1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Elle n'a aucun frère."

"Elle n'a aucun frère."

Translation:She does not have any brothers.

February 23, 2013

71 Comments


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

My preferred translation (which is accepted) is: she has no brother.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDIA729

The only time I have heard that phrasing in English is not in a literal way, but as a way to express that one has disowned a relative. For instance, if one's brother is a murderer, one might say "I have no brother."

That being said, I translated it that way too.


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

"She has no brother" is a bit antique. "She has no brothers" is more common and was accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

I would use the singular to negate a previous statement, if it was also expressed in the singular:

"Is that her brother?" "She has no brother."

Otherwise, if introducing the topic I would say "She has no brothers".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peterschei2

DM, disagree with you on this one. Perhaps a regionalism, but 'she has no brother' is not antiquated at all, and is the more common in NY, Not worth hasseling about.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darryl870

in the UK I have often said she has no brother if asked does she have a brother? Gosh I must be wrong all these years. I better tell everyone else I hear use it that it is incorrect speech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FJSoekahar2

If FRÉRE was translated as brothers; how about FRÉRES?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DolphinLover03

I think it's a grammar quirk in this case... where it literally translates to "she has no brother" but that phrase is not used in English, so it translates to "she has no brothers". Freres is still brothers plural.


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

this sentences should be in the negatives lesson i think because it is a new negative form


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

Could you say "Elle n'a pas de freres" (with accents)?


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

Maybe from this English - French difference in how zero is treated, we can say that neither language uses both "singular" vs. "plural" as grammatical categories. Instead: 1. English has "singular" and "non-singular" [+/- singular]: since "zero" and "plural" are both "non-singular," they receive the same treatment. 2. French has "plural" and "non-plural" [+/- plural]: since both "singular" and "zero" are "non-plural," they receive the same treatment. >> It comes down to choosing which number concept is primary, and making a binary opposition on one of these.


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

I believe aucun gives more emphasis to the fact that she doesn't, so that would be wrong. I would think of this sentence as a reply to "Doesn't she have a brother?".

Also, I think "aucun" is singular, therefore the noun has to be singular too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FREDDCS73

Or. " Elle n'a pas aucun frere".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

Besides the incorrect inclusion of "pas" ("ne...aucun" is all you need), pay attention to the accents. Note: père, mère, frère all use the accent grave.


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

Why doesn't it has to be frères?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dammon123

The quantity 0 is treated as singular in French and plural in English. Zéro frère = zero brothers


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

Aucun only works with singular. For frères, I think it would have to be Elle n'a pas de frères.


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

I think because "aucun" essentially means "not one".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amjl777

This is perhaps better translated as "She does not have a single brother"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

Aucun (as a positive) is simply "any" or, in the negative form (ne...aucun), "none" (or "not any"). http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/aucun/645590


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

Sorry I am not English native but shouldn't it be, "She does not have any brother?" Not "brothers". My answer was incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

In English, it would be "she does not have any brothers". Elle n'a pas de frère = She does not have a brother (or) She has no brother.


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

I wrote she has no brother and got it marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

That answer is listed among the accepted answers. I don't know why it was marked wrong for you. Are you using an app?


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

" She hasn't any brothers" should be OK shouldn't it? it was not accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

It is correct but Duo often will mark English sentences containing contractions wrong. I believe it stems from the fact that French has many contractions which are mandatory, while contractions in English are never mandatory but simply convey a more informal register. To avoid unnecessary loss of hearts, I generally avoid contractions in English sentences here.


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

n6zs, you are on a helpful roll here, thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

n6zs is George in the Android app. The website calls him n6zs.


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

Why not "Elle n'a pas un frère"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anton-KM

Did not accept "She does not have any brother" with the remark, that 'brother' should be plural. This is not correct, you can easily think of a context where my sentence would have worked. ("Where is her brother?" - "Her brother? She does not have any brother.") Reported sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nikbels12

Why not 'brother'? doesn't 'frere' mean a single bro?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

If you can usually only have one of something, then we use the singular. "She has no mother", "She has no father" but "She has no parents". It is possible to say "She has no brother" but it's more like disowning her actual brother, than saying she actually has no brothers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nikbels12

But a brother is not someone that one can have only one of, right? One can have multiple brothers. This explanation doesn't fit it then.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

You can indeed have only one brother! You can also have none or you can have many.

