"How does the bird die?"
Translation:Comment l'oiseau meurt-il ?
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This form does not work: if you use a pronoun (il) the noun it replaces has to be placed before:
- comment l'oiseau meurt-il ? (formal)
- l'oiseau meurt comment ? (less formal)
- comment meurt l'oiseau ? (less formal)
- comment l'oiseau meurt ? (informal)
- comment est-ce que l'oiseau meurt ? (correct but unnecessarily complicated)
Hi sitesurf. Any clue as to why I no longer receive any emails from Duo regarding posts on discussions I am following nor the daily reminders? I attempted to post a problem to this effect via the Duo "Help" channel and it rejected the submission. I dont know how to access a particular thread so if you can help please would you post to my stream/ Anyone else know what is happening also please post to my stream. Thanks.
Basically, if you read my previous comments on this very page, you will probably get most of the rules, with the more formal way always being built with an inversion of Verb-Subject pronoun. Now, French also has a standard register and a sub-register of casual/relaxed forms (used in oral, mainly). To best approach what Duo expects from you to translate an English question into French, you should mirror the original form:
- do you read books? - that is formal, so you can translate in formal or standard interrogative forms:
-- lis-tu des livres ? or est-ce que tu lis des livres (note that "est-ce que" is an interrogative introduction which does not change, whatever follows, except for the elition "est-ce qu' " in front of a word starting with a vowel)
- you read books? - that is apparently less formal (even kind of exclamative), so you can translate in casual/oral form:
-- tu lis des livres ?
Now, the main issue you may encounter is that Duo does not always provide all forms as correct translations.
Should you have other, specific questions, pls ask.
In formal questions, you will always get an inversion Verb-Subject pronoun, whether or not a real subject is already explicit (noun or name):
- is he dying? = meurt-il ? OR est-il en train de mourir ?
- is the bird dying? = l'oiseau meurt-il ? OR l'oiseau est-il en train de mourir ?
- why is the bird dying? = pourquoi l'oiseau meurt-il ? OR pourquoi l'oiseau est-il en train de mourir ?
You can't have two conjugated verbs one after the other, it would be like saying: 'the bird is dies'.
In addition, with interrogative words like "comment, pourquoi, quand, où, combien, etc.", you should not add "est-ce que" as a second interrogative phrase.
"mourir" is a tricky verb in French, because "il est mort" both means "he died" and "he is dead". The reason is that it is constructed with auxiliary "être", so "mort" can be considered either as the past participle of the verb, or as the identical adjective.