"How does he last?"

Translation:Comment est-ce qu'il dure ?

March 13, 2013

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

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.

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daveremy

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)

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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.

October 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CapK9

Why does "comment" come in the end of the sentece in the relaxed/oral register?

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The oral/relaxed register uses less words, simpler formulas, and often a different word order.

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

Oddly, the most and least formal differ by one letter in length. It always surprised me that the standard register is the most complex.

February 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CapK9

Ok, thank you again, this is pretty helpful! :)

December 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2m42m

Why not comment il dure ?

May 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boringtomi

The correct answer in the multiple-choice question was the 2nd one, which you say is not recommended... Isn't that weird?

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Because it is the way people ask that question in speech: pas très joli, but usual.

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Biomax

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?

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ins-omnia

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...

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Lucky you! Many learners are struggling with French questions...

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ins-omnia

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...

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

Really helpful remark, thanks.

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

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!

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

The most comforting last line I've read so far. Now I dont feel so all alone. :)

January 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SourireCache

I remembered to do that this time on my own for the first time, woot! :)

February 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonsieurBean

Is there any context in which that sentence makes sense?

March 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lechuza-chouette

Google it and you can find various contexts. Autocomplete suggested "how does he last so long in bed"

June 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pesto

Glad to see autocomplete is just as immature as I am.

July 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbuenaventura

Google Translate also provides another translation of the sentence: "How is it hard?"

March 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In French, it may make sense, talking about a man who manages to keep his job in spite of big professional problems.

March 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/puffed

In French maybe it's used.. but the English version sounds very strange.

March 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adalinae

Agree, this English sentence doesn't make sense unless we're talking about the bedroom.

October 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/draquila

Nope, in fact it happens to work in exactly the same context as Sitesurf's example. "to last" is to endure.

April 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomgg

Replace "last" with "endure" and it reads better in English.

April 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1747

It makes more sense to say, "How does he go on?"

November 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

I wrote "Comment dure-il?", which was marked wrong. The closest correct French version is "Comment dure-t-il?".

  1. What should have tipped me off that my version was wrong?

  2. I don't believe we've seen this "-t-" construction before. What is it?

April 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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 ?
April 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gwm8923

why can't you say "comment ca dure? "

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"ça" cannot represent a human being and "he" is definitely a man.

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gwm8923

ah right, thanks!

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saycats

Why the "t" here, in "comment dure-t-il?" Is this something we haven't seen yet?

May 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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 ?

May 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saycats

Ahhh that makes sense. Merci beaucoup!

May 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

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. <-;

May 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saycats

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

May 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArnieRoss

Why not "Il dure combien de temps?"

June 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

the question is "why" (comment) not "how long" (combien de temps)

June 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmytroShkr

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?

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

the detailed meaning of the French is "by which means does he manage to stay in charge?"

June 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mstein31

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?

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malabhargava

It marked my Comment il dure correct

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chochii

I find this sentence very awkward ... With a question word you just use inversion.

March 18, 2014
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