"She knows men."
Translation:Elle connaît les hommes.
Perhaps a silly question, but why is "Elle connaît les hommes" acceptable as a translation? Doesn't "les" indicate by design "the", suggesting that it's instead "she knows the men" rather than "she knows men"? My translation was accepted (Elle connaît des hommes) but I just wanna make sure I understand les/des.
In English, you can use "the" or nothing; in French, you must use "les" or "des".
"Les" is used if the men are specific (the men) or if all men are referred to (men in general as a category, all men in the world).
"Des" is the plural form of "un" or "une", so "des hommes" is the plural of "un homme" (a man).
"Elle connaît les hommes" was the original sentence, meaning "she knows men in general". The translation to English was "she knows men" and now you have to back translate it to French. If you consider that she knows men means that she knows some men, you will say "elle connaît des hommes". If you consider that she know men as a species, you will say "elle connaît les hommes".
Defn: savoir: "Avoir des connaissances sur quelque chose, quelqu'un " http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/savoir/71232?q=savoir#70460. I think there are two distinct meanings of "know" possible here and the verb could be connaître or savoir
So how would you express "The psychiatrist knows abusive women"? Meaning that the psychiatrist is thoroughly knowledgeable about the dynamics of the personality. The definition of connaître is all about familiarity and the definition of savoir is all about knowledge. Is it simply rarely/never done or is there a reason one cannot express knowledge of a personality using savoir quelqu'un? Savoir des choses sur... does not seem to have the same meaning.
No, it is just how the 3rd person singular conjugation is spelled. Here is a website that lists all conjugations of connaître:
Look under the present indicative, and you'll see that "il connaît" is just the odd one out.
No, "les" and "l'" are not interchangeable.
- je l'aime => him, her, it
je les aime => them
if "l' " is him or her => I love him / I love her
if "l' " is "it" => I like it
if "les" represents human beings or pets => I love them
- if "les" represents animals or things => I like them
She knows how men act = elle sait comment les hommes agissent.
Your sentence is not about knowing men but the way they act. This is what makes the difference between "savoir" and "connaître".
"Savoir" is to know something you have learned and you cannot learn people or places.
"Connaître" people or places is about "being familiar with".
I was wondering what I was supposed to understand, for it was not absolutely clear whether your first comment had to do with "les hommes" as a generality vs specific men.
In any event, just in case, if we were referring to specific men in this room, the sentence would also be "elle connaît les hommes dans cette pièce", meaning she already met them, is familiar with them, has worked with them, whatever.
If this is a translation for "I bet she does", it is not working.
The corresponding French comment would be "Je parie que oui" or "Je parie que c'est le cas". However, the verb "parier" is not so common in this context and you would say something like "J'en suis sûr(e)" instead.
in English the phrase she knows men would be used in the sense that she understands men, in which case comprendre would surely be correct. we would not simply say 'she knows men' in the sense that she is acquainted with some men. So I cannot agree that connaitre is correct here.
You are not supposed to know things before you learn them, especially on this course which teaches you by trial and error and gives you sentences as examples with no prior explanation (unless you read our Tips and Notes). Now, you will know that, as already explained a half dozen times on this very thread, "connaître" is the verb for people and places you are familiar or acquainted with.
More about this: https://www.thoughtco.com/savoir-vs-connaitre-1368940
"Elle connaît des hommes" is "she knows some men" = more than one, a few, as the plural of "elle connaît un homme/she knows a man".
French uses the definite articles for generalizations. So categories and concepts use "le, la, les".
Also note that the direct object of all appreciation verbs (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, préférer, apprécier, détester, haïr, admirer, respecter) is automatically considered as a generalization:
- I like history = j'aime l'histoire
- I love music = j'adore la musique
- I hate spinach = je déteste les épinards.