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  5. "Ce cheval est cher ?"

"Ce cheval est cher ?"

Translation:Is this horse expensive?

March 16, 2013



Incase anyboy is wondering why it is 'ce' and not 'ça', it is apparently because it's the subject of the verb 'être'. If it was a different verb it would have been 'ça'. Here's a link explaining the differences: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefinite-demonstrative-pronoun.htm


this isn't the ce/ça kind of ce, this is the ce/ces/cette kind of ce, ce is modified by cheval here, not by est


Yes, you are absolutely right here, "ce" is used here as a demonstrative adjective, not as a pronoun. There is no way that a pronoun can stand right before a noun which it is supposed to replace; it would be just like saying, for example, "il cheval est...", which would be obviously wrong (why "il", which is supposed to replace "cheval" in that case, if "cheval" is used anyway...)

If anyone is interested, here is a corresponding link for this topic: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_demonstrative.htm


It's the little words....


How come it's not "ce cheval, est-il cher?"


there are 3 forms of interrogative sentences, from very formal down to casual:

  • ce cheval est-il cher ? (no comma needed)
  • est-ce que ce cheval est cher ?
  • ce cheval est cher ?


I’m so happy to realize I went through the same options in my mind :-).. Which one would you NORMALLY use?


(in order or occurrence)

in speech: nb3 or nb2

in writing: nb1 or nb2


OK, makes sense... Merci beaucoup!


I'm surprised your writing wouldn't be more formal than your speech. Am I understanding you right?


This is the opposite: in writing, I would use the most formal first (ce cheval est-il cher ?), then the standard construction (est-ce que ce cheval est cher ?).


I like this sentence a lot...but tho it means expensive, (cher), can it also mean "dear" as in "loved" a lot?


"dear" can also mean expensive, especially in British English. "That's much too dear for me to afford."


I thought that interrogative sentences always had to be option one or option 2? Wouldn't the third option be translated to, "this horse is beloved."? I know questions in Spanish look the same as statements, but I thought it was different in French.


"Is this horse costly" is not accepted. Am I missing something?


In English "expensive" will usually mean - expensive to buy.

"Costly" will usually mean expensive to keep - the food and equipment for the horse costs a lot.


Same in French with "coûteux" for costly, but we tend to switch them or complement the statement with details: cher/coûteux/onéreux à l'entretien, à l'usage...


Thanks I'll add it to my list of helpful Sitesurf comments - it's getting to be a pretty long list. In fact you should collect them together and publish - it would be a best seller (or have you done that already)


Sitesurf did you read my frustrated letter to you? Re: my golden dots and arrows disappearing over night? My ratings can never be "all golden" I am a little disappointed at this. My goal is All golden, Any help


I need your help sitesurf, marion mehrtash


I am sorry, but I do not have any control over the system, only on (most of) the course content.


There is some studied estimation of when we need to repeat exercises...an formula of some sort, I think. Maybe it keeps track of how often we use a word. If you practice a lot daily the selections Duo picks, fewer change colors. But if you need to work on what you know you need to work on, we have to put up with it tho over time I learned it is necessary. i slowed down on frenchto learn spanish and the french details and vocab on the little rules and words slipped out of my head...tho renewing is something we have to do most of us.


I thought it is "son cheval est cher"?


That would be 'his horse is expensive' rather than 'this.' ...unless you are referring to the audio not being clear to you, with which I disagree, but you can report it if you feel it's wrong. :)


The audio clarity is my only beef with this program. His horse? This horse? Argh.


Try "ce" and "son" side by side on Google/Translate, you'll hear the difference.


Is there any difference in 'sont' and 'son' for pronunciation?


no difference, except when sont is in front of a word stating with a vowel: sont-ils = SON-T-IL


Just like 'connaît-il' for asking 'Does he know'?


Merci. On Google Translate it is clear, and I know the difference in the sounds everywhere else, but I have been having difficulty with the recording quality of your audio. Entier sounds like "en-pee-aye"...and I find I must listen over and over again on some examples. It doesn't matter if I am on my iPad of Mac. I'm just rolling with it.


It will happen quite often that you don't hear the robot voice well enough. My suggestion is (on Mac) that you open another window or tab and keep Google/Translate ready whenever you need it.


Great idea! Thank you.


Can it be "est-ce que cheval est cher?



We can use the "est-ce que" form of question in this case but we have to note that we are referring to "this" horse.

So it would be "est-ce que ce cheval est cher ?"


I heard "Ses cheval est chère?" - can anyone tell me what I did wrong?



You have written the words as you heard them - but if we look at your suggestion we can see that it can't be correct.

When listening we have to think about the sentence as a whole - it will not always be possible to know what each word in isolation is. So ask if what you think you hear makes sense.

Consider your example. If the given sentence had started with "ses" then the next word would have to be plural as "ses" is a possessive adjective used with plural nouns. That would give "ses chevaux" - but we can clearly hear that the word "cheveux" does not appear in the spoken sentence. So we know that the sentence can not begin with "ses".

Also as "cheval" is masculine we should have "cher" not "chére".

So given that "ses cheval est chère" can not possibility exist we can then work out what it should be.


The pronounciation of "est" sounds weird to me, the e sounds more like the e in les than the e in est.


I agree, but unfortunately, the sole sound "est" does not exist in the database and I don't think a re-recording is for tomorrow.


I got this question wrong, and the banner thing said the correct answer was "This that horse is expensive"


I fixed that, thank you.


Why is 'The horse is dear' not accepted?


"Is this an expensive horse?" was deemed incorrect. Wow.


According to how I was taught French some time ago (by a native French person), this question could be asked in two ways, and this isn't one of them. 1) Ce cheval, est-il cher? or 2) Est-ce que ce cheval est cher? --- After writing this, I just scanned down the discussion line and see others have also thought this. Glad to know these two are still correct.


There are at least 5 ways to translate this question, actually:

  • Formal: Ce cheval est-il cher ? (no comma)
  • Standard: Est-ce que ce cheval est cher ?
  • Informal: Ce cheval est cher ?
  • Emphatic spoken French: Ce cheval, il est cher ? or Il est cher, ce cheval ? (with commas)
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