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"Sa longueur est d'environ un mètre trente."

Translation:Its length is about one meter thirty.

February 26, 2013



Are smaller units usually left out when they follow a larger unit? In American English that seems less common (to me).


I (NZ English) would say "a metre thirty" if describing the length of something casually, but I can't really think of other units or scales where you could do this. I suppose I would say "a minute thirty" but I wouldn't say "one centimetre two", "six kilometres five hundred", or "two kilograms eight hundred". Same in non-metric too: "six foot five" works, but "two inches three" doesn't. (Especially since I have no idea how you subdivide an inch in imperial units.)


Ah, you metrified New Zealander, you (if by "imperial units" you mean "English" units as in "the British Empire"). Two and a half inches, three and three-eights inches. You could also say, in the US at least, two inches and a half, or three inches and three-eights, but not two inches half or three inches three-eights. Divisions of the unit remain in the unit; what's odd about "one meter thirty" or "six foot five" is that the second unit (centimeter, inch), different from the first (meter, foot), is merely implied. I can't think of any other examples where this happens, either.


It happens on other metric measurements: currencies, weights, etc:

1,50€ = un euro cinquante (centimes)

1,400 = un kilo quatre-cents (grammes)


In English you say 1.5 Euros, 1.4 kilos. And instead of one meter thirty you say 1.3 meters ( for 30 centimeters is 0.3 of a meter)


Second time I've encountered this. Seems like Americans call the imperial system the English/British system; is this true, broadly speaking? The rest of the world says metric vs imperial to my knowledge.


I think if you want to get picky there are several different systems (metric, US customary, British imperial, and English units which were used up until 1824). The wiki page is pretty interesting [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_and_US_customary_measurement_systems]. But you're right: the Americans I know will sometimes say "English units" whereas everyone else just says "imperial".


@Ariaflame, It depends on your age. I'm 40<cough> something, and live in England, and IN SCHOOL we were taught metric.

However in everyday life, I'd use imperial for most measures I can think of. If someone asked how tall you were, or how far it is to a particular place would you reply in metres and KM or in feet/inches and miles?

Would you buy a pint of milk or 584ml?

The only exception I can think of is when buying petrol... and that's only because the government changed it from gallons to litres many years ago try to trick people into not noticing how extortionate the cost of petrol is.


Oddly enough the US is one of the few countries still clinging to the non metric units. I grew up in Scotland and learned metric.


Americans typically say "one and a half inches." "A mile and a half." "Two and a quarter cups."

I have never heard of "a meter thiry" or "an inch half" in America we use "and" before mentioning another number.


There is always the inclusion of another word before another number is mentioned. Even if it's height (6 'foot" two. You can also use symbols. 6' 2").


It does with American units. I can easily say I'm six foot three. I think metres centimetres is probably throwing you off.


You know, at first the translation threw mw off, but when you put it like that you're right. It makes sense now.


There's British English and there's American English -- each has its differences. Each is correct. Most Commonwealth countries (NZ, Australia etc) will use British English. Both are correct.


I put: 'Its length is about 1.3 m'. This should be accepted.

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It is accepted and it is completely correct (in English). The discussion warns against translating it (literally) back into French, because as Sitesurf has pointed out, the French don't say "un point trois M". It is very important to remember that when speaking in French, do it the French way; when speaking in English, do it the English way.


This cannot be accepted, since we would not say "un point trois M".

By the way, even in writing, it would be "1,30 m" (comma after 1 - 30 implying "centimètres" - no apostrophe after m).



What about the decimal point? I've seen a comma instead of a period.

The long story: You'll sometimes see a point — 3.14 — and sometimes a comma — 3,14 — to mark the decimal point. They're both correct

In 2003, the 22nd General Conference on Weights and Measures officially declared “that the symbol for the decimal marker shall be either the point on the line or the comma on the line,” and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures uses the point in its English-language publications and the comma in its French publications.


Yikes. Okay then..


I think that apostrophe is a quotation mark, not part of the unit. That would be the proper English way to WRITE one meter and thirty centimeters (or one meter thirty), and we would SAY "one point three meters"


But when we translate it, we want to write it in actual English, don't we (not English using French syntax like the comma)? And it's normally written (and said) like that in English! Actually, I've always seen it written "1.3m" in the UK at least, but I keep losing hearts for not putting the space in on other excercies, now this one doesn't accept it at all!


In english it is '.' in most mediterrean languages it is ','. Even in programing we used to say decimal point is comma for our programs in Spain.

Also 1.3 is matematically the same as 1.30 , 1.300 etc. Although the convention is 1.30


@unanglaisenasie now THAT I understood. 1.3m I just have to mentally correct/adjust to accommodate it now that I understand it.


