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  5. "J'ouvre la lettre dès que je…

"J'ouvre la lettre dès que je peux."

Translation:I open the letter as soon as I can.

March 30, 2018



I will open the letter as soon as I can not accepted 4 Apr 2018. reported. My answer should be accepted, and the "correct" answer is unnatural English. It would take a very strange context to make the "correct" answer sensible in English, while the very usual translation is to use the English future, since the event will not happen now because I am not able and will not happen until some future time when I am able.

I have encountered this format before, when the French present is translated by Duo into English future. It's a new exercise, so we can expect it to be full of mistakes and omissions.


Your answer should not be accepted because "I will open the letter as soon as I can" would be "J'ouvrirai la lettre dès que je peux."

Perhaps you're thinking of the lesson dealing with futur proche in which the verb "aller" was used to describe an action that will take place in the near future. "I'm going to open the letter as soon as I can" would be "Je vais ouvrir la lettre dès que je peux."


To Jeffrey 855877 - It is true that the usual English translation would be in the future tense, but if you have ever spoken to a French person (who, naturally is trying to translate word for word just the way we do), you will often hear him or her speak in the present tense this way. Since the French DO use the present tense to indicate their actions in a slightly different way than we do, your answer should not be accepted (especially since I don't know how to say it in future tense in French).


Actually you can get the same sense in english using present tense "I'm opening the letter as soon as I can"

But I agree that "I'll open" is more common.


"I am opening the letter whenever I can." should also be an accepted answer.

  • 2082

Whenever sounds like you keep opening the letter each time you have a few minutes. Perhaps the most recent letter you received from your girlfriend, and opening it makes her feel nearer? I definitely would not consider it an equivalent translation.

As an example of a whenever sentence: "I cycle to work whenever it is not raining." I.e. whenever typically means every time that a condition is met.


I thought "autant que" also meant "as soon as". This whole lesson is confusing to me. Can someone link the lesson notes in a comment (I'm a mobile user).


I believe "autant que" is "as many/much/well as", it doesn't contain such meaning of "as soon as".


This is an odd sentence, as if the speaker/writer is narrating his or her own actions to someone else. Is this a common French construct? Future (I will open...) or past (I opened...could) are much more common in English.


Why should there be 'dès' in the sentence?


"Dès que" and "aussitôt que" appear to both work for "as soon as" but I'm not sure if one or the other is preferred for any specific context.


Ah I see.. thanks!


First, I answered this question correctly. But, this sentence is poor grammar in American English.

Possibly, If someone is recounting her/his actions step by step to someone else, or thinking this to him/herself, then the sentence could make sense.

But, this is a lot of surmising on our part in order to make this sentence make sense to translate into the present tense.

I suggest modifying this exercise to teach how to conjugate the verb into the future tense to say, "I will open the letter as soon as I can".

But, standing alone as it does in this exercise, makes it a bad sentence to translate into the present tense.


Very, very difficult to hear apart "les" and "la" on normal speed. Any tips?

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