"Il faut vider le sac."

Translation:It is necessary to empty the bag.

March 8, 2013



Why can this not be "He must empty the bag" ?

May 17, 2013


il faut is a idiomatic structure meant for non-personal statement.

May 17, 2013


How would you say "He must empty the bag"

February 16, 2015


Would be 'il doit vider le sac'...il faut stands alone as an impersonal structure which roughly means 'one must' or 'it is necessary to'. It's a consistent exception to the operating rules of verbs so it's worth getting to grips with.

March 4, 2015


In the interests of completeness, you can also use il faut que, although, you then require the subjunctive, which in the case of vider is the same as the indicative in the il/elle/on form, so you get:

il faut qu'il vide le sac - It is necessary that he empty the bag

July 30, 2016


In the interests of total completeness, one called also say 'il lui faut vider le sac' to indicate the onus for completion of the task is on a specific person, in this case, 'him'. :)

June 18, 2017


How would you change this sentence to a question?

September 10, 2015


Faut-il vider le sac?

December 15, 2015


thank you :-)

June 17, 2017


Yes. This is what I want to know. I got it right only because I memorised it. Still have no idea why it cannot be "he" and would definitely get this wrong if I were translating text.

March 4, 2015


thank you for this :-)

June 17, 2017


Thank you. I think I get it now. But I am confused as to why, when I entered “he must empty the bag.” The correct answer displayed was “I must empty the bag.” Is this an exception, or is it a regional variation?

September 8, 2018


That just sounds like a typical DL error.

October 14, 2018


Exactly makes more sense ..

July 21, 2018


Because "Il fatr" is idiomaticly impersonal, a closer translation is, "one must...", instead of "he must". Although "one must" could also be translated as "ons devons".

October 12, 2018


"ons" ?

"On devons vider le sac."

October 14, 2018


It's necessary to drain the sack... ok

February 7, 2015


It isn't necessary to make comments like this here, in a place of learning where children are present.

January 11, 2016


What? It's a harmless comment. Some sacks just need to be drained

January 12, 2016


Not one child suspected a thing till you tapped your keyboard about it.

January 9, 2017


The male reader pronounces "sac" as "sac-ya". He does this with a lot of words but I find it very distracting. Is it a regional thing?

May 4, 2016


I completely agree. I even put down "sac" at first, and then second-guessed myself into thinking it was something (who knows) else.

August 4, 2016


I have reported this mispronunciation.

November 19, 2016


Why can I not translate 'Il faut' as 'You have to.' As far as I know this has always been previously accepted on DL.

March 8, 2013


it's fine

April 20, 2013


On a previous question it marked me wrong for 'we need to...' but accepted that format for this one. Don't know enough to know if its just Duo being inconsistent

February 28, 2015


falloir - to be necessary

devoir - have to

avoir besoin de - have need of/to

"Il faut" is also idiomatic, meaning "It is necessary (that)"

September 24, 2018


"Vider son sac" means idiomatically "to get it off your chest". Could "Il faut vider son sac" be used for something like "One must get things off one's chest", or does "son" not work in an impersonal context?

September 19, 2014


Okay, this is quite frustrating. Earlier the sentence "Il faut faire bouillier le thé" popped up, and I translated it as "The tea needs to be boiled". This was marked as wrong, saying it ought to be "has to" instead of "need to". Now I wrote "The bag has to be emptied" and it corrected it to "needs to". Please Duolingo, make yer mind up.

October 11, 2013


When I'm in France, I will try this line. Thank you, Duo.

March 9, 2017


why is "we must empty the bag" incorrect?

March 11, 2013


'il faut ' is more of a general obligation. So, 'one must' or 'you (in the sense of 'one') have to'

April 20, 2013


I'm really impressed by all your flags and big numbers!

July 21, 2013


Same here! Nice job wataya!

October 27, 2015


to say 'must' you have to use the verb, devoir. it would therefore be on doit vider le sac.

January 14, 2017


It should be marked as correct. I lost a heart with one of those "choose all correct answers" when I did not check "We must....." as one of the translations for "Il faut.."

