"J'écris une lettre."
Translation:I am writing a letter.
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You found the button to "discuss the sentence", so you will find the "report a problem" button, which is just next to it on the left side. Then you will be proposed a drop-down menu to specify what your problem relates to and you will also have a box where you can explain exactly what the issue is, or propose an improvement, etc.
It is the correct usage, to mark the liaison. Educate people include liaisons when they speak, less educate people make spelling mistakes and skip liaison (but not all, because some sentences are hard to understand or to pronounce without liaisons). And in some cases, even educate people forget to mark the liaison, as anybody can make spelling or grammar mistakes.
But don't get in the habit of using 'en train de' every time you want to translate a progressive sentence (I am (verb)ing) into French. 'En train de' is emphatic. Usually it's unnecessary. Personally I save it for when I want to express an equivalently emphatic idea from English.
For example, to say "I work" or "I'm working," I would say simply "Je travaille." To say angrily "I'm working!" or "I'm in the middle of working" or "I'm working right now," I would say "Je suis en train de travailler."
You are shown new nouns one after another and you have to practice them with determiners as they come.
So, you have to learn "une pomme" and "une lettre", as if they were one word, and not only "pomme" or "lettre". Otherwise, you will not remember the gender next time you come across these words.
There are 2 main sets of articles:
- definite articles: le (masc), la (fem), les (plural) = "the"
"le" and "la" are changed to "l' " whenever the following word starts with a vowel sound.
- indefinite articles: un (masc), une (fem), des (plural) = "a/an" in singular (in plural: no article or "some").
Letters and sounds at the end of French verbs can change depending on the sentence's subject. Here, the subject 'je' means you must use ecrire's first person singular form, ecris. If the subject were 'Elle', then the verb would change to 'ecrit'. This phenomenon is known as inflection, which also happens with English verbs. For instance, "I write" and "she writes". But, as you're discovering, inflection in French happens far more in French than English. It's one of French's bigger challenges for English speakers. --- I recommend not worrying about this detail too much yet. You're still working on introductory French, and there will be exercises later devoted specifically to verb inflection and conjugation.
There are patterns common to groups of verbs:
- 1st group verbs have an infinitive in -er (like "manger"). The endings in indicative present are always the same.
- 2nd group verbs have an infinitive in -ir and 1st person plural in -issons (like "finir"). Again all endings are similar.
- 3rd group verbs are all the others, sub-divided in several categories.
What you can do, until they all get printed in your mind, is to hover on French verbs contained in the sentences you have to translate to English, and click on "conjugate" at the bottom of the little window.
Please take a look at thisl: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/Introduction-To-French-Verbs.htm
On many tablets or phones, you can access the accents from the touchscreen keyboard. Tap and hold down a letter for a second - a menu will pop up and display all the accent options for that letter. Then tap the accent that you want. For example, on my android tablet when I tap and hold the 'e' key - ë, é, 3, è, ê, and ē display as options.
je suis écris = I am write, so you can see by yourself that this is wrong.
I am writing uses auxiliary "to be" + gerund to mean a continuous, progressive action.
This tense does not exist in French.
Therefore: I am writing = "j'écris" (simple past) or "je suis en train d'écrire" (meaning that I am in the process of writing right now).