"Ils ont les citrons."

Translation:They have the lemons.

3/27/2013, 2:53:31 PM


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I thought it said "Ils sont les citrons"

4/25/2013, 8:50:07 PM

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If it was ils sont it will -s- But it's ils ont -z-

3/19/2014, 1:55:42 PM


the s- sound is from the ils... i dont think i could tell the difference between the two

12/17/2013, 10:45:45 PM


its very subtle, but ils ont should sound like il zont, with the S sounding like a Z. The french carry the last letter of a word onto the next if it starts with a vowel. Me my hearin isn't the best so I struggle big time :):)

12/2/2018, 7:10:46 AM

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How am I supposed to know it's plural if they don't pronounce the 's'? is there some variation in the vowels or something I need practice detecting?

5/25/2013, 5:05:02 PM


Yes, there is. It is subtle, the 's' in "Ils ont" sounds like a 'z' sound rather than "Ils sont" where you pronounce them as 's'es.

5/30/2013, 1:21:22 PM


The verb ont tells you it's plural. If it was singular, then the verb would be a

6/10/2018, 12:07:54 PM


I had the same problem No s or z sound from the turtle.

3/5/2015, 11:58:48 PM


"They've the lemons." is the weirdest possible correction. Not impossible, but really weird and obscure!

11/29/2017, 1:02:53 PM


How do I know if it's plural??

6/12/2013, 9:27:12 AM


You hear "les" (pronounced much like "lay") instead of "le" (pronounced a bit like "ler" but with with the vowel sound downplayed).

6/12/2013, 11:19:59 AM


I can't tell when to translate a plural noun as "the lemons" or just "lemons."

11/1/2013, 5:44:29 PM

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"the lemons" (those we're seeing, those we're talking about, etc.) = "les citrons" anyway and always

"lemons" =

1) either "des citrons" if it is undetermined (e.g. I brought lemons -- J'ai apporté des citrons ; They sell lemons -- Ils vendent des citrons ; You make this cake with lemons -- Tu fais ce cake avec des citrons), or when there is no context, as in exercises on Duolingo.

2) or "les citrons", if the meaning is general (attention: general does not equal undetermined, but "all of..."). E.g.: "Lemons are sour / good for health / yellow" -- "LES citrons sont acides / bons pour la santé / jaunes".

Beware, "des" does not always imply undetermined objects, because in French "des" is also the contraction of "de + les"; subsequently, this falls in the first category mentioned above. It happens when the word (generally a verb) before is constructed with "de". E.g.: "avoir besoin DE" (to need), "s'occuper DE" (to be in charge of, to deal with), "avoir envie DE" (to fancy, to feel like). Imagine you're making a cake with a friend, several ingredients in front of you, and you say "OK, now I need the lemons" -- "OK, maintenant j'ai besoin DES citrons" (literally "de les citrons", which is a mistake in French, not even colloquial or slang, really a total mistake that hurts the ears).

The same case with undetermined objects is made using simply the phrasal "de", dropping the "les". E.g. "I need lemons for my cake" -- "J'ai besoin DE citrons pour mon cake". yes, it's weird and complicated at first, but you get used to it with practice...

11/6/2013, 3:06:00 PM


Wow, this helped me A LOT! Thank you so much!

11/30/2018, 1:23:18 AM


I was corrected thus: (The set of lemons is unspecified, so you must use the partitive "des".) The text to translate,however, is "Ils ont les citrons" which I feel should translate to: They have lemons.

1/6/2015, 3:54:12 AM


same. the lemons sounds weird, unnatural and incorrect in this sentence.

8/14/2018, 6:31:01 AM

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Have you read my post just above ?!

"Ils ont les citrons" CANNOT be "They have lemons" : in the French sentence, you can clearly see that it's not about all the lemons of the world, it's not a general statement. Not only are we talking about "they", but also - and mostly - we specify what they have, probably at the moment. You couldn't be more specific than that, so to speak.

I said "and mostly" we specify that they have the lemons, because with another verb, implying a generality, you wouldn't use the article in English :

  • Ils aiment les citrons = They like lemons.

That's because it's about a taste for lemons in general.

