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

Ingénieur vs un ingénieur

The task is to select the translation for "The man is an engineer."

The options are:

L'homme est pauvre.

L'homme est ingénieur.

L'homme est un ingénieur.

I had noticed that one usually doesn't use articles when speaking about occupations, so I checked the second answer. But Duolingo said I should select both the second and the third. Is it right?

July 7, 2012

12 Comments


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

I speak french, it's my native language and duolingo is right you can say both ways.

July 7, 2012

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

The same is true for German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and probably other languages. Slightly different meaning with article vs. without.

May 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1km

I think both are correct, because you could be talking about a man who is an engineer by profession (your understanding), or you could be talking about the role that he carries out, meaning: "That man is an engineer. He is one of several we employ here, who specialize in electronics, mining, computers ... ."

July 7, 2012

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

I think that Duolingo should not post such questions because it does not give any explanations. From all the previous exercises I got that I need not use the article in such cases, and then it says I'm wrong not to select that "un ingéneur". That's a little inconsistent, isn't it? :)

Anyway, I'm glad you guys explained the "un" and non-"un" cases to me :)

July 8, 2012

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

I agree. In multiple choice questions, they should think not only about what is correct, but also about what is helpful to the student. This question would be better off without that alternative. I report things like this sometimes, but I don't know if they ever do anything about it.

July 2, 2013

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

It would be good if it added an explanation for that. It does do that sometimes.

June 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marco87c

florala, I didn't want to be mean. it's just what every grammar book says about it. An exception could be if the profession is followed by some more elements related to it:

Il est le dentiste de notre ville.

Il est un professeur renommé.

But this is not the case of the sentences above mentioned, is it?

July 8, 2012

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

No worries

But it's not because every grammar book say so that you can't say both ways. Duolingo is not wrong on this ;)

July 8, 2012

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

So... is this situation specific to the occupation of engineer for some reason?

April 4, 2013

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

No, it is valid for all the occupations.

April 4, 2013

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

Thanks Florala

July 7, 2012

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

marco87c, i guess you are a native speaker as well?

Because i am and both are correct.

July 8, 2012
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