https://www.duolingo.com/Lang938625

Elles sont or c’est

On memrise i had a flash card come up with the sentence, elles sont entre la cuisine et le salon, with a translation of it’s between the kitchen and the living room. Could someone please help me to understand why this sentence does not mean, they are between the kitchen and the living room?

April 1, 2018

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

I agree with you: Since "elles sont" is clearly plural, the expression has to be rendered as a plural in English.

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/spiceyokooko

You're right to question this, although I don't really have an answer beyond that I've always had a problem with duolingo's use of 'it' particularly in Spanish that I'm learning. 'It' does not necessarily refer to a 'person' in English translation. Elles sont, is 'they are' C'est is It is.

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Izehar

That translation can be both right depending on what "elles" is because with context it can be presented with either "they" or "it" plural. Try not to hold onto direct translations because it can cause a comprehension problem like that, but instead try to learn how it's used in the language. If you stay with direct translations and if you engage with a person who is actually French, whatever they say may not match with what you have learned.

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

Can you please give me a real-life example of "elles sont entre le salon et la cuisine" in French becoming "it’s between the kitchen and the living room" in English?

I can't think of any.

Of course you are right that we should learn the language in context, but in a flashcard, the context is exactly what is written on the flashcard. Otherwise, it would be completely useless.

But I'm really intrigued: What is your example of "elles sont" -- "it is"?

Many thanks!

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ben601957

An example in this particular case could be "les toilettes", which is always plural in French when used to mean a toilet/restroom.

Je vais aux toilettes; I'm going to the restroom.

So, "elles [les toilettes] sont entre le salon et la cuisine" would be translated, in meaning rather than literally, as, "it's between the kitchen and the living room."

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

Thank you!

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lang938625

Thanks

April 3, 2018
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