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  5. "La femme termine sa lettre."

"La femme termine sa lettre."

Translation:The woman finishes her letter.

March 4, 2013

48 Comments


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

What's the difference between 'terminer' and 'finir'?


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

None, they are synonymous.


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

There isn't. At least not in this sentence; and I can't think of any situation where there would be a difference.


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

So is there any difference as to when you would use one and when you would use the other?


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

terminer may not be followed by a prepositional phrase (i.e. it is never a transitive verb) finir can be used for anything that terminer can be used for, plus a lot more e.g. as a reprimand "are you finished?" "will you stop it?" e.g. to die "to finish at the hospital" e.g. to arrive at an end point, e.g. "the road ends at the bridge" Source: Larousse En-Fr Dictionary. Hope that helps.


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

Why is "she finishes his letter" wrong in this instance?


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

That should be accepted because it is correct.


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

Not accepted in Oct. 2016. I'll report it.


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

In the meantime (that is at some point in the past 3 years), we decided that in such sentences, the owner should be the same person as the verb's subject.

If it were "his" letter, chances that a French person would say: "elle finit sa lettre à lui" so that there is no ambiguity as to whose letter it is.


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

Ah, okay. That makes sense, I won't report such again. (I've been interpreting sa as his and son as hers to reinforce in my own head that "his/hers" in French takes the gender of the object/noun being "possessed," not the person doing the "possessing." Duo doesn't always approve, but I've finished the tree, and I'm doing it for my own reference.)


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

Finishes in the sense that she finishes creating it? Or finishes reading it? Or...?

Or is it simply ambiguous like the English sentence would be?


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

Yes, same ambiguity in French.


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

can I not say "the lady"? Is only woman or wife correct?


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

"the lady" = "la dame"


[deactivated user]

    Ahh. I came here to ask the same question! Merci sitesurf!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gretchens4

    wife isn't even accepted


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

    Who said she is married?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RachelKate15

    From what I've seen, "femme" is translated as wife only when following a possessive pronoun: "ma/ta/sa femme". If preceded by an article "une/la femme", she is just a woman.


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

    So 'termine' here doesn't mean terminate, like destroy. Does it?


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

    I have the same question. I translated it to "terminates" (Like the Terminator ;) I am really curious. Also "to terminate a contract"?


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

    "résilier un contrat".


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

    What's the difference between "lettre" and "lait"? (In pronunciation)


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

    The vowel sound is the same [è] (like in "let, bet"), but in lettre you should clearly hear the end: èTR


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

    Whats the difference between "lady" and "woman"?


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

    A lady is married with a lord, on principle (or looking like).

    A woman is just a human female.


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

    A lady may be a lady in her own right, too. Like Baroness Thatcher was, for example.


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

    What's the difference between son and sa?


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

    "son" means his or her or its, in front of a masculine singular noun or a feminine singular noun starting with a vowel sound.

    "sa" means his or her or its, in front of a feminine noun starting with a consonant sound.

    • his/her letter = sa lettre (lettre is feminine)
    • his/her pen = son stylo (stylo is masculine)
    • his/her water = son eau (eau is feminine)

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChadZilla89

    son / sa / ses all mean can mean his or hers. You use son when it's masculine, sa when it's feminine, and ses when it's plural.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/faraston3001

    the pronunciation of 'termine' is wrong here me thinks


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

    It sounds perfect to me.


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

    Can't it be 'She finished her letter'?


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

    No, "finished" is past tense and "termine" is present.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/siriuscanis742

    Why not the wife instead of the woman?


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

    We don't know if she is married. "femme" means "wife" in a family context, for instance with a possessive: ma femme, sa femme...


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

    I said "ca lettre." It sounds the same. And could be correct too.


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

    You have to realize that "ça lettre" is impossible.

    "ça" is short for "cela" and it is a pronoun, meaning "that thing".

    So "her letter", translated to "ça lettre" would mean "that thing letter".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrellSutcl4

    What's the word for "wife"?


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

    In a family context, "my wife" is "ma femme" or "mon épouse" ("ma" is replaced with "mon" when the next word starts with a vowel sound).

    If you get "une femme" or "la femme", with no other element of language pointing to the meaning of "wife", please use "a/the woman".


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

    So I put "la femme termine ça lettre". - from hearing the recording. Is there a difference in the sound? Anyway to distinguish other than context?


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

    Remember: "ça" is short for "cela", which literally means "that thing".

    Therefore, it cannot fit in that sentence (the woman finishes that thing letter).

    Whenever you have any doubt on "sa" vs "ça", just back-translate and you will see whether it makes any sense.


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

    Thanks. I just had this: "Il neige, et j'aime ça" which I would translate as "it's snowing and I like that". Clearly "that thing wouldn't fit very well but I think I see the point. Would it be accurate to say that ça would never be followed by a noun?


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

    "ça" is a pronoun, to be used instead of a noun, therefore not before another noun or pronoun.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam520742

    In an earlier answer to a different question 'Sa' meant' You' even though, in English, 'Her' ( It was the 1st word in the sentence. ) would also have fit well. So is it just personal choice and would it of been likely to be accepted?


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

    By no means can "sa" (his/her/its) mean "you" (tu/vous).

    In French, the possessive adjectives agree with the possession.

    • his/her/its father (possessive) = son père (masculine noun)
    • his/her/its letter (possessive) = sa lettre (feminine noun)
    • his/her/its parents (possessive) = ses parents (plural noun)

    So, "la femme termine sa lettre" is "the woman finishes her letter".


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

    Why not she is finishing her letter?

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