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

Translation:Years, days, hours, how many?

March 9, 2013



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

March 9, 2013


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

March 13, 2013


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

April 30, 2016


And DL does not reject that now

June 19, 2013


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

May 11, 2014


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

April 23, 2015


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

October 31, 2018


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

April 29, 2013


annees is the feminine plural form :)

November 16, 2013


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

November 29, 2013


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


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

February 7, 2014


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


wow, it was helpful, but complicated :)

December 28, 2013


That was very helpful. Thanks Ian!

December 9, 2013


Why is it années, but not journées?

July 27, 2013


I got the same question here, please help,

March 6, 2014


n6zs explains it above.

April 27, 2014


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

May 1, 2013



June 22, 2013


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


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

  • 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


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

April 27, 2014

  • 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


see keeying's link above

November 25, 2013


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


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


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

May 4, 2014


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

May 31, 2014


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


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


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

July 16, 2018


Years, days, or hours would be proper..

February 11, 2014


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


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

September 11, 2018


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


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


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

March 28, 2014


"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


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

April 27, 2014


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


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


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

May 12, 2014


answer isn't idiomatic English/

June 11, 2014


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


What a weird phrase.

September 25, 2018


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

February 11, 2019
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