"We are second."

Translation:Nous sommes deuxièmes.

April 20, 2018

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Nous sommes secondes... not right?


I have the same question


I am confused by Duo's insistance on using the very formal 'nous'. Surely in conversational French 'on est' is preferable. What nuance is being expressed by choosing this form over 'on est deuxiemes' (I haven't forgotten the grave accent)

[deactivated user]

    I agree with you. I just wanted to say that, since the personal pronoun "on" is singular, all past principles and adjectives related to it have to be in the singular form as well. Thus, you should write "On est deuxième." instead of *"On est deuxièmes." :)


    Not true, as in this instance "on" replaces "nous" so it needs plural. Here an interesting link http://ameliorersonfrancais.com/grammaire/verbes/accord-avec-le-pronom-on/ at "pronom personnel" paragraph.


    I think we have to learn the conjugations with nous so this is our chance to study it. Besides, on for nous is common but quite casual.


    When does one use deuxième vs second? Thanks.


    it appears that "second" is used when there are two things to choose from. but "deuxieme" is used when there are more than 2 things to choose from. could be wrong though.

    [deactivated user]

      You are actually right. If you want more details, you can check the topic "La deuxième vache est jeune." where many people asked questions about that (here is the link: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/894363). As I am writing this, I am talking with a moderator there on the various nuances of these two words. I hope that it will help you :)


      How do we know there are more than two to choose from in this case? Perhaps only them and us?


      Seems like 'On est deuxième.' should also be accepted.


      On écrit « second » ou « deuxième » ? Règle : la règle communément admise et partagée par l’Académie française est d’écrire « second » lorsqu’il n’y a que deux éléments et pas de troisième dans votre énumération. Si vous parlez du deuxième élément d’une série allant au delà de deux, alors écrivez « deuxième ».


      nous sommes le deuxieme wrong?

      [deactivated user]

        In your sentence, "le deuxième" qualifies the personal pronoun "nous". Thus, you have to write it in its plural form, since there are more than one person who are second: "Nous sommes les deuxièmes."


        I did, and it was rejected. Nous sommes les deuxiemes.


        Why not nous sommes seconds?


        Indeed, why not. I imagined a choice between two people or two teams. Why not seconds?

        [deactivated user]

          It's just one more time a stupid DL reject. Nous sommes seconds is perfectly correct in french. Here is the difference between second and deuxième : you have to use second when there are only two people or two things. The first one and the second one. And you have to use deuxième when there are more than two people or things. Premier deuxième troisième quatrième..... dixième..... centième....


          Why is 'seconds' wrong here?


          Is nous sommes deuxiemes really correct? because : deuxieme is an adverb here... for example: terminer deuxieme. an adverb does not take the plural from sommes or does it in French? or is the" second" not an adverb?If you treat " second" like a noun... like I am the first.... I am the second... should it then not be used with the article?

          [deactivated user]

            I may be wrong, but I think that "deuxièmes" is an adjective here. In French, when you come across this type of sentence [subject + verb "être" + word(s) qualifying the subject], the word qualifying the subject can be either a noun or an adjective. If there is no article between the verb "être" and the word qualifying the subject, then it is an adjective.

            In the sentence "Nous sommes deuxièmes.", there is no article between the verb "sommes" and the word "deuxièmes" qualifying the subject "nous". Thus, "deuxièmes" is an adjective and has to be in the plural form like the subject "nous".

            I hope that my explanation was clear enough and helped you. If not, feel free to ask me to rephrase it :)


            I am still not sure about this sentence, because: three different resources on the web translate :we are second (second is treated like and adverb not like an adjective:) nous sommes deuxieme. however, if "deuxieme" is treated like an adjective, then it needs the ending relating to the noun that had been used', if second stands alone, then it can be used as a noun, but then it would collect the article' les deuxiemes....in this case perhaps? I would appreciate a response.

            [deactivated user]

              I do not know which are the resources you used for that, but I think that they are wrong. Since the adjective "second" qualifies the personal noun "we", it should be in the plural form in French to show that it modifies "we", and applies to more than one person. Thus, you can write either "Nous sommes deuxièmes. or "Nous sommes les deuxièmes." (although I think that "Nous sommes deuxièmes." sounds more natural).

              If you used websites like Google Translation to check that, I am not surprised that the output was *"Nous sommes deuxième.", because "second" (being an English adjective) is always in its singular form. Thus, the program translated it in a singular form in French. Be careful when you use this type of programs because, even if they make more and more accurate translations, they are still not perfect.

              Although, I have to say that you can be proud of yourself: you know the French language well enough to spot that there was something wrong :)


              I am sorry but I still think without context "nous sommes seconds" or "on est second" should be accepted. In the British annual Oxbridge boat race there are two teams, and one would not use "last" for the second place boat.

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