I had this issue: " Un petit robot vient les sauver = A little robot comes to save them" is obviously correct. " I am coming to save you = Je viens te sauver" was marked wrong, because I missed the word "pour". So, can "pour" be omitted or not?
Same issue, with "je viens (pour) sauver ton chat", where I was marked wrong for omitting "pour".
Over on that thread, Sitesurf responds:
"Venir" is one of these verbs that do not need a preposition to introduce an infinitive.
There is a tiny difference in meaning if you add "pour" before the infinitive:
- If you use "je viens pour sauver ton chat" you express your reason for coming: you will try to save the cat, no success guaranteed.
- If you use "je viens sauver ton chat" you express the end goal of your action; you mean to save the cat.
I thought "venir de faire qc" means "just having done something", so it's the (immediate) past. Wouldn't "a small robot has saved them" be correct?
I now know where I was wrong: "venir DE faire qc" means "to just have done sth" (lit: "to come from doing sth"), but there is no "de" in the sentence above. (Being able to read, helps a lot. :-)
I could be wrong, but I think you'd have to say something like "a small robot just saved them".
Because while it carries roughly the same meaning, it is not a translation of the given sentence.
Because in this case the pronoun "les" expresses a direct object. Indeed, "Ils/elles" are used as subjects; "leur" for indirect objects (i.e. "I speak to them = Je leur parle", singular: "lui"); "eux/elles" for indirect objects with prepositions (i.e. "He leaves with them = Il parte avec eux/elles", singular: "lui/elle"). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns.htm
could this mean "a little robot just saved them?" isn't venir also used to express something that just occurred?
That's "venir de":
I know it's not a word for word translation, but it's natural to say 'a little robot comes to their rescue'. It's exactly what the phrase means, and imho, should be accepted.
Except that this is an exercise in translation, and "A little robot comes to their rescue" is not a translation of the given sentence.
It may be your opinion that it should be accepted, but it's Duolingo's opinion that you should actually learn to translate the sentence.
Technically it's not exactly incorrect, but it's quite unusual.
When we add a gerund after "come", usually it's part of a phrase indicating the manner of the arrival. For example: "a little robot comes barging in"; "the tree came crashing down".
On the other hand, "a little robot comes, saving them" (with a necessary comma) would mean that the robot's arrival itself is what saves them.
"A little robot comes to save them" indicates the purpose of the robot's coming.
By the way, in English we don't put a space before a question mark (or any two-part punctuation mark, unlike in French).
Your explication is very useful. Thanks. :)
In French, we shouldn't be put a space before a question mark, or exclamation mark, but some does it I dont know why.
That is--or perhaps was; it might be old-fashioned--a rule in France; a lot of the books I have that were published in France put the space in, and my wife's old grammar books (published in France, but used in Canada) have the rule, but with her notes that they're not to do that as it's not done in Québec French.
I didn't know that. If I put a space before certain marks it's more a kind of mania.
It's fine, and I would have expected it to be accepted. Assuming no other errors in your sentence, it's definitely reportable.
Is it really necessary to teach us the word 'robot' in French?? Seems like a waste of time to me!
If you don't know the cognates, then you'll wonder if you forgot or ever knew the word. Also, when one aspect (vocab, here) is easier, then you can focus more on other aspects (pronouns, prepositions, etc.). And if you have it all, so much the better and onto the next!
That is so true. I live in a French-speaking environment. About 3/4 (at least) of the time that I have to ask my wife, "What's the French word for [word]" it turns out to be "le [word]." Those are the ones that I was never explicitly taught, and then my brain rejects it as being like my Spanish students who used to think that "el [English word]-o" was a good guess for any Spanish word (el book-o, el late-o, el test-o, etc.).