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  5. "Il leur écrit un livre."

"Il leur écrit un livre."

Translation:He writes them a book.

February 24, 2013



What's the difference between "leur" and "eux"?


- possessive adjective leur <-> possessive adjective their
- pronoun leur [placed before the verb] <-> pronoun them
- pronoun eux <-> pronouns they or them


Why isn't 'He's writing a book to them' correct?


Or “He is writing a book for them” which is probably a little clumsy but still correct.


That's a fine translation (not clumsy) and it is accepted now.


"Novel" instead of "book" would be correct as well.


The French for a novel is un roman. Un livre is a book which is not necessarily fiction.


Why is the sentence mixed up a bit


And why not "he's writing them a book". ... Without a context, the simple present in Fr can be translated with the Pr Progressive in English ... period!


It is a fine answer and it is accepted now.


"He writes a book to them" is still not being accepted. 2018/08/02.


One does not write a book TO someone. So if you keep putting that as your answer, you might want to rethink it.


For non-native English speakers, it is very difficult to understand for vs to. I wish duo is not that pedantic about the English grammar...


"He writes a book to them" should be accepted but marked incorrect as of Aug 15th 2018.


One does not write a book "TO" someone.


Why not "Il les écrit un livre"?


Because "les" is a direct object pronoun. He is writing a book. I.e., "un livre" is the direct object. The "them" means that they are the indirect recipients of the action. We would say "for them". The indirect object pronoun for "them" is "leur", not "les".

  • Direct object pronouns : me, te, le/la, nous, vous, les
  • Indirect object pronouns : me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur


This is a very poor English translation, literally correct but not educated speech.


You may disagree, but the sentence "He is writing them a book" is normal. The indirect object pronoun "leur" will be understood as either "for them" or simply "them". In another context, it could be interpreted as "to them", but the "to" or "for" are often omitted.


I answered "He writes a book for them" and it was not accepted. The one given that was supposedly correct was "He writes them a book."

I think Duolingo needs to focus more on communication and meaning than grammar of the 2nd language and word for word translations.

Sure, great grammar is nice, but ACTFL is now creating US curriculum based first and foremost on communications and meaning.

Am I being graded on English grammar here? Perhaps the way I say it is wrong (it is the way we say it where I grew up on the plains in Kansas.


It is accepted now. As to translating meaning vs. awkward word-for-word translations, we're working on it, one clumsy sentence at a time.


The approved answer is really bad English, we would never say such a clumsy phrase.


Several people have expressed difficulty with indirect object pronouns. Is it "He writes them a book", "He writes a book FOR them" or "He writes a book TO them"? By far the most common way in British English is to put the indirect object (for or to them) before the direct object. He writes John a book, He writes him a book, He writes them a book is the preferred format. Note that the to or for disappears when the noun or pronoun is in this position. The location of the indirect object directly before the object (book) is enough to show that it is indirect and contains a hidden preposition (to or for). I gave (to) them some food. I read (to) them a book. I wrote (to) them a letter. I wrote (for) them a book. What about to and for? To indicates the recipient of something, "for" more often indicates intention. I give it TO him, I send it TO him (he is the target of my action) but I write it FOR him means he is the reason that I wrote it, he is the intended beneficiary. I wrote a book FOR him indicates that I wrote it so that he could benefit from it, so that I could honour or recognise him in some way, or because I wanted to pay tribute to him in some way. FOR could also indicate that I wrote it on his behalf, because he needed a ghost writer, because he paid me, or that I was somehow the agency through which the book was written in order that he would benefit in some way. TO, on the other hand, simply indicates direction. There is a difference between I wrote a letter to him and I wrote a letter for him. The first indicates that I wrote a letter and sent it to him. The second indicates that I wrote as letter on his behalf, so that he could use it elsewhere to achieve some aim, or because he was unable to write it himself, or because he could derive some other benefit from it. Unfortunately, the English indirect object in He writes THEM a letter or He writes THEM a book does not tell you whether to or for is intended. Context is everything. If we are talking of a book, the meaning must be FOR (beneficiary). If we are talking of a letter, then either TO or FOR would work, but they mean different things.


Blimey, wonky recording!

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