"We are second."
Translation:Nous sommes deuxièmes.
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)
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." :)
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.
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?
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 ».
Indeed, why not. I imagined a choice between two people or two teams. Why not seconds?
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?
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 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.
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 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.
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 :)
la VacheModern thank you so much for your time and your detailed answer. nous sommes deuxiemes would make a lot of sense to me.but I also now think to grasp the variation nous sommes deuxieme still and adjective but used in singular form. I do appreciate your time and your detailed anser. It now is clearer to me.... and thank you for your so encouraging comment at the end... I am still such a beginner....trying to learn French for only 10 months..... but often I spend quite some time visiting different websites... (cannot remember them all) and I do not rely on Google translate for correctness... Google translate only helps me with clues.Thank you again. you are much appreciated.
I am glad that my comment helped you! For someone who "only" started to learn French ten months ago, you are doing well.
In my opinion, French is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world, especially because of its very complex grammar rules. I do not know if you pay attention to the level that people commenting have reached, but there are not that many people who have kept learning French long enough to reach level 21. So keep going and you will be able to reach your goal!
If you need any tips, you can ask me help whenever you want to :)