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  5. "Je mange une troisième crêpe…

"Je mange une troisième crêpe."

Translation:I am eating a third crepe.

March 8, 2013

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Is that correct to say "a third" in English?


"I'm on my third crepe" is most natural


To me this would be quite an informal and colloquial way of saying it. Just a thought for other learners.


"Third" modifies "crepe" so it is not just "a third" but "a third crepe".


English is my first language and this sentence makes perfect sense in English to me. Not sure why people are saying it sounds unnatural. I am eating a third crepe (This is the third crepe I am eating cause I like my damn food), I am eating MY third crepe (All these crepes are mine and I am eating the third of the bunch, also fine) or I am eating THE third crepe (Of all the crepes this is the third, for some reason. Maybe we are sharing a plate of 3 crepes and I want the third one because I'm greedy, but this isn't specifically a/my third crepe as it will only be the second I've eaten.)


For me (and probably for other people, who are confused by this sentence) the problem is about "a" and "the". I am taught that before "first", "second", "third" e.t.c. one must use "the".

Since you wrote "I am eating A third crepe (This is THE third crepe I am eating cause I like my damn food)" I'm still confused.


As in, this is the third crepe I have personally eaten: I ate one crepe, then a second, then a third. I apologise, my wording was perhaps poor. The major difference I was trying to point out is that by saying "I am eating THE third crepe" it may not be YOUR third crepe: you ate one, your friend ate one, and then you ate another, it is YOUR second crepe but it is THE third crepe on the plate you are sharing, whereas " A third crepe" seems to imply you've personally eaten one two then three.


Maybe it sounds more natural in different regions than others? It sounds completely natural to me as well.


Where I come from it is more natural to say my third in both a "all these crepes are mine and this is the third one" sense and a "We are all eating crepes and this is the third one that I personally am eating" sense.

But it hardly matters unless it's in the past tense. if it's the present tense are we not all too busy stuffing our faces to speak?


Is the intent of the phrase "Je mange une troiseme crepe" to say "I am eating my third crepe" as in I've already eaten two crepes and this is my third, or does the phrase mean "I am eating one third of a crepe" as in I divide one crepe into three equal parts and I'm eating one of them? Either way, how would you express the other?


The former. In French, a third (1/3) is "un tiers"


Hello ! This means that you have already eaten 2 crêpes, if you want to say that you divided your crêpe into 3 parts and eat only one, you would say "Je mange un tiers de crêpe". But honestly, nobody only eats one third of a crêpe ;)


This sentence sounds unnatural in English. Does it sound unnatural in French too?


No, for anyone having already eaten 2 crepes and having yet another one, it is OK.


so it would be better the third or my third. One third makes me think of 1/3


one third (of a crepe) = un tiers (de crêpe)


That is because it is not always correct to translate "un/une" as "one". Thus it is not "one third" but "a third".


I ate my first, then a second, now I am eating a third crepe.


It does sound unnatural in PRESENT tense in English. But we might say "my third crepe." Or, when asked if we want more: "I'll have a third [crepe]." Or if there is another option, "No, I'll have a third crepe [instead of a yogurt]."


You don't have any context here. With a suitable context, I think that you would find it more natural.

  • Q: what do you do when you are still hungry after two crepes?

  • A: I eat a third crepe

Not that it would be a very usual conversation, anyway, but at least it would be grammatically coherent.


The problem here is that apparantly some people got "one third crepe" instead of "a third crepe" as the right answer


So the ordinals are...

Premier/Première for First

then you just add -ième to the number.

deuxième troisième quatrième (be careful to drop the 'e' in quatre) cinquième (watch the funny spelling here, too) sixième septième huitième neuvième (again here) dixième onzième douzième...... blah blah blah


would Duo accept '3rd' as 'third'?


I wouldn't think so. Duo probably wants the actual words, not shortened versions. But even then, it might still take it. I've never tried.


