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  5. "They can return to their pla…

"They can return to their places."

Translation:Ils peuvent retourner à leurs places.

March 28, 2013



Should "leurs places" actually be singular, in that each girl has her own place (just one place, not many). Does this sentence, the way it is written, imply that each girl has multiple places? I am remembering a high school French example like "Elles ont mis leur chapeau sur leur tête", singular chapeau and tête since each person has one hat and one head: if it were chapeaux and têtes, then the girls would have multiple heads to put their hats on! Someone, please illuminate this for me!


You are absolutely right. The French is (also) built on common sense and often uses a singular object with a plural subject whenever it is implied that it is about "one each".


Yes. "Elles peuvent retourner à leur places" should be accepted. As it is more logical that each girl has one place.


This is exactly what the singular "leur place" means in French: one each, each girl to her respective place.


So....if they were all going back to one place, together, how would that be said in French?


elles retournent à leur(s) place(s)


Yes, again, a plural subject can have a singular or a plural object.

  • elles retournent à leurs places (same as in English)
  • elles retournent à leur place (each one to her own place/seat)

Remember: "ils mangent une banane" does "mean one each" and "ils mangent des bananes" means either one each or several each.


I hope I'm not being too dense here, but what if three people ate one banana among them? If "Ils mangent une banane" means they each had one banana, how do you say the 3 of them ate the single banana? Would you have to add something to the sentence to make that clear?


No problem. Yes, we would add something to stress the fact that the three of them are sharing one banana:

  • ils mangent une banane à eux trois.
  • ils se partagent une banane.


Really? "Elles retournent à leurs places" when all of them are returning to one place together? I am so confused.


I can picture teachers saying to her students, "return to your seats" OR "return to your seat". To me, either works in English, however, I'm not sure that similar reasoning necessarily applies in a language other than English.


In this case, with "they can return to their places" in English, I would interpret that as each of them having their own single place. If it were "they can return to their place" I'd think they all shared one place.


I put "Elles peuvent retourner à ses places" - I know it's wrong, but don't understand why it's wrong. Help?


"ses" means "her + plural possession". the subject being "elles" = they, you need the 3rd person plural possessive = "leurs" = their + plural possession.


Thanks for asking this question. I correctly used "leurs", but it didn't occur to me this time around that "ses" might have been an option.


ils pouvent revenir chez eux? chez is not correct here?


Pourquoi je ne peux pas dire "à leurs lieux" au lieu de "à leurs places"?


what is the difference between "retourner" and "se retourner" that I saw earlier in this lesson?


retourner à sa place = return/go back to one's place

se retourner = turn around (lit: to turn oneself)


Why revenir is incorrect?


"Revenir" = to come back here
"Retourner" = to go back to some other place.

This explains it well, I think: http://www.frenchasyoulikeit.com/retourner-revenir-rentrer-whats-the-difference/


When u r to write "they" some time elle sometime Elles accepted what does it mean? Is this an error ?


In English "they" can represent 2 or more people, animals or things, irrespective of their respective genders.

In French, "elles" is used to translate "they" when there are 2 or more women or feminine animals or feminine things.

In all other cases, "ils" is used to translate "they" (2 or more people, animals or things, masculine or a mix of masculine and feminine ones)

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