"Ses enfants écrivent des lettres."

Translation:Her children are writing letters.

March 12, 2013

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/thomasxmcrossi

how do we know that its "his" children

May 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"her children" is also accepted, since you cannot guess.

May 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alicekeza

Is there a separate word for "kids" vs. "children"?

March 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"gamins" or "gosses", and plenty of other slang words...

March 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Chantallisa

How, if only listening, would I know if someone is saying "Ses enfants" or "Ces enfants" .. difference being his/her or these.?

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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there is no difference, only context would tell.

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Chantallisa

super! thanx

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/marisaolivia

why cant I put "their"

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"their children" is "leurs enfants" (plural owner)

  • father: his children - ses enfants
  • mother: her children - ses enfants
  • parents: their children - leurs enfants
March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Kingsoson_1939

Merci beaucoup mon ami...

August 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Vyvanse

Could 'ses enfants' not be 'its children'?

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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You mean if "it" were an association or official body of some sort?

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Vyvanse

Yeah, basically. Or if "it" was an animal or something similar.

September 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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Yes, that is indeed possible in theory. However, I don't know of many animals able to write letters.

September 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/manuelsg02

I put its. It wasn't accepted :/

March 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EssienNsikan

How can you tell whether it is "lettres" or "lettre" when it's spoken?

September 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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Just focus on articles: UNE lettre (sing) - DES lettres (plur)

September 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pgcasp
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I took the first word as seize

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sanika_govekar

I dont get these possesive pronouns :( Ses ?

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You may want to take a look at the Tips&Notes.

To find them, go back to Skill: Possessives, and look below the lessons. Some users may have to press a button on the right side to see them.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LamesJee

lettres not lettre - i could not hear the difference

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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singular : UNE lettre

plural: DES lettres

Even though the plural mark -s is mute, you should hear the article.

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AshleyWard11

If you're not sure if it's "his" or "her" then isn't "their" a more appropriate translation?

October 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, because "their" translates to "leur" or "leurs" (several owners).

October 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AshleyWard11

While that's true, if someone says to translate something to English and it's "Ses enfants", then without knowing whether you're talking about the mother or father, you would have to translate it as "His or her children", which is a bit unwieldy, and normally in English you would surely just say "Their children" which can also apply to just a single owner (I'm not sure if 'leur' in French can also mean just one person).

October 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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I am aware of this phenomenon, but you have to get rid of your English reflexes: "leur, leurs" are about more that one owner and translate to "their" and vice versa.

You cannot translate "son, sa, ses" to "their", never, and you don't have to: Duo accepts "his" or "her" or "its" to translate them, so up to you to pick the one that is meant.

October 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElsieWong

I am not sure how to tell the tenses, is it true that this kind of sentences could be both present and present continuous tense at the same time?

October 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Present continuous does not exist in French.

So if we want to insist on the fact that the event is in progress at the time we speak, we use a special phrase with verb être: "ses enfants sont en train d'écrire des lettres" (in the process of writing).

October 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RonithGil

Ses peux être their

October 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, "ses" is his, her or its, only.

their = leur, leurs

October 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GabriellaC446326

It said I was wrong for using 'his' when ses could mean his or her..

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BlackSaphire96
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Is ecrivent the past or present version because its accepted write and wrote whenever i've entered it

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Piotr389753
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Here is "his" in the test is "her" - maybe you should be more openminded. (Just kidding. PC is not my thing.)

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/StephenSwe17

Or "Her children are writing letters." What would their children are writing letters be? "Leurs enfants ecrivent des lettres." ???

February 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, exactly. Two parents and several children = leurs. Two parents and one child = leur

February 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BaybarsDem
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So how to say " Her children are writing THE letters "?

September 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Ses enfants écrivent les lettres".

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Suchiththa

Site, I've just realised the translation is ambiguous to me. Could this mean that they are writing letters of the alphabet? I.e practicing their letters?

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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Oh yes! And it is even more relevant if the children are little.

November 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/amma61491

shouldn't "her children writes letters" also be accepted?

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Children" being a plural noun, the verb cannot be in the singular: Her children write letters.

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BlueDotCity

why doesn't it accept 'kids' as well as children?

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The register of speech is different:

  • enfants = children
  • kids = gamins/gamines
February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GabriellaC446326

Why did it say I was wrong for saying 'his' kids when ses could mean his or her..?

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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The issue is not with "his" or "her" but with "kids", which is the translation for "gamins/gamines" in colloquial language, whereas "enfants" and "children" are standard language.

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/erstedame

Is there a way to express gender neutrality in possesives? I've gotten so used to saying "their" in place of gendered pronouns in English due to gender-queer sensitivities that it makes me wonder how to express this in French. I did it out of habit here and was marked incorrect of course.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No there isn't and there can be, since "son, sa, ses" agree with the object possessed and don't give any indication of the owner's gender.

On this course, everything you read and write must back-translate to the original sentence, and "their children" would translate to "leurs enfants", which can only mean that there are two or more owners.

March 12, 2019
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