Translation:Can you return these books while passing in front of the library?
"Can you return these books while passing in front of the library?"
No I cannot. I would have to go into the library to return the books.
It is created as an exercise. The use of "devant" may not be necessary and one would certainly not say "in front of" in English. Nevertheless, sometimes we just translate what we are given. I.e., it may not be idiomatic, but there is nothing incorrect about it, technical or otherwise.
There's a "Book Return" slot just outside. Didn't you see it? But seriously, the idea (although a little emphatic in the use of "devant") means that you are going by the library anyway--can you drop off these books when you go by there, please?
I really think it should be something like "Can you return these books when you're going past the library"
I agree that "passing by the library" is the far more natural translation of this sentence in English. Please accept?
'Ce livre' and 'ces livres' have the exact same sound! why am i being marked incorrect and missing points over this?
There is a difference, but it can be hard to hear.
"Ce livre" is supposed to sound something like "suh leevruh".
"Ces livres" is supposed to sound like "say leevruh". (Where the "ay" is not drawled out at all, it just a short, crisp hard-a sound)
But in conversation and in this audio file it is a hard difference to pick up, it just takes practice. And even the French have to ask for clarification on this one from time to time.
If you're not already, if your Duolingo App has the option, try listening to the audio on the slow turtle mode.
Yet passing by is not wrong either.. Which would at least work... I really do not like these odd ones. It is like a weird game where they keep changing the rules without telling you.
"Passing by" could be wrong in that it is not the meaning of «devant». But, when moving between languages, many prepositions are changed in translation.
In English we get "on" the train while the French get "in" the train. An English speaker is "in" bed, but the French person is "at" his bed.
And «passer devant» is used much more often in French than "passing in front of" is used in English. "Passing by" in English will usually translate to «passer par», «passer devant» or «passing près» or just «passer» depending on context.
So reversing that to translate «passer devant» into "passing by", or just "passing" would be completely valid depending on the context.
I'm not saying "Passing in Front" is a wrong translation for this sentence (although it is an unusual usage in English), I just don't think "passing by" or just "passing" are wrong either.
This is obviously a literal translation, but makes no sense in English. You return books to the library, and "passing in front of" would mean just walking by on the street without going in.
Well, it would sort of make sense if they were referring to a book drop/slot in front the library, but it is not how that idea would normally be expressed in English.
I'm not even sure I'd use "passing in front of" when using a book drop/slot:
if I am going to the library specifically to return some books, climbing the stairs and returning books to a slot by the front door, I feel like I'm basing my actions with the library in mind (not to mention actually interacting with the library) too much for "passing in front of" to really work, as that expression suggests to me passing the library, as in going past the library, without interacting with it.
Actually, I agree with you. English speakers would never say "passing in front of" the library. Unfortunately if it is left out of the "best" translation (which is really quite awful), then it will be impossible to get the reverse translation right.