1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Elle les écoute."

"Elle les écoute."

Translation:She listens to them.

February 28, 2013

25 Comments


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

What is wrong with "Elles les écoutent"?


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

Nothing wrong, only Duo has missed it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Only1EmmaPeel

love you sitesurf. seriously. i have given SO SO SO SO SO many correct english translations that were marked incorrect by the great backoffice works at duolingo that if it weren't free, i'd have stopped long ago. it's aggravating as HELL!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nic543949

Sitesurf should be hired by Duo


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

Lost a heart there too..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Only1EmmaPeel

that's what i JUST put in. elles les ecoutent. i have a myriad of cuss words for duolingo. their stupid stupid stupid lack of english comprehension is insane, too.


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

Since your kind request was so nicely put, I have disabled the audio for that sentence. Therefore it will no longer be proposed in dictation so that nobody will have to make the effort of remembering that the sentence is in singular.

Duolingo is currently working on a better system to identify homophones and accept correct alternatives. It seems it is not an easy task and most of the time, the system still compares your (singular/plural) proposal to the written original (plural/singular) sentence.

Apparently, we still have to be patient...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Only1EmmaPeel

hip hip hooray and a lingot for you, sitesurf!


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

Wouldn't "to them" imply that the direct objects are people? It seems like "She listens to them" would be better translated as "Elle leur écoute" as a pluralization of "Elle lui écoute" (She listens to him/her). "Elle les écoute" seems more like "She listens to those" since les is just the plural of le or la and "Elle l'écoute" would mean "She listens to that/it."


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

No, it does not work like that, because "écouter" is a transitive verb (no preposition need for the direct object)

"Les" can stand for human beings, animals or things.

  • elle écoute son père => elle l'écoute
  • elle écoute ses parents => elle les écoute
  • elle écoute la mésange => elle l'écoute (checkadee)
  • elle écoute un discours or une chanson => elle l'écoute (a speech or a song)
  • elle écoute les musiques => elle les écoute

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kread18

I was confused for the same reason graymelon was. So what are some other examples of transitive verbs with which you would used "le/la/les" instead of "lui/leur" because they don't require prepositions for direct objects?


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

All transitive verbs (no preposition needed) will get the direct object in front of the verb, when that object is a pronoun.

"lui/leur" are indirect objects when the verb is constructed with preposition "à"

  • elle donne un livre => elle le donne (she gives it)

  • elle donne un livre à son père => elle le lui donne (she gives it to him)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kread18

thank you, that all makes sense, but the thing I don't get about this sentence in particular is that is seems like it should take a preposition after "écoute". "she listens TO them", so to me, a more correct translation should be "elle lui écoute". to me, "elle les ecoute" means "she listens them" which doesn't make any sense without the preposition. Is it simply that you can't think of it in this sense, of literal translations?


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

So, you just have to read again what I previously wrote above.

In addition, please remember that French is not a mere, word to word translation of English and vice-versa.


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

It might be better to think of the verb 'écouter' as 'to listen to', rather than just 'to listen'. What English expresses using 'to' is part of the verb in French, you don't need a preposition like 'à'.


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

Difference between Elle les écoutent and Elle leur écoutent?


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

elle les écoute : subject singular -> verb in 3rd person singular + "les" direct object of transitive verb "écouter".

elle leur écoute : this cannot work because "leur" means "à elles/to them" and verb écouter does not require a preposition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janus8536

Why does Duo not accept 'She obeys them'? Can écouter not also mean 'to obey'? as in: 'Her parents say she is good girl, she listens to them.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janus8536

Thanks for teaching me this verb, Aasa. Still, one sometimes may hear a parent complain: 'I've already told my son a hundred times to be home by midnight, but he just never listens!' [implying 'a failure to obey the parent'] So I was wondering whether the French also use écouter in this particular sense.


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

That's an American (and possibly British) idiom that's not used by the French in the same way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janus8536

Many thanks for the clarification, cwbuecheler.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T.A.R.D.I.S.girl

How do you know when to put 'les' (the indirect subject) before the verb as opposed to after it? Are there rules that tell when this is okay, and when not?


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

"les" is a direct object pronoun, meaning that the verb "écouter" is directly transitive: its object does not need a preposition.

whenever a direct or indirect object (with preposition à) is a pronoun, it is placed in front of the verb:

  • je les écoute
  • je leur parle (verb = parler à)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T.A.R.D.I.S.girl

Okay, I think I got it! Thanks much Sitesurf! So helpful

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