"Elles écrivent des lettres."

Translation:They are writing letters.

March 3, 2013

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah9999

When spoken, how can you tell the difference between 'elle' and 'elles'?? And is there any clue in the rest of the sentence that suggests that is should be 'elles'?

December 19, 2013

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

In this case, yes. There are two clues that it is 'elles' and not 'elle'. The first one is the liason. The 's' at the end of 'elles' is pronounced before the é, so ot sounds like "el seh-kreev" The second one is the conjugation of the verb. It sounds with a v sound at the end, whereas if it were singular (écris, if I'm not mistaken), it would sound like "el eh-kree". Dont completely trust this, though...

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeeKeeper79

This is why it is important to be sure to always listen to the normal speed sentence. I usually play it at the end if I need the slow version at all. Turtle speed only gives individual word pronunciation, but its the translation between two words that is so often important when understanding differences in plurality.

May 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Indeed!

June 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wim1987

Oh Jesus, that's very hard to hear! :-O Thanks for the help though.

September 18, 2014

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

Why are you taking Jesus's name in vain do you know that that's rude and disobeying The Ten Commandments that Moses gave to the Israelites

May 31, 2016

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

He talking about Jesus Gonzales

July 11, 2016

[deactivated user]

    They shouldnt have named him Jesus cuz every time you call him you are taking the Lords Name in vain. I do not know why so many people in Islamic countries are named Mohammed and if you take his name in vain once you are killed by ISIS

    April 11, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Well said! Thanks!

    June 30, 2019

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

    elle means she elles is feminine for they (Really meaning a group of women) ill is he and ills can mean the (It can be used for a group of mean and a group of men and women)

    April 11, 2016

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

    Isn't it "Il" and "Ils"?

    July 13, 2017

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

    'Ils' is used when there are a mixed group of boys and girls (Even if there are 20 girls and 1 boy in the entire group, Ils is used). 'Elles' is all girls.

    June 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iva659360

    Autocorrect.

    March 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patrick844219

    Pronounce the S if the following word begins with a vowel, Elles is the dominant word for deciding singular or plural, all other words become plural because of the dominating word Elles

    March 31, 2019

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

    Why can "des" be "the" as "another translation" strawberries but not with "letters"?

    May 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Omniglot921

    Yeah, in another sentence it's "the" and then "some". Profusely confused.

    August 24, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    It's "the" in one sentence, "some" in another because sometimes it's "the" and sometimes it's "some."

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabrielAze889576

    Des means "some" as well, though it's not a definition given in this and other examples when you tap the word individually. I'm still beginning, but if my mother language, Portuguese, another Latin language, is any reference, the word "des" is not necessary and you could probably omit it. Someone else should confirm that though.

    January 3, 2019

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

    The "normal speed" audio sounds wrong, like there's something in between Elles and écrivent... like "Alors écrivent des lettres". Anybody else think so?

    February 13, 2014

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

    When the following word begins with a vowel the normally silent cue will often connect the two words.

    April 16, 2014

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

    Yes it sounds like it's purposely pronouncing the "s" sound in "elles" to let us know it's the plural form rather than "elle". But yes it sounds like "elle azz ecri..."

    February 20, 2014

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

    That happens when you end your 1 word and start your 2nd

    June 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PawanKapoo4

    I keep getting confused with they write letters and they are writing letters How would we say they write letters?

    December 26, 2017

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

    I'm on the same page with you. Have absolutely no idea:( I always thought that "They write a letter" translates as "Elles/Ils écrivent une lettre", while "They are writing a letter" translates as "Elles/Ils sont en train d'écrire un lettre".

    I hope someone will help me.

    November 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moose_100

    They write and they are writing can both be written Ils/Elles écrivent.

    May 15, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    There is no "a" in this particular sentence, nor "the." Read the sentence again.

    June 30, 2019

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

    Is anyone else finding that words ending in -ent sound like that part is missing. The phonetics of this sounds like "ellers ecreeve day lettr", as opposed to what I'd expect: "Ellers ecreevont day lettr". I keep getting tripped up by this.

    August 26, 2014

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

    When you have verb forms ending in -ent, you don't pronnounce the ending. I think it's because since e's are not usually pronounced unless they have an accent mark, there is no spoken vowel to link the end of the verb's stem (a consonant) to the "-nt" (more consonants). By dropping the pronunciation of -ent, the words sound a lot smoother.

    November 10, 2015

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

    Why do I have to write "des lettres" and not only "lettres" like: "Elles écrivent lettres"?

    January 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PHSantos1

    In order to answer your question I´m pretty much copying pasting Duolingo´s tips. (Very first lesson)

    In English, articles may be omitted, but French nouns almost always have an article. French has three types of articles:

    • Definite articles ("the") are used with specific nouns that are known to the speakers.(le, la , les)

    • Indefinite articles ("a"/"an"/"one") are used for countable nouns that are unspecified or unknown to the speakers. (un , une , des)

    • Partitive articles ("some"/"any") indicate a quantity of something uncountable.(du/de l', de la/de l')

    January 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristina821524

    Thanks...I have never seen any link to tips from the mobile version - just drop down boxes

    August 14, 2015

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

    I should have looked for it lol now i can see the difference between "des" and "les", for example! thank you, i really understand it now

    January 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Because it's French.

