Translation:The friends that I have are the best one could have.
Caution: DL suggested answer 'The friends I've are the best...' is incorrect grammar. In (at least American) English, we wouldn't abbreviate 'I have' here because have is used in the sense of possession rather than as an accessory verb for past tense. In case you were misled by the app. (Reported 3/3/15)
Except this contraction is not one put in by any of the moderators working on this course. It is actually a programming anomaly in which someone thought it was a good idea to substitute "I have" for "I've" wherever "I have" occurs. It's ridiculous, but we're stuck with it until they have figured out a way to fix it.
Woah, ok, now I understand! I wish I had made a note. I will redo the Subjunctive lesson #1 and see.
OK I was pretty close but this was still wrong (I used "could", really it should be "can") - Duolingo took ages then said I am 100% correct.
"The friends I have are the best one could have."
I got it as a mic question (no problem) and then into French from audio I typed (missed the plural and spelling on meilleurs) - took ages then marked correct:
"les amis que j'ai sont les mieller qu'on puisse avoir"
Finished lesson with another Type What You Hear and gave this answer - took ages marked correct (misspelled meilleurs again!):
"les amis que j'ai sont les mieullers qu'on puisse avoir"
Translation: The friends that I have are the best you can have.
That was more research for @Sitesurf . . . but yes it could explain some things!
My two favourites, in English:
"if I WERE you" ,
"So be it."
Can't see subjunctives disappearing from either language despite their unpopularity with some people.
One of the English translations is wrong. One would never say "The friends that I've" .
The other translation is also not natural English - you would be very unlikely to hear anyone say this sentence. More natural - "My friends are the best one could have." Not sure that a native English speaker is coming up with these examples?
I put "Les amies que j'aie sont les meilleurs qu'on puisse avoir" and was marked as correct. As soon as I had pressed the button I realised that I should have used "j'ai". Was I really right or is there a mistake in DL here?
Subjunctive is a grammatical "mood", rarely used in modern English, but very frequent in French.
In English, it is used to express a commitment, a suggestion or possibility:
- I propose that he buy my product (= I propose him to buy my product): "buy" is subjunctive here (no -s at the end).
- If I were you, I would...: "were" is subjunctive.
In French, it is massively used with specific conjugations:
- Il faut que j'aille à l'école: "aille" is the present subjunctive of verb "aller" (indicative present is "je vais").
- J'ai peur que vous ayez des problèmes: "ayez" is the present subjunctive of verb "avoir" (indicative present is "vous avez").
Please read this to know more about this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/ss/subjunctive.htm
The English or the French? I think the English is, yes but Duolingo loves calque translations and it's hard to do that with the French sentence because it's quite far from English syntax.
If I were translating this in the wild, I would probably avoid calque translation and say something like, 'My friends are the best you could have.' - even this sentence I had to revise a couple of times. I don't like the repitition of 'have' so I decided against 'Of the friends I (do) have,'. Maybe, 'Of my actual friends,'?
I think Duolingo wants to make sure you grasp the interplay of the parts of speech rather than produce elegant English or French.
Well, I think Duolingo draws disctinctions based on emphasis so I think it's best to keep this in mind when translating sentences. After all, if the speaker wanted to say, 'my friends', they probably would have said, mes ami(e)s as Sitesurf has said so there must be a reason for saying, Les amis que j'ai which needs to be carried over into the English.
Not really. You could talk about "the friends I wish I had", and these are NOT your friends. So there's some use in making a distinction. To get it even more blurry, "the friends I thought I had betrayed me". You are implying both "my friends" and "not my friends" in the same sentence.
Is the rhythm in this sentence natural?
I tend to mentally group "que j'ai sont" as a single thing, because "SONT" is the strongest word pronounced (both male and female versions).
If I was the one talking, I would put emphasis on "J"AI" instead. Does that make sense to anyone else?
"Les amis [que j'ai] sont..."
- [que j'ai] is a relative clause. "Que" is a relative pronoun, which represents "amis" ("amis" is called the 'antecedent'). This relative pronoun is the direct object of "ai" (the subject is j').
Grammatically speaking, the English relative pronoun "whom" is used for people when the pronoun is the direct object of the verb - the friends whom I have are...
But "who" or "that" are commonly used instead of "whom"; and you can even drop the relative pronoun altogether - "the friends I have are..."
"Les amis [qui sont ici] ont..."
- [qui sont] is a relative clause. "Qui" is a relative pronoun, which represents "amis" ("amis" is still the 'antecedent'). This relative pronoun is the subject of "sont" (there is no direct object)
In English, the relative pronoun used for people, when the pronoun is the subject of the verb is "who" - the friends who are here have...
In French, "qui" and "que" are used for people, animals and things and they are required.
"qui" is used as the subject of the relative clause's verb and "que" is used as the direct object.
You were given this sentence in dictation. "Amis" and "amies" are homophones while the system compares your answer with the written sentence (with "amis"). Therefore I disabled the dictation exercise until Duo's developers can apply their special filter enabling "les amies que j'ai sont les meilleures qu'on puisse avoir" as a valid transcription of the audio.