https://www.duolingo.com/niuchao

singular/plural voice prompt

Does anyone else have a hard time telling whether the nouns should be singular or plural on the voice prompt questions? Even on slow "elles mangent" sounds exactly like "elle mange". Am i missing a cue or are the pronunciations just very similar?

June 26, 2012

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mmickyman

"Elles mangent" and "Elle mange" have exactly the same pronunciation.

June 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/YouHadMeAtHalo

The way to tell is by examining the tense of the rest of the sentence. Elles mangent and elle mange sound the same, but there is usually more in a sentence.

"Elles mangent a' leur restaurant favori." I'm sure you could figure out the tense there.

June 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mussels

Yes, YouHadMeAtHalo, but in many of the lessons, especially the earliest ones where people are most likely to feel frustrated, there is no rest of the sentence.

Ironically, I've found this problem gets easier and easier as you get into the more advanced lessons precisely because of that: the longer, more complex sentences have more context clues regarding number.

For the ones which have literally identical pronunciations, I've been trying to flag them with a feedback report when possible, with the explanation "identical explanation."

June 27, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/BuggyofCitronia

"Elle mange" and "elles mangent" are supposed to sound exactly the same, it's tricky. In other cases, however, it's possible to tell. For example, even though "fille" and "filles" sound exactly the same, you can tell the difference from the preceding article; "la" and "les" sound very different.

June 27, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/niuchao

Thanks for the clarification. I had hoped there was some subtle "t" sound I was missing and just couldn't hear. Most of the sentences I've heard are something along the lines of "Elles mangent des pommes" so there isn't any context get hints from. Oh well, I guess it's a little easier to tell in face to face conversation.

June 27, 2012
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