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  5. "Le livre et la lettre sont r…

"Le livre et la lettre sont rouges."

Translation:The book and the letter are red.

March 31, 2013



I don't care about the color. I care about the pronunciation. In speaking, given the plural of lettre is lettres, you don't pronounce the final "S:. So how to tell if Lettre(s) is singular or plural?


Articles are different from singular to plural: la lettre, les lettres, and their respective pronunciation is different as well, which means that you should try to hear the difference between LA and LES (you may train on Google/Translate).


You know because you're hearing "sont" which is a plural conjugation


I have a doubt what is the difference btw sont and sommes for meaning are


They are versions of the verb être (to be) and they both mean "are". Sont is used with plural third person ils/elles and sommes is used with plural first person nous. Just like in English "to be" changes with subject: "she is" but "you are", so the same thing happens with French verbs.

If you would access Duolingo on a PC before starting the exercises, when you click on a section on the tree, you would see a lightbulb to the right of the START button. If you clicked on it, you would open the TIPS AND NOTES page where you would get an intro to the topic covered in the exercises. That is where you would have discovered how and when to use sont and sommes.

Because you probably did not know this, this link is to the info you seem to have missed: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Basics-3/tips-and-notes


It's about context clues. You have to read/hear all of the sentence to help indicate whether it's singular or plural


In that case, if you were using the definite article, you would know 'les lettres' is plural, because although you wouldn't hear the final consonant in 'lettre' (unless the next word started with a vowel, and even then it is incredibly slight) you would hear that instead of the singular 'la' the article was plural -'les.'

And if you were using the indefinite article, you would use 'une' for a single letter - 'une.'

So, 'Je lis la lettre.' 'Je lis une lettre.' 'Je lis les lettres.' Even though you can't hear the 's' you can work out from the use of the definite and indefinite articles whether or not the noun is plural.

Hope this helps.


thank you that is very helpful


HELLO ? , THIS IS FRENCH AND NOT ENGLISH... I am very good in english, and don't even think of comparing french with english, they both are very different. (The last letter is not pronounced in most of the words in french.).


Just do what they say.


Why is the colour a plural when there is only one book and one letter?


My guess would be because the sentence is describing two objects as red instead of just one object, so it's considered plural. :)


yes, plural starts with 2: one book + one letter = 2 objects -> plural is mandatory.


Thank you very much!


As you are saying technically "(They) the book and the letter ARE red..." donc plural.


Maybe we can treat a book and a letter as two objects.


I know this doesn't relate to anything of this particular topic and may also be a stupid question but how do you aquire a profile picture? I just want to know. Wow now i feel dumb.


Hover mouse over your username on the top right corner of the screen, go to settings and you should see an option there to change your profile pic.


Sont = are, are=plural


Is it because they "are" red, where as if it were one item it would be " the book "is" red" ?


1 book + 1 letter = two things => plural conjugation of verb "sont/are" and not "est/is" and French adjective to agree in number with more than 1 subject.


Why is book masculine and letter feminine? How can you tell the difference?


All French nouns have a gender: masculine or feminine. This was inherited from Latin.

The difference is audible through all words modifying nouns, articles and adjectives, which all agree in gender and number with the noun.

As a learner, you have to learn each noun with its gender, like "un livre" or "une lettre", as if it were one word, so that you memorize them better.


Sitesurf, What does it mean when you say you are a moderator?


Sometimes you can save yourself time by trying to find things out on your own. Two months ago, you could have done this and had several pages to choose from to find the one that makes the most sense to you.


I put rouge and it was rouges, can someone tell me why?


1 book + 1 letter = two things => plural conjugation of verb and plural adjective to agree with the 2 subjects.


The correct sentence uses both "le" and "la". It was my understanding that objects in a group all took on masculinity--why is this not the case here?


It is the case, but it does not show because adjective "rouge(s)" is identical in masculine and feminine.

You would see it better with another adjective like "vert, verte, verts, vertes":

le livre et la lettre sont verts.


poor einstein who gave a down vote to sitesurf. Too ignorant to be grateful to have such a man who knows French grammar. I restablished the vote.


Why "la" on lettre and "le" on livre. What's the difference.


You haven't read the Tips&Notes, have you? (it's not too late: go back to the lesson page and scroll down)

"lettre" is a feminine noun, so "the" is "la"

"livre" is a masculine noun, so "the" is "le"


Guys, how do I know, for example, the difference between 'Les livres et la lettre sont rouges' and 'Le livre et la lettre sont rouges'? How can you tell when you listen to 'Le livre'/'Les livres'?


le = [lə]

les = [le]

please take a look at this: IPA for French


I can't quite tell if they pronounce the r at the end of liver and letter...can somebody tell me if the r is silent or included at the very end?


