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  5. "Mange-t-il des légumes ?"

"Mange-t-il des légumes ?"

Translation:Is he eating vegetables?

March 27, 2018

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa251502

I got the audio question. Why could it not be mangent-ils? Doesn't that sound the same? Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

The two sentences sound identical. I have added the plural version to the list of homophones and it will be accepted for "type what you hear" exercises once staff gets around to acting on it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Papy240067

"MANGE-T-IL des légumes ( singular") and "MANGENT-ILS des légumes (plural)", the prononciation of those two sentences is strictly the same in french ! So, the two translations are correct .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

I tried to report this error, but Duo has disabled reporting for this kind of mistake. We can only hope a moderator reads this thread and makes the necessary change.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/musik102

Surely this can be translated as " Does he eat some vegetables?" but the programme marks that as incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

Notes that "des" (here) is the plural of "une". Some have the idea that "des" is "some", but that is not always the case. There is no counterpart for the plural indefinite article (a/an) in English. So by inserting "some", you are invoking a different meaning of the word. The "some" implied in your sentence is almost always ignored in English. https://www.thoughtco.com/du-de-la-des-1368977


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

I typed "any vegetables", and it was wrong as well...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

Because it is not "any vegetables". "Des légumes" = vegetables, where "des" is the plural of "une". There is no corresponding word in English for this.


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

OK. So how would one say "Does he eat any vegetables?" or "Is he eating any vegetables"?


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

Oh, then you could report it.....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Duo has disabled reporting that kind of error on this exercise.


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

Would the feminine be "mange-t-elle"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisFarrell1

Why can't I say "Is he eating some vegetables?" ? Surely it's translated the same way.


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

I thought the same as you, but in English there is a difference between Does he eat vegetables? (habitually, usually) and Is he eating vegetables? (now, at the moment). The French sentence could mean either, of course, and without context Duo should accept either. You should report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Because the English is almost always "Is he eating any vegetables?"

But Duo might not accept that either, based on other comments. It's correct, though, to use "any" where it's des légumes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelLe3139

Not sure why Duo doesn't accept "Does it eat vegetables?" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Inanimate things cannot eat vegetables. An odd context, where you're talking about an animal of unknown gender, then OK, but in general you'd want to translate il as "he".


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

where you're talking about an animal of unknown gender

The gender of a particular animal could well be known by the speaker who, therefore, uses "il" intentionally.
In such a case, in English, the speaker might use "he" or "it" depending on their own preferred usage when referring to an animal.


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

in "mange-t-il", what does the t mean?


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

It means absolutely nothing - it is there for the sake of euphony only. Mange-il is thought to sound awkward as there would be a forced liaison - sounding like "mon jil". Mange-t-il is a far clearer and more pleasant sound.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuisCossio13

It means that is sounds good.

From greek roots eu-phonos eu: good, well phonos: sound


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

Wouldn't it be, "Does he eat some vegetables"? You have the des in there because he ate some vegetables not all of the vegetables in the world. In this case I feel like it would be Mange-t-il l'legumes? I could be wrong but I wasn't sure this was right.


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

You can't say "l'légumes" as you are using the singular definite article with a plural noun → it would need to be "les légumes". This question would be asking if he eats "those specific" vegetables.

Remember, des is the plural of un / une → the indefinite articles. So this question is just enquiring if he eats vegetables in general. The inclusion of the word des is necessary in the French sentence but its translation (as "some") is superfluous in the English sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

Don't get into the habit of using "some" for "des". It is only the plural form of "une". There is no corresponding word in English for it. While "some" may occasionally work, it is almost always ignored in English. It does not mean "some of them" or "a portion of them". It only refers to an undetermined amount. See here: https://www.thoughtco.com/du-de-la-des-1368977


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PrachiRai2

Can somebody tell me why is mange is front?


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

One method pf creating a question is to invert the subject-verb order. In English, we can see this in: It's brown/Is it brown? In French, we can see this in: Il mange des légumes/Mange-t-il des légumes? (The "t" in the French question is simply to make it sound better. It doesn't have real meaning.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/y0rkshire

Impossible to distinguish singular from plural from the audio


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

To determine plurals, listen to the article preceding the noun. "Des" is the plural of "une/un". So "des légumes" = vegetables (plural).


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

I translated it into “he eats vegetables?” And got it wrong, any reason why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

It should be a question. It should be written in the standard form of a question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkMcDonn3

Why is "des" used here to indicate generality instead of "les"?

My understanding is that French uses "tge" definitive article when indicating a generality.

i.e. the question being asked is if the person eats vegetables, not whether they eat some vegetables.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkMcDonn3

Urgh, typo...

I meant to type "the" not "tge"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2219

"Des" does not indicate generality. It is the plural form of "un/une". There is no counterpart for that in English. While some people feel they need to have an English word to put there and use "some", it is almost always ignored in English. I.e., "des légumes" = vegetables. https://www.thoughtco.com/du-de-la-des-1368977


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam299257

Why is the "t" in there at all?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Papy240067

Hello Liam299257, we have , here, an interrogative sentence with a subject inversion : " mange-t-il ?" In french the interrogative sentence can have 2 forms: - " Est-ce qu'il mange ?" or " Mange-t-il ?" In the second form, the "-t-" ( between the verbe ended by the vowel "-e-" and the suject "il" (beginning with the vowel "-i-") is just here to allow a good and easy pronunciation : You cannot say : " Mange il ?" because there is what is called a "hiatus" made by "e" followed with "i", it is unpronouncable ! The consonant "-t-" allows the prononciation withut hiatus: Some examples : " Chante-t-il ?" , " Pleure-t-il ?, "Ira-t-il ?".... (Sorry for my poor English level !)

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