1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "The man and the woman have c…

"The man and the woman have children."

Translation:L'homme et la femme ont des enfants.

March 5, 2013

80 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel-Iowan

I have no idea why I wrote 'l'homme et la femme mangent des enfants'. O_O


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

I think you wrote "mangent" because a lot of the lessons are about eating. I get hungry practicing my French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raetor07

They were really hungry


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

This 'des' is getting me everytime, it's as if you have to say some ALL the time! Infuriating, the hazard of this feeling like a game sometimes instead of awesome learning :P.


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

A tip for you: Put the object in the singular form: "the man and the woman have a child", then you understand that "a" stands for "one". In French: "l'homme et la femme ont un enfant".

Now, back to plural: in English, "a" has no plural, but in French there is a plural indefinite article: "des".

So the sentence translates to "l'homme et la femme ont (un enfant) // (des enfants)"


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

You...are brilliant. That's such a good point! Ahhh thank you, never leave this site :P.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anastasiya507319

Omg this is so useful


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

Thanks for your good and correct explaination


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raetor07

Thank you so so much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martine_1

Very useful tip. Thanks a lot!!!


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

This explanation has earned you a followback from me. Enjoy and you are welcome.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bellarose799158

Thanks for clearing that


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

Ikr. Plus the dictionary hints don't say to put "des" I hate it!! >:(


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

Put "children" in singular: The man and the woman have a/one child = L'homme et la femme ont un enfant.

The plural therefore means "more than one child" and the plural of "un" is "des": des enfants.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/volleyballDVM16

I get the same feeling, too, only the word "femme" seems masculine instead of feminine to me:D


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

The words feminine and femme are related to each other :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raetor07

Think femme and clue your mind to think femme (fem) as like female (fem).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyHoward2

J'agree. Driving me crazy...


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

still confused between ont and sont


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

Avoir (to have) ils/elles -> ont "Ils/elles ont des apples" -> "They have (some) apples."

Être (to be): ils/elles -> sont "Ils/elles sont riche" -> "They are rich."

Even though 'ont' and 'sont' may be conjugated from the same subject pronouns (Ils/elles) and may also look similar, they are actually two different irregular verbs (avoir & etre) with their own different meanings! Good luck on those two, it make take some time to memorize them, but it'll be worth it in the end!


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

"Ils/elles sont riches"


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

L'homme et la femme avons des enfants can this be a correct answer instead of ont des enfants


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

No, l'homme et la femme = il + elle = ils, so the conjugation must be the one of 3rd person plural:

j'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils/elles ont


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

Merci beaucoup :)


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

When/Where is "sont" used?


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

Sont is the third person plural of être, "to be". Ils/els sont. L'homme et la femme sont riches.


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

I don't understand the use of the word "des"


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

"Des" is the plural of "un" or "une", as "les" is the plural of "le" or "la".


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

Why is it l'homme and not le home?


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

Sorry, I meant le homme


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

"Le" is naturally pronounced [luh]

Homme has a mute H, which means that it is pronounced [om].

To French ears, there is a vowel sound conflict between "le" and "homme" and this is why "le" is elided (drop the vowel and replace it with an apostrophe) so that only the "L" sound remains. So "l'homme" is the required form and the pronunciation is [lom].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucy58575

why is it ont not sont?


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

"Ont" is from the verb "avoir" (to have) and "sont" from the verb "être" (to be).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arpan399539

When to use ont and when sont still buggs me. Im new to plurals though. Could anybody please help me with some techniques/tricks, so I can learn these faster and in more effective ways?


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

Verb "être" (to be) in present: je suis, tu es, il/elle/on est, nous sommes, vous êtes, ils/elles sont

Verb "avoir" (to have) in present: j'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a , nous avons, vous avez, ils/elles ont.


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

Many thanks. This is useful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1brandon_E

I'm not sure when to use "ont"... Any advice?

And why "ont des"?