What is the difference between rouge and rouges ?? Both of the meaning is red . Right?? What is the gap?


The mark of plural in French is generally made by adding an -s at the end of words.

This applies to nouns and adjectives as well:

  • singular: le livre rouge / une lettre rouge
  • plural: les livres rouges / les lettres rouges / le livre et la lettre rouges


I've read the comments but I still don't get it. I put 'Les livres' and got it wrong. I know that 'Le' and 'Les' sound the same, and I know that regardless of if livre was singular or plural, 'sont' would still be used as theres more than 1 object (letter and book). SO how was I meant to know it was 'les livres' instead of 'le livre' if both make sense the way the sentence was spoken?


No, "le" and "les" do not sound the same.

le = LUH

les = LEH


Can someone explain the difference between sont and somme please?


This is the conjugation of the verb "être" in indicative present:

je suis (I am), tu es (you are), il/elle est (he/she/it is), nous sommes (we are), vous êtes (you are, formal or plural), ils/elles sont (they are)


how is it rouges instead of rouge


It helps to read the discussion before posting a question. If you had done that, you would have realized that your question has already been answered. Namely, that adjectives have to agree with the gender and quantity of the noun they modify. In the case of this sentence, there are TWO things that are red: a book and a letter. So because "red" refers to both, then you need an "s" at the end of rouge.

le livre est rouge = the book is red

la lettre est rouge = the letter is red

le livre et la lettre sont rouge*s = the book and the letter *are red.


How is a letter red?


Or in the context of correspondence it might be printed in red ink, or on red paper. (hopefully not both at the same time though)


an A or a B can be red.


Does 'lettre' also translate to both meanings of letter in English or is there another word for the 'abc' letter?



BTW, it would be quicker for you to look up word translations in an online dictionary than to ask and wait in the hope that someone answers your question while you still remember what you asked.


Articles are different from singular to plural: la lettre, les lettres, and their respective pronunciation is different as well, which means that you should try to hear the difference between LA and LES (you may train on Google/Translate).


"the book and the letters are red" are the same thing!


Not exactly. Your proposal would be le livre et les lettres sont rouges which is not what was given.

  • letterS = lettreS


How do you know if its talking about one or multiple reds? It cant be more than one red so why put an S on the end?


Please make it a habit to read the threads before posting so you don't post redundant questions. Your question has been answered several times so please scroll up to get your answer.


I am so confused how do we even know when something is plural anf not a singular eg letter


Well, if you mean how do you know from hearing it, one way is to pay attention to the article before the word :

  • une lettre/la lettre - singular

  • des lettres/les lettres - plural

In this particular exercises, it is not the fact that either book or letter are plural that makes rouges need an S at the end, it is the fact that you have two things that are both red that makes rouges require an S.

  • The letter is red = La lettre est rouge

  • The book is red = Le livre est rouge

  • The book and the letter are red = le livre et la lettre sont rougeS

An S is needed to make the adjective reflect plurality because this time it is more than one thing that is red.


I need help pronouncing livre, lettre, and rouges. the r sound is difficult. any suggestions?


Keep your tongue tip pressed against the inside of your bottom teeth any time you speak French and the French R will be a breeze to pronounce. In fact, read this English post as naturally as you would only with your tongue pressed against the inside of your bottom teeth and hear how French you sound. No need to hack or risk bringing up phlegm just trying to pronounce the R anymore. See?


I think its confusing that the word rouges is plural, because in English, red is not plural. I have seen many differences between French and English.


Give it time... That difference will become less confusing eventually, and then you'll learn new differences to keep you confused in other ways. ;-) But further down the tree you'll start seeing a lot of similarities to English as well. :-) For the native English speaker there are many oddities about French grammar. You'll find though that sometimes (if not frequently) the oddity is actually in the English.


are rouge and rouges pronounced the same way?


Yes, they are pronounced the same. But even if you only got the audio exercise, you still would know it was rouges with an S in this exercises because the verb before the word is plural sont, not singular est.


What's the different between 'la' and 'le' in livre and lettre? I don't get it.


If you can try to do Duolingo from a computer, at least the beginning of each lesson group, then you can read the Tips and Notes before you start. Genders were taught in the very first lesson of this course. Scroll down this page to read them: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Basics-1


How do you say Rouge right phonetically in French is to Rooosh like kangaroo or Oushhh? or Neither?



