"The women are writing letters to us."

Translation:Les femmes nous écrivent des lettres.

September 10, 2017

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kingschris

why is les femmes on ecrivent des lettres wrong ? on instead of nous .

October 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"On" cannot be used as an object, only as a single subject.

October 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MahdiGhulami

Why "Les femmes ecrivent des lettres a nous" is incorrect?

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Because when the construction needs the preposition "à", the personal pronoun is placed before the verb.

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Fergus138287

uhhhhhhhhhhh...doesnt it mean les femmes nous ecrivent des lettres a nous or les femmes ecrivent les lettres?

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Both direct object and indirect object pronouns are placed before the verb:

  • I write you = je vous écris
  • the women write to us = les femmes nous écrivent.

If you add "à nous" at the end, you are giving twice the same information. This is what "redundant" means.

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

Sitesurf, Merçi beaucoup!

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Pixies_Debaser

And Les femmes écrivent des lettres à nous ? Is this a correct structure at all? Merci

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

No it is not. Whenever the verb is constructed with the preposition "à", the indirect object pronoun is placed before the verb.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Pixies_Debaser

So, for example, one could say Je parle à Jacques but, when replacing Jacques with the indirect object pronoun it would become Je lui parle, n'est-ce pas ? Merci encore.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Excellent!

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MicheleWiFi

@Pixies_ .... and be sure to read previous comments to yours in the discussion threads. It is often very helpful and may have previously addressed your questions.

July 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DaEpicAdam

Thankyou very much Sitesurf, this helped tremendously.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca

Les femmes nous écrivent des lettres à nous? "The women write us letters to us?" No, that's extremely redundant. And just having Les femmes écrivent les lettres "The women write the letters" (First of all, notice how you've changed des to les and thereby added "the" into the translation) leaves out any indication that the target audience of the letters is "us".

I can't think of any instance in which you would say à nous, because that combination must become the indirect object pronoun nous placed before the conjugated verb. It's required, in the same way that you can't say de le - that combination must become du. It's not optional.

(There is one exception for à nous, but it doesn't mean "to us"; it means "ours" and is synonymous with le nôtre, e.g. Le victoire est à nous! "Victory is ours!")

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinGarciaB97

I said "Les femmes ecrivent une lettre pour nous." What's the difference?

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

To write to sb = écrire à qqn

The required preposition is "à" not "pour", which would change the meaning of the sentence.

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/claire318157

why is the hint it gives you not the answer?

January 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mystiiiic

It doesn't give you the answer because it is a hint. It is there to guide you to an answer.

But on this question specifically, the hint only confused me more, so I see what you mean.

January 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Windham0

I think you can also do à nous at the end instead of in the middle. Both are correct I believe.

February 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Not in proper French. Whenever the preposition is "à", the object pronoun is placed before the verb.

February 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Panda666

Can someone please explain this? I don't understand this sentence.

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The word order changes when the indirect object is a pronoun and the verb constructed with the preposition "à".

"us / to us" = nous / à nous

The women write letters [to us] = Les femmes [nous] écrivent des lettres

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kimmksk

Letter is a countable noun so I think it should be "les lettres", but why it is "des lettres"?

February 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vnucko7

I personally think, because even though, as you said, it's countable "les lettres" would mean "the letters" and, as you may know already, "la/le(s) - the" is used when you mean a noun (thing or being or idea), which has been already mentioned or you already know about, which one in particular you are aiming towards. "De(s)/du" is, so to say, the word for "some" and it's also, as in English, used for (un)countable nouns, but we don't intend to aim to one directly or hasn't been mentioned or an unknown amount of a noun (e.g. An apple, Two apples, Some apples, Any apple). So, long story short:

"La/Le(s)" means "the" and it's used, when the noun has been mentioned, one in particular;

"De(s)" means some" and it's used when we don't know or care about the nouns amout.

-I hope it helped.

February 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BasilPotts

I have already mentioned that I do not have accents on my device. Can I have some feedback about this problem?

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnSimmon472635

Can someone explain why Les femmes sont en train de nous écrire des lettres, is wrong?

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TanAnthony21

Why not "les femmes on ecrivent des lettres"?

July 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"On" is a personal pronoun meaning "one" or "someone", or sometimes replacing "nous". It has no role in this sentence.

"Are writing" is a continuous present tense, which does not exist in French as a verbal form. To translate "the women are writing", you have to use the French present tense "écrivent". Context would distinguish the meaning of "are writing" from "write" in simple present.

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bhkjersten

TanAnthony21, I thought that was a good question. The Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_personal_pronouns has a nice table showing how "on" and "nous" work in colloquial speech.

subject: on

reflexive: se

direct object: nous

indirect object: nous

disjunctive: nous

According to that table "on" is not allowed here, because "on" can only be the subject of a sentence.

January 3, 2019
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