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"Il allume quoi ?"

Translation:What does he turn on?

April 2, 2013

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xuyang1233321

If allmer here means to turn on,could I say "allumer la television "?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ferynn

Yes, that's how we say it. As well as "Allumer le lumière" (the lights), allumer une bougie (a candle)...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lyoug

la* lumière :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

Allumer has broader meaning than just lighting something. Per Larousse.com dictionary, I tried "What does he start" and DL accepted that. ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeZhiXin1987

Could it refer to turning a person on??? Just curious, lol. It is the language of love, you know...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

Yes, it can, in the sense of "stir" or "arouse". Dictionaries are great for finding out this stuff.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeZhiXin1987

Oh cool! Didn't think of using the website for Oxford, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liofla

It can, but very informally, almost slang. Normally you'd say "exciter" or something like that.

As for "start" I think it's a very poor translation for "allumer". The only situation I can think of where it'd mean something like that would be the idiom "allumer la mèche" (lighting the fuse, as in for an explosive) which means that you're "sparking" something off (like a protest for instance).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SanktEfan

Why can't it be "Qu'est-ce qu'il allume?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shawn123465

I think it could. The "Qu'est-ce que" construction of questions is a more formal way to ask questions. "Qu'est qu'il allume?" is kind of like asking "What is it that he turns on?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chefie

'it' could work in this context, so why isn't it permitted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willijanb

In an earlier item, Qu'est-ce qu'elle allume? I answered "What does it light?" This was marked correct. "Il" is not explicitly male meaning "he." It means he or it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertcolin

Yes but in big majority of case it's a human who light, even if animals can light somthing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Casiquire

Except the light switch ;o) "can you flip that switch for me?" "What does it turn on?" seems pretty natural to me. Would the French use "il" in that case or are they more likely to say "ce" or something simular?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertcolin

Yes i didn't think to this case. In french we would say "il allume quoi" = "cet interrupteur allume quoi". Thanks for your exemple. If we use "ce, cet, cette" we must add the objet name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jarl.riskj

Is it possible to say "What is he illuminating"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

No, that is not the sense of "allumer". Perhaps "illuminer" is what you're after.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HoangMinhh1

In the dictionary, allume = light (in English) ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

Allumer can mean "to light" in the context of a flame, i.e., bougie (candle), poêle (stove), briquet (lighter), gaz (gas), "to strike" (a match), "to start" (a fire). Generally, it means to turn on/put on/switch on some device (a light, an appliance, the electricity). It can also mean to "stir" or "arouse" a person, i.e., to turn them on. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/translate/french-english/allumer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juliefaith433134

So close! i misspelled ... "Il alume qui"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

That would apparently be something like "who is he flirting with":


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kat0in0the0hat

Could this not be translated as 'What is he igniting?' as 'allumage' can translate to 'ignition', or is the world 'enflammer' used for this sole purpose?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kat0in0the0hat

Thanks for the links! I was marked as wrong but I'll flag it if it crops up again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sam_20.

Could the answer to that question be "a light switch", or a human (as in partner or any other person)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

You wouldn't use "quoi" to refer to a person.

As for "a light switch", to my mind it makes more sense to "allumer" the light itself, rather than the switch, but I can't say for sure that it wouldn't be said about a switch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chefie

Why can't it also be plural, given the pronunciation? Impossible to tell the difference, therefore both should be permitted .....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wunel

Not impossible at all. Were it plural (ils allument quoi) you would hear a liason between ils and allument.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deCalle

i think it is meant in this context to push the switch enabling the lights to illuminate the room... so the translation is far off context


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

If the context (that you are thinking of, because there is no context in the sentence itself) results in a translation which is "off", it would only be because you have chosen a translation word that doesn't fit the scenario you imagine. If you envision pushing a switch to enable the lights, then we would say 1) turn on, 2) switch on, or 3) put on... a light, a lamp, an appliance, a motor, a generator, etc. But If you are "lighting" something, the referent would be a candle, a match, a (gas) stove, a pilot light, a lighter, etc. Rather, "to light the light" is the stuff of poetry and romantic lyrics (Bye Bye Blackbird).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oulenz

Sooo.. why not «what does he alight»? Reporting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LJSulli

to alight means to get off.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oulenz

But it also means to light, illuminate.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/alight


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

In general I support adding all reasonable possibilities, but the difficulty here is that the definition you're referring to seems at present to appear only in Wiktionary, which makes it suspect, and probably wrong.