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

"Ont" is reserved for 3rd person plural subjects: ils/elles (they), "men/women", plural nouns, etc.

You have to learn the conjugation for the verb "avoir" in present together with the grammatical persons:

  • j'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils/elles ont.

"Des" is the plural of "un" or "une". It is the plural indefinite article that English does not have. It is required with the meaning of "more than one".

In singular, this sentence would read:

The man and the woman have a/one child = L'homme et la femme ont un enfant.


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

I didn't Understood the meaning of des. Can anyone please tell me the exact meaning of des


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

I did not understand

"des" is the plural of "un" or "une"

  • singular: un enfant
  • plural: des enfants.

So "des" is an indefinite article which does not exist in English. To know if an English plural, bare noun will translate to "des + plural noun", either you put the plural noun in singular and then see if it naturally gets "a/an", or you add "more than one" before the noun to get the meaning of "des".


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

For the past lessons, "Le homme" was accepted as "The man", why it isn't correct in this lesson?


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

"Le homme" has never been accepted because it is improper. You have to use "l'homme" to avoid the vowel sound conflict.


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

I dont know what ont means and where it came from


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

You have reached level 6, which shows you have already done a lot of lessons, including those showing the conjugation of the verb "avoir" (to have) in present.

Reminder: J'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils/elles ont.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lindy271956

When is it L'homme and when Le homme?


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

It is never Le+homme.

"Le" and "la" both change to l' before a word starting with a vowel sound, to avoid the vowel sound conflict.

  • masculine: l'homme, l'enfant, l'oignon (onion)
  • feminine: l'eau (water)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarahWeaver1

This isn't plural, this is referring to one man and one woman.


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

Do not 1 man and 1 woman equal 2 persons?


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

I keep writing "les" when it's supposed to be "des". How do I know which one it is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cocobutter14

Both the 2nd and 3rd options are same ,then why wrong


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

I wrote "le homme et la femme ont des enfants" why is it wrong?


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

"Homme" starts with a vowel sound, so "le" becomes l': l'homme


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

I used this; L'homme et la femme sont enfants. Why is this wrong?


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

Reminder: "sont" means "are".


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

What does des mean and why is it used here?


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

"Des" is the indefinite article that English does not have. It is the plural of "un" or "une" and it means "more than one".

If the bare noun "children" is the plural of "a child", the translation to French is "des enfants", as the plural of "un enfant".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolut7

I wrote L homme et la fille ont de enfant but it said it was wrong


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

The man = L'homme: "le" elides to "l'" before a vowel sound to ease pronunciation
and = et
the woman = la femme: "la fille" is "the girl"
have = ont
children = des enfants: the plural of "a child" is "un enfant" and the plural "children" is "des enfants".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allan960293

Why can,t I use un homme


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

"Un homme" is the translation for "A man" or "One man".

The man = L'homme


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/glory722590

I dont know why when I wrote Le homme duolingo rejected it for L' homme somebody can explain it for me thanks


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

Mine was right but they said it was wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tew212

Why is Le homme wrong? Doesn't it mean the same thing as L'homme?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariusCara3

Is "Le homme et la femme..." wrong?


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

"Le" and "la" become l' before any word starting with a vowel sound.

"Homme" has a mute H and therefore starts with the sound O, which generates the elision from "le" to "l'".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marsie.M

All of the boxes had the exact same answer and I still apparently got it wrong??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann.Qamush

I wrote Le Homme instead of L'homme and i don't understand why it's incorrect...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shreyas327492

why we r using des before enfants


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

"Des" is the plural of "un" or "une":

  • they have a child = ils ont un enfant
  • they have children = ils ont des enfants

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

When to use sont and ont? I always get confused


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

When should we use sont and ont?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heather840441

Ont, avez. WHY ARE THERE TWO+ MEANINGS TO EVEYTHING


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

The French language has extensive conjugations with 5 or 6 forms depending on the subject:

Avoir: j'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils/elles ont.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.