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  5. "Why do we talk about it?"

"Why do we talk about it?"

Translation:Pourquoi on en parle ?

March 31, 2013



Please tell me what 'en' works in here? I wrote 'pourquoi parlons nous de ça' passed, but it felt not right. merci!


'en' stands for 'of it' 'of them' 'some of it' 'some of them' nice lazy way…..voulez-vous un chat - non mercy, j'en ai deja (do you want a cat - no thanks, I've already got one (of those) It links you back to the original subject without repetition.


So why can Duo not use "of it' instead of " about it" ? Do they TRY to mislead us on purpose?


and it offers another answer, en parle-t-on?

What does the '-t-' stand for?


The -t- addition is there to ease pronounciation because of the hiatus between "parle" and "on". You will find it again with "il" and "elle" whenever the verb is from the 1st group (infinitive in -er) at 3rd person singular of the present tense, because it will end with a mute -e

  • pourquoi parle-t-il ? pourquoi mange-t-elle ?


"en" is a pronoun referring to something that was said before. "talk about sthg" is "parler de qqch", so "en" specifically stands for "de <ce qui a été dit avant>"


So, "le" didn't work as the pronoun "it", but what if it was "them" ,should "les" work?


No, "en" can be used for singular and plural and to translate it, him, her, them:

  • le chien / l'homme / la femme / les enfants / pourquoi en parlons-nous ?


What does " à pourquoi le parlons-nous ? " mean?


Not much, since "à" has nothing to do here.


Why not " Pourquoi nous le parlons ? "


"parler" is transitive only with languages: je parle anglais, je le parle ("le" is direct object)

"talk about sthg" = parler de qqch: je parle de ça, j'en parle ("en" = de-ça)


I wrote "Pourquoi nous en parlons?" which was accepted. I looked up my book on french grammar and in this instance 'to talk about'=parler de. With words that us the 'de' as part of the verb you can use en to replace the it. eg Pourquoi nous parlons de maison Why are we talking about the house we replace 'de maison' (the 'it' in this case) with 'en' and as 'en' is usually before the verb we get Pourquoi nous en parlons? I was quite pleased that this worked and saved a heart


why doesn't 'pourquoi en parlons-nous' work here? Are my words not ordered correctly?


your proposal is correct and words correctly ordered.


Parle-t-on... when did they teach us that one? and when did the HHS the context or how to understand what the heck that means? how it should be applied? :-(


This is about all verbs from the 1st group (with infinitive in -er).

When building a formal question, you would get "parle... il/elle/on ?" ie something difficult to enunciate.

Therefore, the French language compensates this hiatus with a dummy -t- letter to ease pronunciation:

  • parle-t-il ? danse-t-elle ? mange-t-on ? garde-t-il ? va-t-elle ? donne-t-on ? ... etc.


I'm glad it's not just me who doesn't remember being taught this.


The option to use a "t" is not present; therefore, we cannot properly respond without the "t" available.


Pourquoi on en parle ? works! Meilleurs vœux, Alicia691333.


Assuming "Pourquoi on en parle" as the correct answer, how to say "Why don't we talk about it?" I mean, where is "en" placed in such a sentence? "Pourquoi on n'en parle pas"?


Why isn't «Pourquoi nous parlons de ça ?» correct?


"en" is so magical. I said "pourquoi parlons-nous de cela". It was correctly, but it looks like to be directly translated from English.


Might be too complicated for duo but is this right? it marked it wrong for me "Pourqoui nous devons parler de ça"


There is no notion of obligation in the English sentence, so "devons" is not suitable.

Your sentence is a statement, not a question, and from the relaxed register.

The correct spelling is "pourquoi".


Why is this incorrect? : ''Pourquoi nous parlons de ca?''


what is the use of (en) here ?? how it gives the meaning of it ?


"en" is a pronoun used when the verb is constructed with preposition "de", like "parler de" and it stands for something that was said before, in this case "it", the matter of the discussion.


why is "porquoi on parle de ça?" incorrect?