It's possibly a misunderstanding based on the adjective "alight", which means "on fire" or "lit/lighted (up)".

It looks like the proper archaic form for "to light (sth. up)" might even be "to alighten", not "to alight".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oulenz

That is true. It could be that I was thinking of alighten when I gave my answer, and that a similar confusion underlies the Wiktionary entry. (In general I find the quality of Wiktionary to be very high.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

So do I, and I refer to it often, but I've come upon a wrong entry or two (for example feminine and plural variations for an invariable French adjective, apparently added by a bot) – or at least entries that I couldn't find support for elsewhere that struck me as unreliable – but it's been rare.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelaSt8

why not: 'He lits up what?' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diplospouse

'Lits' is not a word in English. "Lights" is what you are looking for.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasGabr13

'What is he lighting?' Is acceptable!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sjodni

Would, "Il qu'allume?", have the same meaning, or even be close to being grammatically correct? Would it work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertcolin

Not correct but : "Qu'allume-t-il" or "Qu'est-ce qu'il allume" is better than the duo translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jb11131999

Could this also be "quoi allume-t-il?" and "quoi il allume?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Per robertcollin, you could say "qu'allume-t-il"; I don't see "quoi allume-t-il" as an option. As for "quoi il allume", I think that might be possible, but if so, very colloquial and not as common as "il allume quoi". I defer, of course, to native speakers or anyone more knowledgeable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertcolin

It can't be "quoi allume-t-il" or "quoi il allume". "Quoi" never at the top of The sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tristan2023

I wrote he turn on what and it said I was wrong. It said that it should be he turns on what. Duolingo was not very clear. I thought it meant to turn on something, like a T.V. What did it really mean? Pls help


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2036

The error was in the conjugation of the English. In the form of a question, you may say "What does he turn on?" or "What is he turning on?" Although it is possible to put "what" at the end of the sentence in English, it is just a bit awkward and it would also require "He turns on what" (not "he turn on what"). For more possibilities to understand the application of the verb "allumer", please read the comments above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manuella907758

on the hintsit said the same stuff


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whatever578

Allume is turn on, illume is light?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liofla

"illume" is not a word, "illuminer" is to illuminate, maybe that's what you're thinking about?

There's also "éclairer" which is to shed light on something. "Les phares éclairent la route" ("the headlights light/shed light on the road").

That being said "allumer" can be used for "to light" as well, "allume le feu" (light the fire), "allume la torche" (light the torch). It's also very common to say "allume la lumière" even though it's a bit redundant (turn on the light, literally "light the light"). But it's always is the sense of changing the state of something, unlike éclairer which means using an external source to bring light to something.

So "allumer la bougie" is "to light a candle" but "éclairer la bougie" is "to shine light on a candle" (using a flashlight or something).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Freyr77

Why is "He turned what on?" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

"Allume" is present tense, "turns". Otherwise it seems fine to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonWiFi

I am a native English speaker. I am questioning the difference between my answer which was "incorrect" and duo's answer. I wrote "what is he turning on". Why is the word "does" (present tense for doing it..) correct? Does it have something to do with the verb "allume" that escapes my imagination?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Your answer should have been accepted, and I'm surprised that at this point it wouldn't have been, but the "does" version is okay too.

What is he turning on (right now)? What does he turn on (every time he gets in his car)? Both senses are legitimate interpretations of the French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Libellule808

I thought it said "Il a lu quoi?" LOL.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lee63230

i write that and I am told it is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rachelmhills

Why not"lighting"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Florabella123

This translation leaves me wondering what the guy is actually doing.. Is he turning on some animal or something, or is he illuminating something? In the latter case I'd say this translation is just weird...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bookwormer333

I would agree that this is a dodgy translation and it would be much better (and better English) to say 'switch on' rather than 'turn on' in this context to avoid ambiguity. Can't report that though, because as so often in the French tree there is no option on the reporting buttons for the English not being correct......


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

There's nothing to report. The expression has the two different meanings in both languages, so the same ambiguity technically exists in both, which is a good feature of a translation. However, really only one of the possible interpretations is reasonable in either language anyway.

Perhaps you feel differently about it as a British English speaker (I'm speculating), but for North Americans "turn on" is more common than "switch on", and there's really no issue here for the average person.

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