"Elles écrivent des lettres."

Translation:They are writing letters.

March 3, 2013



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


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


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


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

September 18, 2014


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


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


    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


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

    July 13, 2017


    '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



    March 24, 2018


    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


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

    May 7, 2015


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

    August 24, 2015


    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


    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


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

    April 16, 2014


    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


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

    June 25, 2018


    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


    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


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

    December 26, 2017


    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


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

    May 15, 2019


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

    January 2, 2015


    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


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

    August 14, 2015


    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


    Why "they write the letters" are marked wrong?

    June 27, 2018


    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


    "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


    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


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

    June 25, 2018


    Why not les but des?

    August 24, 2018


    Des means 'some' right?

    September 20, 2018


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

    December 31, 2018


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

    January 26, 2019


    whattttttttttt :-o

    February 6, 2019


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

    February 28, 2019


    why is "they write the letters" incorrect?

    March 20, 2019


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

    June 21, 2018


    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


    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


    Are they each writing a letter?

    July 23, 2018
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