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  5. "Elle nous a servi du bœuf sa…

"Elle nous a servi du bœuf saignant."

Translation:She served us rare beef.

April 14, 2018



The word "rare" should follow the word "beef", as in the French. This is to avoid confusing the other meaning of rare, namely, uncommon or hard to obtain -- e.g., Kobe beef. "She served our beef rare" and "She served us beef rare" should both be accepted.


In (UK) English, both are in common use. "Beef rare" would be viewed as pedantic and somewhat pretentious.


I strongly disagree with your comment Patrick.


I completely agree with RuthZ1. To me, "She served us rare beef" would refer to how it is cooked. It would require definite context for that to mean beef that is hard to find. Moreover, "she served us beef rare" sounds awkward and I can't imagine a native English speaker saying it that way. At least, not any I have been around. Again, context may play a part. If someone asked, "How did she serve the beef?" One might reply, "She served the beef, rare." But that would be a very specific context. And note that I dropped the "us", to make it sound more natural.

"She served us rare beef" should definitely be a valid translation.


That was my first instict. Then to avoid losing a lingot, I adjusted my answer to what Duo is more likely to accept!

In my opinion this is wrong practice. Although it would be easier to uderstand the answer that is simpler and more commonly used, especially to the preponderance of non native English speakers (myself included); however the propper answer (either linguistically or grammatically) should not be marked wrong! Especially when the reasons are to avoid sounding archaic, pompous or it being unrecognised by a certain dialect!!

At the end of the day, we are all here to learn. Each to the level that best serves their purpose.

Much love and appreciation to the hard work that was put into making these courses. We only hope to see them get even better than they already are :)


"saignant" = "bleeding" (literally)


That is another meaning but in the context of serving you some beef, the term is "rare", not "bleeding".


I agree with @patfinegan, as that was how I first posed my translation.

Q. How do you like your meat? A. I like my beef rare.

Later, She served my beef rare.

This has been common usage in my 60+ years experience all over America.


The example you give, "I like my beef rare" is very precise and the adjective "rare" will only go after the noun. This is correct as an exception to the usual "adjective before the noun" usage in English. The examples are fine for the narrow use you give but in general, as in the given sentence, it's "she served us rare beef" or "she served rare beef to us". You would not say "she served beef rare to us." Sometimes these exercises cause us to examine our preferred speech in ways that demonstrate subtle differences that we may have overlooked. It's all good if we can see the difference.


From the previous comments, I get that "rare beef / beef rare" is not exotic but a point of coction. Is it correct?

And if so, how is it? Is it almost raw, or the opposite, perfectly cooked or with what technique?


It's just rare (the meat is red inside, not just pink). There is red juice coming out of it. It is not thoroughly cooked. The issue for some is that they use "beef rare" and "rare beef" interchangeably when in fact that is not always correct. The phrasing of the sentence can make all the difference.


I find it odd that you should persist with this false dichotomy long after DL began accepting "beef rare." You are wrong.

Pulitzer prize-winner Edna Ferber authored a compilation of short stories entitled Roast Beef, Medium : The Business Adventures of Emma McChesney in 1913. The title story was a literary sensation and helped shepherd her into the pantheon of America's most-acclaimed and most-admired writers. Among other famous quotes:

[E]xperience taught [her] it's best to stick to roast beef, medium - avoiding both physical and moral indigestion - rather than experiment with fancy sauces and exotic dishes.

Let us assume for a moment that n6zs is a better judge of English grammar than Edna Ferber, or that Ferber could not possibly have understood "modern" (aka Duolingo's) English. How about the editorial staff of the New York Times, which allowed this "obvious" blunder to be published?

The penchant of Northeasterners for eating their beef rare may be why that part of the county recorded seven outbreaks of food poisoning traced to commercially prepared roast beef last year. At least that it the theory of a New York State health official, who said there had been no reported outbreaks in the rest of the country where people prefer to buy cooked cold roast beef medium or well done...[the blame for this outbreak is the] 1978 change in Federal regulations governing the commercial preparation of roast beef, which permits it to be cooked to 130 degrees internal temperature instead of the previous low of 145 degrees. - "Rare Beef Linked to Illnesses," Marian Burros, New York Times, January 20, 1982 (p. C10)(emphasis added)

Or the late Anthony Bourdain, a celebrated chef, Vasser graduate and son of Gladys Bourdain, a staff editor for The New York Times? Surely he's contemporary enough.

Say it’s a quiet Monday night, and you’ve just checked your coat in that swanky Art Deco update in the Flatiron district, and you’re looking to tuck into a thick slab of pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna or a twenty-ounce cut of certified Black Angus beef, well-done--what are you in for? - Anthony Bourdain, "Don’t Eat Before Reading This" The New Yorker, April 19, 1999 (emphasis added)

Or how about Eric Schlosser, investigative reporter and author of Fast Food Nation, a 2000 NYT bestseller, and the editors at The Atlantic, a self-proclaimed literary magazine:

Cook your ground beef well—or don't eat it. That's my advice. - "Unhappy Meals" The Atlantic Online, December 14, 2000. https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/interviews/ba2000-12-14.htm

And then there are the average Joes - plain-speaking Americans who were never pilloried (until now) for ordering steak rare, requesting Martinis shaken, not stirred, and serving revenge cold. This is from the syllabus of a mere expatriate American English teacher in China:

Teacher: "I'll take the French onion soup, the roast beef medium rare, and apple pie for dessert."

Student: "And what kind of sandwich would you like?" - http://faroutliers.blogspot.com/2007/10/

And this is from the evidently educationally-challenged members of the US Department of Agriculture:

Tne lowest temperature recommended by the USDA is 145°F (63°C) for medium rare fresh beef. For beef medium 160°F, well done 170°F. - Safe Food Book, Your Kitchen Guide, US Department of Agriculture Rev. June 1985 (emphasis added).

Want more? Do some research. But please do not hector us on proper English grammar until you roll up your sleeves and deliver proof positive (nee positive proof) that a single genuine authority agrees with you.


I'm pretty sure you just proved his point that context matters.


In your long list of examples:

"Rare Beef Linked to Illnesses," Marian Burros, New York Times, January 20, 1982

Indeed, "rare beef" and "beef rare" are both acceptable.

So what are you disagreeing with?


Did you miss the part where I said "rare beef" and "beef rare" are not always interchangeable? Meaning, sometimes they are, depending on the complete context you use.


It's a great article. However, their guide for pronunciation is awful!


Anyone know why a very rare steak is described as "bleu"?


Oxygen gives meat its red color. This is what you can see in the butcher's shop. Yet, if you cut a thick piece of meat, you will see that at the core, the color is darker and almost blue.


I am an English native of 40 years and if someone said rare beef to me, I would expect it to be rare as in not common. I would say "she served us some/that/the/this beef rare". Anyway, I ALWAYS have my beef well done, nice and charcoaled. I don't want toxoplasmosis like 80% of French people


Where did you get these statistics from?


Ha I was joking but my smilie was removed :-) It's not that high these days - about 50% of people in France have it which is still roughly double the UK level depending on which figure you look at and I think the US level is much lower. I think back in the sixties it was closer to 80%. But yes I do like my steaks nice and burnt - well done as we say in the UK, which in France would equate to our medium rare probably.


She served us up rare beef - why not?

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