The French R is made at the back of your throat and unlike the English R which requires the tip of your tongue to be raised, with the French R, you need to keep the tip of the tongue against the inside of your bottom teeth. In fact, if you keep it there as you speak even English, you will appear to have a French accent.

Try reading "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" without moving your tongue tip from the back of your bottom teeth. If you do it right it will sound like /zuh kwik b(kh)aun fox jahmps ovah zuh layzee dog/

Now the ending of the word rouge is pronounced not as /sh/, but /zh/. It is the sound of the S in "measure" or "treasure".

The vowel part "ou" in the middle is /oo/ as in "kangaroo"

So with that in mind and keeping the tongue against bottom teeth, you should be able to pronounce rouge correctly: /(kh)oozh/.

Sometimes it may sound as if people are saying /hoozh/. Reason for that is simply that they do not stress on the R, while others might. It is kind of like in English how some people roll R so strongly like in the Spanish word for dog perro

  • I RRReally like you

while others say it so softly it may even sound like a /wuh/ sound

  • I weally like you


Thank you very much that helps a lot!


I can't really understand the mic that well, so do you say 'rouges' like: 'rooshuh' or 'roosh'? I'm kind of confused about that.


The final sound is ZH, as in *measure" not SH. And the first letter is the French R.

One way to hear the way things are said is to go to Google Translate and type out the phrase you want to hear then click on the speaker to hear it.

You might hear an [uh] at the end of the word but it's really just like how a kid might yell "No-uh!" with the "uh" just there for emphasis but really the word is "no".


Why and i mean Why does it have to be ARE instead of IS when they are talking



Proper grammar requires that you use "is" if talking about one thing, and "are" if talking about more than one thing.

The book is red.

The letter is red.

Both of them (the book and the letter) are red.


How do you tell wether the speaker is saying "les livres" or "le livre?'


Please read the thread to get your answer as this has already been explained. Reading the thread first whenever you have a question, instead of rushing to post, is a good habit to develop so you don't ask redundant questions.


i spelled an instead of and and know its wrong and my score went down im cheeeeeesed ❤❤❤❤ me


In this sentence after lettre there is a sound "e" gently pronounced, am I right ?


It doesn't make since ! It is suppose to say red but it says reds


It does not say "reds". And it does make sense. You would know this if instead of rushing to post, you took a moment to read the thread first and learn something.


Are coloure plural..rouge and rouges


Please read the discussion to get your answer. It helps to do that first before posting because most times the answer you need is already posted.


this thing is dumb the translation say just red stupid


Uhmm...what else did you expect it to say when that is the correct translation?

A little humility could save you some embarrassment so you don't look like the pot calling a snow white china cup black.


oh wow you call out people on duolingo aren't you cool bud with your crackhead self and you need your penpal to back yo ass up boy you look like shreks big ass boy jesus you ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ you suck your moms dick


Why do we spell les- (le) when we have “ les femmes” and les-Z when there`s for example “les hommes”?


I believe you are referring to pronunciation, right?

In French, it is normal not to pronounce the last letter of a word unless it is followed by a vowel or is R or in the case of N it is nasalized.

So les is pronounced /ley/, un is pronounce /ah(ŋ')/ where (ŋ) represents the nasalization.

However, there is such a thing as liaison whereby a final consonant is pronounced and linked to the next word if the next word starts with a vowel sound. The word homme is pronounced /ohm/ so the beginning is a vowel sound. So the les which is usually just /ley/ before a word starting with a consonant as inles femmes /ley fahm/, les pommes /ley pohm/, changes to /leyZ-/ e.g. /leyzohm/ in les hommes, /leyzaw(ŋ)faw(ŋ)/ in les enfants.

In the case of un, we say /ah(ŋ) leevR/ for un livre but in the case of un enfant where the noun starts with a vowel, we say /ahNaw(ŋ)faw(ŋ)/.

Some liaisons are required, some optional, and some forbidden. More about that here.


Why does book use Le but letter use La? Correct me if im wrong but Le is masculine and La is feminine right? How come book and letter are different?


You are right about the genders. However, there is no logical explanation. The only sure way to know the genders is to learn them the first time you encounter a word. Instead of learning "book" is livre, get into the habit of learning each word with its relevant article. In other word learn un livre or le livre means book. That way, you will never forget its gender. You can pick either article (definite or indefinite).



why did it use 'Le' in the 'livre' then used 'la' in 'lettre' they both mean 'the' right? why use the masculine 'le' one on the book, then use the feminine 'la' in letter?


