"He comes and goes between the house and the garage."

Translation:Il va et vient entre la maison et le garage.

April 19, 2018

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Could someone please explain why the meanings of "aller" and "venir" are reversed in all of the exercises in this lesson? I get that "aller et venir" is what French people say, while we reverse it and say "coming and going" in English, but it is very confusing to an English speaker when the literal translation of the sentence is rejected. Why not accept "He is going and coming between the house and the garage" ?


This sentence is a phrase, idiomatic in both languages.

  • aller = to go
  • venir = to come

"Aller et venir" = to come and go

This is also confusing for French learners so you just need to learn it as a set phrase.


Sitesurf, for once I think you are wrong, in English at least. 'Going and coming' and 'coming and going' are entirely interchangeable. Both are commonly employed in correct modern English usage. Perhaps this is not true in French. No English teacher would require a change of order regarding this phrase.


It's like "black and white", peterschei2. If one were to say, "white and black," even if they had a good reason for it, it would just sound off. While "going and coming" is correct grammatically, I would always say, "coming and going" before I would ever say, "going and coming," and that's what's happening here. While "venir et aller" is correct grammatically, it would probably sound really odd to any person you spoke it too who knows French. I would rather Duolingo teach me idiomatic things like this then to just accept my answer as correct, however I do think Duolingo should have something in between green and red to say, "yes, you were correct grammatically, but this is how it's usually said in French." That would make me a little happier so that I know it's just one of those phrases I have to learn in French rather than me making a grammatical error. It could be yellow and stands for "partially correct" or something like that.


Would il vient et va entre la maison et le garage be understood completely?


I believe so, however it would be "il va et vient entre la maison et le garage" because, just like we will always say "come and go" in English and not "go and come", you will always say "aller et venir" in French and not "venir et aller".


What's wrong with my translation : il vient et va entre la maison et le garage.?


"Aller et venir" is a set phrase in French, just like "come and go" is in English. The difference is in the word order.


Perhaps the literal translation could be accepted and the idiomatic one recorded at the bottom as the preferred version.


That is a horrible idea for anyone trying to teach a language. You would want what they're teaching to be grammatically and idiomatically correct, wouldn't you? What else should they accept for the sake of a direct translation, since English is not the same language as French! You can't just go between the two! French speakers would never say : « il vient et va », they would say : « il va et vient », and that's for the same reason that we only ever say, "he comes and goes" or, "black and white" instead of, "he goes and comes" and, "white and black", and I think it's the right thing for Duo to mark people wrong for saying something that a French speaker would never say.

With that being said, however, I wouldn't agree with Duo marking people wrong for this if they hadn't been told this before, which has happened to some people. I believe this is written in the Tips and Notes section for this lesson, in which case you should know this, but if not, then they need to get it in there and maybe when people are marked wrong for this, they could do more than just give the right answer; maybe they could add an explanation to say that your phrase was grammatically correct, but it just isn't how that phrase would be spoken.


You should not include this "trick question". I translated it literally as "he comes and goes" and was marked wrong. In English you could say "he goes and comes". If the idiom is different in French this is misleading because in English it is interchangeable. Just reverse the phrasing in English and let us translate it literally. It will be the same. Otherwise it is just stupid.


Um it's not a trick question since they explain it in the tips and notes and it's not interchangeable in English. "going and coming" in English doesn't sound right to a lot of native speakers in the same way that "white and black" doesn't sound right either. Also what's wrong with getting it wrong once and knowing for next time?


The 'get it wrong and then know' model doesn't work well on a platform where you are constantly encouraged to get as many correct answers in a row as possible. Also, DL is typically very strict about word order so switching it up isn't fun as a learner.

One other thing - where are you seeing the notes? I'm accessing these questions through the 'present-tense' lesson and I do not see them.


This is really stupid. I translate "He comes and goes" with "Il vient et va" but it must be "Il va et vient". This is the other way around. Does Duolingo not want me to succeed this test??


Well if you read any of the other comments here you would know that it's an idiomatic thing for the order of the verbs in French to be « aller et venir » which is opposite to the idiomatic order in English which is "to come and to go". This is just something you have to learn and I'm pretty sure it mentions that in the tips and notes somewhere. They actually want you to succeed in speaking the French language which is why they are giving you the correct order and not accepting your order just because it's natural to you


I wrote: Il vient et va entre la maison et le garage, according to the right order of the statement words, but got wrong because the model answer is wrong!


The correct answer is not wrong, that's kind of the reason it's the correct answer. There are certain phrases, in English, which are only said one way around, and it's a colloquial thing, meaning it's not grammatically wrong to say the phrase the other way around, but any native speaker of that language will look at you weirdly if you say it the wrong way.

Some examples in English are: "black and white" (sounds weird to say, "white and black"); "come and go" (sounds weird to say, "go and come"); etc. What you're seeing here is that, while the English sentence uses "come and go" colloquially, French actually uses it the other way around colloquially, meaning in French, it's not « venir et aller », it's « aller et venir ». This is incredibly unintuitive to English speakers since we thing it sounds odd that way around, but this is just something you have to learn and accept.

I'm sure there's a term for this when it happens in a language, but I don't know what it is. (I guess you could say "come and go" is a purmutually-locked phrase, but that just sounds odd.)

This is why it's the other way around in the correct sentence. I know Duo is wrong a lot when it comes to the preferred translation, but in this case, it's correct.

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