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  5. "La femme lave son enfant."

"La femme lave son enfant."

Translation:The woman is washing her child.

March 2, 2013

63 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drplasma64

although laver is to wash, wouldn't we translate this case as "The woman is bathing her child"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sikon327

I assume it's to reinforce that laver does not mean "to bathe" in most contexts. "The woman is bathing her child" would be a better translation in this specific context -- or at least a more graceful one, but Duo seems to prefer literal translations, to avoid confusion as to what the individual words mean.


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

That would be 'baigner'. Washing can be other than bathing. I'm never quite sure why so many seem to expect French to cram what are different words in English (even if they're synonyms) into one word in French.


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

If we knew the child was female would we still say 'son' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

The word "enfant" is masculine noun by default but may be used as a feminine noun (une enfant). But either way, it will use "son" (not "sa") because it begins with a vowel. Example: c'est un enfant calme = he is a calm child. C'est une enfant terrible = she is an unruly child.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bryce990394

Son means her not relating to the gender


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

Hiya Bryce. You are close but Son, Sa , Ton, Ta , Mon, Ma actually do relate to gender. The gender of the Object in the phrase or sentence but not the subject. I have no personal use for Duo's Lingot thingamejigs but I do feel feel that your post and my response are somewhat crucial on this language course and so I place one by your post to draw attention to it. (I don't "do" anonymous up/down-votes.)


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

The answer I gave was the woman is washing her baby. It told me I was wrong because instead of saying baby, it should've been her boy...that makes no sense. Her boy, in that situation, it could be a girl too. I understand why baby isn't right, but her boy?? That's not right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

Right. It would not be correct to say "her boy" because the sentence does not permit that conclusion. "Son enfant" is simply "her child" (but not "her baby"). The incorrect suggestion has been removed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trangduong83

Why "The woman washes her kid" is incorrect?


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

Kid=Gamin. (Be careful with Duo's hints, they are not as helpful as a dictionary.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morty4444

I've always used kid/kids instead of child/children on Duolingo, and it has always told me it was correct. Now, all of the sudden, kid is wrong, and it's saying it should be child. Can someone explain this to men please?


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

Hi Morty. Duo is constantly updated and improved. "Kid" is "Gamin(e)" and I suggest that recently one of the moderators has addressed the past mistake.


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

Why wouldn't bathe work here?


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

That would be 'baigner'. Washing can be other than bathing, but even if they were synonyms, French has different words for each just like English.


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

Why is "The women washes her son" incorrect?


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

I've got right for " The woman washes her child" I think "enfant" =》"child" not baby.


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

Because La Femme is singular (the Woman) and you put, according to your post, The Women; plural.


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

I said the "woman" washes her son and still got it wrong


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

Ah! I went and forgot to mention that Son=Fils (Pronounced Fiss) but enfant is Child. Sorry for my omission bcmgoblue. Please accept a lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

I'm a little late to the party but may I clarify a little.... "Son enfant" is only "her child". The gender of the child is unknown. It could just as easily be a girl child--the French does not reveal that. So "child" is really the only answer which is completely correct.


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

I just answered, "The woman washes her child" and I was marked wrong and the answer given was, "The woman washes her kid". I'm a bit confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

Your answer is correct and DL should not have offered "kid" (le/la gamine) and THE correct answer. Sometimes, l'enfant may be translated as "kid" which is an informal term for "child."


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

I wrote clean? not the same thing?


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

Not in French. The woman Cleans her child=La femme Nettoie son enfant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

In regard to a person, English does not use "to clean", but "to wash". One can clean a table, but not a child.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nina1657

I've seen children that need cleaning :) Especially after eating! But perhaps "cleaning up" would be closer the mark Re this example?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcusAnde9

Surely this should accept "the wife" as well as "the woman"


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

Normally, when you feel the need to refer to someone has a wife or husband, it's in relation to their spouse only. As this is in relation to the child, I would not say so. If this was 'mere', then "the mother" would would (same philosophy as wife in that it's in relation to a child).


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

Pardon my inexperience, but I used the plural of enfants in this case... why could the woman not be washing more than one child? What am I missing? Thanks in advance!


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

The plural « enfants » requires « ses » not « son », and the pronunciation is noticeably different between those two adjectives.


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

A aah... of course. Thank you neverfox!


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

I don't know why, but I always confuse the word female with the word woman. Does anyone have a suggestion to help me?


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

@NastiaZon. Female to French sounds and looks very similar. Female=Femelle. Woman=Femme which with a possessive also=Wife. If you are confusing it in English, just remember that any mammal may be female but there is only one woman and she will resent being called a ❤❤❤❤❤, cow, cat. Just go to any woman and say "Oh, Hi female. How y'doing?." I promise you that you'll always remember the response and never confuse the two ever again. Bonne chance.


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

I always translate "enfant" to "kid" and it always accepts it as being correct. I'm just wondering why in this particular sentence it was looking for "child" and not "kid." If anyone has an idea, please let me know! Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

Please be aware that although many people use "child" and "kid" interchangeably, they do not convey the same tone, i.e., they do not always belong to the same register. "Kid" is very informal in English and in some circumstances may even be interpreted pejoratively. "Child", on the other hand, will always be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nina1657

Kid could mean baby goat.


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

How come female isn't accepted? :O


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2213

"Femme" is never translated as "female". It means "woman" or "wife" when used in a familial context, e.g., ma femme = my wife. For the same reason, "ils" means simply "they" (not "the men") and "elles" means "they" (not "the women", "the girls", or "the females").


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

I put “the wife washes her child” but it was “the woman”? In another excersice it was vice versa. Is it wrong or just not an acceptable answer based on context?


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

When the article is possessive then Femme is usually Wife. So you've almost answered your own question.


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

That makes more sense. Thank you!


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

Wouldn't it be bathing?


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

To wash=Laver. To Bath(e)=Baigner


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

Why isn't "The lady washes her child" accepted? In English we can use "woman" and "lady" interchangeably, though "lady" is more polite.


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

Although Lady can in some rare contexts translate to Femme, the considered translation of Lady to French is Dame, not Femme. Look at it this way, if I may suggest, a woman will wash her child but the dame will have nurse wash the child, no?


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

Well, when you put it that way, I guess it makes sense. Thanks. :)


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

'Lave' also means lava, correct?


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

Yes, "la lave" means lava.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/auginater932

Should it have been "sa"? I thought son was masculine.


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

Hiya Auginater. Enfant (masculine, undefined) is the Object here which is why in French Son is appropriate as it doesn't reflect the subject. Never does in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hannahsmith1215

I put kid instead of child and was counted wrong, anyone know why?


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

Yes I do Hannah. A kid, apart from being slang not appropriate on a language learning site, is a very young goat. Enfant, on a language learning site is a child. Get yourself a French-English supplemented by an English dictionary, maybe?


[deactivated user]

    When do I use sa/son?


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

    Hiya Wistvia, use Sa when the non/pronoun it modifies is feminine and Son when the noun/pronoun it modifies is masculine. Unfortunately gender in French just needs to be memorised.


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

    Shouldn't it be 'baths' in this context


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

    The verb is "to bathe" (with an -e at the end) and it is the translation for "baigner".

    You can wash your child without the use of a bath tub, as already said several times on this thread.


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

    Bah, it did not accept "The woman is washing his child". This should be correct as well, no?


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

    No, this is a misinterpretation.

    Conventionally, the object belongs to the subject. If the child were not "hers" but "his", the French sentence would be different:

    • She is washing his child = Elle lave son enfant à lui

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tejal948980

    Why can't this be 'The woman washes her child'?


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

    "The woman washes her child" is an accepted translation.

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