"Tu dois un poulet."

Translation:You owe a chicken.

April 1, 2013

This discussion is locked.


This lesson had me confused, as it's the first time I had seen the verb "devoir" by itself.

After a bit of internet sleuthing, I have learned that when devoir is not followed by another verb in infinitive form, it takes on the literal meaning "owes." However, if it is followed by a verb in infinitive form, it takes on the literal meaning "must."

Please, someone, correct me if I'm wrong.


No need to correct you, you are right.


Good to know this


so, tu dois manger un poulet would be you must eat a chicken?


Why is it dois manger? Must to eat??


Think of it as "have to eat", if that helps!

The rule, though, is that if you have two or more verbs (and it's not a composed tense like passé composé), you conjugate the first one and the rest are in the infinite. We largely do this in English, too, with "must" being an exception. I want to eat, I have to go, etc.


To be honest, whilst this may be helpful at first, thinking of English verbs using "to have" where it is not necessary may cause problems later on when you go on to learn the compound tenses, such as the passé composé.


Oh, sorry, I was unclear -- think of "tu dois manger" as "you have to eat". It's a valid (colloquial) translation of devoir, and helps make using the infinitive afterwards feel more natural.


"Dois manger" = Must eat (in proper English there is no "to" after must (the verb).


Very helpful, thanks. I was wondering about that, too...


I'm looking forward to arriving in Paris so I can use this sentence.


Tu dois un poulet. Le singe est sur la branche.


Le singe est derriere sa femme!


Le singe était derrière sa femme. Maintenant il est sur la branche. ;) http://youtu.be/x1sQkEfAdfY


LOL thanks for the video!


Oh mon dieu. J'adore Eddie Izzard. Il est mon prefere.
That translation took me 10 minutes.


c'est mon préféré (he is + modified noun)


Les requins sont sur le toit.


Le souris est en desous la table


la souris est en-dessous de la table


Hahahaha, one of my French professors had us watch that video!


Good for him/her ☺. What a cool professor.


:) A girl from one of my classes in France showed me this, I think it's the equivalent for French students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SSkObIf9Ic


True story which I had forgotten about until now. I had this French guy giving me private French lessons. Afterwards when I wanted to pay him, he said that instead he wanted me to buy him two chickens. He knew of a farmer who sold chickens, so off we went, and I bought him two chickens which he kept in his back yard because he wanted fresh eggs. So, indeed, I did owe him a chicken... well, two chickens.


That's a lovely story!


I get all my loans from chickens.


Its the only way!


I love this discussion


I'm learning so much about French culture!


And now my friend owes a chicken something too? This sentence confuses me...


Chicken debt must be common in France.


I regret to say that I do not, in fact, owe a chicken. This is all the result of a misunderstanding.

It is true that I have lost an amazing amount of owls lately but I had nothing to do with any missing chickens.


I seem to be mostly losing hearts lately, but it does seem to be because of some owl...


Owls or Fowls?? Oh the barter system. This discussion sure is fun.


I think that "tu dois un poulet" means that it is your counterpart's turn to buy a chicken or that he owes money to the butcher for the chicken he bought and did not pay immediately.


That's what I thought too, would French people also get this joke or does it not translate?


This is all so hilarious. It really has brightened my day! I'm still laughing at the "chicken currency" funnies. LOLOLOL Not making fun of the beautiful French language...just making light of what is difficult (and continuous) verbiage. One wonders why Duo continues to use "he/she/we/you owe(s) a chicken" rather than at least some of the times, perhaps saying that someone owes a euro, a meal, a favor, a debt or a ticket, etc. We love the French language and French speaking people!!


So do you owe a chicken some food, or does you owe a chicken to someone else - maybe the butcher. Personally I would not want to be indebted to a chicken. :o)


yes, he owes money to the butcher for the chicken he bought and did not pay immediately.

'you owe a chicken some food' = tu dois de la nourriture à un poulet (devoir quelque chose à quelqu'un)


Apparently we have joined a chicken-based monetary system. I look forward to trading for all your dark meat.


I wish there were more relevant sentences. I highly doubt anyone is going to say that to me or me to them in my lifetime.


Je te dois un poulet.


I agree. You can learn sentence structure and vocabulary even with stupid sentences, but useful sentences would make so much more sense.


Croura, this changes my plans to carry a small purse when visiting France.


You are going to need a bigger purse.


Yes, but carrying chickens in the Metro in any kind of bag will be a real challenge! Bonne chance! By the way, you may want to check them at the door when you go to the Louvre ;-)


This sentence wasn't wierd because in Spanish, should and owe are also from the same verb (ie. deber).


Someone please explain to me how this is a real life, useful sentence.


This sentence is useful for the laughter that it has provided us, and for the opportunity for us to exchange cultural experiences. This sentence is useful because it teaches us one of the ways that sentences can be constructed in French. This sentence is useful because it teaches one way to use the verb "devoir" and it reminds us that second person singular present tense for "devoir" is "dois". This sentence is useful because it teaches us that "poulet" means "chicken"


Ahhhh. I will remember to employ this, this summer in Quebec. I am sure my use will add to their own laughter.


Are you wanting to learn grammar and vocabulary, or are you just wanting to memorize sentences? A negative attitude is not the way to go about learning a new language. But different strokes for different folks. Good luck!


I don't know if this makes enough sense to help anyone else, but I've started to think of the English word "obligation" when i read "doire." [ERROR! See Sitesurf's correction; I should have written "devoir."] It also connotes these two senses of something one must do or give.


The infinitive verb is "devoir" (not doire).

Note that "un devoir" (noun) = duty / homework


Thank you for the correction and the additional reference/reminder word!


I think Duolingo came up with a poor and confusing example here for demonstrating the use of the word "devoir" meaning "to owe." I've heard "Tu me dois 10€" or "Tu me dois un café" but a CHICKEN???


yes, this one I am going to memorize: you owe me $ 10 = tu me dois $ 10


i work with native french people and one of the first phrases they taught me was "je dois aller ou toilette"(i have to go to the bathroom), with dois meaing "must" or "have to". but here it's also "owe"? someone please clarify


The correct sentence is; "je dois aller aux toilettes" (feminine plural).

Verb "devoir" is relatively versatile, meaning "need to", "must", "have to", in front of a verb.

When used with a direct object, it means "owe": je te dois 10 euros = I owe you 10 euros".


I don't generally think of debt in terms of farm animals. But, it makes grammatical sense.


Yes, it does, and that's the point. When you have learned how to say "200€", you can then say "you owe me two hundred euros" (tu me dois deux-cents euros).


If the sentence means, "You owe a chicken:", is that to mean, I borrowed from the chicken, and now I owe him...OR is it to say, "You owe (some 'Unspecified other party') a chicken?


The latter, because the former would be: tu dois (quelque chose) à un poulet.


not worth discussing as duo lingo cannot change this after 70 comments!! just give the answer they want to move on!!!!!!!!


Wow this totally confused me tu dois, "you must", "you have to" "a chicken" "You owe a chicken" ?? is this a typo and should be you "You own a chicken"

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.