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  5. "How shall I put it?"

"How shall I put it?"

Translation:Comment dire ?

February 22, 2013



I have a difficult time with the fact that duolingo often gives you a sentence to translate from English to French that is obviously an idiom with no indication of how to translate it. I understand losing hearts over an actual mistake, but these ones should really be French to English first to learn the expression.


also in this case, they could have had in english "how shall i say it" which would have made atleast "comment dois-je le dire (which they accept) easier to guess, since its not always possible to tell if they want a literal or a likely translation (like g3m, i thought they were asking a strange question about how to arrange something)


I AM FRENCH : For example a mover or removal man who is asking to his co-worker : How shall I put this piece of furniture. I answer to Lopez : "Comment puis-je le dire?" is grammaticaly correct but it's far better to say "Comment dire?". "Comment dire?" means that I'm asking to myself what to say to someone. For example: "erm... how to express myself..." or "erm... how to explain myself about that...". If I had a context I could guess the alternative meanings, but not there!!! I wrote: "Comment devrais-je le poser?" > duolingo says that it's wrong!


the English is indeed an idiom, to be translated by "comment dire ?"


HOW should we translate this sentence in french? "How do I say it " and generally when there is an object in the sentence how should we ask the question?


Terrible to put in an idiom without any context.


I agree. Surely a non-idiomatic translation is "Comment je vais dire"? But I got bounced on that


The grammatically correct construction is "comment vais-je dire ?" (inversion Verb-Subject pronoun).

we also say "comment te/vous dire ?" + variants already mentioned above.


"Comment vais-je le mettre?" Is this correct?


Grammatically, it is correct, but id does not mean what the English idiom actually means. In French, verb "mettre" is not used but verb "dire".


I used "mettre" also...


"How shall I put it?" - Idiom :(


Pls note that you can hear (old) people say "comment dirais-je ?"


Comment est-ce que je le pose... Honestly. Is this going to happen more and more?

I understand what it's saying but I'm translating... I guess these are the drawbacks. The best way to learn a language is from someone, not something. We'll have to make due until we can change that.


Acckkk! Lost last heart on last question!!! Why not "Comment puis-je le dire?" Probably totally wrong, but why?


I get that, Comment dire, is an idiiom, like saying, How to say. Now they also say you can write, Comment le dire, since the phrase to translation from is, How shall I put it. I instead put, Comment il dire, and got that marked wrong, why? Can't il and le both mean it?


"il" can only be subject of a verb, while "le" is its object form.

so, "comment le dire ?" would be the correct form, although we don't really use that, but rather "comment dire ├ža ?"


Interesting. Previously I got "How shall I say it?" And the translation was "Comment dire?" and "Comment est-ce que je dois le dire?" which I attempted was wrong. Here the expression requires dois in order to be right it seems, but since inserting dois was wrong before, I skipped it and just wrote "Comment est-ce que je le mets?" to my heartfelt disappointment. To me "How shall..." implies a sense of looking for the right way to do something, ie how 'should' something be done. Which makes me wonder, why can't "How shall I say it?" be, similar to the construction of this sentence, translated as "Comment est-ce que je DOIS le dire?" ???

Stares aimlessly into the abyss for a glimmer of Sitesurf


In my opinion, in both languages, that semi-question (asked to yourself while you are speaking) is more an idiom than anything else. In my understanding "shall" would be understood as a future. In French, similarly "comment dire ?" or "comment dirai-je ?"(with simple future, but less frequent) is something like "wait a second, I am trying to find the right words to express my thoughts".

So, I suggest you just learn it and move on, idioms will always remain a bit of a dead end, grammar wise.


I simply translated this literally as "Comment dois-je le mettre ?" and it was accepted by Duolingo. Should this have been accepted? I'm guessing the literal translation doesn't carry the same idiomatic meaning in French as the English one does...

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