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  5. "Tu es le seul à pouvoir fair…

"Tu es le seul à pouvoir faire ça."

Translation:You are the only one able to do that.

March 5, 2013



'You are the only person who can do that', should be allowed I think.


I disagree. You aren't necessarily talking to a person when you say the phrase. You could be talking to a dog, or a cheetah, or a monster truck, or a chocolate bar or any other non human subject.


I love your examples, too. Supprimer ma faim? Mr. Chocolat, tu es le seul à pouvoir faire ça ! In general, Duolingo doesn't seem to like it when you creatively add words like "person," even if it makes sense in English. Perhaps its bad form when translating, which is what they're really getting paid for having us do.


Love your examples :-)


Vous ne pouvez pas etre serieux.


That sentence utilises a relative pronoun(qui) that conjugates the verb(peut) instead of what duolingo was aiming at, the infinitive. Still makes sense of course :)


It just accepted my answer of "You are the only one who can do this.", so I think it would now take what you suggested (and I agree that is equivalent).


what is the purpose of "à" in this sentence?


I think it is because of the use of the passive infinitive What is that you might ask !

When you have constructs of the form:

adjective + preposition + infinitive

noun + preposition + infinitive

then generally (except for certain impersonnel statements and functional constructs such as une salle à manger) infinitives following a noun or adjective are preceded by the preposition de.

However, If the infinitive conveys a passive meaning then you use:

adjective / noun + à + infinitive


J'ai beaucoup de travail à faire - I have a lot of work to do

Il a quelque chose à manger. - He has something to eat

Le gateau est fascile à couper - the cake is easy to cut

A-t-il des choses à cacher ? - Does he have things to hide ?

contrast these sentences with the following:

je doit faire beaucoup de travail - I must do a lot of work (here the infinitive of the verb faire is being used in an active sense)

il veut manger quelque chose - He wants to eat something (here the infinitive of the verb manger is being used in an active sense)


I have been asking this question for months, and not even native French speakers could give me an answer. You are an actual saint


I am wondering that too.


"A pouvoir" = to be able to


But Duolingo red-lines 'You are the only only one to be able to do that'. Subtle!

[deactivated user]

    Yeah...after reading other folks' responses, I still don't quite understand why that answer is red-lined. True, it's not eloquent but it makes sense.


    Oops, only one only was meant.


    You can edit your original post, you know. Just sayin'.


    If this is true, there's an error in another sentence. «J'aime pouvoir faire ça» is translated as "I like being able to do that." Note that there is no à there. So is it needed, or not? Does it actually go with le seul rather than pouvoir?


    There is no error. The situations are different.

    One situation has: noun + infinitive

    while the other situation has conjugated verb + infinitive

    I think the explanation is as follows: In the sentence using à pouvoir the verb pouvoir is being used as a passive infinitive whereas in the the sentence J'aime pouvoir faire ça, pouvoir is being used in a active sense. For a more detailed explanation, see my reply to anniethingelse


    you are a legend nicholas ashley


    C'est une excellente observation. Je crois que quelqu'un qui parle couramment Francais devrait repondre a cette question. Je ne suis pas.


    D'accord. Merci !


    I feel like that's what pouvoir is, since it's an infinitive. Where does that à come in?

    Edit: I'm dumb...it's that adjective+à+infinitive construction. Ignore my comment lol


    Not dumb....we are all in this happy pursuit of learning.".it is especially edifying when you come upon something that used to perplex you and now you understand it so well, you couldn't possibly make a mistake.


    Your comment is not dumb, it helped me to re-learn this construction. :P


    "You're the only one TO be able to do that." Is it grammatically wrong?


    "You're the only one to be able to do that" and "You're the only one able to do that" both sound equally fine to me, and I might say either one. I don't know if other Anglophones would agree, but there is the slightest difference in connotation to my ear.

    "You're the only one able to do that" implies, to me, that among all the people/cheetahs/chocolate bars under consideration - that is, all the ones we know, or all the ones in this room, or all the ones in the universe, etc. - you are the only one who has the necessary skill/strength/knowledge to complete some task.

    "You're the only one to be able to do that" suggests that whatever task we're thinking of, others have tried and failed and you alone have succeeded.

    It's pretty subtle.


    Agreed, they are both correct. I used the first translation but believe most of us would use the shorter version.


    It's grammatically correct, but sounds a little odd to me. In conversation I would probably say instead "you're the only one able to do that" for the same meaning, but that is not a precise translation because the first infinitive is now missing.


    "You are the only one to be able to do that" but duo wants "You are the only one who is able to do that." You can't win with Duo. It is an exercise on infinitives but Duo wants me to get rid of one


    I agree with you. It's a question of precisely translating the grammatical structure, which is still valid in English but sounds odd, or more generally capturing the meaning, and translating to an equivalently natural sounding English expression.

    I like that Duo is often able to capture the latter but it makes sense why the former is often easier to get at first. I like to be able to use both because I think with both: it helps me to use more direct, literal translations to understand how the French is working better, and the more natural translations help to practice doing quality translation (and before my French was at a level where I'd be lucky to be understood and recall basics; I like that Duo can really help polish it much further).


    I don't think so. Feels normal.


    I feel like that sounds normal.


    "You are the only one that can make that" was correct. In case anyone was wondering.


    Why not "You alone are able to do that?"


    DL accepts "You alone can do that."