July 21, 2013


i entered 'he needs to empty the bag' which was shown as wrong which i understand but how would i say 'he needs to empty the bag' in French please?

October 23, 2013


Il doit vider le sac, perhaps?

November 19, 2013


I said "He must empty the bag" and it marked it as wrong, but for the answer it said "We must empty the bag". Can anyone tell me where the plural came from

July 12, 2017


"The bag has to be emptied" - marked as incorrect. I don't understand why.

February 5, 2014


It should be fine. However, it's generally better to keep an active/passive voice in a translation. (As long as it doesn't lead to something awkward in the target language).

February 5, 2014


Could this be "It's necessary to empty your bag"?

May 27, 2014


I think that is introducing specificity (whose bag?) that was not present in the original French.

April 5, 2015


I put it is necessary to drain the bag but was marked wrong. But drain is one of the options!

July 11, 2014


How exactly do you drain a bag?

December 15, 2014


We each have our ways, it's personal

March 9, 2015


i put the same translation and was marked wrong! It gives it as an option so I don't understand why it would be wrong.

September 11, 2014


idem pour moi. J'ai ecrit" it is necesarry to empty the bag", il le barre "necesarryu", puis comme solution correct il ecrit la meme phrase...MERCI :s je ne suis pas (du tout) contente!!!!!!

December 14, 2014


The options on the word definitions are general and we can't assume that any of them are the correct one for the specific sentence. It seems to usually be the top one. The options must be for our general understanding of the word meaning if we peek for the hint. But we have to choose the correct one based on context.

November 22, 2015


Annoyed: I put “The bag needs emptied” and this was not accepted, despite “The bag needs to be emptied” being a suggested solution. I understand my answer might be less formal, but I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong in English, is it?

January 11, 2015


I was going to post to ask if you were from Western PA, as the "needs + past participle" structure seems to be unique to that area, and then I realized that I know you, and you are from my hometown and went to school with my brother. So there's my answer, I guess! Anyway, "needs emptied" is a Western PA thing.

October 27, 2015


Hahaha wow okay! Well, that answers that. Thanks for the insight!

October 28, 2015


Two more quick thoughts:

  1. Just to be clear, yep, of course I remember you too (I haven't met any other Seiples either)

  2. How did you realize/learn that the "needs + past participle" structure is regional?

October 28, 2015


Too funny, I haven't "met" anyone else I actually know in real life on here.

To answer the second point, I moved out of Western PA, basically, and was told that it was wrong. It sounds fine to me, but apparently if you go further from Pittsburgh, people think it sounds weird (and will point this out to you). I found this link on it with a lot of interesting information: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/needs-washed

October 28, 2015


Ah, thanks for the link. I’ll have to watch to see how often I use this construction. No one has pointed it out to me, although people were quick to point out how wrong it was to say "pool" and "pull" identically (when I moved from PA to Arizona).

October 28, 2015


What the heck! I am not cluttering anything. I am about to participate on this particular issue afresh. I find the translation of "il faut" a bit strange as "it is necessary". Could I say instead: "On doit vider le sac" ?

February 3, 2015


I think that changes the meaning from “The bag needs to be emptied (currently)” to “In general, the bag needs to be emptied”. The latter sounds more like it belongs in a recipe or other instructions instead of a normal conversation, IMHO.

April 6, 2015


Sounds gross. What does this mean? Does it mean take a leak, or something, ahem, more risque

March 9, 2015


I'm pretty sure the dude just needs an empty plastic bag and only has a full one...I like how both of your two instincts were seedy. Shame on you ;)

March 9, 2015


Why does it have to be "one" instead of "he" ?

April 5, 2015


Because 'il faut' is an impersonal construct which means 'it is necessary', or 'there is necessity' - it's similar to 'il fait' in expressions like 'Il fait chad' - it is hot. There is no 'he' who is 'making/being hot', 'it' is being hot in a general sense - same in il faut. HTH

April 5, 2015


I got this sentence three times in a row. I feel like I'm in conversation with a security guard..

