1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Une dizaine de canards"

"Une dizaine de canards"

Translation:Around ten ducks

February 25, 2013

31 Comments


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

Is 'une dizaine' a word like the English word 'a dozen', but just of a different quantity?


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

"dizaine" = around 10. "douzaine" = around 12 = a dozen "quinzaine" = around 15


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

So is -zaine just a suffix that means around that number and can be appended to any number? Similar to -ish in English slang.


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

Yes basically, that is the construction for the examples I gave you, but it does not work for all numbers, because it depends on the ending of the number itself:

  • 20 = une vingtaine
  • 100 = une centaine
  • 1000 = un millier

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

Please explain how you would translate "a dozen ducks" into French?


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

Direct translation: une douzaine de canards.


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

I only answered DavidOldacre's question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pillow33895

Do you mean that there's another translation, Sitesurf?


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

please advise: am I really in error to translate this using the very common "ten or so " ducks? merci Sitesurf!


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

"ten or so" is fine, it translates "une dizaine" perfectly, in my opinion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wonderboy6

Are all numbers femenine?


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

All approximate numbers ending in -aine are feminine:

une dizaine, une douzaine, une quinzaine, une vingtaine, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJ180
  • 1694

and "about ten ducks": would that also be acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cmd586

I'm losing heart after heart to terrible audio. "Canards" sounds like "Ken mar." So frustrating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Devo827364

I said "A dozen ducks" and DL considered it correct. I realize twelve is a number that is "around ten" but if I hadn't checked out this discussion, I wouldn't have realized. Strange!


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

Yeah, I think it's wrong and shouldn't be accepted...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sdrc22

why don't they just say "environ un/une dix of something" then?


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

"around ten" is exactly what "une dizaine" means.

but you would not be wrong if you said "environ dix"


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

Wait, "dizaine" was previously translated as "a dozen" in this very unit. Now suddenly that's wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewWend1

Be careful not to mix up "dizaine" (10) and "douzaine" (12).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonjon737

Why is it not 'des canards'?


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

All expressions of quantities drop the indefinite article:

  • peu de, autant de, plus de, moins de, beaucoup de, des dizaines de... canards

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neil-VA5WX

"About a dozen" was an acceptable translation for une dizaine a few exercises ago. Now it's wrong. Continuity please, Duo?


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

I don't think so: "une douzaine" was "about twelve" or "a dozen".


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

Good day! Why the translation "A dozen of ducks" is not accepted ?


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

Two things: 1) The English wouldn't use the preposition - i.e., it would simply be "a dozen ducks", but 2) "une dizaine" means "around ten", not "a dozen".


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

If the suffix means "about"....then "une" doesn't make sense!


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

It does because you can count "deux, trois, quatre... dizaines".


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

Can you help me understand that idea (in a sentence, maybe)? I'm just trying to wrap my head around when you would use "trois dizaines," for example, rather than "trentaine".


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

In absolute numbers, "trois dizaines" should amount to 30 (three bundles of 10 items) and "une trentaine", can range from about 28 to 32 items.

"Une dizaine" can be ambiguous since, as you know, "une" can be an indefinite pronoun or a number. But with a suitable context, you will know if "une dizaine" is an approximate amount or a group of 10 things exactly.

"Trois dizaines" is 3 bunches of things available in 10 units, so the exact number is thirty.
Une trentaine

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