"Nous sommes en train d'appeler notre petit-fils."
Translation:We are calling our grandson.
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être en train de means "to be in the process of" - to be in the middle of doing something. It is always followed by a verb in the infinitive.
Ah, I see it as something like the present progressive, isn't it?
Somewhat similar to estar+(present participle) in Spanish
Yes. As French does not have a present progressive tense, this phrase can be used to express something that is happening at that very moment. I could say "Je suis en train de répondre à votre question". :-)
Shouldn't "trying" be an acceptable translation of "en train" in this case? "We are trying to call our grandson." "Trying" is a bit overbroad here, but it conveys the sense that the event is happening now, while making "en train" seem less useless to English speakers. Until this point in the DL course, "Nous appelons notre petit-fils" was the way to translate both "We are calling our grandson," and, "We call our grandson." For DL to suddenly offer "en train" to distinguish between the two seems arbitrary and redundant when viewed from a student's perspective. I'm in favor of using "en train" to distinguish between the two, but for it to come at this point in the course is an odd decision.
To Eclectic 1234: "You could also say... 'We are in the process of calling.' " But if you do, DL will count it wrong! (Yes, I did report it with the report button.)
But "en train de" doesn't translate as "trying to." I don't think it's too early for students to be introduced to an alternate way of conveying the progressive. Depending on context, "Nous appelons" could be "We are calling," but now we know that you can also use "Nous en train d'appeler." You could also say "We are in the middle of calling" or "We are in the process of calling."
I remember this by thinking of the English expression, "train of thought." Even though "être en train de" does not mean a train of thought, (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) it helps me remember that it is not talking about a literal train.
I agree that it should be translated 'we are in the process of calling our grandson' but unfortunately Duo rejects this as incorrect. Thoughts?
We are in the process of calling our grandson. Duo doit accepter ma réponse!
Calling on the phone is the same as ringing. It marked me wrong for saying "calling"
I typed "we are in the process of calling our grandson" Got it wrong. reported it.
Yes, and also not accepted was we are in the middle of calling our grandson, not sure why..
I did not hear => d'appeler. I heard => nous sommes en train de plaît notre petit-fils.
I think a good translation for "en train" is "about". In this sentence, it would be: we are about to call our grandson.