September 14, 2015


What does vide mean?

August 15, 2016


It's a conjugated form of the verb "vider", which means "to empty" or perhaps "to throw out" in some cases.

September 24, 2018


Is there a way to make sure duolingo knows what I am saying because I am positive I am saying it correctly, but I get it wrong, and it getting really frustrating

September 1, 2016


Does not "Il" mean he ??

October 14, 2016


It must be he needs to empty his pockets. It say il not nous.

October 17, 2016


Why does he say "sakEH" for "sak"?

October 27, 2016


Why not "He has to empty the bag?"

December 30, 2016


why not the bag needs to be emptied

February 5, 2017


Now i know someone somewhere is going nuts I wrote 'It is necessary to empty the bag' to be marked wrong because it was a 'purse' that needed to emptied Ha ha ha You need a sense of humour eh!

July 20, 2017


should it be "nous" or "il" for we must empty the bag

August 2, 2017


The solution I was given by Duolingo was "We need to empty the bag." That's not the same as "It is necessary to empty the bag."

August 9, 2017


JFK security?

August 14, 2017


would He/she needs to get it off his chest not be a better translation of this french idiom. idioms are better translated by corressponding idioms not literally. for example to call a spade a spade would be translated form the french idiom as to call a cat a cat. No one in english was use to call a cat a cat , only call a spade a spade

August 15, 2017


Your correct solution was ;we need to empty the bag

August 23, 2017


My answer said We need, not It is necessary.

November 28, 2017


why can't it be : it needs?

January 11, 2018


I checked it at bing translator and i copied and pasted and i don't think a translator is incorrect but it showed the answer was incorrect

February 4, 2018


After first writing this literal translation, as an experiment I instead decided to write this as an english speaker might actually say it, ie 'the bag needs emptying'. Predictably it was marked wrong, but it would be helpful to get some indication of how one can move on from literal translations to more idiomatic turns of phrase... Maybe that comes at higher levels?

May 8, 2018


Now I understand absolutely nothing. At first I translated as "he has to ....". Mistake, the answer should be "1 has to...". Second try "One has to...." Wrong - now the answer should be "We have to....". And above it now says that the answer is. "It is necessary to empty the bag". What is the correct answer???

June 11, 2018


I wrote you must empty the bag and duolingo told me that the bag was wrong I should have used sack :((

August 6, 2018


I said he needs to empty the bag...and it came back and said we must empty the bag. It is necessary I can wrap my head around, but the nous threw me.

September 20, 2018


the correct answer given was "we need to empty the bag". I'm am now completely lost in this language - Il = we. Strewth!!!!!!

September 23, 2018


We have to empty the bag. Accepted

October 25, 2018


Why is must not accepted? All languages have literal and general translations, being understood is the most important thing.

February 14, 2019


Why does it say I'll empty the bag? Is this another way how to express future tense?

February 4, 2015


Is "Il faut" an idiomatic expression that always means "it is necessary to..."? So it never means "he must"? Merci beaucoup

March 7, 2015


That's correct - he must is 'il doit', il faut is always impersonal. I have seen it accepted as 'we need to', I guess in a generalised, second-person sense, almost like 'one must', but of course that is not seen so often in English. It can also be somewhat personalised, i.e., il me faut, to express where the necessity lays, but as 'il faut' it is always a general, non-specific necessity.

March 7, 2015



am I the only one who thinks of a robbery from this sentence?

November 7, 2015


"I has to" - Quelle grammaire!!

May 22, 2016


Duolingo makes itself appear foolish when in the same message it contradicts itself. Ex: "il faut" means "to be necessary" not "he must" [and then lists "We must empty the bag" as the translation to "Il faut vider le sac." That is adding insult to injury in the sense that a native English speaker can easily reconize the connection between "it is necessary/required" and "should/have to/must", but would never leap to "we" from "he/it".

March 11, 2015


why cound't I use no personnel "Must empty the bag"

May 6, 2013


That's not a sentence.

December 13, 2014
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