"Des années, des jours, des heures, combien ?"

Translation:Years, days, hours, how many?

March 9, 2013

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zebila

"How many years, days and hours?" makes more sense to me.

March 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derek3x

Think of saying it really frustrated. You might just say it like this.

March 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kristerbrooks

Maybe "Hours? Days? Years??? How long?!" I can't imagine saying it the way Duo has it here though.

April 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmytroShkr

And DL does not reject that now

June 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nvanderh

i just rejected it for me. it highlighted "and" as incorrect.

May 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dorothy1234

I agree, Duolingo just doesn't want to accept.

April 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vanessayg

I just got rejected for years, days, hours how long.

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sloggo

In the very last question "des ans" translated as "some years", when would you use that instead of "des annees"?

April 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ian159

annees is the feminine plural form :)

November 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeonPaul

How do you know which to use (m/f)?

November 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maluferrari

I got to read this and then I read the sentence again and I dont understand why they use the feminine version in "annee" but not in "jour". (des annees, des journees )Is it not the same situation?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pabrown1975

I was also thinking it should be "journees," since we're using "annees."

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YahyaZuhair

an and année are more flexible than others and could more or less be used interchangeably.

Here's a quote from the link above: "However, note that an/année is far more flexible than the other pairs; for "last year" you can say l'an dernier or l'année dernière, "next year" can be l'an prochain or l'année prochaine, etc"

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maluferrari

wow, it was helpful, but complicated :)

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill-Roca

That was very helpful. Thanks Ian!

December 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sr.Stephen

Why is it années, but not journées?

July 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nidowardana

I got the same question here, please help,

March 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oceangirlol

n6zs explains it above.

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelim1972

What is the difference between "an" and "annee"

May 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelim1972

Thanks

June 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/percyflage

What's the rationale for using the longer feminine "anne'es" but all the others in the masculine short form? Can't find any grammar help. Is it to do with making a list?

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmytroShkr

It has nothing to do with short v. long, let alone masculine v. feminine, rather with the perception and standard usage. While an and année share the meaning of Durée conventionnelle voisine de la période de révolution de la Terre autour du Soleil, the latter is associated with a period 12 month long, starting at any moment of time, whereas an starts on January the 1st.

The above is a non-native's analysis

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1753

According to Larousse, "l'an" has to do with a 12-month duration, whereas "l'année" has to do with a "calendar <ou> civil year". So one might refer to "l'année 1789", for example. This also helps us understand why a person would say "J'ai 30 ans" instead of "J'ai 30 années" to express their age.

December 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oceangirlol

that`s very helpful, but what about jour vs. journéé

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1753

All your questions about l'an vs. l'année, le jour vs. la journée, le soir vs. la soirée, le matin vs. la matinée, are answered here: http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/an-annee-jour-journee-matin-matinee-soir-soiree.htm It will require a thoughtful reading to master it but it is all there.

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lckislin

see keeying's link above

November 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erik_m

In english, we distinguish between how much and how many (when referring to uncountable and countable things, respectively). Does the same distinction exist in french, or is it always combien?

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itsvarora

Yes. French uses des for countable objects, and du for uncountable masculine, de la for uncountable feminine. However, it uses just "de" when using the negative, ie "Je n'a pas de pain". And keep in mine that you use "de l' " for stuff using vowels.

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/turcois

This sounds so philosophical, like Duo is trying to ponder the meaning of life

May 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EikoBiko

Would it not be more proper to say, "Years, days, hours, how long?"

May 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thesimplemachine

Shouldn't this sentence have a semicolon or an em-dash before "combien/how many?"

It would seem to make more sense in English, but I'm still not very familiar with French punctuation conventions, so I don't know if that works.

It is confusing to read because "combien/how many" is a separate clause that should be distinguished from the preceding series by something stronger than a comma.

July 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YahyaZuhair

interesting point, there are a few differences in the punctuation between English and French, and I'd really like to know this one.

October 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Betsy134556

Normally English would not use this construction at all, IMO. We'd put the "How many. . . .?" upfront.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MellissaYa

Years, days, or hours would be proper..

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talat

Incidentally, this is also a line from a song called "Combien de temps encore"[1] by Jean-Loup Dabadie. This guy seems also to be a member of the Académie française [2]. Could also be coincidence.

  1. http://lisa.savarts.com/combien-de-temps-encore-jl-dabadie/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Loup_Dabadie
August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLouise872063

"Years,.......hours. how long?" Is a better translation OR Combien années, .. etc.

September 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rachel66E

I don't see why putting the how many at the beginning is wrong either? I was careful not to put in 'and', though it does makes more sense. In the past there has been no problem with reversing the order so why not this time?

April 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlejoFernandez

You can easily imagine the context for this sentence, and if you do you'll see that the "combien" is not referring to the years, the days and the hours but to time itself, hence "how much".

Say you have an accident and you lose the sensitivity of your legs and the doctor says to you "It will take time for it to come back". Your response would be somewhat like this, I'm sure.

October 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sofya.om

What would be a real-world situation/ context in which one would use this phrase?

March 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/percyflage

"You say the end of the world is coming soon. I need to know exactly how much time I have left. Years, days, hours, how many? "Why?", you ask. Because I need to call my broker and tell him when to sell all my stocks and move to cash ".

March 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oceangirlol

it`s kinda like short for "will it be in years, days, or hours? How many?" ... i think ...

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneNussbaum

I think it's really got to be "How long?" in years/days/hours. (Do we speak of "how much" in time, in English?)

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erling.fas

I've failed this lesson about 6 times now, it always starts with this one. Just copy it so you can paste it later if you suck as much as me

May 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickC172

I keep having to come back to this whenever I restart! It's so frustrating!

May 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RabbieY

answer isn't idiomatic English/

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisaskier

Why did Duo just give me "SOME years , days ,hours, how many" as the correct answer. Are both versions correct?

If yes, why is the answer not "Some years, some days, some hours, how many"?

Makes little sense but that is frequently the case here in DuoLand!

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allie469225

What a weird phrase.

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew161733

Surely DuoIingo's English translation doesn't make any sense. It must be how long

February 11, 2019
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