French, it's always des fruits...even if it's a watermelon. I know, it makes no sense to me either. Anyone have comments/rebuttals, please post. I am very interested in this.


"someone" was wrong.

un/le fruit - des/les fruits is countable in French.


I'm thinking that when we say "eating fruit" in English, the French say "eating fruits" right?


"manger des fruits", that's right, when the quantity is not defined.

"manger un fruit" would be one orange or one apple


Ok, I get it now. Thanks.


Why not some "fruits"?


Well, I got it as "un effet de fruit" and just though what kind of sentence is that.


Technically speaking, none of the two TTS voices actually pronounces the word "oeuf" correctly.

I am wondering whether all of "oeuf", "un oeuf", "l'oeuf" were actually recorded in the first place.

Very simply, "un oeuf" should sound like "un neuf" (adjective "neuf" or number "neuf") so it should not be that difficult!

However, what I can hear with my French ears is a disaster.
The man says "neuveu" and the woman "wef".

The first time I reported this issue (at the time only the woman's voice was available) was in July 2012.


Hi Sitesurf. This is an edit and out of line with my other posts here I notice. Look, I am truly thankful to have access to this site to try to learn French. Frankly (no pun intended) I think it is wonderful and brings people around the world together. Quite apart from my struggle with the course itself, I've made friends: USA, Canada, China, Brazil, you in Paris, Russia, Germany, Australia (the wonderful Neverfox comes to mind. Then there's NX6 and Patrick). Also, and it is a very big "Also," I've learnt so much more of my own native English which I used to think that I knew well. I don't. You, amongst others, have enlightened me to more grammar than I thought existed. Along with other students here, I do find the pronunciation frustrating but as I've said to Manmn, I listen to French radio and that also seems to be different from one speaker to another. At least the voicebots here speak rather more slowly and dare I say it; actually make life a tad easier than the radio. I think that so long as these threads are used considerately, they more than make up for Duolingo's little flaws. There are some people, aren't there, whose inconsiderate posts here completely annul any of Duo's flaws. So, here's a "Big Sixer" for Duo's attempt and all of you who help the rest of us get to grips with communication. Thank you, and thank you Duolingo.


For me more problematic is the lack of opposition between de and des, le and les etc. In many cases it's the only way to know whether it's singular or plural. I usually don't have problems with distinguishing /e/ and /ə/ (not to mention /ɛ/) but in this course it's really problematic.


"de" by itself does not give any indication of the next word's number since it is not a determiner but a preposition.

"le" and "les" are as different as "the" and "they". If you can hear the difference in English, you should start to also decipher them in French and get extra help from the verb's conjugations (at least for 30% of all verbs).

"des" being generally the plural of "un" or "une", you should not have particular issues with it.

By the way, have you tried forvo.com?




Well, "de" can give you a hint of plurality when it's the effect of "de" + "des". I rarely had problems with making out the difference between "le" (e instable) and "les" (e ouvert). It's just in this course it seems like all the sounds are too similar. My French is advanced and I just decided to finish the skill tree. Did not expect to have problems with listening exercises. (Actually it's even more convenient to me to speak in French than in English when talking about grammar).


Well, that's very close Marmn. I listen to French on the radio and none makes sense to me but my French friend Claude Henri understands every word of it all. So it goes does language, so it goes. We'll get used to it.


Well, with the French speakers I usually understand as well. But the voice in this course is sometimes terrible. Like I cannot distinguish /e/ from /ɛ/ and it rarely is problematic while liestening to French speakers.


Yes mate, I do agree with you and you're certainly not alone with finding difficulty with both the voicebots. The other languages seem to be easier on Duo.


Tbh all of the voicebots seem bad to me. Esperanto one is alright but I believe it's not a bot. The Romanian one was so terrible that I abandoned that course.


Well, Manmn, that is sad. Have you reported it? I note that you learn many languages which wears me out just thinking of it all. I wish that I was bright enough to do what you do. I admire you, well done.


I heard UN L'OUEF.. which i know doesn't make sense....


I heard 'un l'ouef'..checked it several times to make sure


The fast version does not have the l'. The slow version clearly has it. The slow version is composed of sound slices and often makes the kind of errors generated when the words are unconnected.


ah! that makes total sense!!


I wrote "an egg and fruits" which duo admited as correct. but now I am confused wether fruits or fruit is correct. And when to say "some" is necessary or just there for proper translation.


