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  5. "How to become her friend?"

"How to become her friend?"

Translation:Comment faire pour devenir son ami ?

March 3, 2013

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vive-Le-Francais

I think this is bad English. We say "How do I become her friend?" "How do you become her friend?" "How does one become her friend?" The given sentence is the title of an article perhaps, but not good spoken or written English. "What should I do to become her friend?" is also better English. So, you cannot translate the French " Comment faire pour devenir son ami ? " directly into English, you give the equivalent well-phrased English question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/penny776032

I agree with you. And it also doesn't help us get the right answer to be given a non-question as a model for a question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caper
  • 2517

Why is amie masculine, I would have thought ami is masculine and amie the feminine version?


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

When you translate "her friend" and the friend is a woman, you use "son amie" instead of "sa amie", because "amie" starts with a vowel. So for pronounciation reasons, "sa" is changed to "son".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caper
  • 2517

Thanks for that clarification.


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

Is comment faire a fixed expression? I googled and the result showed it means how will we do/how. Thanks!!


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

"comment faire ?" is used to ask "how to?" or "how to proceed?" or "how can we do this?"

You may also find "comment" with a lot of other infinitive verbs: "comment arriver jusqu'à la gare ?"; "je vais te montrer comment cuire ce gâteau"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jey509578

But I was given the right answer as son ami, not amie


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5004cupcake

Thanks, I forgot about the vowel


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

You're exactly right: “lady friend” = « amie », “gentleman friend” = « ami ».


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pistachio8

Could we just say "comment devenir..."? Would that change the meaning somehow?


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

Not much actually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RQZ.Sash

But that was correct as well.


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

Would this not be closer to "what to do to become her friend" (or, if you wanted a complete question, "What should I do to become her friend?")?


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

That also sounds like better English.


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

Can anyone explain faire pour devenir?


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

"comment faire pour devenir" mirrors something like "what shall I do to become..." or "how shall I proceed to become...?" or the shorter version "how to become...?"

In French, infinitive verbs are often used with an interrogative word: "que faire, comment faire, pourquoi faire, où faire... ?", all being impersonal, whereas in English, you would probably use a conjugated verb, like "what/why/how/where shall I...?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/penny776032

But 'How to become...' is at best a rhetorical question and is not the short version of any question. 'How shall I become...' is what we are looking for. Duolingo is doing odd English. I don't know about the French.


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

"Comment faire, pourquoi faire, où faire, quand faire...": an interrogative + an infinitive is a very common way of asking an impersonal question in French. This is what you are learning here and you cannot guess it if you are not shown this direct translation, which will mechanically be used in the reverse exercise.

However, a few other natural English translations are accepted of course, including the one you are mentioning.


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

Comment devenir son ami, is accepted! Is this a correct translation?


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

Why isn't this son amie?


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

"son amie" is accepted provided the rest of the sentence is correct as well.


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

Why can't I say "comment on devient...". I thought "on" is also used for general statements like "one" or "you" in English.


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

It is not absolutely impossible, but "how to + verb" primarily translates to "comment + infinitive".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

Very helpful. Apparently in French, sentences do not have to be complete sentences in the English sense to pass muster in French? Is that new or a style issue? I was reading some french comments in a light periodical on the web and there were quite a few comments that were not full sentences in the English grammar sense. More apositional phrases I think is the term. Is that traditional in literature or new or perhaps just casual? it's how we think, but is it also ok in French to write or speak in phrases non-casually?


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

I think we consider such questions in infinitive as complete sentences.

Otherwise, other cases of fragments ending with a full stop are common in contemporary French writing.

In speech, a lot of sentences are incomplete, and ellipses are common; as long as your counterparts understand you, you may not need to fully develop your sentence.

However, it is difficult for someone learning French to identify what you can skip and what not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jansteen555

Would "Comment devenir l'ami d'elle" be acceptable as well?


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

No, "l'ami d'elle" does not work (= the friend of her).

her friend = "son ami(e)" is fine with a possessive adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jey509578

I thought son ami means : his friend,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAnne993219

The English is not a sentence; there seems to be word missing.


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

Why not 'comment faut-on devenir son ami?'


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

"Faut" never has another pronoun than the impersonal "il".

  • Il faut, faut-il, il ne faut pas...
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