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"Pourquoi aimes-tu les poissons ?"

Translation:Why do you like the fish?

March 20, 2013

83 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zesty_Crunch

I dream of living in a world where I can go to France and enjoy some fish without being questioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

Why not "le poisson"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"aimes-tu les poissons ?" is about liking to look at them swimming in a lovely aquarium. "aimes-tu le poisson ?" is about liking to eat some.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mascpassos

Still doesn't make sense to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/koshermal

Liking one fish or liking fish in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LovingLinguist

Think of it as "I like all the fish" so you have to use the plural. It appears trickier than it is here because of the one fish two fish thing. J'aime les oranges = I like oranges :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

I imagine that would apply to seeing them in a stream or whatever as well.

I wonder if I will remember that distinction a year from now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randonneur3

Fisher-folk say 'fishes' for different species collectively, in contemporary English. My Collins-le Robert didn't cover it, but Google does. So I offered 'Why do you like the fishes?' to check whether DL is up with this possibility. Sadly not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redseadragon

It is probably about snorkeling or diving in the ocean and someone asks, "Why do you like the fish?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruziskey2283

There are also words in English that work like this where the uncountable and countable versions of the word are the same, except when you are referring to different types of them, in which case the plural has a new form. Think of the word "fruit". "I really like to eat fruit" (implying plural), but "I only like to eat specific types of fruits" (still plural, but this time it has an 's' since I am referencing different types of fruits).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moustachean

I made this mistake, as well. How does one aurally tell the difference between "le" and "les"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2274

"Le" and "les" sound completely different. Plug them in at Google Translate and listen to the playback.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaim9

why isnt it: pourqoui tu aimes les poissons? does someone know? french is wierd so wierd


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bluidk34

there are 3 ways to ask questions. the way you mentioned doesn't exist.

  1. 'est-ce que' this is when you use est-ce que to ask a question. when using a question word (quand, quel, ect.) you place it in front. this type is generally inbetween informal and formal. ex. est-ce que tu danse?

  2. 'inversion' this is when you which the pronoun and the conjugated verb around and add a hyphen. when using a question word you place it in front. it is quite formal. ex. danse-tu?

  3. 'intonation' this is when you raise your voice at the end to indicate it is a question. when using a question word place it at the end. this is quite informal. ex. tu danse?

these all mean the same thing: do you dance?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blaze95x

I'm a bit confused..Why not des poissons? Apart from `some fishes' it also can be used here like for fish in general right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Verbs expressing likes and dislikes naturally use definite article to determine their direct objects.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielThom615857

I always remember Pourquoi means why from the Mika song 'Elle Me Dit', the line in the chorus is 'Pourquoi tu gâches ta vie?' which is, 'Why are you wasting your life?'

Songs can be really helpful for learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiHWwKC8WjU


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CHUBBZ2

I thought the verb "aimer" meant "to love"...a question ago, it used the same word for "love"..."like and love" are similar enough to both be counted correct, aren't they? esp when "aimer" does mean "to love" unless it's paired with "bien" and then it means to "like"...at least I thought...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You have to fully understand the differences in usage between "aimer", "aimer bien" and "adorer", so that when you use them, you don't embarrass anybody (yourself included) with feelings you may not really mean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FionaRoberton

Could you give examples of the three, please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antlane

je l'aime beaucoup I'm very fond of him

je l'aime bien I like him

Leia mais em http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/aimer/1925#9tjLhP6AeyDA6D5s.99

elle adore les roses/lire/qu'on lui écrive she loves roses/to Leia mais em http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/adorer/1170#c6QujRSmf2yqRdk2.99


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PoodlingInParis

I don't get why it's aimes-tu instead of tu aimes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ami.mehta1215

Tu aimes = you like... Aimes-tu = do you like...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The Verb-Subject inversion is the form used in formal questions (confirmed by the question mark at the end of the sentence).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chloe73692

So could it also be said: Pourquoi est-ce que tu aimes les poissons?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

This is the way some French people would ask this question, but in proper French, you should not use 2 interrogative words/phrases to start a question.

Informally, you can still avoid the inversion: "pourquoi tu aimes les poissons ?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andres.f_Estrada

Why I Can't use the fishes=Les poissons? if both are plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miss_pronounced

Fishes relates to species of fish. If you say 'I had two fish in the restaurant' you'd say you had two individual no-matter-whats, but if you said' two fishes' you'd mean two different kinds of fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacquifm

Wny the hyphen between aimes-tu? Is it necessary? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, the hyphen is required in Verb-Subject pronoun inversions that are used in formal questions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5clothilde7

Jaquifm, If you haven't studied a foreign language before, you may find the notes that Duo has provided very helpful in getting your bearings. After each answer, you get a screen that has a link you can click.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ami.mehta1215

Why is it "les poissons" = fish, but "les legumes" = the vegetables? For the vegetables question I wrote "As-tu les legumes" and Duolingo said I should have used "des." I guess my question is in which situations am I supposed to use "des" instead of "les" and vicr versa?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The right choice in terms of articles depends on the meaning.

  • as-tu le(s) poisson(s) ? inquires about specific fish = do you have the fish?
  • aimes-tu les poissons ? inquires about your liking of fish in general = do you like fish?
  • cuisines-tu du poisson ? inquires about an undefined quantity of fish = are you cooking (some) fish?