This is because English has no grammatical genders, but French has two, so while « le » and « la » both mean "the" in English, they are not interchangeable in French. Every single noun has either masculine or feminine gender -- « livre » is masculine; « lettre » is feminine. This is just an inherent aspect of the language that you must get comfortable with, so it's always best to learn the gender of a word along with the word itself (memorize them as « le/un livre » and « la/une lettre », for example).


Why the le is used before livre but not before lettre?? Thank you.. ^__^


There are two genders in French: masculine and feminine. Every noun has a gender. Livre is masculine, so its definite article is le; lettre is feminine, so its definite article is la.


The book and the letter are red translates for Le livre et la lettre sont rouges.


How do I pronounce "rouge" so I don't sound American?


I would begin by saying "uh-wrooge-uh", then omit the percussive "ch" sound at the beginning of the soft "g" so that it sounds as smooth as possible. Then try softening the "r" sound until it almost blends with the "w" that precedes it (the "r" ought to be barely perceptible). Finally, push some extra air through the "wr" part, shaping your mouth as if you were pronouncing a long "o" or imitating the wind. This will make the "wr" sound a bit like an "h".


Can someone please tell me how to make that werid sound at the end if lettre? I just cant do it


why is it rouges if its not plural


It IS plural! There are two things in the sentence, right? The book + the letter -- that's two things. So you need to use rouges because there is more than one thing there.


It's hard for me to get used to it.


When should I use rouge or rouges ?


Please get into the habit of reading the discussion first and foremost instead of rushing to post a question. The answer to your question has already been posted umpteen times.


the the color is plural if the item its talking about is plural?


Yes. All this is explained at the beginning of this section. If you access Duolingo on a PC before starting a section of the tree and you scroll down past the lessons, and read the Tips and you would get a good introduction to the grammar rules addressed in the exercises of that section. Here is what you missed for this section| https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Plurals


why is it rouges? wouldn't it be singular? Neither "le livre or "la lettre" is plural, so why it "rouges"/red?


Please read the thread to get the answer. It is good practice to read the discussion before posting so you don't add clutter with questions that have already been answered.


Can somebody please correct if my understanding is wrong

Suis = 1st person Sont = everything else


You are missing four. It's « je suis = 1st person singular ; tu es = 2nd person singular (informal) ; il/elle/on est = 3rd person singular ; nous sommes = 1st person plural ; vous êtes = 2nd person plural (or formal singular) ; ils/elles sont = 3rd person plural ».


I found it useful to refer to the conjugation tables at WordReference.com to help me keep these things straight. (there's a lot of information there but for now you can focus on the top left corner of the table, indicatif présent)


why is rouges a plural, but in english its not?


Please get into the habit of reading the discussion instead of rushing to post so you can stop adding clutter by asking questions that have already been answered.


I'm confused when to use sommes and sont.. Someone please help me out


Before starting a section on the French tree, it is a good idea to access Duolingo on a PC so you can scroll down below the exercises and read the Tips and Notes at the start of that section. Your question would have been answered at the getgo if you had done this. This is what you would have seen: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Verbs%3A-Être-_-Avoir


The direct translation is "The book and the letter are red", but is this sentence some kind of expression? A blushing bride is happy, a red letter is angry or something?


i wrote: the book and the the letter are red!


Did you write "the" twice in your answer, too? That may have been why you got it wrong.


How the ❤❤❤❤ do we pronounce lettre?


can you write that "the books and the letter are red"


Not as a translation of this sentence. That would be Les livres et la lettre sont rouges.


The pronunciation of "lettre sont" does not sounds as "let+son". So how does liaison works here ?


There is no silent consonant in the word lettre and the next word does not start with a vowel.

Liaisons come into play when you have a word that ends with a silent consonant like vous and then the next word happens to start with a vowel, so that silent "s" becomes a Z sound that links vous to the next word starting with a vowel:

vous lisez = /VOO LEEZay/ <--no liaison

vous avez = /VOOZAVay/ <--liasion


do you answer in english or french?


Depends on what the question is asking you to do. We do not all get the same exact question. The above exercise could be presented in French asking you to translate into (i.e. write in) English. Or you might getting it in English asking you to translate to French. You might just be asked to read it out. You might get it in multiple choice.

That is why when you read the discussion, you may see posts where the learners' issues are different from yours.