    We had a previous example "Tu es la seule à pouvoir faire ça." and it translates to "You are the only one to be able to do that.", when I saw this I immediately keyed out that answer. It said I used the wrong word and gave "You are the only one who is able to do that." as the correct answer! As I read it over and over I believe that "You are the only one to be able to do that." is still a better response than "You are the only one who is able to do that."! If I would back translate then "You are the only one who is able to do that." would come out to "Tu es le seul qui peux faire ça."

    I thought "la seule" and "le seul" would not have any appreciable change to the meaning of the sentence (in English) and that "à pourvoir" always translates to "to be able" and don't understand why that translation is wrong here. I think it is a better translation than the one given above as "You are the only one able to do that."!


    Another one of DL's inconsistencies, unfortunately. The example with "seule" was translated by DL "...to BE ABLE to do that", but not the example with "seul"? What makes the difference?

    Reported on Jan 5th 2019


    I think "you are the only one with the power to do that" should be allowed to. Translations differ based on perceptions


    Straying a bit from the direct. You could likely do this in the context of actual translation of a story or article; it might well be the translation that most reliably captures the idea. But here we have no context and it's generally wiser to stay closer to the basics. Which is to say, you aren't necessarily wrong, but you'll be fighting an uphill battle here on DL if you want to keep stretching the envelope.


    What about "You alone are able to make it."


    "you are the only one who could do this" was marked wrong. Huh???


    That is past tense.


    Actually I think that's conditional


    And "ca" is "that", not "this," right?


    it can be both, i think


    The "could" is wrong, it should be "can".


    Where is one in this sentence?


    "le seul / la seule" = the only (one). It's implied because "only" is not a noun in English.


    "You are the only one capable to do that" - what's wrong with that?


    I wrote "only you can do that", but apparently the solution is "only you can that"..... ?


    You alone can do this - wrong but why?


    Agree with previous


    Could it be "Tu es le seul qui peut le faire."

    Does this phrase makes any sense?


    "la seule" is wrong. Is that because the feminine form isn't considered universal? Edit. This was an oral exercise. I often don't hear well enough to discriminate between the two.


    I used "seule" instead of "seul" and got it wrong - why??


    I got this wrong because I used la instead of le. What is the masculine noun in this sentence?


    I feel sure it is better English to say 'You are the only one to be able to do that'. Certainly it is equally correct, surely?


    I wrote "you are the only one with the power to do that." (pouvoir = power) I don;t know why that wasn't accepted. Awfully close, no?


    And not "you are the only one to be able to do that"?


    Still don't understand what is wrong with you are the only one to be able to do that." Duo marked it wrong and then said I should substitute "who is" (able to do that). This is really subtle beyond reason if there's any difference at all Being a native English speaker I see no difference. Reported it.


    I agree Linda. I have yet to see a satisfying explanation on why this perfectly valid English sentence is rejected. If there's a subtle distinction in English, I read it as 'you are the only one to be able to do that' suggests of all those who have tried, you were the only one able; and 'you are the only one able to do that' suggests, maybe, no one else need try since you're the only one able to do it.

    English notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like it should make a difference in the French translation. 'To be able', I would have thought, would be the better option based on the double infinitive 'pouvoir faire.'


    Sometimes the English is dreadfully awkward, and other times it is terribly American. I am English and think maybe someone who speaks English English should be on your editorial board. Then these discussions might become unnecessary.


    Rejected: you are the only one able to make that. I thought faire is to do or to make?


    I put "You are the only one to be able to do that" and was marked wrong. Why?


    I don't know, it is accepted here; https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/202881/Tu-es-la-seule-%C3%A0-pouvoir-faire-%C3%A7a. And conversely the answer here is not accepted there!


    'You are the only one allowed to do that' was marked wrong... Why?


    for "Tu es la seule à pouvoir faire ça" it wants "You are the only one to be able to do that" but for "Tu es le seul à pouvoir faire ça." it wants 'You are the only one who is able to do that."


    why does it mark me incorrect when I translate as above? From English to French I am marked correct, but from French to English I am penalised for not including "who"..tu es la seule a' pouvoir faire ca . The only difference is the feminine "la seule"


    I wrote: 'You are the only one to be able to make that'. Duolingo marked it wrong and corrected to, and I have copied and pasted this answer: "You are the only one who is able to make that". Who??? where does that fit in. Looking at the comments below; nowhere!! Sometimes you have to wonder... but still it is a free language base.


    Yes, that is correct, Duolingo considers "Tu es la seule à pouvoir faire ça." to translate to "You are the only one who is able to make that.". If you want to say "You are the only one able to do that. (or any slight variant of this)", you will need to say "Tu es le seul à pouvoir faire ça.", which is found here;



    I put" You are the only one to be able to do that," and it wasn't accepted. Why?


    how does le seul translate to only one?


    Read it as "the sole [one]" if that helps.


    when i write "tu es la seule a pouvoir faire ca" it marks it wrong and changes it to "le seul" when i write "tu es le seul a pouvoir faire ca" it marks it wrong and changes it to femenine. i kid you not


    So what is wrong with 'You are the only one to be able to do that' ?

    • 1150

    Why is "you are the only one that can do that" wrong?


    It might be more fo a mouthful but "you are the only one to be able to do that" should be accepted. It's right.


    ...to be able.. should also be correct (pouvoir)


    I think "You are the only one to be able to do that" should be accepted. I have reported it.

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