Yes, it does. Just make sure that you use it only when translating French to English, or in listening questions. If you do it from English to French, it will count you wrong because you know the English version, but it can't be sure that you know the French for that as well. Hope this helps :)


Strange. Every grammar site says the same thing: We use “the” when we use an ordinal number like first, second or third, because using an ordinal number describes exactly which one. In this case actually "a third" strongly suggests that you are referring to a noun: a third of... "A second" could apparently be used as a highly colloquial way of expressing "another", but nobody seems to recognize "a third..." Don't know. Maybe it's not really possible to translate exactly word by word from French to English.... Just a thought though...


In english before ordinary number you always put article 'the' therefore I think they should have accepted my answer 'I eat the third crepe'


Not necessarily. 'I eat the third crepe' can have the connotation that there's three crepes to be had, but only three and no more than three. 'I eat A third crepe' has the connotation that there's more than three to be had, but that you've eaten two and now are eating a third one.


Why is it a third instead of the third THIS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT


There were plenty of crepes lying on the dish. You ate one, then another one, and now you are eating a third crepe (3rd for you, but not the 3rd one on the dish).


Why not the third pancake?


"the 3rd pancake/la troisième crêpe" would mean that there were 3 crepes in total in the first place.

"a 3rd pancake/une troisième crêpe" means that you already ate 2, but it does not tell how many there were in total.


Thank you. Now I see.


However, I translated Friday is a fifth day of the week in another exercise and it was marked incorrect although there are not five days in the week in total.


Friday is the fifth day of the week = le vendredi est le cinquième jour de la semaine are correct.

Ordinal numbers: "the first, the second... the fifth" all use definite articles = "le premier/la première, le/la deuxième... le/la cinquième".


Then why does that rule not apply to a third pancake?


I think I already explained this. With days of the week, you know the total number, so each day is the first, the second... the seventh. Each day is specific.

With a plate full of crepes, the total number is not predetermined. You eat one, then a second one, then a third one. Each crêpe is non specific, you are just counting them as you eat them.

If the number of crêpes is known, that is if there are 3 in total on the plate, you can eat the first one, then the second one, then the final 3rd one.


One third in English means 1/3. Does it sentence really mean it??? I think it should be the third or my third.


This sentence is not about "one third", but "a third crepe", where "third" modifies "crepe".


It means "a third" as in I already ate two crepes and this is my third


'third' either is a fraction (1/3) or an ordinal number (first, second, third). In this case, Duo is numbering the crêpes that have been eaten, so it is an ordinal number. "Je mange une troisième crêpe."


Why don't they say pancakes instead of crepe in English? Isn't it the same thing?

[deactivated user]

    They are different.


    If you have ever had a FR "crêpe", you would not confuse it with an EN "pancake". Nevertheless, "pancake" is accepted as well as "crepe".


    is there a difference between ê in crepe and é in thé in terms of pronunciation?


    Yes, there is: the ê sound is the same as è, ie the one you have in "let" (open-mouthed)

    é in thé is the one you have in "eh" (in a smile).

    You can check on these on forvo.com.


    Oh wow I didn't know that forvo existed! Thanks!


    would the sentence in french be different if you wanted to say "I am eating MY third crepe"? It seemed to be accepted, however wouldn't that need to be "Je mange mon troisieme crepe"? Thanks.


    UNE crêpe --- MA troisième crêpe


    Thanks, that makes sense. I'm still confused why Duolingo accepted this English sentence of 'my third crepe'. Is un/une used in case of ma or mon in some sentences?


    Actually, in both languages, this sort of thing is often said with a possessive "my third crepe" and "ma troisième crêpe", respectively. However, strictly speaking, since the French original sentence has "une", the En translations should all have "a".


    I am not so sure if the sentence is correct in english since it is not my native language but i have been learning french for 13 years and i am pretty certain that you can't say UNE TROISIEME in french... the ordinal numbers have to be preceded by an article.


    The French sentence is perfectly correct. "Une troisième crêpe" is the one you eat after having had "une première" then "une deuxième crêpe".


    Not grammatically correct in English


    Actually, it is.

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