Coming from someone whose system is not metric, what does un metre trente mean--about 1 1/3 meters or 1 meter, 30 centimeters


I use metric and "one meter thirty" means nothing to me. I would only ever say "one meter and 30 centimetres" or "one point three meters".


I put "... one meter and thirty centimeters" as the English translation, and Duo accepted it. (I agree, I would never say "one meter thirty" in English.)


trente = 30, so it's 1 meter 30 centimeters.


So understanding and using the metric system is a requirement for learning French.

Is that correct?


Correct, and the same reversed requirement applies to French people learning English.


Arnauti is right + 1 1/3 meter is 1.33333333333.... meter


Why we need "d'environ", not "environ" only here? I remember that I have met some sentences without the d' before "environ"


That is about measurements words: longueur, largeur, profondeur, poids, distance, durée...

  • je peux courir environ 2 kilomètres
  • elle pèse environ 55 kilos
  • un rendez-vous dure environ une heure


  • "la distance est DE 2 kilomètres environ" or "...D'environ 2 km"
  • "son poids est DE 55 kilos environ" or "...D'environ 55 kilos"
  • "la durée d'un rendez-vous est D'une heure environ" or "...D'environ une heure"


So if "environ" comes after être, it must become "d'environ" ?


yes, that's it.


or is it that we use " d'environ " after /e/ sound, so that it's easier to pronounce and understand? like, you know, when we say " on ", but " l'on " in the beginning of the sentence.


Look at this: "elle pèse environ 55 kilos".

"d' " is used with any noun expressing a measurable thing (longueur/length, largeur/width, profondeur/depth, poids/weight, volume, distance, durée/duration...) + verb être.


Hi Sitesurf - somewhere before in this level you mentioned we use "faire" for this type of sentences - "L'île fait de ..." / Can you use both then "etre" and "faire"? Can you say "la distance fait d'environ 2 kilomètres" ???


"la longueur (unity of measure) est de 2 mètres"

"l'île (object measured) fait 2 kilomètres de long"


Ohh....I understand now :) thank you


Can it be translated into : His "height" is about one meter thirty?


No, that's "hauteur"


Can you translate this as "Its length is about 1.3 meters" . That was my first inclination (trained as a scientist in the US, so I only use metric for work, not casually).


In French, you can write "sa longueur est d'environ 1,30m" but you will pronounce it "un mètre trente"


Similarly, in american english, we would say "one point three meters". "point" because we use ' . ', not ' , '. and we would NEVER say 30. If it was 1.31, we would say "one point thrirty one", i.e., we never include the trailing zero(s)


I mostly agree with you, but I would never say, "one point thirty-one": it's "one point three one" (though it would never be written this way. The proper way (for mathematicians, engineers, scientists, et cetera) to read digits after the decimal point is to read each one as a number between zero and nine, never to combine them (tens, hundreds). Thirty-one is greater than four, but 0.31 is less than 0.4.

As an American English speaker, I would never say "one meter thirty" (though it sounds natural from a British speaker), and I would not consider that to be the correct translation for my dialect. The only correct written translation in my dialect would be "1.3 meters" (or "1.3m"). In spoken English, I'd be more likely to say "a hundred and thirty centimeters", myself, but that's not really the direct equivalent of the French.


@michael.richters, precisely my point of view. I wouldn't change anything. And I gave you a lingot.


It would depend. If your measuring device had an accuracy to the 1cm mark, then the 1.30 m would be correct as the 0 there would be significant.


He said that. Zero to nine


I translated it as "Its length is around 1.3 meters", and Duolingo accepted it.


"Its length is one metre thirty approximately" was not accepted. Why?


What's wrong with saying "130 centimeters"?


You were asked for a translation, not a conversion.


When do you use "d'environ" instead of "environ" ?


If it comes after "être" you use "d'environ". But you also use "d'environ" if "of about" or "of around" makes sense in the translation. Examples:

  • Paris est une ville d'environ 2.2 millions d'habitants = Paris is a city of about 2.2 million inhabitants.
  • Un salaire annuel d'environ 5 millions d'euros. = An annual salary of around (of about) 5 million euros
  • Cela doit avoir une hauteur d'environ 1,30 m. = That must have a height of about one metre thirty.


I heard "ça" so I wrote "ça" and got it wrong. Turns out it was "sa". Hey-ho.


A reminder: "ça/cela" is a demonstrative pronoun meaning "that thing".

So, you cannot use it in front of a noun where a determiner or adjective is required.

If you hear the sound [sa] in front of a (feminine) noun, you will therefore know that it is the possessive adjective.


Why not "Its length is 1.3 meters". In the United States, "one meter thirty" is unknown to most of the population. (So, in fact, most native speakers of English would not understand what this means.)

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It would be fine but you forgot "d'environ" (about).


Thanks for reminding me how I misused the possessive its! We have English lessons here.


'130 centimetres' is 'one metre thirty'.

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