Good point raised, Juan. Without context nor modification I'm unhappy with "Fruits" being marked correct. Indeed, Duo's translation at the top of this page doesn't use it. Bit like saying "An egg and rices". In a general statement as given Egg and fruits isn't incorrect but to me does need modifying: Egg and fruits of the forest, for example. As "Rices" isn't incorrect in context: There's Mountain rice, Wild rice, White rice and Brown rice and all These rices are sold on my stall. So for marking your solution using "Fruits" as correct here I do think Duo needs to untwist its knickers somewhat. Your second point is a really involved case of the "Dropped Article" which every body struggles with and grasps after a long battle. Not the space to go to it here. You will come to lessons later where the discussion threads are jam-packed full of this one, where many really helpful explanations are given along with other sites to research. Start with "www.about.com/fr grammar De vs Du, De La, Des" and follow the link. Bonne chance.


Some English speakers say fruits - very common in India. Or in the phrase "fruits and vegetables."


Yes Nzchicgo. As I posted above Fruit/Fruits Fish Fishes Water/Waters are tricky things in English. After 68 years of living and working in every part of England I've never heard of "Fruits and Vegetables" mate. Always and everywhere it is Fruit and vegetables.Except in Brick Lane London and in large parts of Bradford where in both places English is a second language.


I think it's an American thing.


AHHH! I got this wrong! The term "oeuf" I wasn't remembering correctly. How the lady was pronouncing it I didn't recall in my notes "An egg" was a the tip of my tongue but when I looked back in my notes under "oeuf" my pronunciation of the term was totally different so I assumed it wasn't the correct term until I went to google translate and got the correct pronunciation and changed it in my notes.


Why is "An egg and the fruits" wrong? Doesn't "des" mean it's plural, therefore fruits?


Des is commonly translated as some not the.


Des does not equal "the," it translates to "some."


In this sentence, "des" is the plural of "un"


This is English's problem. "Fruit" is also used as plural. I'm eating some fruit usually means you're eating more than one, like in a fruit salad.


Shouldn't it be fruits instead of fruit?


I was sure I was wrong with this one ... whenever I hear 'oeuf' spoken by French speakers, the 'f' is not pronounced. Yet, in this example it is. I just took a chance on 'oeuf' given the context, and I was right. But I'm still confused, as I have learned to say 'oeuf' without pronouncing the 'f' and am always understood


un oeuf: you hear the final F des oeufs: you just hear EU


And Google Translate agrees with you! (I compare Duo's and Google's voice)


œu ― ŒU ― what a difficult pronunciation


Yes, Daniel. Made all the more difficult because your tongue tip finishes placed behind your top front teeth for "Un" and needs to be just behind you lower front teeth for the start of oeuf. (Sorry, still no access to accents). If it helps: For "Un" your lips are only slightly open, viewed in a mirror, about a half a centemetre apart. Tongue is relaxed on the floor of your mouth for the "U" part of "Un". You simply raise the tip of your tongue to to contact just behind your upper front teeth to pronounce the "N" part of "Un" and in the same breath (don't separate the two words, the one follow the other in one single breath) just drop the tip of your tongue to contact just behind your lower front teeth to get the "oeu" part of "Oeuf" while raising the lower front teeth to ultimately make contact with your top lip for the "F" part of "Oeuf". "Urnerff". Remember, "Un" before a consonant will not sound the "N"


I thought "des fruits" means "fruits" why is this case otherwise?


Du/de la/des is the partitive article. It expresses an unknown quantity of something that isn't countable. In English is can be expressed by "some," but more often there is no article. So "des fruits" could be "some fruit" or just "fruit."


"Des" is not a partitive article but the plural indefinite article that English does not have, as the plural of "un/une", meaning "more than one" before a countable, plural noun.


Fruit is countable in French - you can say "un fruit"? It isn't in English: You cannot say "a fruit," only "a piece of fruit."

I was under the impression that des is both the plural indefinite for something countable, and partitive for something uncountable. But I admit I have always been confused by that distinction, if there is one.


In what context are you supposed to translate "des" into "some"?


I don't think there are any rules about this. While it's usually optional, sometimes it just "feels right" in English.


Do I ABSOLUTELY have to write the "some" part? I mean, Duolingo just use "(noun)s" at some point instead of "some (noun)s"


No, you don't. It's optional in the English translation. When to use "some" in English is very hard to make a rule about; sometimes both work equally well, sometimes one feels more natural than the other. You decide by context.

In this case, we don't have much context. But there is something about it being "an egg" which leads me to prefer "some fruit." It's not wrong, but it almost feels like it makes "egg and fruit" into one phrase, instead of two separate items. But technically it should be OK and accepted as correct.


Ok, so IF I wanted to say, in French, "an egg and some fruits", i.e. indicating that there were several varieties of fruit, how would I say that?


According to my dictionary, you could say exactly the same in French. "Des fruits" can mean either an unknown quantity of the same type of fruit, or it can mean different types of fruit.

