"On ne peut pas juger un livre sur sa couverture."

Translation:You can't judge a book by its cover.

March 13, 2013

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/dapetras

'Don't judge a book by its cover'

March 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RKeeley

I put the same phrase. It was marked as incorrect. What's up with that?

June 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/abshannon

They mean something different. This is a statement of fact, while your answer is advice or a command.

June 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CWKCA

I don't see much difference between "You/one cannot" and "don't".

March 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/abshannon

One is a statement of fact, the other is an instruction. "Don't eat my cookie" isn't something I'd say unless you can, and I don't want you to (because I want to eat it, because it's poisoned, who knows?) "You can't eat my cookie" is totally different (maybe I already ate it, maybe it travelled to another dimension, who knows?)

March 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CWKCA

I don't think that follows in context. The implication here is that you can judge a book by its cover, and that people do, but they shouldn't.

March 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/abshannon

No, that's not right. The implication is that if you try to judge a book by it's cover, you'll fail, because the cover doesn't have the information needed to judge the book. So you cannot judge a book by it's cover, even if you try.

March 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lane973

Well, you actually CAN judge a book by it's cover but you might be wrong. I think this phrase is saying not to do that because it's not an accurate way to form an opinion.

June 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Roody-Roo

You actually understand no difference between "do not" and "cannot"? Interesting....

June 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AllanManch

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom. Maybe the French isn't quite right in the portrayal, but the meaning seems quite clear to me, and if there is a divergence from the nuance, then fix the French part of the exercise and don't mess with the idiom.

November 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

The statement in French is not a command or an admonition. It is simply a statement in the form of a proverb. That is to say, "one cannot judge a book by its cover". There is nothing at all here that makes this an imperative "should" or "must" or "don't".

May 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/seesawSue

but that's the point - in English the same proverb is colloquially rendered as "don't judge a book by its cover" - it's not meant as an order. (and to say one cannot do something can also be interpreted as an imperative...)

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/test_tube

Wow! She sure talks fast. As I have gotten older, both my receiver and my transmitter have slowed to a crawl. I think the most valuable Duolingo lesson I can take with me to Paris next week is: Parlez plus lentement, s'il vous plaît

December 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Yup, frequently useful, and people will slow down. I found the French in general and Parisians in particular quite friendly and helpful with my halting French, contrary to what I had been told to expect. Waiters, shop assistants, people on the street, everyone seemed most genial. I could hardly take a map out of my bag without someone coming up and asking if they could help. (No, I'm not a pretty young thing <g>)

March 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JimHarrisIII

My experience exactly, DianaM. And I am certainly not a pretty young thing either.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ArdeJohnson

Hm.. I haven't really had a problem with speed since I started paying attention to how words are properly pronounced as opposed to how they look/are written.

How'd it go in Paʁʁʁʁi? :)

January 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rgopal89

Why is it "sur" and not "par"?

October 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

Actually it could be expressed as "à sa couverture", "par sa couverture", "d'après sa couverture", or "sur sa couverture". All are accepted.

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Sur often introduces the object of various verbal expressions.

July 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Katie_B.

Is this a saying that is common in French?

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertoCW

J'en doute. They mostly say: "L'habit ne fait pas le moine."

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

It's a common one. And it's opposite number is also a common expression: L'habit fait le moine (or) l'habite fait l'homme = Clothes make the man. It's funny how proverbs work that way.

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RosbifFrog

The clothes do not make the man.

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Syvar

On peut juger un livre sur sa couverture bien que ce ne soit pas très sage. Malheureusement, c'est la façon de quelle nous pensons généralement: Il nous faut une image cohérente du monde. C'est pour cela que le monde nous semble beaucoup plus logique qu'il est vraiment.

April 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

It's called "marketing".

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Syvar

Indeed! By the way, thanks for commenting. This was full of mistakes ... I hope I managed to correct them all.

March 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/threegraces

One is not able to judge a book by it's cover. Wrong?

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

Actually, it is completely wrong. "It's" is a contraction of "it is". The possessive form does not use an apostrophe: i.e., its cover.

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Parsamana

What is the idiomatic French equivalent.

Ne pas se fier aux apparences

L'habit ne fait pas le moine

?

Or do the French use this same expression, not judging a book by its cover, as often as we do?

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/VioletteNoire

Wow, it accepted my "One cannot judge a book based on its cover"... I afterwards checked my sentence on Google and there were only 2 search results... I wonder how did it get accepted then... Anyways good job lol

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

Duolingo is not based on what Google Translate shows.

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

I think she meant that she looked for the frequency of the English sentence on Google and discovered it was not very common and then was surprised that DL had her "not-very-common" version in its database. I'm a bit surprised myself. You just never know.

May 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/malabhargava

Why is it sa? Livre is masculine.

June 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MoeDiddly

True but couverture is feminine, that's why. It's hard to explain in English because English doesn't have gender associated to words, but think of it this way, if you wanted to say not to judge a book by its title (titre, masc.), then we would've used son titre instead of sa couverture.

C'est bon ?

June 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Hasen6

"we cannot judge a book by it's cover" is not accepted?

February 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1695

No. The possessive form of "it" is "its" (no apostrophe). "It's" is a contraction of "it is".

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nikkylaw

I thought 'on' means we but why is it translated as you in this sentence'

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138

It means "we" in the most general sense. As in, "We eat soup with a spoon." So it can also imply the universal "you" in that sense, i.e. "In France, you drive on the right side of the road."

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Leviathan87

Think there needs to be a fix. Instead of recognizing the typo of "it's" it counted it wrong

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138

That's not exactly a typo. "It's" and "its" have two totally different meanings, and people often use the incorrect form without knowing that they're using it incorrectly.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Pirate_John

You can't judge a book by its movie.

January 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kyoko-love

Is that sentence even good? it's cover ???

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138

Yes, the sentence is fine. The possessive form of "it" is "its" (no apostrophe). Since we're referring to the cover of a book, you should use "its" rather than "their" (which implies that we're talking about people).

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kyoko-love

oh thxx nevevarine1138 :)

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kyoko-love

Is it not ''Their Cover''

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Will756055

Penalised for the apostrophe. Really?

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138

If you mean putting an apostrophe in "its," then it absolutely should be marked as incorrect. "It's" is a contraction for "it is," and "its" is the possessive form of "it." Totally changes the meaning of the sentence.

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/judith57957

the english idiom that is the equivalent of this is as dapetras says is "Don't judge a book by its cover." I don't think we should be marked as incorrect for using the normal english phrase. I think the explanation as to why you can't do this is pedantic and another example of imposing french structure on normal English: something that drives me wild!

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/cricri811231

on can't judge a book by its cover, is not correct ?

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EnochMan

"you cannot judge a book by it's cover" was not accepted why?

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/arthur932834

I was penalized for an apostrophe in "it's cover" Apostrophe indicates ownership. The cover belongs to the book.

June 24, 2019, 10:31 AM
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.