"How does he last?"
Translation:Comment est-ce qu'il dure ?
Placing an extra T or an L to avoid collision between two vowels in French is done for exactly the same reason as adding an extra N in English.
EG: an apple instead of a apple.
Just for those reading, since the translation above is "Comment est-ce qu'il dure ?", this post is referring to another correct response: "Comment dure-t-il ?" (I think)
You are perfectly right:
"comment dure-t-il ?" belongs to the more formal register;
"comment est-ce qu'il dure ?" to standard register (but it is not recommended to use both an interrogative word like comment, pourquoi, où... and est-ce que);
"il dure comment ?" to the relaxed/oral register.
Why does "comment" come in the end of the sentece in the relaxed/oral register?
The oral/relaxed register uses less words, simpler formulas, and often a different word order.
Oddly, the most and least formal differ by one letter in length. It always surprised me that the standard register is the most complex.
The correct answer in the multiple-choice question was the 2nd one, which you say is not recommended... Isn't that weird?
Because it is the way people ask that question in speech: pas très joli, but usual.
Just to make sure,it is not correct to say: "comment il dure?" is it? The only way to use the relaxed form is to place the adverb at the end of the question, right?
One of the wonders I find about French is questions. The parts of any question can be ordered the way you like! It doesn't matter what comes first, you'll definitely form a correct sentence...
Well, most people want a specific construction of a question to memorize, although the same happens in English... We can say: "How durable is it?", or "It lasts for how long?", or "How long does it last?"... And they all have the same meaning...
For the longest time I thought it was just meant to be pronounced that way. Then I realized it was supposed to be written that way as well.
Rapid movement of palm to forehead. Loud smack!
The most comforting last line I've read so far. Now I dont feel so all alone. :)
I remembered to do that this time on my own for the first time, woot! :)
Google it and you can find various contexts. Autocomplete suggested "how does he last so long in bed"
Google Translate also provides another translation of the sentence: "How is it hard?"
In French, it may make sense, talking about a man who manages to keep his job in spite of big professional problems.
Agree, this English sentence doesn't make sense unless we're talking about the bedroom.
Nope, in fact it happens to work in exactly the same context as Sitesurf's example. "to last" is to endure.
With verbs of the 1st group (infinitive in -er, except aller), the inversion Verb-Subject creates a hiatus in pronounciation with pronouns starting with a vowel (il/elle/on). To cope with it, we insert a T between hyphens, so that it better flows:
- mange-t-il ? dure-t-elle ? parle-t-on ?
This happens often, namely with verbs of the 1st group (infinitive ending in -er):
To ease pronounciation for the speaker and understanding for listeners, a T is added (between hyphens) when the verb ending is a vowel and the subject pronoun is placed after and starts with a vowel, i.e. all three "il, elle, on".
present tense: - quand danse-t-elle ? à qui parle-t-il ? que mange-t-on ? où va-t-il ?
future tense (all verbs): - chantera-t-elle ? ira-t-on ? viendra-t-il ? finira-t-elle ?
Btw, @saycats -- @Sitesurf answered just this question 1 month ago in this very discussion board (-:.
Though I like the idea of asking her the same questions repeatedly to see whether she gives consistent answers. If even she cannot, then we know French is truly hopeless and we can all just make it up as we go along. <-;
oh! I didn't see that. Apologies - I usually make sure the same question wasn't already answered, looks like I missed it this time :X
So it's a question pointing to the reason for which he demonstrates endurance, rather than the way/manner/mode in which he accomplishes it?
the detailed meaning of the French is "by which means does he manage to stay in charge?"
I wasn't sure on this one, so I tried something simple, "Comment il dure?" and got it right! Does this mean you can always drop the "est-ce-qu" part?