In other words, when the French sentence has a definite article, the English translation can be:

  • "the" if the object is specific
  • no article if the object is generalized or a category

Besides, "des" is the plural indefinite article that English does not have:

  • un poisson (singular) - des poissons (plural)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maxballs

Qu'est un moderator


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Moderators are chosen by Duo to help to keep the forums helpful and safe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phrontistery

Salut, Sitesurf. I'm grateful for the moderators, such as you, who have the skill and patience to answer our questions. I often get the answers to MY questions by reading the moderators' responses in these discussions. Merci.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilvaAnajulia

I only put the word "Why!!!" at the endand it came up as wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2274

Because it is not natural English to put "why" at the end of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anchit8

Why is aimes before tu?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In French, you basically have 3 ways to ask a question:

  • formal: aimes-tu les poissons ?: with a Verb-Subject inversion (mostly in writing)
  • standard: est-ce que tu aimes les poissons ? "est-ce que" introduces the question itself in a statement form
  • relaxed/in speech: tu aimes les poissons ? simple statement with a question mark at the end and voice raising with the last syllable.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ApoorvaDikshit

there seems to be some error here. its "les poissons" , it is pluriel. It should translate into "the fishes".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

No, it usually doesn't. As you can see from an earlier comment here (please read the other comments before posting your own), the English plural of fish is either fish or fishes. Fishes tends to be used only when referring to multiple species of fish; fish is by far the more common plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheAllRoun

Why is there a hyphen between aimes and tu?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Hyphens are mandatory in the formal Verb-Subject inversions . The automated checker considers a lack thereof as a mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SorinTipa

"Les poissons" is plural so my answer should have been accepted: "Why do you like the fishes?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanBarrett

Surely 'les poissons' is plural - 'le poisson' would be singular?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf
  • j'aime le poisson = I like to eat fish
  • j'aime les poissons = I like to watch fish(es)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Priya666933

Poissons is plural then why it is translated as fish?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frenchlearner53

The plural form of "fish" in English is also "fish", except on a few occasions when it can be "fishes". But you're much more likely to hear "fish" nowadays.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

English speakers almost always use fish for the plural of fish. When they use fishes it is generally to refer to groups of fish such as different species or some other context.

Directly translating the custom of using the plural of fish in French to English would be misleading for English speakers although it would be grammatically correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dahlia102900

Do you only do the verb inversion thing (aimes-tu) with questions?


[deactivated user]

    But why is it "poissons" not "poisson"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    Since "un/le poisson, des/les poissons" is a countable noun, you need to clarify if you like to eat or to watch fish:

    • j'aime le poisson = on my plate
    • j'aime les poissons = in my aquarium

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sonny689039

    I thought "les poissons" is plural form because poissons ends with an "s". So i wrote "Why do you like the fishes?". But Duolingo's correct answer is "Why do you like the fish". Now i'm confused. Appreciate any clarification on this, thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IrishBuico

    "Poissons" with "s" why is it fish?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeffernand1

    Doesn't 'le poissons' mean 'the fishes'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    No, "fish" in English can be singular or plural.

    In French, it is a regular noun with singular and plural alternative versions:

    -"un/le poisson" and "des/les poissons".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karavitip

    "les poissons" isn't plural? why "the fishes" is wrong and single tense must be used?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carriethom7

    Why is aime sometimes love and sometimes like? And how do i know which to choose?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Redsparrow7

    I thought "les poissons" would mean "the fishes" plural fish and "le poisson" would mean "the fish" singular fish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TamarBen-M

    Why is the verb before the noun? Why is it aimes-tu and not tu aimes?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    The Verb-Subject pronoun inversion is used in formal questions. Please read the rest of the thread to get more details.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cat.popescu

    ok litraly why do we have to put a ? at the end of every sentence?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    The sign "?" is a question mark.

    Therefore, it is used to indicate that the sentence is a question.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EDK-Learner

    I thought the verb "aimer" also meant "to love", e.g. je t'aime is I love you. So, why isn't "why do you love the fish?" not accepted? Maybe the fish are pets!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Briggall

    'Why do you like the fishes?' is acceptable in British English if you are talking about different species of fish, or just fish(es) swimming about in a lake. For the food, 'fish' is correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JingYiXie1

    "les poissons" is plural! It should be "the fishes"!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/priyasingh349760

    les poissons means the fishes as it is plural but the answer states that les poissons as the fish. kindly tell me the mistake


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noranora370707

    the translation "why do you like the fishes" is also right in my opinion. It depends in what situation .... If I ask a person why do you like the sharks you cannot ask why do you like shark


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamie259424

    Les is for plural and s on the end of poissons would indicate more than one


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MistRain2P

    isn't the "les poisson" plural?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ldia763987

    why doesn't it accept "why do you like the fishes?" ??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeenRoz1

    poissons is plural, so why fish not fishes in the correction?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antlane

    The plural of fish is usually fish, but fishes has a few uses. In biology, for instance, fishes is used to refer to multiple species of fish. For example, if you say you saw four fish when scuba diving, that means you saw four individual fish, but if you say you saw four fishes, we might infer that you saw an undetermined number of fish of four different species. http://grammarist.com/usage/fish-fishes/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EAVOLAR

    In conversational french, is it ok to say "pourquoi tu aimes les poissons?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TennilleS

    I missed tge hyphen at 'Aimes-tu' and got punished. :-(


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yuri353531

    I find the female voice much harder to make out the words than the male one. She sounds as if she's too close to the microphone.

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