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  5. "She gave me a lot to eat."

"She gave me a lot to eat."

Translation:Elle m'a donné beaucoup à manger.

March 21, 2013



This is not related to the past tense, but are there any hard and fast rules on when to use "de" or "a" for the English word "to?" I'm still periodically getting these wrong.


This isn't the hard and fast rule you were looking for, and I don't think you'll find one since the word "to" itself is used in many ways, but "beaucoup de [choses]" means "a lot of [things]" while "beaucoup à [+ infinitive]" means "a lot to [infinitive]. E.g. "beaucoup à faire" -> "a lot to do"; "beaucoup à dire" -> "a lot to say"


that helps a lot... thanks. I was wondering myself since manger means to eat, so it seems to me a bit redundant.


Adverbs of quantity such as: beaucoup, assez, moins, etc. are often followed by de + noun. However, if a verb follows the quantity then you use à


Il y a beaucoup de problèmes - There are a lot of problems.

Je n'ai rien à faire aujourd'hui - I have nothing to do today

J'ai beaucoup à faire. - I have a lot to do

and note that beaucoup à can occur in sentences such as:

J’aime les monuments. Il y en a beaucoup à Paris - I like monuments. There are lots of them in Paris.


Seems to depend on the verb also, good to learn them in context. Some (Ecouter?) don't seem to need 'to' after them at all.


This is driving me insane@@!!!!! When does the participle agree - and with what? I would have thought that here, SHE gave so; Elle a donnée??? But no, it is Elle m'a donné But in another sentence it was La pomme qu'IL m'a donnée, but neither Il nor me is definitely feminine. Other past participles don't seem to agree at all.


The participle must agree with the subject when the auxiliary verb is être. It does not (normally) agree when avoir is the auxiliary....except when the direct object precedes the conjugated verb. In the sentence, "elle m'a donné beaucoup à manger", avoir is the auxiliary verb and the direct object is AFTER the verb (so no agreement). In the phrase, "La pomme qu'il m'a donnée", la pomme (fem) is the direct object and it is BEFORE the conjugated verb so the past participle must agree (fem: donnée). Here's another example: J'ai acheté la voiture = I bought the car. Je l'ai achetée = I bought it (i.e., la voiture, feminine) so the past participle must agree with the feminine object preceding the conjugated verb, represented by "l". Hope this helps.


Very helpful thanks. This has been plaguing me, and many others, I'm sure.


Here donné was marked correct and it didn't agree with the feminine elle. In two other cases an agreement in gender was in the correct translation.


Edit: That was the wrong answer, because "m' " is NOT the direct object, it is the indirect object!

So, the direct object doesn't appear before the auxiliary verb, because there isn't one!


When the auxiliary verb "avoir" is used, the participle needs to match the gender of the direct object ( m' in this case ) if it appears before the auxiliary verb.

So, in this case we don't know the gender of " m' " so both donné and donnée should be acceptable.


Yes there is a direct object: "beaucoup à manger".


But is that feminine or masculine? Because 'donnée' was marked wrong in my answer.


It does not matter, since the direct object is placed after the verb (beaucoup à manger).

The auxiliary is "avoir", so the past participle agrees exclusively with the direct object if the latter is placed in front of the verb.

"m' " is the indirect object: donner quelque chose à quelqu'un

Bottom line: the past participle remains masculine singular by default.


Thanks a lot! Explains a lot of other things too.


In English both the simple past, (in this case) "gave" and the composite "has given" are both common. Is the French simple past, "donna" commonly used or is it not part of common conversation?


"donna" is our simple past (passé simple) and it is not used by Duolingo, because it is not used in contemporary French (or only in formal writing).


When I saw this sentence I immediately put "Elle m'a donné beaucoup de choses à manger.", I can't for the life of me determine why this does not translate to "She gave me a lot to eat."! Does someone know why this is wrong here?


"She gave me a lot to eat" is accepted.


Yes, but "Elle m'a donné beaucoup de choses à manger." was not.


Yes, I got your email, that was quick, thank you!


Since I am a woman, I could use donee, yes? (sorry don't know how to make it accent aigu.)


m' is the indirect object: donné à moi. So, the past participle does not agree with m'


It is not correct to use donnée in this sentence. To understand why you need to be aware of the following two points:

Point 1
the verb donner is one of the few French verbs that takes an indirect object pronoun

Point 2
The participle must agree with the subject when the auxiliary verb is être. It does not (normally) agree when avoir is the auxiliary except when the direct object precedes the conjugated verb.

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