So when you write "the set of lemons is unspecified", you shouldn't only look at the sentence, out of context ; of course, within the sentence, we don't know much about those lemons. But just because we're talking about them having something, if the French sentence has the article ("les"), you MUST use the in English as well, otherwise you change the meaning. The fact of using "les" in French, in that very sentence with that verb, makes those lemons specific, i.e. the lemons we've talked about, the lemons we're seeing in front of use, the lemons we need for a recipe, etc. VS all the lemons of the universe / the concept of lemons.

Got it ?

1/6/2015, 1:20:16 PM


So apperently "They have the lemons! Attack!" Was wrong

2/22/2015, 6:10:31 AM


how do you say "suck my nuts" in french??? (or german :) )

4/6/2017, 12:28:32 AM


just curious


4/6/2017, 12:31:01 AM


Those Lemon stealing wh-

11/21/2018, 10:24:09 PM


When do you use ont

3/20/2018, 12:43:51 AM

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So far, I haven't managed to figure out when to translate "les ..." as "the" and when to leave it as it is.

3/27/2018, 10:45:55 AM


No sound. what is wrong?

7/19/2018, 9:33:45 PM


So bloody frustrating as a native english speaker, I put the "the" in and duolingo leaves it out and the opposite when I don't put it in. I realise there is a subtle difference in the meaning, but struggle to get it. Any ideas :):)

12/2/2018, 7:06:13 AM


I'm not an expert, but I have figured out that Duo usually wants you to leave out the article in English if it sounds unnatural or unnecessary.

You almost always need an article in front of a noun in French so you should put in whichever article makes sense for the sentence. The only times (I know of) where you don't need an article in French are

  1. in front of an occupation (I guess the French think of occupations as adjectives?),

  2. after the word pas (just use de without le/la), and

  3. between the verb parler and the name of a language.

Can anyone else think of more?

12/2/2018, 1:48:24 PM


But it look like l said it right what exactly is missing

1/19/2019, 10:40:40 PM

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I used "Ils ont des citrons" I was incorrect. If I use use des instead of les does that change the meaning?

1/23/2019, 10:35:07 AM


But in turtle mode it sounds more like il a le citron...

3/24/2014, 8:59:01 PM


Lemons or the lemons is essentially the same. Marking this incorrect because in the English the "the" is left out is stupid.

7/26/2014, 9:51:17 PM

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They may be essentially the same, they're not exactly the same and it depends on the context.

"Lemons are yellow" or "The lemons are yellow" are essentially the same, with the former being more correct and natural in English.

But "I have lemons" and "I have the lemons" are NOT the same, they don't refer to the same thing: 'I have lemons' means you have some fruits called lemons that are not oranges; 'I have the lemons' means you have something that was mentioned before, or that you have the lemons whereas I have the sugar (say, for a recipe).

It's important to know that difference because in French, the first two examples will give "Les citrons sont jaunes" - but the third sentence will be 'J'ai des citrons', and the last one 'J'ai LES citrons'. For both FR and ENG here, you MUST use 'the / les' otherwise the sentence means something else (not essentially different, I agree, still important to know).

7/27/2014, 4:09:27 PM


I forgot the

6/13/2016, 3:45:19 AM


They need to look at tge audio for this exercise. It said "Ils on les ci". I said what I heard and got it wrong. I then said, Ils ont les citron", and got it right.

8/2/2016, 7:28:57 AM


sounds like a warning

3/18/2017, 2:02:48 AM


Why can't I translate it as "I have lemons"? I think it makes sense

8/18/2013, 11:12:38 AM

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Let's put them in an example

John is looking for some lemons. " I have (some) lemons. " -- overall lemons, unidentify.

John is looking for his lemons. " I have the lemons. " -- identified lemons, whose are John's.

1/4/2014, 6:12:16 AM


because 'ils' means 'they' not 'I'. It would translate as "they have lemons"

1/10/2014, 9:50:03 PM


Does "elles sont les citrons" also work?

8/19/2013, 4:27:31 AM


les citrons= le citron

3/27/2013, 2:53:31 PM


Non, la prononciation c'est différent, 'les' sonne comme 'le', et 'le' sonne comme 'l'.

7/10/2013, 10:32:19 PM
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