"La femme termine sa lettre."

Translation:The woman finishes her letter.

March 4, 2013

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Rachopertrat

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

March 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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None, they are synonymous.

March 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/aurelienche

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

March 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachopertrat

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

March 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

November 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ankhwearer

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

March 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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That should be accepted because it is correct.

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/javatete

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

October 28, 2016

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

October 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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.)

October 31, 2016

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

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, same ambiguity in French.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ChadZilla89

Merci :)

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaywillwhat

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

May 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"the lady" = "la dame"

May 17, 2013

[deactivated user]

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

    April 9, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/gretchens4

    wife isn't even accepted

    August 17, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    Who said she is married?

    August 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.

    November 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/MostlyYeo
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    So 'termine' here doesn't mean terminate, like destroy. Does it?

    July 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/rparree

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

    September 14, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    "résilier un contrat".

    September 14, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Soolrak
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    What's the difference between "lettre" and "lait"? (In pronunciation)

    October 4, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    The vowel sound is the same [è] (like in "let, bet"), but in lettre you should clearly hear the end: èTR

    October 4, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/ShamaFelix

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

    February 28, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    A lady is married with a lord, on principle (or looking like).

    A woman is just a human female.

    February 28, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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    A lady may be a lady in her own right, too. Like Baroness Thatcher was, for example.

    August 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/JazebelleF

    What's the difference between son and sa?

    October 20, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    "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)
    October 20, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.

    October 22, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/faraston3001

    the pronunciation of 'termine' is wrong here me thinks

    November 18, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    It sounds perfect to me.

    November 18, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/willow4444

    I get you guys

    February 22, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/RhazesAr

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

    June 17, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    No, "finished" is past tense and "termine" is present.

    June 17, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/siriuscanis742

    Why not the wife instead of the woman?

    November 2, 2016

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

    November 2, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/AlainMax

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

    November 24, 2016

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

    November 26, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/GrellSutcl4
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    What's the word for "wife"?

    April 19, 2017

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

    April 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    May 30, 2018

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

    May 31, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    June 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    "ça" is a pronoun, to be used instead of a noun, therefore not before another noun or pronoun.

    June 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    January 1, 2019

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

    January 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/HerickMora
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    Why not she is finishing her letter?

    February 9, 2019
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