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  5. "La femme termine sa lettre."

"La femme termine sa lettre."

Translation:The woman finishes her letter.

March 4, 2013



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


None, they are synonymous.


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


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


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.


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


That should be accepted because it is correct.


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


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.


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.)


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?


Yes, same ambiguity in French.


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


"the lady" = "la dame"

[deactivated user]

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


    wife isn't even accepted


    Who said she is married?


    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.


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


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


    "résilier un contrat".


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


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


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


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

    A woman is just a human female.


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


    What's the difference between son and sa?


    "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)


    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.


    the pronunciation of 'termine' is wrong here me thinks


    It sounds perfect to me.


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


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


    Why not the wife instead of the woman?


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


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


    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".


    What's the word for "wife"?


    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".


    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?


    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.


    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?


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


    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?


    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".


    Why not she is finishing her letter?

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