    June 30, 2019

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

    "The girls are writing letters" - incorrect. I guess this isn't a literal translation, but it is pretty close... no? Especially in common parlance?

    March 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PHSantos1

    You guys can try women, girls, females, widows, queens, madams, whatever... it won't work. It's simpler than that. Lol I'm teaching "mes chiennes" to write "des lettres" by the way!

    January 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    It's understood by the use of "elles" that the "they" refers to females, girls or women. It is close, but if you wanted to say "The girls...," you should say "Les filles ecrivent des lettres," which is the exact literal interpetation that you seem to want.

    June 30, 2019

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

    Come on, grandpa. There's something called email.

    June 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Well, grasshopper, maybe your thinking explains why, in the process of learning another language which they will also screw up, and while supposedly teaching others, some are writing and expressing themselves so poorly, which is ironic. Whether a letter or an email, it's beneficial to be grammatically correct and to punctuate correctly. I know it's old-fashioned, pardon me, "old school," but in the real world in which people might consider hiring you, it's still immensely useful and impressive to write properly, the "old school" way.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cathysun123

    can you just shut the ❤❤❤❤❤❤ and be respectful?

    July 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    And this is how you express that someone should be "respectful," albeit with hearts? Laughable.

    July 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Did you know that letters are still being written? Even within emails?

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suiunbek2

    Why "they write the letters" are marked wrong?

    June 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jpslb418

    It's because there's no "the" in the sentence. The sentence "Elles écrivent des lettres" translates to either "They are writing letters" or "They are writing some letters". If you wanted to say "They write the letters" it would be "Elles écrivent les lettres". Hope this helps!

    January 14, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/m.j948014

    Des means 'some' right?

    September 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wei464154

    Doesn't "de" mean of? So why can't it be "les" lettres instead of "des" lettres?

    December 31, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cathysun123

    she didn't pronounce the s at the end, how am i suppose to know?

    January 26, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    By listening closely.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    The "s" isn't pronounced! "The," when the noun is plural, is pronounced "lay," while "the," "le," singular sounds like "ler."

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cathysun123

    Bruh, she pronounced elles as "elle". Same does for the verb.

    July 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcusDavi316205

    whattttttttttt :-o

    February 6, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DobrochnaD1

    Can I use sentence: elles écrivent les lettres in real life as well, or only this form is correct?

    February 28, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Yes, you could. But for the lesson at hand, focus on the specific lesson/sentence. These sentences are for teaching purposes, not that people would necessarily say them, though many do.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    I think I'm beginning to hear a "v" in "ecrivent" as opposed to "ecris" and "ecrit." In a real way, we're being taught to LISTEN!!

    June 3, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lira690120

    They are writing the letters is also correct!....... -Make sure you understand how to translate to English-

    June 14, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    That's the very translation of "Elles ecrivent des lettres." It's translated already; no need to re-translate it. Think you meant to say "Ils ecrivent des lettres" is also correct, which most of us know or should know by now.

    June 14, 2019

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

    Is there a difference in pronunciation between << Elles écrivent des lettres >> and << Elle écrive des lettres >> ie. Between "They are writing letters" and "She is writing letters" ?

    July 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Austin75905

    Yes, the former has a liason (audible link between the s in Elles and the é of the verb) and the verb ends in a 'eeve' sound. The latter has no liason and the verb is pronounced 'ee-kree'. thus the plural is pronounced (el-see-kreeve) and the singular is (el-ee-kree).

    November 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chimezirim1

    Why not les but des?

    August 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex848506

    why is "they write the letters" incorrect?

    March 20, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    I think some of you are being purposely moronic.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cathysun123

    I think some of you are purposely pretending you have an eq of -30.

    July 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    EQ? Good one!

    July 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Because "the" is not the word which should be used.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taygar24

    For one thing it's they are writing and des is used so it would be some letters

    June 29, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Using "des" has nothing to do with "they," because if it were "je" or "tu," des could be used.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taygar24

    I didn't mean it was only for they I meant the sentence is saying they're still in the action if it asked it'd still be I'm/you're writing over I/you write cause still performing the action and the letters would need context whereas some is more general at least in my eyes

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Maybe if you wrote better, more clearly, and used proper grammar and punctuation... Your sentences have no pauses, commas or periods.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taygar24

    I'm not the only one so guess you'll just have to suck it up and guess

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    How old are you? Wow!

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    I can guess that you have the mentality of a five-year-old. That little image where your picture would be says it all.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taygar24

    Plenty of people do memes over pictures but I wouldn't expect the old lady to understand so it's fine if you view everyone as babies since everything changes and you won't accept the new generations habits

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Do yourself a favor and stay in - or go back - to school, please. English 101.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cathysun123

    You should go back to preschool where you can learn to shut the ❤❤❤❤ up and respect people.

    July 2, 2019

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

    So, in English, letter can mean two things. Same in French?

    June 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    Yes, a letter, as in "a," "b," "c," etc., or a communication, a letter.

    June 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BunsenHoneydew3

    Are they each writing a letter?

    July 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

    They, meaning collectively, even if one person is literally writing the letters; meaning the letter represents the group. They could all be participating in the wording.

    June 14, 2019
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