Sometimes pepole are crazy


why isn't it "rouge" instead of "rouges" in this particular sentence?


Before rushing to post, it is a good habit to read the discussion first because your question has already been answered.


ahh, I'm sorry! will do (:


Le livre et la lettre sont rouges

The book and the letter are red


Does anybody know were hermonie is?


Le livre et la lettre sont rouges


Wow, plural colours. Ok, French.


A tip for you guys is that normally when they are talking about two things or more (plural), it mean it is not the normal spelling or could have a (s) at the end


I'm confused, what are the conjunctions of the words


(FRA) "et" -> "and" (ENG). They join the two nouns (le livre/la lettre), making it plural


wouldn't the translation be the book and the letter IS red? I have noticed a lot of grammar errors in the English translations of the sentences.


No, that is grammatically wrong. You are talking about two things being red: a book and a letter. So you cannot use "is". You have to use "are".

One book is red. Two books are red. The letter is red. The book is red. The letter and the book ARE (both) red.


I don't get anything because I suck


No you don't. Everything seems hard the first time around. Perhaps you don't know this but if you logged onto Duolingo on a PC before starting a section on a tree and scrolled past the lessons, you would come across the Tips and Notes which provide a nice introduction to the grammar that will be covered in that section. For this section, you would find them here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Basics-1

Also these discussions are very enlightening. Don't just visit them when you have a question. Visit them any time you find a lesson tricky or unclear. I have learned so much just from reading the discussions and following links provided therein.


Can there be a slow down button? If a random French person said this to me, I'd have no idea what they were saying.


It is suppose to be (rouges) not (rouge)


Why is it "le livre" and "la lettre" and why not both le or both la


I take it you don't know about noun genders? It is good practice to access Duolingo on a PC before starting a section so you can read the Tips and Notes that introduce the exercises. Genders, which you must learn with every noun, were introduced at the very beginning of the French tree in Basics 1: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Basics-1


The voice not clear


This is confusing! I just tapped the backspace and it entered the answer and I got it wrong


Bonjour, je suis Française, vous pouvez me poser des questions


the sentence isn't grammatically correct in English.


Could you elaborate? For I see nothing grammatically wrong with it.


The book and the letter 'are'. Isn't that grammatically wrong?


IOf course not. You use ARE when talking about more than one thing. This has already been explained umpteen times in this thread so please make it a habit to read first before posting so you don't add unnecessary clutter.


Hi guys where do u practice?


It is the same meaning!And look out below!Here it commes out wrong!


There was no option for "red" only "orange"


Why is it rouges instead of just rouge?


Please read the discussion to find out. Only ask questions not already addressed in the thread.


How is a letter red?


What color do you think it should be?

Do you read the thread before rushing to ask a question? You should because this question was answered 3 years ago.


The pronunciation of le livre and les livres are same right ? How to differentiate?


Please read the discussion first every time you have a question. The difference in pronunciation was posted over 3 years ago.

Alternatively, when it comes to pronunciations, you can always use Google Translate.

I find making an effort to learn on your own by doing some research instead of waiting for someone to give you answers all the time makes learning more fun and usually opens doors to answers to questions you had not thought of yet.

Try reading discussions for every exercise, especially when you have a question, and you will see what I mean. You may never have to post another question because you will discover that most questions you will have were once someone else's.


there was no are choice for me.


That's impossible unless the problem is with your device. You'll need to show a screenshot next time.


I'm having a bit of trouble with this. How can I tell the difference between "le livre" and "les livres"? The conjugation of etre doesn't help because in this sentence we have a book and a letter, which makes etre plural. I can tell la lettre is singular because of the pronoun, but livre here isn't clear.


If you are referring to the way they sound, then that's easy because they are pronounced differently.

Google Translate is a good place to listen to the way French words sound. Just click on that link then click on the speaker icon under the French words to hear the difference.


I play it over and over never heard any s pronounce.


If you are talking about the last S in the sentence, it is not supposed to be pronounced. You know it's plural from the fact that it is more than one thing that is red. So adjectives agree with the gender and quantity of what they modify. You would know this if instead of simply rushing to the exercises, you took a moment to click on the light bulb and read the Tips and Notes.

You may find this video useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_rdXa_VERw


In my opinion, the man's pronunciation of "rouges" sounded slightly similar to "oranges".


The voice talks to fast


The voice talks to fast


Why is doulingo obsessed with the colour red? Is there something soecial in french about red?


i put bok instead of book by accident and it said it was wrong :(


what did I actually type? That's been covered up by the correction.

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