If you were given something to listen to, how are you supposed to tell the difference. I understand in the context of real life, where someone can be formal or not, (using the word tu) but I don't understand how we are supposed to figure it out if a computer-based
program says it.
I haven't noticed that to be true at all. I have seen them accept translations that are so similar that they are, for all intents and purposes, the same. However, they have marked me as incorrect almost every time I run into a spoken sentence that could be singular or plural, depending on the context (which is never provided). This isn't so much a complaint as it is an observation, one that is particularly pertinent in French, where there are so many silent letters.
"vous" is used either to represent a person you don't know or whom you respect; or to represent several persons.
Therefore, "vous" can be singular or plural.
If you see an -s at the end of the adjective, it is because this sentence is a statement about several persons.
It seems that when you slow it down to turtle speed, they frequently say each word separately and you lose the liaison. I finally learned that after often getting it wrong by only listening to slow speed. "Il aime" sounds the same as "ils ailment" on slow speed, but you can hear the s on regular speed, so I finally learned to listen to both when in doubt.
In this case, because vous is used and you have an adjective, it's usually best to assume the plural and/or the polite form. Latin based languages sure are a challenge, figuring out masculine vs. feminine. As the post below noted, when speaking you would figure out what is used based on context; that applies to writing in most cases, too.
Reading the comments addressing the interpretation of this sentence is helpful only if the "context" is a pictorial accompanying the sentence (or hear the audible s in calmes), otherwise we who are new to the language see our interpretative error as unfair. Duolingo needs to address this if can.
Learning on Duo is not about competing, but with yourself. Learning with Duo is about trying, experimenting, failing, redoing, succeeding, failing again, etc. Therefore, only when Duo makes a mistake can you feel that "it is unfair". Otherwise, there are a lot of other learners who can help you understand why you failed, which may help you memorize rules.
This sentence is aimed at teaching you several things:
1) Final -s in nouns, verbs, or adjectives are not pronounced in French.
2) The English "calm" translates to "calme" (masculine or feminine singular) or "calmes" (masculine or feminine plural).
3) French verbs have extended conjugations - never too soon to learn a basic verb like "être" (be).
4) You have to accustom your ears to the sound of words (even when they are fairly similar in writing).
In a different lesson "vous" was being used as singular and the hover hint came up as "you(plural)". People probably reported it and it was changed, but they should just write "you" as that can be used for singular and plural just like "vous". Try reporting it, but be specific about having them just hinting "you" and not whether it is plural nor singular.
"you are" has 2 translations and 3 meanings:
- tu es = familiar pronoun, addressed to a person you know well
- vous êtes = formal singular address to someone you do not know or you owe respect to
- vous êtes = plural "you all" or "you guys".
conjugation of verb "être" (to be) in present:
- je suis (I am), tu es (you are), il/elle/on est (he/she/it + one is), nous sommes (we are), vous êtes (you are), ils/elles sont (they are)
duolingo is pronouncing the etes as two syllables (the second e sounds like a short a as in (a)pple. Google translation pronounces the etes like "et" as does my pimsleur CD. Which is correct?
Sorry about not putting the circonflexe over the e in etes. I don't know how to do this with my english keyboard.
with pronunciation, you need to train your ear well for learning the language. There are differences in pronunciation. I suggest using fr.fovro.com to hear many different (all correct) pronunciations of words from various people in different places. They are human voices and from many different regions, which helps some people better than a more robotic voice.
There are two different ways to say you. Vous can be used as either a plural you or as a singular formal you. Tu is singular informal. Here is a decent guide on which to use and when.
As far as "are" goes, that's conjugation. this page will show you how to conjugate être. There is a lot there, for now you only need to worry about the "present" section.
There are many words which must be conjugated, and you can find out how if you're having trouble by searching the word and "conjugation"
"Une" and "un" both mean "a" Une is for feminine words, un for masculine.
Verbs in French are conjugated depending on tense and who you''re talking about.
As far as duo functionality, hovering over the words should show you meaning, and in the words tab you should be able to find the verb être and clicking on this will show you it's conjugations. Alternatively you can google search "etre conjugation" and get the same.
What is the difference between 'êtes' and 'es' and 'sont'? Don't they all mean 'are'?
The conjugation depends on who you're talking about, and it's just something, like gender, that you have to memorise. A lot of verbs follow rules (see ir verbs for example) which make them more predictable.
If you're ever confused, you can always Google the verb and 'conjugation' for a cheat/study sheet.
Correct. The form of the verb changes with the subject.
It's called conjugation. Googling he verb and conjugation will get you these under cool massive tables if how to conjugate that verb in a variety of different tenses. Using the words tab on web version will also get you some conjugation tables.
How do I know when I'm supposed to use "vous êtes," "vous sont," and "vous sommes?" I'm getting really confused and not really getting much of an explanation.