1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Il est bas."

"Il est bas."

Translation:He is low.

March 24, 2013

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PapaLingo

Does anyone else hear "d" sound here for the word "bas". I have played it over 20 times in both speeds and I can't make out the b sound. Anyone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pan_rep

I answered "dans"... it is not clear the sound for the word "bas"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SongbirdSandra

Yes, there is a clear d sound; no b sound at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michellepe218901

I heard a "d" sound as well. They should give you options to choose from because it's too hard to discern what's being said from the audio alone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darkavenue

You're not crazy PapaLingo, I heard D as well


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jparadise08

I heard "d" as well. Many of the audio clues have been hard to understand. But overall, I just want to thank duo for such a great product! It's the only language program I've had any success with, and its provided gratis!? Cheers, duo!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicolson

Yep - I hear 'da...'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AldoRoss

Perhaps this has been corrected (7/17/2014), as I hear a "b", although it is very close to sounding like "d".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stopeatingmyarm

9/14/2014, still sounds like a D sound to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ausjhin20

same for me as well, computer voices are hard since they can't pronounce to clearly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarieL-B

Did you have to translate it, or type what you hear?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toadHermit

Still sounds like "d".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alphabeta

I finally understand why the Netherlands is Les Pays-Bas in French: "The Low Countries" (although in English this term refers to Belgium and Luxembourg as well) !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cobold

FYI: It has the same meaning in German as well: Niederlande (the lower lands)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dieske

whaha, i am from the netherlands and i just now realized that in dutch, 'Nederland' also means the lower lands xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cobold

The more you know...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamirSen

And also the hahaha is whaha...courtesy another friend of mine from Netherlands


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soolrak

Same in Spanish: "Países Bajos" (Low countries).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackie.Bowers

in what sense is he low? Morally, physically (like...short)...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

If you are talking about a table, you will say "elle est basse" (une table), if a stool "il est bas" (un tabouret).

If you are talking about a man, "il est bas" misses something to really mean anything, like "dans les sondages" (meaning his ratings are low in pools)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laduda20

Sitesurf you are so helpful! Thanks so much adding such useful information to so many of these questions!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saragclopes

so bas it is something more related to the personality? if i wanted to say it is a small man i couldn't use the word bas, only petit or court?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K333222

neither "court" nor "bas" can be used for "short" when talking about a man


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deCalle

Yeah great then why doesn't duo put up a meaningful sentence?! Introduce la table and puts it instead of il? Making the world easier doesn't work with this ****


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisFeath1

Could be used if watching a pilot flying an aircraft; "Ooh, he's low!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tanya369

Why is "it" and"he" are interchangeable here, but "il est tard" is only translated as "it is late" and not "he is late" ? They look the same to me...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"bas" is an adjective. If you are talking about a table, you will say "elle est basse" (une table), if a stool "il est bas" (un tabouret).

"tard" is an adverb. If you mean "he is late", you will have to say "il est en retard", because the impersonal "il est tard" means "it is late".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talat

Ah the legendary Sitsurf! I see you for the first time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Probably not the last time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Querist

Hopefully not!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MathewP.

What is the difference in C'est bas and Il est bas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

c'est bas = this is low / it is low

il est bas = he is low / it is low


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MathewP.

Merci. So if I want to say "it is low", then at what situation should I use c'est bas and at what situation should I use il est bas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"c'est bas" could be a comment about the low height of the ceiling in a room ("c'est bas de plafond, ici")

"c'est bas" could also be figurative as a comment after an unfair observation you hear.

"il est bas" could describe a low stool, for example (un tabouret).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willijanb

And could "Il est bas" mean he is depressed or downhearted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GwenFaye

Would "he is base" be an acceptable translation? As in, "He is a base man." I typed it in and Duolingo did not accept it, which is fine, of course. I was just wondering if it would work as a correct translation. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No, it does not work. "une base" is only a noun and means basis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryan.bunne

For once, I have to question your input Sitesurf. I checked several French-English dictionaries, and it lists "bas" as meaning base as in "contemptible" and "vile". I figured this was the root, as to be "low (now "lowly") used to be synonymous with this form as well. However, this meaning is fairly archaic, and I've only seen it in poetry and old texts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

My fault: I had not checked on the adjective form!

I confirm that "il est bas" would not be used as such to describe a man's mood or personality. But "il est vil, il est indigne" (=base) would do well.

Thank you for your comment!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GwenFaye

Thank you! That was very helpful, Sitesurf.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavmarx

Can this also mean short? As in not tall?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No, a man cannot be "bas". So "il est bas" is about a masculine inanimate object (un meuble, un plafond...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guguiz

And how can I say a man is short? As in not tall.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justnaxete

It does say it is possible "He is low" as an answer, should we report this then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucemarina

can we say a person is "low"? If so, when? and what does it mean? I translated "it", which is right, but "he is low" is given as alternative right answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/howcheng

Think limbo. How low can you go?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gardenhoser

ummmmmmmmmmm I hear "don"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nancyzee

He is low? Huh??? Short, or a sneaky cad?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally.C

I heard v not a b. Definitely not bas


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Benjamin456

Why not c'est bas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PittfieldEmily

In English Canada, 'low' is usually a feeling. You can say "He is feeling low" meaning 'he is depressed'. You can also say "he is feeling down" to say the same thing. 'low' could also mean a person has low morals or no scruples but you won't hear that often. Usually 'low' refers to feeling depressed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oulenz

Duolingo manages to make «bas» here sound like «vin» or «pain»...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malabhargava

I hear bain and it's making no sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLouLorraine

How is a person "low" in English? Health-wise?? Of low morals?? What does "he is low" mean in English???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tzak_el

Well, it's a good thing he isn't high.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.