"Le fromage est facile à couper."

Translation:Cheese is easy to cut.

6 years ago

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CTrinity
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Anyone mind if I giggle about this sentence and an associated English idiom?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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unless it is offensive, I would like to know about your English idiom and giggle as well... ;-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drplasma64
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"to cut the cheese" is kid slang for to fart or pass gas!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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I am giggling... think my son will love it!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiggy96

I think this is only an American English idiom - never come across it in UK. 'Pass gas' is also exclusively American, I think. In England, it would be 'pass wind'.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallMiles
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There used to be a motel not far from where I live in the US called the "Passing Wind Motel". Never stayed there, though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuzanneNussbaum

In the US one can say "break wind," though I believe that's a bit archaic now.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford
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still reasonably current here, at least with people my age :-D

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MDIA729

As dr plasma said - it is something of an idiom for American children - I don't think I've used it since I was 12.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Phoe-Phoe

It's definitely not used in Australia

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally410

It is now part of UK youth culture, especially in cities at first. I came across it whilst visiting friends. Next time I requested cake!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877
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It's an Italian idiom also, which kind of figures.

It surprises me that the French don't have such slang, because it's so obvious when you cut into a nice, fresh round of stinky cheese. Sometimes, you even get a sound-effect as trapped gasses are released. Plus, it just seems French to me - French-style humor.

Isn't it true that "un petit petard" is French slang for "fart"?

(A "petard" is a bomb that you hang on a wall to blow a hole through it and gain access to fortifications. Often, the bomb crew was killed in the blast, thus the English expression "being hoist by one's own petard".)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Un petit pétard" is a little joint (haschisch). Fart is "un pet".

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dapetras

is there any reason in particular why "à" is used and not "de"? Is this just a matter of memorizing?

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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That is the correct construction for "facile" in this sentence

If you want to use "facile de", it will be another construction: Il est facile de couper ce fromage (it is easy to cut this cheese)

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh5now

Is it because the direct object for 'couper' is used as the subject of the sentence? But when the sentence is made impersonal, the d.o. is with the verb, and you use 'de' then? Just trying to wrap my mind around it

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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in the sentence "il est facile de couper ce fromage", "il est" is impersonal, like a set formula: 'il est facile de' + infinitive.

if you want "il" to represent the cheese, you need to say: "il est facile à couper, ce fromage", which is an emphatic form of "ce fromage est facile à couper". The preposition "à" is only attached to facile: ..."facile à" + infinitive

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh5now

Merci!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fleurdeletre

great explanation.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lufsig

Is it also correct to use "C'est facile de ..."?

I remember seeing it somewhere...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, that is correct, as another impersonal construction, similar to "il est facile de + infinitive".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KriEri
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"It is easy to cut the cheese." has the same meaning, doesn't it?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuzanneNussbaum

I thought so, but they didn't accept my answer.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boringtomi
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That’s what I wrote... I can’t imagine ever saying in English “Cheese is easy to cut”... or is it just me?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford
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Not all English cheese is Mousetrap!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
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What do we do with 'cheese cuts easily'?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"le fromage se coupe facilement".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
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Thank you! I should've guessed so.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumna
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What about "it's easy to cut the cheese"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Il est / C'est facile de couper le fromage

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumna
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Sorry I can see the difference from a grammar point of view, but I think the meaning is the same, unless you want to put some enphasis on cheese, and write it at the beginning of the sentence (sorry I'm neither English or French, so it's not so easy for me) Thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Maybe you have noticed that the preposition changes when you move from a real subject (le fromage) to an impersonal subject (il or c'):

  • (the) cheese is easy to cut = le fromage est facile à couper
  • it is easy to cut (the) cheese = il est/c'est facile de couper le fromage.

Of course, both mean the same thing at the end of the day.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boringtomi
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Since they both mean the same, I wrote the second one, Sitesurf... To be honest,, for me the sentence “Cheese is easy to cut” is just not natural...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hornplyr
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Is there a rule of thumb for when "a'" precedes an infinitive and when it doesn't in order to convey the notion of "to do something"? In this example, why is it "facile a' couper" instead of "facile couper"?

And yes, I'm giggling at the English idiom, too. :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enwired
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Not really. It is one of the hardest things to learn and you just have to memorize: "Il veut couper le fromage" "Il apprend à couper le fromage" "Il oublie de couper le fromage" "Il aime couper le fromage" "Il hésite à couper le fromage" "Il s'occupe de couper le fromage" "Il promit à sa mère de couper le fromage" "Il enseigne à sa mère à couper le fromage" "Il pense couper le fromage" "Il songe à couper le fromage" etc.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerryRouhy

Why "it is easy to cut the cheese." Is not accepted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rasmussen_Emil
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Why not facil when it's masculine?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/100jeff
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simple and easy are colloquially interchangeable in English

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan34557

How do we know the sentence isn't translated to "the cheese is easy to cut"? If we wanted to generalize it to all cheeses, wouldn't we use "Les fromages est facile à couper"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You would need to pluralize the verb and the adjective as well: "les fromages sont faciles à couper".

And then the English would be "cheeses are easy to cut".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan34557

Thanks, but what about translating to "The cheese is easy to cut"? Is it the same and just relies on context?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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With this French sentence, you cannot know if it is a generality (cheese in general) or a specific cheese (the cheese), because of the double meaning of our definite articles. In any event, both "cheese" and "the cheese" are accepted in translation.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/myblissey

Why is it couper and not coupe ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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After a preposition, the verb is in infinitive.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/myblissey

Thanks - here is a Lingot for you

1 year ago
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