"While you read your book, I write a letter."
Translation:Pendant que tu lis ton livre, j'écris une lettre.
"pendant que" or "tandis que" would better express a duration.
"alors que" would be OK, but only in that context, because "alors que" often means "whereas"
"lorsque" and "quand" would be Ok as well, but less precise on the notion of duration.
Thanks! Only after I posted my question did I find the link below, which expands on your answer. Here it is for anyone else who's confused: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/quand-vs-lorsque.htm
Why the following word order is not accepted? J'écris une lettre, pendant que tu lis ton livre.
"quand" is less precise than "tandis que" in terms of duration - same as "when" vs "while"
Is there anything wrong with my translation of "Tu lis ton livre alors que j'écris une lettre."
yes, you switched the main clause with the conjunctive clause. in terms of meaning, it does not change much, since the two actions are happening in parallel, but remember that Duo's software cannot decipher as right a sentence where you change the word order with no good reason to do so.
"pendant que" is a locution that you use only once in that sentence ("while" is used once as well). But the sentence could be reversed and you would have: "Pendant que j'écris une lettre, tu lis un livre".
How do I know when to add "que" after "pendant"? I read a suggestion to translate 'depuis' as 'since' and 'depuis que' as 'since then.' Is there a similar trick to help me remember wen to use 'que' with 'pendent?' Thanks
If "while" is followed by a sentence (subject, verb, complements), the sentence is a clause, to be introduced by a subordinate conjunction: "pendant que".
pendant la nuit = during the night
pendant que je lis = while I am reading
You must memorize the gender of the words as you learn them. Unfortunately, there is no other way. :-)
Most words ending with an e is feminine and most words not ending with an e is masculine. But beware, there are many exceptions, in both directions, to this rule of thumb. You have to learn all these exceptions along the way, or find a list and try to memorise them.
I used 'votre' instead of 'ton' just to experiment with changes and got it wrong, . Pourquoi, s'il vous plait?
The correct translation is: "Pendant que vous lisez votre livre, j'écris une lettre", so the use of votre livre is correct. There must have been some other mistake in your translation.
Informally, you could also write: "Pendant que tu lis ton livre, j'écris une lettre".
Votre and vous must be paired, while tu and ton are paired. :-)
I have seen & heard this sentence so many times that I probably say it in my sleep. xD
When a short word, which ends with a vowel, is followed by a word, which begins with a vowel, the ending vowel is dropped from the first word and an apostrophe joins the two words:
I don't mean plural. I cant use accents with my keyboard. i mean Des as conjunction with an accent on e
j' is used when the next word starts with a vowel or a non aspirate H
"Pendant que tu lis ton livre, j'écris une lettre." - This was marked as the correct solution but shouldn't it be "..tu liT..."?
Is the possesive "ton" incorrect because "votre" is the only possesive that can accompany vous?
"que" is elided in front of a word starting with a vowel sound, not a consonant.
qu'il(s), qu'elle(s), qu'on...