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Vous can mean y'all or a polite singular form of you, so shouldn't « Vous êtes riche. » be an acceptable translation as well? Or are we supposed to have heard a phonological difference between « riches » and « riche » ?
You will not find the term "y'all" used on Duolingo. There are different forms for "you" in French.
- Tu : the singular (and informal) form of "you" used only with friends and family. If you are on first-name basis with someone, you may use "tu".
- Vous : means "you" and is used in two different ways in French. 1) you (polite or formal, singular), or 2) you (plural) regardless of the level of familiarity.
In English, "you" in a plural sense is still just "you" when one is addressing a group of people. If you want to be sure that everyone understands you are addressing all of them, you may say "you all". If you want to make the same distinction in French, you would say "Vous tous".
There is no audible difference between "riche" and "riches".
And there is another point. When you talk to a stranger, your boss, your teacher etc you should use formal form. Because of that 'vous etes riche' is not correct. In Turkish it is the same. We do not use singular form. We always use plural form because of respect.
I think the plural form is almost always more formal than singular form. It is also more respectful that way. However, if we're considering that we're only checking the accuracy of the translation, I think the singular form can be accepted. IMO only though. :)
That's not true, considering there is absolutely no context to give away the plurality of the subject. We're going only off of pronunciation. The final "s" is not pronounced. Therefore, from this question, there is no way of determining what time of answer they are looking for.
This exercise demonstrates an uncomfortable truth about learning French. It can sometimes be interpreted correctly in slightly different ways. For the expression "Vous êtes riches", it will be translated one way: "You are rich". Vous êtes may be singular OR plural. If you see the written sentence, you will know it is plural because the adjective "riches" is plural, but that does not change the translation. If you have the audio exercise, there is no way that you can tell the difference between "Vous êtes riche" (singular, and yes it is also correct) and "Vous êtes riches" (plural).
If you are given the English form: "You are rich", it may be translated in three different ways:
- Tu es riche (informal, and always singular)
- Vous êtes riche (polite and singular)
- Vous êtes riches (plural, in any degree of familiarity)
"riche" and "riches" are pronounced the same. "Riches" would be used if "vous" is being used to talk to more than one person. Otherwise, for one person, it'd be "vous etes (little "hat" over the first "e") riche" or "tu es riche".
I think there may be very subtle tonal indications of singular or plural cases that you may just have to listen for. But that's what tripped me up too.
No, there are not any subtle indications. From the audio, there is no difference between "Vous êtes riche" (singular) and "Vous êtes riches" (plural). That is why both forms are accepted.
antlane is correct. Those pesky little accents are important when writing French words. So if you are using a smartphone or tablet, hold your finger on the letter for a second and you will be able to select a variation that includes the correct accent. On a Windows computer, you can change your keyboard setting in the Control Panel. I use the "United States-International" keyboard setting which allows one to type all the special characters without a pause: â é è ê ç, etc.
One thing I find difficult about this is that they never tell us when it's informal or formal.
Vous êtes riche should be accepted since it's polite singular Vous êtes riches is basically you guys ( both informal and polite)
The only informal way of saying this is "Tu es riche" (singular). The singular (formal/polite) form is "Vous êtes riche". "Vous êtes riches" (plural) is also used regardless of the level of familiarity.
Could i have said 'vous sommes riches' instead of 'vous etes riches'?
What's the difference?
"sommes" is for "nous".
nous sommes = we are
"etes" is for "vous"
To use "sommes" with "vous" would seem as funny to a French person as to say in English to an English-speaking person: "we is, you is, they is, I are, we am."
How would I say/write "You are Rich" in the English satirical/derogatory sense of "You are so hypocritical"?
Hey, JJ. "C'est un peu fort" is the expression you're looking for, i.e., "That's rich!"
As explained above, Tu=You (familiar...family/friend) Vous=you (polite/respectful) also=You collective (You All).
Can we say "vous avez riches"? if i used avez instead of êtes.. What difference does it make? Thank you in advance.