"Êtes-vous avocat ?"
Translation:Are you a lawyer?
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Beat me to it. Yes! (Every time I'm in Paris and I see a sign announcing a "Cabinet d'avocats" I'm tempted to walk in and ask for some guacamole.)
but both are possible, right? This About.com article uses exactly this example and indicates both translations as correct: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
Not exactly. For clarification, what you suggests only refers to subject "il" or "elle":
he is a lawyer = il est avocat (no article) or c'est un avocat (il est + modified noun changing to c'est + modified noun).
she is a lawyer = elle est avocate or c'est une avocate
I am / you are / we are / they are lawyer(s) = je suis / tu es / nous sommes / ils/elles sont avocat(e)(s)
If I am asking it to a woman, isn't it correct to write "Êtes-vous avocate"?
After listening to it a second time, I could hear that he says avocat, not avocate. You can hear the t if it is feminine.
how can "vous" (you plural) just be one attorney? Shouldn't this be the plural form of avocat?
Here "vous" is the singular, polite "you", not the collective "you".
In plural, the sentence would be: "Êtes-vous (des) avocats ?"
The recording has a liaison between "vous" and "avocat" so that the "s" is no longer silent. But I thought liaisons were forbidden after inversions?
That's right, this liaison is forbidden. Ms Robot may not have read the rules...
Strange! I can't believe I've never heard that ... I've been learning French for nearly ten years now; you'd think it would've come up at some point! Now I have to go question my entire French education thusfar ... :\
I wonder -- firstly, where did this rule come from? With most of the other forbidden liaisons, it's fairly clear why they exist. But other than avoiding the occasional awkward sound, I can't say I really see what the purpose of this one is. Also, (I'm sure this varies regionally and such, but in general), I wonder if this is a rule strictly adhered to in informal / everyday French?
In informal/everyday French, people don't use liaisons at all, mostly for fear of showing they can't write properly.
I don't know where/when the rules for forbidden liaisons were set, probably long ago by our dear Académie Française.
No liaisons?! That seems like so much more work than just allowing them to happen naturally ....
They happen naturally if you can write French properly (does the word end in T or S?). That was my point.
I saw it here: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-f.htm . A quick google also gives me: http://www.spellandsound.com/french-liaisons/ but this site says it's a forbidden liaison between inversions using on, ils, and elles and past participles.
Besides that, I found no other mentions online of this rule I cited a year ago, so probably I am just wrong.
Would be nice if some native French speakers could weigh in. :)
Professions do not need an article after verbs "être" and "devenir".
The indefinitive article comes back when the profession is further qualified, like: "êtes-vous un avocat du barreau de Paris ?"
Since they have been needed in languages where the absence of accent could be misleading.
Attorney is an americanism. We don't use the word here .... It's lawyer or barrister ....
Why is there no article in this sentence. It acceptable to say "Êtes-vous UN avocat?"
I tried being cheeky and putting "are you an avocado?" It didn't accept. :(
Reminds me of the English word "advocate", which can mean "a person who pleads the cause of another" sometimes in a court of law.
This appears to be plural, and I answered it thus and was marked incorrect. Is it "vous etes" because it's formal? If so, how are we to discern that?