Since the English sentence is formal "why do we speak about it?", the French closest translation is "pourquoi parlons-nous de cela/ça ?".

Less formal: "pourquoi parle-t-on de cela/ça ?"

Relaxed (in speech only): "pourquoi nous parlons / on parle de cela/ça ?"


Why can't I put "Pourquoi nous sommes parle Ce"


"nous sommes parle" is not a verbal form in French (= we are talk).

"we are talking" is continuous present, which does not exist in French, and translates to simple present "nous parlons" or "nous sommes en train de parler" (en train de = in the process of).

When forming a question, you have to switch subject and verb and add a hyphen: pourquoi parlons-nous ? (why do we talk? OR why are we talking)

to talk about something = parler de quelque chose, so you need preposition "de"

"it" can translate to masculine or feminine pronouns

when "it" means pronouns "this" or "that", you can translate it to "ceci", "cela" or "ça" (shortened version of cela).

So the most correct version of your proposal is: "pourquoi parlons-nous de cela/ça ?"


Sitesurf, Merci Beaucoup pour tout!


Where does this structure stand, i usually make questions like this;

Pourquoi est-ce que nous en parlons?

Which was accepted, but don't know if it is common written, spoken...


It is common, written and spoken. This is what I call the "standard register of language", as opposed to "formal register" (pourquoi en parlons-nous ?) and to "relaxed register" (pourquoi on en parle ?)


Didn' t you say ( in another discussion) that "est-ce que" is not used in questions beginning with 'long' (more than one syllable) question words?


Yes, I did, because the Académie Française clearly promotes this rule. But sometimes, we can be a bit lenient with it, because in speech, the use of "est-ce que" after "pourquoi" or "comment" is frequent.


Why is "pourquoi nous disons de ça ?" wrong?


I used "celui" instead of "cela" and it's wrong. Can't see why. Lots of mistakes in this module, lots of missing possible answers. Better keep up, duolingo.


"celui" is not a missing possible answer here; you cannot use "celui" to translate "it".

"celui" cannot stand alone; it needs specific constructions and English equivalents:

  • nous ne parlons pas de celui-ci = we don't talk about this one
  • nous ne parlons pas de celui-là = we don't talk about that one
  • c'est celui dont nous parlons = it is the one we are talking about


I only wrote "pourquoi disons-nous" and I didn't know to write more . But duo answers me that is right . I don't know why it's right . Does Duo or anybody can explain me why it's right ?


"Pourquoi est ce qu'on parle de ça" was marked correct.


Why can't we write "pourquoi est-ce qu'on le parle"


"parler" is directly transitive with languages: je parle le français.

Otherwise, "talk/speak about someone or something" is "parler de quelqu'un or quelque chose".

"en" is a pronoun standing for de + something mentioned before.

  • je parle de mon chien --- j'en parle
  • je parle de ceci/cela/ça --- j'en parle
  • je parle des maisons du village --- j'en parle


It also suggested "Pourquoi en parle-t-on ?", what does the "on" represent here; is it another word for nous? If yes, why isn't it just nous?


And why can't I say "Pourquoi nous ce parlons?"


"ce" is not used by itself, and only with the verb être: c'est / ce sont.

"parler de" has an indirect object, like "talk of/about someone or something".

  • we talk about it = nous parlons de cela/ça OR nous en parlons (en = de + something mentioned before)


In spoken French, "on" is very often used instead of "nous", probably because the conjugations are easier in 3rd person singular than 1st person plural.


So can I say "Porquoi nous en parlons or Pourquoi nous de cela parlons?"?

  • "Pourquoi nous en parlons ?" has "en" is in front of the verb because it is a personal pronoun.

  • "Pourquoi nous parlons de cela/ça ?" has "de cela/ça" after the verb, which is the regular placement of an object (when it is not a personal pronoun).


You went right the point in question. As the English expression goes " You hit the nail on the head"

Nevertheless, I needed background information on the french pronoun "on" and i found this link:



I put 'Pourquoi parlons-nous on'. Why is this wrong


The object pronoun 'en' has to be placed in front of the verb.


