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  5. "I grab his letter."

"I grab his letter."

Translation:Je saisis sa lettre.

March 26, 2013



I grabbed the suggestion/ idea etc. and used it to my advantage makes sense with saisis. But grabbing his letter seems quite a stretch.

Prends seems like it would be a better choice.


"Saisir" is a bit more dramatic, if I can say so. It's like taking quite violently the letter, if you see the idea.


Lettre also means letter as in I wrote a letter. Grabbing his letter is a perfectly fine action.


I understand that it is an acceptable term to grab a letter. It just seemed to me like using saisir to convey that meaning was a stretch. Checking dictionaries after this example, I see that they indicate that grabbing, taking, seizing are all more common uses for saisir than understanding.

That is not something that is apparent from Duo lessons so far.


I concur. This introduction to this verb should be cleared up.


I agree that the nuance of the definition may not be apparent from this example, but I don't think it is a stretch. "Saisir" makes sense if it is the content of the letter that is being grasped, or understood.


I also put prends and it was marked wrong.


Je saisis son lettre was marked wrong for me and put in place of letter was courrier as in mail


Ah, I think I get it now... this happened to me, but I think we would have had to put "sa lettre"


I cannot find out when to use saisir and when to use prendre.


Could someone put me straight please, I put "Je saisis son lettre" and got it wrong.


Wait lettre is feminine isn't it?


You got it.

Son means his/her. Its use, or not, is determined by the gender of the noun not the subject.


I also thought either "saisir" and "prendre" were to be right answers, but in the "prendre" option the correct use of the verb is "prends" not "prend" as it is shown there.


If the sentence je saisis sa lettre is used, how are you to know whether the letter is being taken from a boy or girl as the 'sa' relates to the gender of the noun (lettre)?


If it is important and the context doesn't make it clear, then you have to reconstruct the sentence.


This is always the case with sa/son, you can never know without more context


I'm still confused about this. Is this some sort of idiom? I've never once heard the term "grab" used in reference to understanding an idea.


The phrase "grasping an idea" is very common but "grabbing" is not. For example, when someone is teaching something and asks the students "Are you grasping this...?"


Correct! The idea of "understanding" for saisir is conveyed in the sense of "grasping" an idea. We occasionally use "grasp" in English as if to say "I have taken hold of the idea", but we just say, "I get it (or) I've got it" (meaning, now I have grasped the idea you were talking about). We even use "take" in the same way, e.g., "if you take my meaning" (i.e., if you understand what I'm trying to say).


I've never heard anyone say "take my meaning," but I would know what they meant by it.


Take my meaning is often used to convey danger or risk if the not directly stated meaning is not noticed.

John is coming over to discuss a settlement to our dispute.He'll be bringing his gun, if you take my meaning.

Jim has been given complete control of the finances. He has been convicted of fraud, if you take my meaning.

In these examples no direct threat or accusation is made but the listener is invited to be aware of their presence.


I just meant that I personally have never heard that phrase used before. That could speak to growing up in the Midwestern U.S. As I said, I would understand what was meant. A quick Google search even provided a book with the phrase in its title. I didn't find anything on it being used to convey danger or risk specifically, just that the listener is to infer that the statement has a more profound, mutually understood meaning.


I would agree that Duolingo is mistaking the terms 'grab' and 'grasp.'


I wrote "je saisis son lettre" because I thought son means his and sa means her. Apparently, we write sa/son/ses depending on the following word. Correct?


I thought je saisis meant 'I understand'.


Can mean both. "Saisir" (infinitive) the meaning of a text means to understand it, and "Saisir une lettre" means to grab it. The context would help.


What would be wrong with the verb "prendre"?


"Prendre" is not necessarily wrong (I would put in an error report) but duolingo is playing with nuances. "Prendre" is 'to take' and is generally a more tame action than "Saisir" which is to grab, grasp, or even seize. The french definition for "Saisir" says - "prendre qch (something) avec les mains" or 'to take something with the hands' which is a suitable translation for 'to grab'


I used prends and it was correct.


If we're talking about the physical action here would it equate to 'snatch'?


Why is "arracher" not acceptable for grab?


I tried arracher but I suspect it requires an indirect object in this context.


how do you know its "his" letter


You don't, unless you have context. Lacking context it could be either "his" or "hers".


I used lettre and it marked it wrong. Wants courier? I haven't learned that yet.


You probably wrote "son lettre" when "lettre" is feminine ("sa lettre"). DL sometimes tries really hard to have your article be correct and will suggest an alternate noun.

[deactivated user]


    Dualingo changed the correct word lettre to courrier? ❤❤❤

    [deactivated user]

      I my answer wasn't accepted because i used lettre instead of courrier


      App won't take lettre for letter. Insisting it should be courrier.


      I thought it was le lettre, so why do I use sa lettre.

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