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  5. I'm asked to write an undeter…


I'm asked to write an undetermined word but the solution is determined.

  • Write "glove" in French.
  • Ok. "Gant".
  • Wrong! It should be "Le gant"!

That's an issue I'm having with the French course. It asks me to write a word, I write it and it says I missed a "le" or a "la". This wouldn't be a problem if I was asked to write "the glove". But I wasn't. I can imagine that this affects people learing Swedish where there's a difference between glove - "handske" and the glove - "handsken" in undetermined vs determined. I could only report the issue as the image not matching the sentence, but hopefully a mod of the course will see this post and fix it.

April 4, 2018



(comment stating words in french cannot be undetermined or without a preceding article)


Of course a word can be undetermined in French; Un gant (a glove) works perfectly. Just as one would never say "a the glove" one wouldn't say "un le gant".


a noun preceded by un is not undetermined, or else i have learned the definition of this word wrong. un is an indefinite article in french like "a" and "an" are indefinite articles in english. therefore gant must always be preceded in sentence form by un or le, and in this way it is not undetermined.

you cannot say "gant." you must say "le gant" or "un gant." this is how the translation works.


I think the definition you've learned might be wrong. In Swedish (my native language) you often talk about un/determined words (o/bestämda ord), especially when you start getting into the basics of linguistics. Chances are French (or whatever language you speak) uses a different meaning for the terminology, in which case, well... crap, that's a pickle now, ain't it. If it is as you say, then it's something duolingo doesn't explain well and an issue nonetheless.


I agree that the translation for "glove" should be "gant". In French every noun has a gender but a noun CAN be used without an article, in particular in proverbs. Just look at this list : https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/Annexe:Liste_de_proverbes_fran%C3%A7ais and you will see lots of nouns used in the context of sentences without any articles. Of course there is also the case of dictionaries, in France we don't have only one for the letter L.

(It was stated elsewhere that it's good practice to learn those nouns with the article to remember the gender, but I don't think this argument is relevant in this case)


I agree, it's very annoying. But I think you'll just have to accept it - expect to need the definite article. 2 reasons:

  1. It's good practice to fix the gender with the french word, and

  2. The def article is often used in French where it wouldn't be in English version.


There are moments when you get to first choose the determiner(?) which usually carries the gender between Le, L' and La. And there's no gender in the cases of Les, so... why?


Because it's French, not English. Applying the rules you learned in one language to another often fails. By asking for the indefinite article, Duo is just preparing you for standard French grammar rules.


But it's so weird. I feel as though it should apply to dictionary rules. Unless it's the case that looking up Gant in the French dictionary would be in a huge list of words beginning with Le. Because if that's the case I'll have to go out of my way to overthrow every French speaking nation and tell them to stop being wrong, and that would just ruin a perfect weekend for me.


haha! yes, go for it! straighten them all out! ;-)


It's even worse than that. Sometimes the English is a single word like "glove", you answer "le gant", and it marks you wrong because it wants "gant" without the definite article. Maybe this happens only in the Spanish course; I can't remember.

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