"Is the cheese good or bad?"

Translation:Le fromage, est-il bon ou mauvais ?

April 5, 2018

47 Comments


[deactivated user]

    I still don't understand. Why isn't "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?" acceptable?

    June 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel120619

    I guess because this is not a yes-or-no question. "Est-ce que le fromage est bon?" or "Est-ce que le fromage est mauvais?" would both be acceptable, because these are yes-or-no questions.

    The "est-ce que" structure at the beginning means something like "is it that...?" which introduces a question to which only a yes or no answer is acceptable.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bastien_M

    "Est-ce que le fromage est bon, ou mauvais" should definitely be accepted (edit : added the coma).

    To me, I don't feel like it has anything to do with yes/no questions.

    Both questions in French or English suggest two options for the answer : good/bad, and the translation seems natural to me.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel120619

    Then please consult with these pages about the use of "est-ce que":

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/est-ce_que https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/est-ce-que/

    The sentence "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?" asks about the theoretical possibility of a cheese to be either good or bad, so the answer to this question is either yes (correct answer) or no (incorrect answer - unless you like or dislike all types of cheese).

    But if you want to ask whether a specific cheese on the table is good or bad then this is not the right way to ask.

    The right way is this: "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais?"

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bastien_M

    I read your links, I see what you meant about yes/no questions.

    'Is the cheese good or bad?' ==> It's good (YES) or it's bad (NO), if you really want to compare it with a yes/no question.

    But yeah, "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais ?" sounds a little more natural. Because now that I think about it, I would rather ask "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ?" for a yes/no.

    Then, "Est-ce que le fromage est bon, ou mauvais ?" will make it.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel120619

    You read the use of "est-ce que" where they told you that it is used to introduce yes-no questions, and you still do not see the difference?

    What is your mother tongue? Mine is Hungarian and we have two very different sentence structures to ask one way or the other.

    The English question "Is the cheese good or bad?" can be interpreted in two ways.

    1. Is that specific cheese on the table that I am referring to right now good or bad?
    2. Does a cheese in general have the attribute of beeing good or bad? Can a cheese in general be characterized by the adjectives "good" or "bad"?

    These are not the same questions.

    The use of "est-ce que" at the beginning of the sentence refers to the second case:

    "Is it that the cheese good or bad?" "Yes, the cheese (in general) is either good or bad."

    While in the first case we want to ask: "Is the cheese (that one, on the table) good or bad?"

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bastien_M

    I understood why you meant yes/no questions. But initialy I did not see the point with yes/no questions.

    My mother tongue is French. Unfortunately I don't have notions in Hungarian, but it does not seem that clear in French or English.

    Do you agree that here, the sense 2 is really unlikely? This is likely the first option and someone will answer 'yes the cheese is good'.

    Which is why indeed "Est-ce que le fromage est bon, ou mauvais ?" works for option 1, while "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais ?" for option 2, but still there are not a lot of contexts where such a question could emerge haha.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel120619

    I agree, but I also want to add that when I met this exercise it did not even come across my mind to use "est-ce que", becasue in this case it is not the sentence "Le fromage est bon ou mauvais" that we want to make a question of, because this is a true statement, just like "I am a boy or a girl".

    But if you say that you often hear French people using "est-ce que" in such cases I am ready to accept it. But, in this case, I do not understand why the editors wrote that it is used for yes/no questions.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/excellence2018

    Interesting discourse here!

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bastien_M

    No, I think you are right and you have a very high level of understanding the French language.

    I took the exercice without thinking of the theme or anything, that's why I wrote "est-ce que".

    But definitely the best translation seems to be "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais ?" or "Le fromage, est-il bon ou mauvais ?" as stated here.

    You have the good use of "Est-ce que", and "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais ?" as I originally wrote does not feel that correct if I focus on it, but "Est-ce que le fromage est bon, ou mauvais ?" works for sure. (Edit: still, that wouldn't shock me if I saw it without the coma haha, would need the opinion of other natives to confirm).

