"Ils sont en train d'aller déjeuner."
Translation:They are going to lunch.
Être (conjugated) + en train de/d' + an infinitive verb is idiomatic to mean that the subject of the sentence is doing that activity right now. French doesn't have a continuous present tense like English, so if they want to show that something is not only present tense but occurring at this moment they use "en train de". Je suis en train d’écrire. = I am (in the middle of) writing. / Vous êtes en train de lire. = You are reading (right now).
"en train de <verb>" is idiomatic for "in the process of <verbing>" to show action occurring right now.
"In the process of going" is a bit heavy and not particularly natural in English. "Être en train de" is usually best translated as the continuous present in English. (verbs ending in -ing).
Here "sont en train d'aller" is best translated as "are going."
Linda, should be acceptable as correct. I wrote: they are going to luncheon and it was rejected. technology is wonderful but not quite perfect yet. c'est mon avis entant que debutant
They are going "for" lunch? I kept looking for a word that would make sense, until I realised there wasn't one.
There are many possible translations here. I would think of "They are going to/for lunch" as "Ils vont déjeuner" in french. Believing that 'en train' indicated that the action was happening right now I wrote "They are on the way to lunch" but it was not accepted. I am not sure now whether this has just not made the probably long list or there is a mistake in my sentence.
I also put 'they are on their way to lunch" as it seemed a more natural translation but ir was marked wrong!
Is this not an instance of when we could use the handy little English word "just", as in *They are just going to lunch"? It neatly suggests the continuous nature of the action.
Hmm. "They are just going to lunch" suggests that it is only lunch and nothing more, at least to me. "It's not a date, they are just going to lunch."
That's a different meaning of 'just'.
I agree with the point made by SeanMeaney and I used 'just' too. It means you are literally 'just doing something right now' It adds the same emphasis of 'en train de'....
why not 'they are going to have lunch' (dejeuner is a also verb, and is translated to 'to have lunch') - it was marked wrong.