https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

Question about "Le samedi"

Came across this sentence in the French lessons:
"Le dimanche suit le samedi."

And this comment, which echoes my own confusion:
I thought "le samedi" was an acceptable way of saying "Saturdays," as in "every Saturday," and same with "dimanche," so why is the translation "Sundays follow Saturdays" not correct?

The comment has 20 up votes and 2 lingots, so I'm not the only one confused about this. Can anyone explain please?

Here's the discussion: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2717321

April 29, 2018

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/relox84

I'd say that "le samedi" and "le dimanche" do not have the meaning of "every saturday/sunday" in this sentence, but rather refer to the days themselves: the day of sunday follows the day of saturday
I guess you could remove the definite articles here, but it sounds better with them on, at least to me. To get rid of them I would rephrase it as "(le) dimanche vient après (le) samedi" or even "Après samedi vient dimanche".

But since the difference in meaning between "Sunday follows Saturday" and "Sundays follow Saturdays" is anecdotal, I guess it could be translated as such, even though "Les dimanches suivent les samedis" is also a valid French sentence which would be a more accurate translation of "Sundays follow saturdays".

"le samedi" can only mean "every saturday" when it is used as an adverbial phrase rather than a subject or an object in the sentence.
Since adverbial complements are optional and do not alter the grammatical structure of the sentence, you can verify if it is one by removing it from the sentence and seeing if it still makes sense without it:

Consider for instance the sentence "Je vais à la plage le samedi": if you take away "le samedi" it becomes "je vais à la plage" which is still a correct sentence, so "le samedi" can only mean "every saturday"

However, if you take it away from "Le dimanche suit le samedi", it becomes "le simanche suit" which is an incomplete sentence: thus "le samedi" is not an optional element and has the meaning of "(the) saturday", reffering to the day itself.

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

"le samedi" can only mean "every saturday" when it is used as an adverbial phrase rather than a subject or an object in the sentence.

LIGHT BULB!!! Thank you! J'entends maintenant.

Since adverbial complements are optional and do not alter the grammatical structure of the sentence, you can verify if it is one by removing it from the sentence and seeing if it still makes sense without it

C'est un truc super. Merci beaucoup !

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeNolan6

Good point, 'suit' is the singular present third person of 'suivre', so using the plural of the subject and object in English would not be appropriate.

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015

I thought that "Je vais à la plage le samedi" means I'm going to the beach on Saturday (i.e. this Saturday) not every Saturday. For "every Saturday", shouldn't it be "(tous) les samedis", i.e. plural?

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

"This Saturday" is "ce samedi."

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/peterviuz

"Je vais à la plage le samedi" means "I go to the beach on Saturday/Saturdays" (every week). "Je vais à la plage samedi" = "I am going to the beach on Saturday" (next Saturday.). "Je. vais à la plage tous les samedis" = "I go to the beach every Saturday". In these examples, they answer the question "When?", because the day is associated with an action (I go to the beach). With no action, you say "Le samedi et mon jour préféré" = "Saturday is my favourite day".

May 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeNolan6

Have you considered the possibility that your answer just hasn't been added to the list of correct answers yet? I find that so commonplace that I just don't worry about it any more. (If I had to worry about 'health' and wrong answers that aren't really wrong, I might be more concerned, but the web version doesn't appear to punish you for incorrect answers.)

Even a simple sentence can have multiple correct translations, and a complex one can have literally thousands of right answers. The course developers might not think of every possible right answer.

L'Huillier says that the article is used when the activity is habitual, as in 'every Sunday' and not used when it refers to a particular day, as in 'Tomorrow is Sunday'. Days of the week don't have plural forms.

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

Oh, yes, I've definitely considered reporting it, but I thought I'd double check with some smarter-than-me folks before doing so. The only reason I didn't go straight for the "report" button this time is because days/months/time in French is devilishly tricky for me right now since I'm such a newb.

Thanks for your comment!

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Fergus138287

ok. you've got me confused. but if you think it should be right, maybe just report it. or, just search up on google what does it mean.

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

Did some searching, thanks. I think I'm right.

I'll report it in a day or so if I don't get any responses explaining some bizarre French nuance I'm not aware of. I say bizarre only because French isn' t my native language so naturally the bizarre-ness is with French and not English ;-)

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich

I've seen this construction, too. I've wondered about the difference between le samedi and à samedi. My native language is English and I've been studying French for about 4 years. According to Sitesurf, le dimanche succéder à le samedi meaning Sunday follows Saturday. Also, Sitesurf said, You could say "dimanche suit samedi" which would primarily mean: next Sunday follows next Saturday. Here's another discussion with Sitesurf's comments. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/594927

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HelloMiners

I'm currently taking French, and le samedi does, in fact, mean every Saturday. When the day doesn't have the article, it means that it's only once or that it doesn't happen every Saturday.

Le samedi je joue au foot

Every Saturday I play football (soccer)

Samedi je vais aller au zoo

This Saturday, I'm going to the zoo

So you're correct, there might be just something wrong with the sentence. Hopefully, this helps!

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JammyDodgie
Wait... Lrtward asking us a question and WE answer it?? This is unreal.
May 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

I agree with you. I would have translated that sentence the exact same way. Did Duo give you the expected answer? Did they want Sunday follows Saturday. I think we have to be a little flexible; there is a lot we don't know about our target language at this stage of the game.

April 29, 2018
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