Translation:We were suspicious about what they were saying.
Not to take away from what AllIntoLearning said but what I learned from Michel Thomas is a little simpler perhaps.
Any time you need to say 'what' in the middle of a sentence, use 'ce que'.
“...de ce qu’ils disaient” is constructed more like “...of that which they said.” It is translated not literally, but to the more common way to say it in English. Translating backwards we might try to say “...de quoi ils disaient”, but I am not sure if that is used. I really just hear “...de ce qu’ils disaient” and “de quoi ils parlent”. Different expressions are used with different verbs sometimes.
This was strange. I wrote, "nous nous sommes méfiés de ce qu'il disait" and it was counted correct. (this is how it sounded to me)
But the translation read, "We were suspicious about what they were saying" which means mine was incorrect.
I should have received the "you had a typo" message, or been counted incorrect. None of the REPORT options are appropriate for this so I didn't report it.
What makes you think that you were not correct. You don’t seem to understand the translation is not going to be word for word literal.
What do you think the translation should be? If you had the listen to (
Spanish) French and write it down in ( Spanish) French or the Translate from English to French ( Spanish) then you are correct. At the top of the page they are showing the Translate from ( Spanish) French to English, but the multiple choice and the word bank and fill in the blank as well as the two forms I already mentioned all come to the same discussion page.
What makes you think that you were not correct.
well, one of us is incorrect. Either the duolingo system or I am, because it can't be both "il disait" and "ils disaient" and since duolingo is the one doing the grading them I must be incorrect.
If you had the listen to Spanish...
We might be talking about something different. Or maybe I am confused. (I just got back from a 17-mile bicycle ride and I'm a bit exhausted and this page was opened when I sat down and I just refreshed it and saw your post.) But I think I'm clear-headed enough. I was referring to an exercise where the robo-voice says something in French and I am instructed to type what I hear. In French. I typed what I heard, which was "... il disait." It counted me correct, then gave the "correct" answer, which was ".... ils disaient." (i.e., "they said" rather than "he said")
It's odd, though, because I'd expect either a "typo" message or a "wrong answer" and in this case especially (since it involves conjugation of a verb) I'd expect it not to be counted as a typo.
Here is the problem: « il disait » sounds exactly like « ils disaient ». So, yes, for the listen to French and type it in French (sorry, I am learning both languages, my error for putting Spanish), both are allowed to be correct as there is no way to tell the difference by listening. The original sentence is the plural, but they cannot expect you to know that by listening, so you were also correct. This is what comes from having so many silent letters at the end of the word. Then they showed you what they were actually going for, but since they sound exactly the same...
Sorry, I was pretty tired. I should have caught that you put « il disait » instead of « ils disaient », I could have explained this earlier.
We are lucky actually, there was a time when they didn’t recognize that homophones were a problem and in French they happen quite a bit. It would be nice since they mention typos if they were to recognize the homophone not just as correct, but let you know that you used a homophone of the correct answer.
That would explain it. In the spirit of Ockham's Razor, we'll assume that this is why it was counted correct and lose no more sleep over it. Thanks.
These homophones had to be added in separately for each sentence. So you may still come across some that have not been added yet, you can report those and be sure that you mention that you had the Listen to French and write it in same language exercise.
You weren't incorrect. The two sentences sound exactly the same is all.
Nous nous sommes méfies de ce qu'ils disaient
& ....de ce qu'il disait.
Only through the context of a conversation would know which one was intended.
This accepts "what they said," as a valid translation of ce qu'ils disaient, but that's wrong, isn't it?
ce qu'ils disaient = imparfait (what they were saying)
ce qu'ils ont dit = passé composé (what they said)
The English simple past is extremely versatile and can replace most past tenses in English though it is less precise. “What they were saying” is more accurate, but “what they said” is not necessarily wrong.
The French “imparfait” also accepts “what they used to say” and “what they would say” which are both actually in the simple past but give more information.
The passé composé also accepts “what they have said” and that could not be used for “imparfait”. You can also replace “had said” with “said” in English, but again you lose some information. The English simple past is for any past, but it is not as specific as these other tenses.
That being said, from a teaching standpoint, I would stick to one of the other three usually and Duolingo might not always accept the simple past for this tense, but on the other hand it must accept it for stative verbs. In English those verbs that are not used in the continuous form, for example we cannot say “I am believing you.” and we cannot say “I was believing you.”, we would say “I believe you.” and “I used to believe you.” or “Back then, I would believe you...” or “I believed you.” You have to be careful with “would” as it is a past form, but it can also be used as conditional.
In French the verb is reflexive even though it is not in English. You could try thinking of it as “We, ourselves, were suspicious....” to try and remember it, but normally, we would not use “ourselves” in the sentence. In French, the two pronouns have the same form.
I used ''mistrustful'' and think it should be accepted. Larousse indicate agreement. reported
I did thank you above, it is, however, quite difficult to get this. Now I see others struggle with the same. It is hard to grab why nous sommes turn into we were in the translation. I think maybe this just must be learned. French, unlike Spanish is a rather weird language to get used to for other European tongues
There is a missing word in the choices. The word "we' was not available the first time I attempted it, and the word "suspicious" was not available the second time.