"They eat an orange."
Translation:Ils mangent une orange.
There are different ways this exercise may be presented to you:
- As a French sentence to translate to English: It may be "Ils mangent une orange" or "Elles mangent une orange". They both are translated exactly the same way to English: They eat an orange.
- As an English sentence "They eat an orange" to translate to French. You may put either 1) Ils mangent une orange, or 2) Elles mangent une orange.
- As an audio exercise in which you type the French sentence you hear: You need to listen carefully to distinguish between the sound of "ils" and "elles". They are easy to tell apart with a little practice. It is often impossible to tell the difference between "il" and "ils", "elle" and "elles". Sometimes there are other clues that will help in those situations. You will learn about that later.
- From a multiple choice question such as 1) Ils mangeons un orange, 2) ils mangent une orange, 3) Elles mangent une orange. #1 has two errors (the wrong verb conjugation and the wrong article; it must be une, not "un" for the feminine "orange). The other two choices are both correct translations and you must select both of them. If you fail to mark one of the correct sentences, your answer will be counted as incorrect.
Please be aware that the answer you type may be accepted but the "correct answer" displayed may be slightly different. This does not mean that it is the only correct answer, or that it is contradicting the original sentence or the correct answer you typed. There may be many acceptable correct answers but some are better than others. Generally, the "best answer" is the one shown. Depending on the acceptable answer you enter, Duolingo may also provide an alternative way of expressing it. That does not mean that your answer is wrong (or it would not have been accepted)--only as to say "here is another way you could say it."
The verb manger (to eat) is conjugated in the present tense like this:
- je mange = I eat (or) I am eating. Je mange une orange.
- tu manges = You eat (or) You are eating (this is the familiar form used to speak about people you are on a first-name basis with). Tu manges une pomme
- il/elle/on mange = He/She/One eats (or) He/She/One is eating. The "on" is sometimes translated as "we" but used to speak of generalities, like saying "we eat" (meaning, people/you/we eat, meaning people in general). Both "il/elle" can be translated as "it" when it is known to refer to a previously mentioned noun that is of masculine gender (il) or feminine gender (elle). Il mange une orange. Elle mange une pomme.
- nous mangeons = we eat (or) we are eating. Nous mangeons des pommes
- vous mangez = you eat (or) you are eating (This form is used two ways: it is the polite way to say "you" (singular) or to mean "you" (more than one person). Vous mangez une pomme
- ils/elles mangent = they eat (or) they are eating. Ils is used for "they" when the group referred to is either all male or a mix of men and women. "Elles" is used when the group referred to is all feminine. Ils mangent des pommes.
You will benefit from knowing how to conjugate a verb in English. Take a look at this link to get an idea of how conjugation works for different tenses for the verb manger. You don't have to learn all the tenses now, but you will learn most all of them before you finish Duolingo's French course. www.conjugation-fr.com/conjugate.php?verb=manger
So am I given to understand that, unlike Spanish, the subject ("Ils" in this case) is necessary and not grammatically able to be inferred from the congugated verb ("mangent" here)?
Example: This sentence in Spanish would be "Ellos comen una naranja". However the "Ellos" is commonly left off, leaving you with the still correct "Comen una naranja."
No problem with it either way. I was just curious.
Did you conjugate the verb accordingly: "ils mangent" ?
If so, you have to know that "il mange" and "ils mangent" are pronounced exactly the same (homophones). So, if you got this sentence in a listening exercise (dictation), the system may not have recognized the written sentence it uses to check on your work.