    But you can also have "Est-ce que le fromage est bon, mauvais, sucré, salé... ?" which is not a yes/no question and is correct. But you are right when you say that "est-ce que" has to deal with yes/no.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Piotr917266

    "est-ce que" means just "is it that" and is used to ask questions without inverting a sentence. It does not have anything about to do with questions about general or specific things (Les fromages, sont-ils bons ou mauvais exclusivement?)

    December 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel120619

    And what type of question is that is formed by inversion? A yes-or-no question. "Est-ce que" does the same job without inversion.

    December 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bob_Bowes

    And because the expected answer to this question is 'Bon.' or 'Mauvais.' or a sentence 'Est-cu que' is not an acceptable structure.

    April 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/CJuZtd

    It should be. I just used the affirmative as a question, like we've been told to do here so many times, and they marked that wrong! When we are testing out, a good translation should be accepted.

    October 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford

    haha just tried exactly that, still not being accepted :/

    December 3, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007

    Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais... what does it still need? est-il bon ou mauvais??

    May 31, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/CJuZtd

    I am testing out of this level, so they should be allowing all acceptable translations. Since they have been pushing us to use a statement as a question, I don't see why they are now requiring this awkward French phrase. It makes no sense and is another example of their inconsistencies.

    October 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel120619

    Just to make myself perfectly clear:

    "Est-ce que" is a grammatical structure that makes a question out of the sentence that comes after it by offering us the choice to decide whether it is true or not.

    So "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?" is a the "questionized" verison of the statement "Le fromage est bon ou mauvais." This is a general statement about the "philosophy" of cheese which means that a cheese (in a logical sense) is either good or bad and there is no third possibility.

    Are we sure that this is what we want to ask about? No, we want to know whether a specific cheese we are referring to is good or bad. So we ask:

    "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais?"

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bastien_M

    I agree with that. Though, I'm just saying that "Est-ce que le fromage est bon, ou mauvais ?" should be accepted. Note that the coma makes a huge difference.

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cachaji

    Actually, you cannot use a coma before 'ou'. So yes the coma makes a huge difference in having that translation rejected.

    May 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cachaji

    Daniel hi. I just read your post and since you are so much passionate about understanding how French works. I feel obliged to give you my insight on the point at stake.

    "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?" is not a yes or no question, I agree. But the reason for that has nothing to do with "est-ce que" but with the fact that you have to choose one of two options contradictory in terms.

    Even you use the other way of asking questions: "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais?", it is still not a yes or no question. In both cases, the answer has to be: "Il est bon" or "Il est mauvais". You just cannot answer "yes" or "no". Thus both are not "yes" or "no" questions.

    In one of your posts, you wrote: "I do not understand why the editors wrote it has to be used with yes/no questions". I checked the website you were referring to: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/est-ce-que/. Actually the editor is speaking of examples that she gives as "yes or no" questions just above her remark. It is not about the "est-ce que" construction. Hence maybe the confusion.

    June 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford

    Bad, bad, naughty cheese!

    December 3, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford

    also not taking "le fromage c'est bon, ou c'est mauvais?". I'll just copy the suggested answer next time :o)

    [it seems to me, the answer to the suggested question is just "oui"]

    December 3, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pepper-alt

    why is it est-il and not qu'il lingot to whoever answers

    April 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Puopjick

    Because here you just have one proposition and not two that you want to link. the true question is "est-il bon ou mauvais?" but if you just say that without the context, we can't know what you are talking about so you add "le fromage," just to know what you are talking about ant not really to construct a complex sentence. "qu'il" is used when you want to merge two sentences : "Le fromage est bon" + "Il a fait le fromage" = "Le fromage qu'il a fait est bon". Or with opposite point of view, with "qu'il" you can extract two different sentences from a complex one. Here it's not the case "Le fromage" alone is not a sentence so you don't use "que".

    In reality this form is not used a lot because it's not fluent :

    • Les chats, ils aiment les souris

    • Les aliens, existent-ils?

