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"Is that girl nice?"

Translation:Cette fille est-elle gentille ?

February 21, 2013

52 Comments


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

Why is Est-ce fille gentille wrong?


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

3 ways to ask a question requiring an answer yes/no:

  • formal: cette fille est-elle gentille ?
  • standard: est-ce que cette fille est gentille ?
  • relaxed/oral: cette fille est gentille ?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olga828608

The relaxed didnt work for me... It didnt accept it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rain0van

Est ce que cette fille works


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

"Est-ce que cette fille est gentille ?" does work, yet with the required hyphen in place between "est" and "ce"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tim24

why can't it be "c'est une fille gentille?"


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

Why not, that is correct. you could also get "elle est gentille, cette fille ?"


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

I think that's wrong. It sounds like "c'est une fille gentille?" = "Is that a nice girl?" To me, that's not the same as "Is that girl nice?"


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

Is this not more an answer than a question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2304

The French often use expressions using different syntax than the classic subject-verb inversion. Sometimes the object is set off with a comma at the beginning or at the end, with a statement after or before it, and a rising inflection at the end to show it is a question. This is common in French as spoken.


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

Trying to figure out why: est-ce qu'elle est gentille, was incorrect. I'm blanking on the reason. Because I didn't say 'girl'? Of course, that's the reason. Now, how does one ask this question using the 'est-ce que' way of asking questions?


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

"est-ce que cette fille est gentille ?"


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

Why not C'est une fille jolie?


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

c'est une jolie fille (beauty adjectives are placed in front of the noun)

jolie = lovely, pretty, it is about her physical beauty.

nice = gentille, agréable, amicale, it is about her friendly behavior


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

Whats wrong with "Est-elle gentil?"


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

You've written "Is she nice" but you have not used "that girl" and you also have the masculine form of gentil instead of gentille.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akerman82

Can someone tell me why "Cette fille" means "That girl"? I would have thought it meant "This girl".


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

cette can translate to this or that, interchangeable with no other detail.

but the backward translation can be more precise:

  • that girl = cette fille-là
  • this girl = cette fille-ci

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

On peut dit "cela fille, est-ce qu'elle est gentille" ou non?


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

"cela" is a demonstrative pronoun, to be used instead of a noun, and it translates to "that thing". So, "that thing girl" would not work.

In front of a noun, you need an adjective, not a pronoun: "cette fille"


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

I wrote c'est fille sympa, but It said it was c'est une fille sympa


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

"C'est une fille sympa" is the translation for "she/this/it is a nice girl" as a statement, and the informal translation for the question "is she/this/it a nice girl?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QuaffleFeather49

"La fille, est elle gentille?" ?


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

"La fille est-elle gentille ?" (no comma, add an hyphen and a space before the question mark).


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

But I think this translation misses the idea of "that".


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

Yep, you've written: "the girl, is she nice" and not "that" girl. It's the difference between "la" and "cette". If there were 3 girls standing, and you said, "the girl is she nice", one would have to say, "which girl?", instead of you specifically saying "that girl", so there is difference, although it is subtle.


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

What about "Est-ce que cette fille là gentille?"


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

or should it be ""Est-ce que cette fille là est gentille?"


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

Yes, you need verb "être", because "est-ce que" is just an interrogative block announcing a question.

  • est-ce que je suis gentille
  • est-ce que tu es gentille ...

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

Why can't you say something like "Ça fille, est-elle sympa?" It's been a long time since I took French, but I thought I remembered that "ça" meant "that"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2304

"Ça" is a demonstrative pronoun; it stands alone referring to another noun. What you need here is a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette. E.g., ce garçon = this/that boy. Cette fille = this/that girl. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_demonstrative.htm


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

I think, it would be more appropriate if we used Cette as fille is feminine rather than using Ça. Try this : http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_demonstrative.htm


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

Wait, so cette means both 'that' and 'this'? I remember that it only meant 'this', so I didn't want to use it here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phillipr.johnson

La fille, est-elle jolie?

I've seen other questions formed like this. What's wrong this time?


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

The comma doesn't belong, though that is minor, but jolie = pretty. The question asks for 'nice', which is gentille or bonne, or perhaps sympa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2304

The form is okay (set off by comma, that is) but "jolie" means "nice" in the sense of appearance, i.e., is she pretty? So you can say "la maison est jolie" = the house is pretty/lovely. For a person who is nice (her character/behavior), use "gentille" or "sympa".


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

If this were to ask "Is she nice?" , would I then write "est-elle gentille?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gundumphier_91

est cette fille agréable?


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

"Sympa" for "nice" is accepted, but "Est cette fille sympa?" is marked as wrong, because "Cette fille est sympa?" was the expected formulation! In moments like these I wish Duo was a little bit smarter!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2304

It is because the phrasing is not good French at all. The syntax of "Est cette fille sympa" mirrors the syntax of the English "Is that girl nice" but it doesn't work in French. See Sitesurf's examples of different ways to ask questions in French or consult this link: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/questions.htm


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

Yeah, thank you! Sometimes I forget the importance of phraseological aspect, given that some languages are more rigid than others in this regard. I expected somehow that Duolingo would tell me that I have an incorrect wording and (after suggesting me a more natural form) still accept my answer like it does with minor typos.


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

For your information, the checker here is a computer which compares your suggestion with all correct answers registered in the system for each sentence.

Your proposal is nowhere near any of those, so it is not just a typo but a minimum of 3 words missing: est-ce que cette fille est sympa ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tilly895149

Left one 'l' out of gentille and says i used the wrong word.. surely thats a spelling error?


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

"un gentilé" (synonym: un ethnonyme) is another word, describing the inhabitants of a region, country or continent. For instance: "le gentilé de la France est Français" (France's inhabitants are the French)


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

Why can't it be: cette fille est jolie? I've learned in previous courses that joli(e)(s)=nice, pretty


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/U.X
  • 165

'Jolie' means nice as in 'pretty', 'lovely', or 'good', not nice as in 'kind'. Both 'gentil(le)' and 'sympa' can translate to 'kind'; either would work here.


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

I translated as above but was informed it was incorrect. Instead the word "une" had been used. Nowhere does it say "a'.


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

To translate "Is that girl nice?", you do not need "une", but one of the démonstrative adjectives "ce, cet, cette, ces".

Since "fille" is feminine singular, you need the pronoun "cette fille" (= this/that girl).


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

if they don't give us a dash, how are we supposed to form "est-elle" ?


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

Could someone please explain why sympa does not work in this situation?

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