But you wouldn't say "some fruits" in English (unless you were not a native English speaker) - you would say something like "an egg and some/several/various/assorted varieties/types/kinds of fruit."

I might prefer to say "an egg and an assortment of fruit."


how "des fruits" is used as "some fruits" in some cases and only "fruits" in some other cases. I really don't get it


Read all the other comments; it's already been covered.


i answered 'some fruits' why is it wrong?


They really need to change the woman pronunciation of œuf, it sounds like barking


I don't understand why it isn't les fruits


The sound says "les fruits" and the correct answer says "des fruits". What on earth, Duolingo has some serious problems after the 10th level.


Yes, I so agree. I just love how it mimics ours!


I'll never get over how weird the word "egg" in french sounds coming from her


Maybe it is too late to asks, but someone could you tell me how to spell (pronunciation) of "œ"?


You should try "œuf" then "œufs" (different pronunciations) on forvo.com or Google Translate to get those sounds right.


This is my problem, at the moment. I'm doing strength training, and the plural specific exercises are thrown in with others, but since it's just one sentence, there isn't enough context to determine plural or singular. This seems like an oversight. Anyone else having this issue?


Singular = an egg = un oeuf

Plural = eggs = des oeufs

Singular = one fruit = un fruit

Plural = (some) fruit = des fruits


Can you tell me correct pronunciation for 'œuf'


"An Erff" is very close. But the "An" is subtly leaning toward "Ern". and the "Er" component of "Erff" is much shortened. Type it into a pronunciation site (I use Google Translate for this purpose alone) and listen to it. Bonne chance. JJ.


Or you take the first vowel sound in again and add an F at the end.


wouldn't the fruit work too


The fruit=Les Fruits not Des Fruits


Is "un" always pronounced "uh" or is the "n" pronounced too? Or perhaps it depends on context?


"un" is a nasal sound where the N is not uttered unless the following word starts with a vowel sound.


Please check on forvo.com to hear the various nasal sounds: lent (an), lin (in), long (on), l'un (un)


"I keep failing because of my awfulness at Grammer. And spelling."


Hah! Welcome to the crowd Cottonfluff. I thought that I knew my grammar until I came here. Thanks to good fortune that there are some real wizards at it who regularly contribute. I think that learning another language carries a very fruitful increased understanding of one's own grammar so though it takes time, it's all good, eh? Oh, anf I always have my dictionaries with me (mostly because I use English English rather than Noah Webster's American). Bonne chance, JJ.


i did a typo on insted of one but it said I was wrong?


Yes, Seongwon, it does seem rather harsh but that's it, Duo just won't allow even a typo on Articles, Singular/Plural and Gender, in either language. Some typos are allowed, albeit that they'll invite a warning.


Duolingo's policy is only to accept typos where the word accidentally used does not actually exist.
On is an English word, so Duolingo cannot know whether you meant one but mistyped, or whether you intended to use preposition on.


the voice recognition doesnt ever recognize its own pronounciation of this phrase


Tell me, tell me Fester of any voice recognition anyroad which recognises a voice. The trouble is that your voice sounds different to mine and both of ours sound different to the "Bot" of the 'puter programme, hence it doesn't recognise either of us. Just a waste, really. The rest of the service is OK, though.


it says i have a typo. how is that weird character in "oeuf" called, can i write oeuf using the usual letters "o" and "e" and be considered correct french?


Yes Luri. Not all students have access to accents.


Doesn't Duo give you the non -English letters and accents underneath to click on? I always get them.


No jobbie is straightforward NZ. Outside of Duo lessons there is no Duo accent box to click on.


I assumed that when Luri says "It says I have a typo," the "it" is the Duo programme. So why isn't Duo providing the appropriate symbols to choose? Or did they just not click on it but inputted their own version using o+e?


From the website, you get a fake keyboard with all specific French letters, but on smartphones, you may or may not get all signs, including the "e dans l'o" = "œ".

In any event, for every word using "œ", we have registered all variants with the regular "oe" in the system.


an egg and fruit is wrong


It is not wrong Shazalina. There is so much, too much maybe, wrapped up in this task. Firstly, in translation to English the article may be dropped but not in French. Secondly Fruit, like Fish and Rice may be both singular and plural. It is confusing that Nouns Fruit/Fruits and Fish/Fishes are only correct in specific contexts and that Fishe is both a plural noun and a verb but there is no such thing as the plural of Rice being Rices and that Rice in specific culinary context is a verb! More to language than wots spoke. :)


An egg and some fruits vs 1 egg and some fruits. Why is the first one wrong?


Hi Riya. Un oeuf= both An egg and One egg.. report it. However in Language Usage rather than pure grammar, the "usual" phraseology would be An egg rather than One egg here in context (if there is any). JJ.


