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  5. "The husband had fallen silen…

"The husband had fallen silent."

Translation:Le mari s'était tu.

December 13, 2017



I used "tombé" instead of "resté". Can I assume that "tombé" refers to a motion of falling rather than a state of being?


I would guess that the program has given you the suitable avoir past particple as the answer above uses the imparfait for s'être.

As to your question, I would say yes as shown by tomber's many usages in Larousse here though many of them are figurative such as:
tomber amoureux → "to fall in love"
tomber enceinte → "to fall pregnant"
tomber mal → "to fall sick"

The one thing these expressions have in common is tomber is used in the sense "to become".


Indeed, tomber refers more to the physical of act falling, but as ripcurlgirl said, it can be used figuratively. However, not in this sentence. Its figurative use is restricted and you should learn them as idioms, anyway else, stick with tomber = to fall (literally).


Merci de la confirmation, Amine.


Not being a native speaker of English, I thought for a second that the meaning of "to fall silent" is to die.


Me too, ha, ha, ha


Miexux vaut qu'il se soit tu, qu'il se soit fait tué.


Upon getting this exercise wrong, Duolingo suggested "Le mari était resté silencieux" as a correct alternative. But I would think that "Le mari était resté silencieux" would translate inEnglish as "The husband had stayed quiet." The latte does not have not the same meaning as "The husband has fallen silent." Also, is "Le mari s'etait devenu silencieux" a possible correct answer?


According to Larousse, to fall silent = se taire.


Also from WordRef:


I did find a reference to "Le mari était resté silencieux" by ckecking "Je suis resté silencieux" on Reverso:


See the first result under "other".


Thanks. So it seems that the Duolingo suggestion of "Le mari était resté silencieux" is incorrect?


It is incorrect, yes, and I just removed all other translations with the same meaning.

"Se taire" is difficult to translate in isolation because has 2 meanings:

  • to keep/remain silent = se taire, être silencieux, rester silencieux (ne rien dire, ne pas parler): this is a state
  • to fall/become silent = se taire, devenir silencieux, ne plus parler, ne plus rien dire, arrêter de parler: this is an action

The original sentence had "le mari s'était tu" and we picked "the husband had fallen silent" as the preferred translation, and this is the reverse exercise where the preferred English translation has to be back-translated to French again.

There are other French sentences in this lesson, where "se taire" is best translated to "keep/remain silent" and then the reverse translation falls back on "rester silencieux/garder le silence".


No, not incorrect, just in a different tense - plus-que-parfait (pluperfect), which is the lesson to which this sentence is likely to belong.

After going through the lesson, I can see no other examples of its usage nor was it accepted on similar sentences so I don't know if it is correct or not.


I the lexion earlier "tue" killed "tu" you


I am stil confused. Did the husband die or was I the husband--sleeping or not speaking 'Le mari s' etait tu' translates in google "the husband was you"


"The husband was you" = Le mari, c'était toi (stressed pronoun).

"tu" as a pronoun can only be used as a single subject of a verb conjugated in 2nd person singular.

"tuer" (to kill) does not have any form in "tu": the husband had taken his life = le mari s'était tué

"tu" as a past participle comes from the verb "(se) taire" which means "to remain silent" or "to stop talking".


Even Google Translate, which is notoriously unreliable, gives
"Le mari s'etait tu" as "The husband was silent". See here


Le mari était devenu silencieux. The correct translation literally translates into " the husband had become fallen silent" which of course does not make sense in English , could somebody please explain why we need "devenu" when silencieux translates into fallen silent?


"To fall silent" and "to become silent" are synonymous. Both mean that the husband stopped talking: the husband had fallen silent OR the husband had become silent.

In French, "devenir silencieux" and "se taire" are synonymous in this exercise: le mari était devenu silencieux OR le mari s'était tu.


Thanks my doubt about using ' tomber' has /had been already answered!

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