    It's not really nice to hear... Moreover you can change them into more fluent and really more used sentences :

    • Les chats aiment les souris

    • Est-ce que les aliens existent?

    So the best sentence here is "est ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais" and if I want to be really precise a french person would just say "est ce que le fromage est bon?" (because it's obvious that if it not good, it is bad so we don't feel the need to precise "ou mauvais")

    April 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/AmandaWilliams13

    thank you - that's what i put. Ha! Feel better now :-)

    April 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/GabeDC

    Great discussion here! I, too, wrote "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais ?" but Duo rejected it.

    April 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ToWiK

    Similarly my "Est-ce que le fromage bon ou mauvais ?" was rejected (I did not include a second 'est'). We're off somehow, I guess.

    May 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bastien_M

    My reply is a little late, but hopefully it might help someone.

    "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais ?" feels good to me @GabeDC. And still, some might say it is not 100% correct (see the huge debate above if needed, but keep in mind that to me it's correct French and everyone will understand you).

    @ToWiK, "Est-ce que le fromage bon ou mauvais ?" is not correct though, "est-ce que" is just a question form, but you will always need a verb with it, that's why you need the second "est".

    December 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/dancingclaire1

    This was my response also. According to Puopjick (above), this response should be accepted. Should it be reported? I'm no techie, so I don't know how to do it.

    July 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sashohere

    But when I answered "est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais ?" it was marked as incorrect. So something is missing from your explanation, non?

    September 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford

    Should that be il fait du fromage?

    December 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/tasha53505

    why not "bien"?

    November 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/CJuZtd

    Bien is generally an adverb, such as 'je vais bien, merci,' or J'ai bien aime ce fromage' ( sorry, there should be an accent over the e in aime. Bon is the correct adjective here for fromage.

    November 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ali826995

    What's the relation between cheese and wheather !!!!

    November 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford

    Oh, none, I was joking around because I'd tried several variations of answer on this one and was a bit frustrated - the conversation here reminded me a little of the argument on another page about whether il fait du soleil was correct.

    December 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/parthis7102

    there are many possible answers.

    November 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/DoubleLingot

    Could you write these down for us please? We're all curious.

    February 28, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pdmzbz

    Why "est le fromage bon ou mauvais" is not acceptable ?

    December 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ihar1986

    What type of weather is cheese?

    December 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/pearl184092

    why cant you say est ce que le fromage? whats the difference?

    March 6, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/paul959862

    Est-il le fromage bon ou mauvais

    March 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cachaji

    No, it is not flying! "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais?" is the correct word order and also the best French translation of the English sentence.

    May 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/WalterMattingly

    I think "est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?" would be understood but also why it isn't correct. In English the sentence, "Is it that the cheese is good or bad? " would similarly be understood while also being incorrect. The implied sentence is "Is it that the cheese is good, or (is it that the cheese is) bad?" is what makes the sentence understandable but also a completely different sentence than the correct (and simpler) form "The cheese, is it good or bad?"

    April 5, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cachaji

    Not only "est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?" would be understood but it is perfectly correct and a very common interrogative form (native French speaker here). I think you see more nuances than there are actually. It is one of the two possible translations of the proposed English sentence "Is the cheese good or bad?", the first one (because it is the most literal, most elegant and the one that flows better) being 'le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais?" Duo's preferred translation is not adequate. It would be if the English form was what you wrote: "the cheese, is it good or bad?".

    May 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lng52-._

    DL's translation is just ANOTHER possible way to say the same thing: "The cheese, is it good or bad? OR, "Is the cheese good or bad?"

    June 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cachaji

    Yes but just keep in mind that "the cheese, is it good or bad?" is spoken English just as the "le fromage, est-il bon ou mauvais?" is spoken French. For the sake of consistency and accuracy Duo's French translation of the English sentence should have been: "Le fromage est-il bon ou mauvais?" or "Est-ce que le fromage est bon ou mauvais?". It does not really matter as long as learners are aware that the preferred translation is spoken French and a bit awkward even in speech.

    June 2, 2019
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