"Elles utilisent les verres."

Translation:They are using the glasses.

March 28, 2013

This discussion is locked.


how to distinguish the pronunciation between elle utilise and elles utilisent


you should hear a Z liaison between "elles" and "utilisent"


I'm not hearing it.


I almost heard it when listening to the full speed. But when listening to the "turtle" speed the liaison is not audible. Think they should give credit for "elle utilise":)


No, the "turtle" speed reads word separately from word, so you must listen to the full speed also in order to get the liaisons.


I played the slow version and I DO NOT hear it. It is clearly not there. I suppose I hear it a bit on the regular speed recording, but only so very slight.


Slow versions give words one after another, so you cannot hear liaisons.

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It's always seemed strange DL practice to me not to repeat liaisons in the slow versions, which are after all to help one get a correct pronunciation, not a different pronunciation.


In order to get a slow translation, they read each word separately, so it is not just someone reading the sentence more slowly. It would be nice to have a speed feature so that we could slow the regular version down: slower, no slower, now slower, okay a bit faster.


Question on this note: in the recording (here and in similar cases), "elles [voyelle ou h muet]" is pronounced with almost equal stress on, and time devoted to, the first and second syllable (el-lez-) ; it sounds rather bouncy for French. Is this indeed how it is done, or is the second syllable generally more compact?

I've been trying to discern it in the audiobooks/podcasts I listen to, but it all flies by so fast and I'm busy trying to catch whole sentences at this point; the nuances of single syllables are a tad beyond me - en ce moment ;)


French people tend to push the Z liaison onto the next word:

  • EL-ZUtiliZ

Exception: people from the south west of France tend to pronounce ELə-ZUtiliZ


Hi Sitesurf, are you saying the "z" gets pronounces twice? I was wondering why it was repeated? Or in this example it just so happen there is also a "z' sound in "utilisent"?




The people in the southwest tend to pronounce all the letters. That makes it sooooo much easier to understand.


Would this be Toulouse and Bordeaux?


Thank you, that's entirely helpful!


The spoken [female voice] part here sounds like your latter (southwest) example...?


Try listening here to both sentences on google translate. (click the speaker icon in the french box) https://translate.google.com/#fr/en/elle%20utilise.%20%0Aelles%20utilisent.


now compare that to the Duolingo translation. No way does it sound as clear as the Google Translate version.


Sometimes the Google Translate version is wrong. Try Forvo.com.


But you cant. Just listen to the slower version. There is no liasion.


The slow version uses words pronounced in isolation, it is not as if the recording of the full sentence were just slowed down. That is the reason why you don't have liaisons in the slower version. But in the normal version, the liaison is there.

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I put, "They utilize the glasses," and it was marked wrong.


You could try reporting it as also correct, but keep in mind that the French sentence is a common way to say it and the common way to say it in English would be "They use the glasses."


It would be very awkward to say in English, "They utilize the glasses." We would say "use" instead.


Note that in French verb "user" can also mean "to wear out". Therefore, in this sentence, we would not say "elles usent les verres" because of that other meaning.


It is awkward but not incorrect grammatically. So it is rather weird that it should be marked incorrect.


I am also finding the recording hard to understand. there are some extra weird sounds between "elles utilisent" that makes it sound like "elle les utilisent"


maybe try it on Google/Translate: you should hear a Z liaison between elles and utilisent


ya, elles sounds like elle-luz or something


Why can't you translate "They are using glasses"? (Without "the"), as if to state that they are using glasses in general, and not a particular pair/s.


they are using glasses = ils utilisent des verres


I understand your replay as: "you don't put "the" when there's de/du/des, and otherwise you do". But I've seen many times in Doulingo that the article is omitted in the translation. I'll give you a question I just solved: "Les minutes et les secondes", and the translation by Duolingo: "minutes and seconds".


In English, articles are often considered as optional or useless.

But when you find "the", it is to indicate that the object is specific or specified with context. In that case, there will always be le, la or les in French.


Why can't this mean that they use glasses in general? A cannibal tribe from New Guinea that, surprisingly, uses glasses :) Like "J'aime les fraises" without "the"?


Glasses in general can be found in generalities, like:

  • les verres sont utilisés pour boire. (universal truth).

"they are using the glasses" is about specific glasses (the ones already mentioned in the conversation), so the translates to les.

"they are using glasses" is the plural of "they are using a/one glass"; in French, "des verres" is the plural of "un verre"


The minute you use "are using" the present continuous, it cannot be a generality. The generality in English would be "They use glasses."


Sitesurf, I really appreciate your help, but it has come to my attention that, often, the Duolingo audio is not entirely discernible... which is a shame, because to learn, we are required authentic, clean sounds. Perhaps sometimes it is the speed of the normal paced recording (a tad fast), and as you say, the decreased speed recording does not always give the responder the ability to discern the certain nuances and liasons between words, either- as the recording is isolated. I hope these sort of problems can be resolved at some (hopefully near) point in the future.


Yes, we are aware that sometimes, the audio is suboptimal as TTS can be. We have been promised that the French audio would be improved at some (hopefully near) point in the future, but I guess we have to be patient.

In the meantime, you can use other resources like Google Translate (rubbish for translations but very good for audio) or forvo.com or acapela-group, to check on different voices, accents, etc.

The good news is that if you learned French with a perfect audio, as soon as you would be in real life faced with real French people, you would feel completely lost.


Are these "glasses" The ones you drink out of as well as the ones you were ?


Any of these interpretations, actually in this sentence.


I think she meant the ones you wear to be able to see which would be "les lunettes".


why is 'elle utilisses les verres' wrong, it is the same pronouncation


it should be elle utilise les verres


you should hear the Z liaison between "elles" and "utilisent"


I entered «elles utilisent les verts» (they use the green ones) and was marked wrong. :-\


If you had the listen and write in French, then report it, but homophones are a difficult programming situation and may take a while to resolve, because you wouldn't want that to be accepted for any of the other exercises.

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