"We gave back the sandwiches."

Translation:Nous avons rendu les sandwichs.

March 8, 2018

This discussion is locked.


I put 'Nous avons rendus les sandwichs'. Why is that wrong! Why do i have to turn it round and make it more complicated?


It's wrong because your past participle has plural agreement even though the direct object, in your sentence, follows the compound verb which should be avons rendu. Otherwise, it should be okay.


I answered, "Nous avons rendu les sandwiches." and it was corrected as, "Les sandwichs, nous les avons rendus." Are not both correct?


"Nous avons rendu les sandwichs" was also marked wrong. Why?


"Nous avons rendu les sandwichs" was also marked wrong. Why? I'm not a linguist and don't understand your response.


Apparently it is linguistically correct, but not the most common way the French would say it.

I suspect it is another example of their desire to "introduce" something before then referring to it by/with a pronoun.

So, they first say the thing: "Les sandwichs, " Then they say a sentence where it is referenced: "nous les avons rendus".

Notice that said the direct say where "Nous avons rendu" comes first, that the "rendu" has no 's' at the end.

But, in the more French way, the thing(s) has (have) been mentioned, so the "rendu" requires an 's' to agree in gender and number.

"Les sandwichs, nous les avons rendus."


Neither am I but the post by Sitesurf that I quoted above is clearly understandable by a non-linguist.


For me it was comprehensible, but leaves me wondering in what sorts of situations this sentence construction is used in French. I'm not sure when to translate a sentence like this and when to translate it in a more Englishey way.


This figure of speech is called "emphasis by extraction", where either the subject or the object are said upfront, "extracted" from their natural place, then repeated with a matching pronoun.

In "l'Etat, c'est moi", you can see that "l'Etat" is the emphasized word. Without this emphasis, Louis XIV could have said "Je suis l'Etat" (I am the state), where "l'Etat" is a descriptor of the subject "je". The pronoun used to refer to "l'Etat" is "c'."

He could also have extracted the subject "je", which then would have become as a stressed pronoun starting the sentence: "Moi, je suis l'Etat".

In "les sandwichs, nous les avons rendus", the emphasis is on the object "sandwichs" and the pronoun is "les". Without the emphasis, the sentence would read: "nous avons rendu les sandwichs".


There was a glitch in the system, now repaired. Sorry for the mishap. Thanks.


Yes, but the ultimate issue here is that, when translating from English, "Nous avons rendu les sandwichs" is being dinged as incorrect, with the emphatic form of the sentence being given as the only acceptable response. Clearly, Duolingo is incorrect in only allowing one arrangement for the sentence (and I have reported it).

That said, thank you for this clarification.


The quote refers to subject nouns - e.g., "L'├ętat, c'est moi." In this example, though, "les sandwichs" is the object noun. There's no particular reason that the object should come at the beginning of the sentence, otherwise the past participle ("rendu") would always have to agree with the object. This course is full of examples where the object comes after the verb, though, and basic word order in French tends to be subject-verb-object.


''on a rendus les sandwichs'' seems right to me, but not to DL...?


Once again because your past participle has plural agreement even though the direct object, in your sentence, follows the compound verb which should be a rendu.


If "nous avons rendu les sandwichs" is wrong, then the explanation is unsatisfactory and should explain why the sentence needs to be reversed.

I think this is crediting duolingo with a level of subtlety that it just does not have, however ...


Well, the post I quoted above did explain the reversal. It was made by Sitesurf, a French native-speaker, who is trying to advise learners of the natural manner in which the French would say this sentence. Personally, I find this information very useful.


Hi kim thanks for your explanation but i still do not fully understand :( does it mean that in order to have plural od we need a participle in singular? Or that we can never have a plural od in such sentence structure? :(


No. If the French tend to use the emphatic construction with "subject noun - comma - repetition of the subject as a pronoun - verb ..." it means that the compound verb now refers back to the DO so requires agreement.

FR "Les sandwichs. nous les avons rendus
EN "The sandwiches, we gave them back"


Why can't you wtite nous avons renus les sandwich?? Isn't that exactly the same as les sanwichs...??


Can I say: Nous les avons rendus, les sandwichs ?


Yes, you can, in real life conversations, no problem.


This is slightly similar to a construction found in English from parts of Ireland and Scotland which would be "See the sandwiches? I gave them back". Whether the sandwiches are actually visible or not.


Why "rondu" and not "rondus"?


Why is 'rendu' NOT plural please? WE is plural and SANDWICHES is plural.


The past participle agrees with the direct object when the direct object is placed before the auxiliary "avoir".


I suspect - despite this feast of elucidation - that Mme.Hyatt's answer was rejected because she spelled 'sandwichs' as 'sandwiches'.


Both spellings are accepted.


Can you give us an idea as to which is more common - or are do they occur with roughly the same frequency?


People with a fair command of English will tend to use "sandwiches" and the others "sandwichs". I have no personal statistics as to which spelling is more frequent.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.