Why 'en parlons' and not 'le parlons'. Here the subject of the conversation is definite I suppose. So the article must be definete too (le, les).


talk about something = parler de quelque chose

  • we talk about it = nous en parlons (parlons de ça) - "en" = de + something mentioned before

What you suggest has a very different meaning:

  • nous le parlons = we speak it: "le" and "it" represent a language when to speak/parler have a direct object.


Why does 'pourqoui est-ce que nous ça parlons?' not work here?


Because "parler de" needs a preposition (de) the same way as "to talk about" needs one (about), and "ça" is not a personal pronoun.

Only personal pronouns are placed before the verb when they are:

  • a direct object
  • or an indirect object introduced by the preposition "à".

  • dire quelque chose (direct object): pourquoi le dis-tu ? (why are you telling it?) vs pourquoi dis-tu ça ? (why are you telling that?)

  • parler à quelqu'un (indirect object introduced by "à"): pourquoi me parles-tu ? vs pourquoi parles-tu à Peter ? (why are you talking to me/to Peter?)


For Sitesurf

Does Duolingo pay you for all the work you do in helping people in the chats?


No, they don't.


Sitesurf, You should open up an French language centre for English speakers in particular. You love to teach and you have helped hundreds/thousands of persons using DuoLingo. I am sure you would be very successful.

Merci, merci encore, Metci Beaucoup pour tout votre aide. (Hope I said this correctly).

Have a great day!!


WHy isn't " Pourquoi on le dit" ?


"Dire/to say" and parler/to talk" are not synonyms.

  • Pourquoi on le dit ? = why do we say it?


Can you tell me the difference between "dire" and "parler"


Why is it "on parle" rather than nous parlons? English "we" is plural. Since French "on" is singular, shouldn't it translate to "one" rather than "we" in English?


Probably due to easier conjugations in 3rd person singular, the French very often use "on" instead of "nous" with the same meaning.


"Thanks" or "Thank you".


would it work if i replaced 'nous' with 'on' in this particular sentence?


"Pourquoi en parle-t-on ?" is the preferred translation I can see at the top of this page.


i don't have the word selection options to complete this phrase correctly so i can't move on!


Hi - if you're being impeded by the missing T have you tried "Pourquoi on en parle" as shown in the above comment by SiteSurf ?


I am on the level 3 of the new section. There is no t available in the given words to write parle-t-on? So the question is impossible to answer correctly now at this level.


You should have used the informal construction:

  • Pourquoi on en parle ?


I am given the "click the correct words" to answer this question, I put in "Pourquoi en parle on" and it tells me "Pourquoi en parle-t-on," but it does not give a "t" to add, and the dictionary hints do not help either.


See Sitesurf's suggestion above that shows the correct acceptable order of words when the 't' is not available.


I answered, "Pourquoi on parle de ça" which was marked correct. Is this acceptable in conversation?


Yes, it is.


Pourquoi en parle-t-on? please add a "t" to the magnet!


You don't need it if you use the informal construction "pourquoi on en parle ?"


There is no t, and my answer without it will not be accepted.


Did you try what Sitesurf said (just above) 3 days ago ?


The choices of fill in the blank omitted some of the correct words to use


The t in parle-t-on is not present in the options provided


Therefore, you had to use the informal statement-like form: "pourquoi on en parle ?"


There is no "en" or "t" available for me to click on.


There is no "t" to choose from.


There are several correct answers, some of which do not need a T:

  • "Pourquoi on en parle ?"
  • "Pourquoi nous en parlons ?"


that is such an ugly way to say it!!


how to translate the sentence ; pourquoi parlons nous de cela ?


Pourquoi parlons-nous (hyphen!) de cela = Why are we talking about that?


Why not pourquoi est-ce qu'on en parle?


You should not use "est-ce que" after an interrogative of 2 or more syllables.

"Est-ce que" is possible after "qui" and "que", and only tolerated after "où" and "quand".


*to the point in question

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