"Tout le monde s'est tu quand le prisonnier est arrivé."

Translation:Everybody went silent when the prisoner arrived.

March 28, 2018

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i hate these new questions that were not set up properly. The 'silent' here can obviously be replaced with 'quiet'.


Understood. Some of the questions were put in rather hurriedly with the idea of cleaning them up afterward. So now we are cleaning them up.


What is "tu" in this sentence? Is it passe composé? What is the infinitive form of that verb?


Se taire -to keep quiet or remain silent.


Why is taire with etre and not avoir....is it because it is in a reflexive form?


Yes, the passé composé for ALL reflexive verbs uses être as the auxiliary.


"Everyone was quiet when the prisoner arrived" reported, 2018-05-02

It is possible that the contributors are disallowing the "was quiet/silent" structure because there is no time duration suggested in the French.

My previous sentence was «Les petits garçons se sont tus depuis une heure» where "The little boys have kept quiet for an hour" was accepted.

I look forward to the explanation. This stuff is brain candy!


Nothing too dramatic. I doubt the omission of "was quiet/silent" was intentional -- just overlooked while hurrying. The accepted solutions needed to be expanded a bit.


"Everyone was quiet when the prisoner arrived." was still incorrect on Oct 31, 2018. It seems to me that "was quiet" would call for the imperfect. Using "went quiet" I guess is passé composé?

I don't see a word that means "went" but I could see a "devenir" in this sentence.


"Everyone was quiet" is not what the verb means! « Se taire » means literally "to silence/quiet oneself", or "to make oneself quiet." Using the past perfective in « tout le monde s'est tu ... » means that when the prisoner arrived, everyone silenced themselves, or they went quiet, fell quiet, shut up, stopped talking, and so on. It does not mean that everyone was silent before the arrival, which is what "was quiet" suggests.


I would go with that, but there was another sentence that discussed se taire for more than three years, which would indicate an ongoing remaining quiet.


Don't tell me that you managed to miss the "recapture an egg" argument that raged while everyone tried to figure out what "il a repris un œuf" meant.


Why is "everbody" treated as singular; ie. pourqoui pas "se sont tu" rather than "s'est tu"


"Everybody" is treated as singular in English, too: "Everybody is there"; "Everybody wants to rule the world." It's a collective noun, like 'family', 'team', etc. Collective nouns refer to multiple things, but are grammatically singular.


S'est tu, can someone explain why this means silent or do i just have to memorize this?


It doesn't mean "silent" because it's not an adjective. The infinitive is "se taire", from "taire", which is transitive and means "to quieten, to shut up, to silence." The reflexive form "se taire" literally means "to quieten/shut up/silence oneself", so the past perfective "Tout le monde s'est tu..." means that everybody silenced themselves or made themselves quiet.

[deactivated user]

    Everyone was quiet when the prisoner arrived

    This is wrong? Is 'was quiet' being construed as past imperfect maybe? I'd just like to understand why.


    A better translation for "Everyone was quiet..." is « Tout le monde était silencieux... ». This is because "everyone was quiet" implies that they had already been quiet at the time the prisoner arrived. But « tout le monde s'est tu... » means that they suddenly fell silent, making themselves quiet at the moment of arrival.

    [deactivated user]

      Thanks Sean.


      Everyone was silent was not accepted. It is the past so we do not know if they were silent prior to the prisoner arriving or only became silent when he arrived. Both should be accepted.


      Actually, we know exactly what is meant by this sentence. « Tout le monde s'est tu quand ... » can only mean that everybody fell silent (lit., "silenced themselves") at the moment the prisoner arrived. One way to say that they were silent before the prisoner arrived would be to say « Tout le monde était silencieux quand ... », using the imperfective.


      Sean is right here. The use of "s'est tu" is a verb structure, not an adjective. So it is not saying that everybody was silent (a state) but that they went silent or fell silent (an action).


      In English, "everyone was quiet when the prisoner arrived" should be accepted. There is, a causal aspect of the verb "was" because it is related to "when the prisoner arrived"... viz, for example, "everyone was stunned when the bomb went off." It is clear that "was stunned" is a result of the bomb... the same is true for "was quiet/silent" and "when the prisoner arrived."


      If you are simply speaking about what one might say in English, there is no argument there. But here, the verb is "se taire" (to keep quiet, to fall silent). It is not a stative verb; it is an action. So the English translation should use the action equivalent, i.e., everybody fell silent. It is inclusive of the idea that they were apparently not silent before, but when the prisoner came in, they fell silent.


      @n6zs: I think the light bulb just went on in my brain. Follow-on question:

      Would the following be an acceptable translations?

      "Everybody kept silent when the prisoner arrived." Or "remained silent"


      I don't think so. That sentence infers that they were quiet before the prisoner got there, but the sentence we must translate is saying they became silent/quiet after he got there.


      Where is the word for quiet in this sentence? Is it somewhere in the" s'est tu"?


      It is implied. The infinitive « se taire » means 'to make oneself quiet; shut oneself up; silence oneself.'

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