If you're disowning your only brother, you can use the singular (in English). Otherwise you'd use the plural. In French, if I remember correctly, "aucun(e)" always takes the singular, but "pas de" can use either singular or plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nikbels12

I get it now. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

I just realised that « aucun(e) » has « un(e) » at the end, which etymologically comes from the Latin "unum", also meaning "one". So it makes sense that you can only use the singular with it.


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

"Any" is a word that can be either singular or plural. This probably also has to do with that and the differences between French and English.


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

Is elle n'a pas frere accetable?


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

No, you need "de" in there: "Elle n'a pas de frère"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/100jeff

Wouldn't frères be a better translation if you wished to make the English precise?


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

The singular is correct in French. In English we usually use the plural, although as Anton-KM notes above, sometimes we do use the singular. These things don't always translate precisely from one language to another.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

The sentences are not constructed so as to facilitate simple translations. It is to learn how French expresses an idea and how that same idea is expressed in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henri232

"She does not have one brother" was rejected, incorrectly I believe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

There is no "one brother" in the French. The translation of "elle n'a aucun frère" is "she does not have any brothers". "Elle n'a pas de frère" = she does not have a brother (or) she has no brother.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MzMolly65

Why am I hearing a k sound between n'a and aucun? In the slow version it sounds like he is saying "elle n'aK aucun frère"

I had the sentence correct but because I kept hearing that K sound I doubted myself and skipped it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MzMolly65

Just to clarify, I'm not complaining about it, I'm trying to understand why he's saying it with that sound.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gitanes68

Would be nice to understand why it is pronounced like that. Either I have heard this sentence so often before or it is standard way of prounouncing and it appears in other exercises "Elle n'a..." and presumably "Il n'a..." do not so far as I am aware include a "k" sound. So why does it appear? It makes interpreting/translating the sentence guess work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barnowls271

Elle n'a aucun freres. - with accents, wan not accepted. Surely, - She does not have any brothers - is much the same thing.


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

Aucun is singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronaldo-Correia

she has no any brother. Is this answer also wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

Yes because it's not grammatical. You need to say "She has no brother(s)", "She doesn't have any brother(s)" or "She hasn't any brother(s)" (rarer).


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

Why is "She does not have any brother" not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

We only use the singular after "any" for uncountable nouns such as "meat". "She doesn't have any meat" is OK, "She doesn't have any brother" implies it's a slice of brother.

  • She doesn't have a brother
  • She has no brother
  • She has no brothers
  • She doesn't have brothers
  • She doesn't have any brothers

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mai.mi

Can anyone explain why in this case it is clearly allowed to have two consecutive vowels? I thought that was a no-go in French?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

It's not a rule per se. There are about 16 words (mostly ending with a non-silent « e »: « me », « que », etc.) that always get elided before another vowel, and there are certain inversions that get a euphonic « -t- » (« a-t-il », « a-t-elle », etc.), but otherwise, two vowels can indeed be said sequentially.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spaminator2

Frere = brother. Freres = brothers?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

The issue is how you say it in English. She has no brother (or) She doesn't have any brothers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FREDDCS73

Why not? "Ell n'a pas aucun frére"


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

Aucun, used with ne (or n' in this case), is negative, meaning 'no' or 'not any'. Pas would be redundant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2306

French negatives in standard language are used in pairs:

  • ne ... pas
  • ne ... rien
  • ne ... personne
  • ne ... aucun
  • ne ... jamais

So you would not use both "pas" and "aucun" together.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/patcha.mar

Frere ( no s ) why brothers ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carolsmith17484

why is the word "brother" singular instead of the plural "brothers" if that is what she means?


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

I have read the discussion and yet I have a question: The plural of frere​ is freres or not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DT92024

Is "elle n'a pas de frère" the same, or does it mean she does not have A brother?

Q: Does she have a brother?
A: No, she does not have a brother.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulBourke4

As usual with Duo confusion is the order of the day. No proper explanation??? brother should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

As the French is using singular ( frere… and not freres) the English translation should not be marked wrong when one uses singular too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

By the way it is quite different in English to say... she has no brothers... or to say she does not have any brother


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

So if Duo wants us to use plural why not asking in French elle n'a pas de freres


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GerardoGat1

Why is " she has no brothers" not accepted?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.