"Could I have an alcohol-free beer please?"
Translation:Pourrais-je avoir une bière sans alcool, s'il vous plaît ?
I was taught never to construct first-person questions with "je" after the verb, as in "pourrais-je" here, and always to use "est-ce que je." Is that incorrect? Is that a formality that isn't really observed?
The subject-verb inversion with je is totally correct (and more formal). However, as it's sometimes too inaudible (Mange-je... ?) or too unusual (Dors-je... ?), we prefer using Est-ce que... which is always correct. Just keep in mind that when you use the Conditionnel, it's always possible and not unusual (Pourrais-je? - Irais-je? - *Ferrais-je?).
As you are using a level of politeness here, I believe the formality of the inversion is appropriate in this instance.
It's all a question of audibility. Highly avoid subject-verb inversion when the verb does not ends by an open syllable, even if this is syntactically correct we never use it. Some examples:
- Pourrais-je avoir le sel ? [ɛ]
- Puis-je passer ? [i]
- Est-ce que je mange de la viande ? [ʒ] (weird... for the example)
- Est-ce que je dors encore ? [ʁ]
- Dormirai-je encore demain ? [ɛ]
- Suis-je le prochain ? [i]
- Qu'ouïe-je ? [i] (really old-style, just for fun)
And, as stated by AmineHadji1, the Est-ce que... is always correct, and often more common (the subject-verb inversion can feel a bit upper-ish class).
Is « Est-ce que je pourrais avoir une bière sans alcool s’il vous plait? » incorrect? Duolingo said it was wrong and corrected to « Pourrais-je..... »
Pourrais-je and Puis-je are formal ways of requesting items, for instance, in a restaurant. My friends delight to wax formal at times with other first person interrogatives. "Que dis-je...". Verbs in the second conjugation that end with the sound [i] sound mischievously correct...Que bâtis-je....parbleu...je n'ose le dire...
Is "Est-ce que je pourrais avoir une..." wrong? It was marked wrong for me on 21 Dec. 2017.
I was marked as wrong using est-ce que instead of inverting. That is incorrect; either is acceptable.
This seems to be an exception to everything I have learned (but more and more that is not surprising ) . I tried Pourrais-j'avoir but that was incorrect . I was feeling pretty good until I got the clank . Why is it je avoir and not j'avoir ?
It is because elision does not occur with the subject pronoun je when it is inverted.
Elision (the omission of a sound or syllable when speaking) usually occurs when a vowel appears at the end of a word and the following word starts with a vowel. In such cases you join the two words together by dropping the final vowel of the first word. French orthography marks elision by replacing the vowel with an apostrophe and combining the words.
qu’allez-vous faire? What are you going to do?
The main rules governing elision are:
• the letters a and e in the following words (le, la, ce, je, me, te, se, de, ne, que, jusque) are dropped when the word that follows them begins with a vowel or silent h.
• elision only occurs with je and ce when they proceed their associated conjugated verb so does not occur with inversion
Ai-je imaginé ? - Did I imagine?
Est-ce utile ? - Is that useful?
Thank you for this information. I have never seen this before, but I will try to remember it.
Can anyone suggest a reason why; "est-ce que je pourrais avoir une bière sans l'alcool s'il vous plaît" is marked as incorrect.? Is it because of the use of "sans l'alcool" instead of "sans alcool" and if so what are the rules here?
The only mistake is the use of sans l'alcool instead of sans alcool.
The names following the preposition sans never use any article:
- Je prends mon café sans sucre.
- Une seule chose est interdite : aimer sans amour. (lyrics from Guts)
The same rule applies for the preposition avec, but only for abstract names:
- Aujourd'hui, je prendrai mon café avec du sucre.
- Il a été élevé avec amour.
« Est-ce que je pourrais avoir une bière sans alcool s'il vous plaît? » marked wrong... very frustrating.
duo often only accepts one translation. When translating there are usually several translations, but it seems difficult to get Duo to accept them
Je pourrais avoir une bière sans alcool, s'il vous plaît? was called wrong. Someone has to look into this!
pourrais-je avoir.. that can't be right there should be an elision surely?
I said, "Je pourrais avoir une biere sans alcool, s'il vous plait?", which was not accepted. It is my understanding that a declarative sentence in French, followed by a question mark (implying an upward vocal inflection) may also be used to form an interrogative sentence.
I feel that a sentence of this politeness would require Est-ce que ... to precede je pourrais ....
Regarding politeness - do you know if using "Pourrais-je" is sufficiently polite on its own to make "s'il vous plaít" redundant?
'Je voudrais' instead of pourrais-je is much more normal. There are numerous ways to ask for something. Duo is much too rigid is what it accepts as a translation of this sentence