Why is this sentence used (as opposed to something you might use on an everyday basis)? Did you forget to pay the chicken rent? Borrow too much money from the chicken and can't pay it back? halp.
It's a true question for the ages - which came first; the chicken or the debt?
Seriously. I can now tell people I owe a chicken but have yet to learn how to ask where a bathroom is.
I found this interesting because I always thought of devoir as 'must' 'have too', 'should' or 'need to' ... I translated this as I need a chicken... apparently wrong J'ai besoin un poulet et une explanation. ;)
When followed by infinitive, it does indeed mean "to have to", otherwise it's "to owe"
So "I need a chicken" would be "Je dois avoir un poulet" ? As in, "I have to have a chicken" ... Is this correct?
Does this mean that I owe something to the chicken, or that I owe a chicken to someone else?
I think this phrase means "you owe a chicken to someone else". Like you forgot to pay a chicken or something
I am laughing while I write this, but now I have to know. How do I say you owe something to a chicken?
The perfect illustration of the difference between direct (the thing/amount owed) and indirect object (to whom it's owed).
Je dois=I owe, I am in debt
un poulet=a chicken
Je dois un poulet=I am in debt of a chicken, I owe (somewone) a chicken.
"to owe" is used when the verb "devoir" is followed by a noun, when it is followed by a verb, it means "to have to, must".
More about this verb:
Because of stuff like this, DL is much more fun than Rosetta Stone... Long live DL and its discussion pages!
I once read about a journalist whose grandfather had a reputation in the family for being a master linguist because of his ability to speak a dozen languages which enabled them to survive forced migration. The journalist was surprised to discover late in life that all his grandfather actually knew were currency denominations and different language variations of the phrase how much is a chicken here?
Apparently the answer provided him with all he really needed to know about the local economy wherever they were forced to travel
I traveled years ago in a country I didn't know the language, and someone kindly taught me the basics: Hello, Thank you, Excuse me, I don't understand (the language), numbers 1-100 (time + money), and all the words for which is the ladies' toilet.
This is bizarre. How about "I owe you a chicken"? That would at least make sense.
The French phrase did not specify who was owed. It could be the Chicken God. Consider in English:
"I owe fifty dollars"
It does not say who is owed the money, but it is only one phrase in a conversation. More information is needed, but it is perfectly valid.
"Je dois 50 euros"
That is basically the phrase with the chicken, but the currency is different.
Remember jinxing people? Making them owe you cokes? Things other than money can be owed. People can even owe respect or time.
Well it does make sense if you owe someone a chicken... what do you owe? "I owe a chicken" .. its just that I dont think this would apply to too many people these days
Rather old school ;) Barther was a natural part in most person's life not that long ago, and still is at some places on Earth. And comes to life again in difficult times as in wartime. And references to that still exist in litterature, theater, film and so on.
I would love to know in what sense the chicken is owed, as others have pointed out. Can I say "tu me dois une voiture?" or even better, "tu me dois une Audi A8, rouge, s'il te plait"
You owe someone ore something (an organisation, for example) a chicken. The other phrases seem correct to me.
Is there a liaison between "dois" and "un?"
I think the 'questioner' has egg on his face after this one - he has certainly laid a trap!
It means that some circumstance has come about (barter economy, private arrangement, wager) where someone owes someone a chicken.
In barter economies, chickens are like the currency equivalent of a ten dollar bill as compared to cows which are like thousand dollar bills. Chicken/ten dollar bills are much more suitable for regular transactions than cow/thousand dollar bills.
People who spend all their lives in large cities in advanced economies can rest assured they will never hear or need to use this phrase. For much of the world's population, including urban populations who look slightly outside their own personal experience, this phrase has some interest.
Still it might pop up in litterature, plays, movies, documentaries, articles and so on even for the modern city dweller in a monetary society.
How do we know when dois isn't need? Je dois de l'eau is it that I owe water or that I need it? Or is it only when you need to do something like Je dois etudier?
Yes, devoir=to have to do something, to owe something. When you talk about needing something you use besoin de quelque chose.
So if I wanna say "I owe you a chicken", I'm guessing it would be "Je te dois un poulet."?
DuoLingo, I can understand that we need to learn that devoir can mean 'to owe', but this sentence is absolutely useless.