Ok now mine said i was wrong and says the correct answer is "1 egg-" isnt it an egg


Well, Jamm, go ahead and use digits if you insist but please don't be annoyed with Duo when (Not If) Duo marks you down for doing so. Bonne chance.


I keep leaving "Some" out. Any tips for remembering "Et" is "Some" sometimes?


"Some" is always optional and even unnecessary when it comes to translating "des". A bare plural noun is enough to mean "more than one".


"Et" means "and."

Du/de la/des, when used as the partitive article, express a non-specified quantity of something. In English, we often use "some," but just as often don't. So "an egg and fruit" should be okay too, although most people would probably include "some" in that case.

Du/de la/des can also mean "of the" when expressing possession or belonging. So it's just a matter of recognizing if you are describing a quantity or not.


the "fruits" is single or not ? because of "des" , i think , that is not single so why translat is not fruits it is fruit ?


In English, fruit is a collective noun. This can be confusing for people who speak other languages. We normally say "a piece of fruit" for singular and "fruit" or "some fruit" for plural. The only time we say fruits is in the phrase "fruits and vegetables" or when talking about various varieties of fruit. "Many fruits contain vitamin C." But "It's good to eat fruit every day."

Hope that's helpful. Stupid English!


But, but, but.... I just said that, mate. Aaannnddd please do not insult my native tongue.


:-) Must have posted simultaneously. Anyway, I think we both offered slightly different bits of info.

English plurals are so hard! It's one of the surest ways to spot a non-native speaker.


Yes, very likely nzchicago. May I suggest, if the are more than one type of fruit for sale on the stall or in the shop we say fruits. However if they are all in a bowl for the dinner table, we call it all fruit. You are quite right, it is confusing. We have words with -ough and that is pronounced -uff, ooh, and oh.. Good here isn't it? Bonne chance mon ami. JJ.


Quite agree, we use the plural when we want to stress the fact that there are several different varieties.

A bientôt!


French works this way, AgHayeser. It is very specific. If there are different fruits in the shop then the shop sell fruit ans one buy apples, grape and oranges, one has purchased fruit of different fruits. Then there is the .saying "The Fruits Of One's Labour." Language takes some getting used to.


It should be an egg and fruits right? Hmm idk


We don't say it like that in American/UK English. We say "and egg and fruit" or "an egg and some fruit." Your version is common to Indian English and other varieties.

We only say "fruits" when talking about multiple varieties of fruit, or in phrases like "fruits and vegetables." Otherwise, "fruit" is both singular and plural.


An egg and fruits not accepted.


That's right. In English, it would be "an egg and fruit" or "an egg and some fruit." Fruit is already a plural noun; "fruits" is only used in a few contexts. (It is also commonly used in Indian English and a few other varieties outside of the main anglophone countries.)


Why is "des fruits" translated as "some fruit" ? Changing from plural to singular?


In English, fruit is mostly a collective noun (we don't often add an S to it). If we want to talk about it in the singular, we say "a piece of fruit."

Whether or not to put "some" in front of a collective noun is optional, and is decided by context. Sometimes it just feels right. But both versions should be accepted here.


des fruits is plural. Why is the right answer singular - fruit?


Read extensive discussions directly above.


Why is "des fruits" translate to "some fruit" and not ' some fruits' ( marked wrong by duolingo) or 'fruits'( again marked wrong)? Why? Why? Why?


Why? Why? Why? Please, please, please read all the comments before adding to them, as your question will likely have been discussed many times.

Fruit is already a plural noun. In standard English (as opposed to Indian English and some other varieties) we don't say "fruits" unless we are talking specifically about multiple varieties of fruit and want to emphasize that, and in set phrases such as "fruits and vegetables."


I think "fruits" should be accepted just as "fruit"


Des fruits is plural. Why incorrect?


Hard to know what you mean, but I will take a guess that you wrote the word "fruits." And we don't generally say that in English (unlike other languages), since fruit is a mass noun. We just say "fruit," or we say "some fruit."


Des fruits = fruits in english, the answer should be correct


Why does there have to be a some


Why can't it be An egg and fruits


Please read the other comments


Why is fruits without some wrong?


It didn't accept my answer: an egg and some fruits.

Isn't 'des fruits' plural anyways?


why is some fruits wrong?


Why "an egg and fruits" is wrong??


Shouldn't it be fruitS?


Why does fruits and frites sound so similar? How are we supposed to differentiate between the two on those oral registration tasks?


fruits: /fʁɥi/
frites: /fʁit/

Comparison: They may sound similar to you because both have "fr" and "i" sounds, but fruits has /ɥ/ (a rounded semivowel) and frites has /t/, which make the difference.

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