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.
"She has no brother" is a bit antique. "She has no brothers" is more common and was accepted.
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".
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.
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.
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.
this sentences should be in the negatives lesson i think because it is a new negative form
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.
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.
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.
The quantity 0 is treated as singular in French and plural in English. Zéro frère = zero brothers
Aucun only works with singular. For frères, I think it would have to be Elle n'a pas de frères.
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
Sorry I am not English native but shouldn't it be, "She does not have any brother?" Not "brothers". My answer was incorrect.
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.
That answer is listed among the accepted answers. I don't know why it was marked wrong for you. Are you using an app?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Wouldn't frères be a better translation if you wished to make the English precise?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just to clarify, I'm not complaining about it, I'm trying to understand why he's saying it with that sound.
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.
Elle n'a aucun freres. - with accents, wan not accepted. Surely, - She does not have any brothers - is much the same thing.
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).
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
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?
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.
The issue is how you say it in English. She has no brother (or) She doesn't have any brothers.
Aucun, used with ne (or n' in this case), is negative, meaning 'no' or 'not any'. Pas would be redundant.
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.
why is the word "brother" singular instead of the plural "brothers" if that is what she means?
I have read the discussion and yet I have a question: The plural of frere is freres or not?
As usual with Duo confusion is the order of the day. No proper explanation??? brother should be accepted
As the French is using singular ( frere… and not freres) the English translation should not be marked wrong when one uses singular too.
By the way it is quite different in English to say... she has no brothers... or to say she does not have any brother
So if Duo wants us to use plural why not asking in French elle n'a pas de freres