"Je parle avec qui ?"

Translation:With whom am I talking?

April 2, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why does the male voice sound like he's saying "Je parle avec cookie?"


yes probably because he talks with une bouche full of cookie


Maybe he adds the extra syllable to make the 'c' in "avec" more separated from the 'q' in "qui".


Yeah I'm trying to be patient with myself to learn why there sometimes seems to be an extra syllable here. Shouldn't it sound like "avec ee" or "ave qui"?


I agree. It does sound like that.


LOL Yes all sorts of funny ways to say it!!


would "Avec qui est-ce que je parle?" be ok?


Technically, your sentence is not very academic, although it is frequent.

The problem with this question is that the most formal construction: "avec qui parlé-je ?" sounds like 18th century speech, because inversion Verb-Subject pronoun with 1st group verbs is always weird (addition of an acute accent to make it more or less "pronounceable").

Therefore, the French would rephrase the question as such to make it formal:

  • Avec qui dois-je parler ? (if context is asking whom you should talk to)

  • Avec qui suis-je en train de parler ? (if context is asking whom you are currently talking to)

And the informal/relaxed structure is the one proposed by Duolingo here.


Thank you Sitesurf. Despite studying the 'formulas', I did not reach your conclusions. This first lesson on questions is extremely confusing as it proposes polar constructions; either very literary or too relaxed, and wading through it is a task for those with a lot of determination and stamina. That the language has different registers for asking questions is not the problem, but, the way in which they have been introduced is. I do think that the questions unit needs to be revised and expanded, and that each 'chapter' be discrete in its register. I also propose that the most natural constructions be the bulk of the exercises, since what would actually be said by a native -today- is what a beginner wishes to learn, first. I realise that I should probably be directing my views elsewhere, this example however provides the basis of my argument; so, if you think that I ought to do that, please tell me so. (If other learners agree or disagree with my point of view, I would like to know the hows and whys.) Back to the battlefield, now..


I agree that it is difficult, just through examples and with no insight on the whys and hows, to "feel" what is natural, what is formal, what is pompous, what is too familiar/relaxed... Indeed there are several French languages, divided in written / oral, themselves subdivided in a number of branches. My point is not to discourage you, just to point to the fact that it needs time and patience to learn French. I also agree that Duo is not always consistent when it comes to registers. Too often, they propose a relaxed translation against a formal original sentence. I reported many times on lack of accuracy here, but not much has changed since. Probably they would need to proceed by step, with specific lessons on specific registers. The only thing I would advise is that you complement Duo with other resources on the Web (like French.about.com) and robust dictionaries and that you also use this forum facility to ask as many questions as you need to get precise answers to your questions. Other learners (and French speakers like me) will help you. That is the real beauty of Duo.


Besides the thoughtful clarification you provide, you've become intrisic to my French quest. Although I do use About and whatever resources I can afford and source, you give me a sense of 'security'. I also appreciate your feedback whenever I come across it in other learner's posts; in fact, I open the discussions even when I'm not searching for clarification, just in case there's a pearl from you. Thank you for being so encouraging and thorough.


I just would like to say that the correct sentence is "avec qui parle-je" and not "avec qui parlé-je".


Yes, "avec qui parlé-je" is the correct version, otherwise it would be impossible to enunciate properly.


Is "Avec qui parle je?" an acceptable sentence too?


Actually, you should write it like this: "parlé-je", for parle-je is almost impossible to say.

In reality, verbs from the 1st group are not used in inversion with "je", for euphony reasons. So, instead, you can always use "(avec/à qui) est-ce que je parle ?".


Ah, that's a good exception to know. Thanks for the tips.


"who am I talking to?" can anybody tell me why is it wrong?


As far as I know, this translation is accepted, even though it is not the best English Duo can promote.


Maybe not the 'best' but the "whom am. . ." Is only really used in jest or, I suppose in extremely formal instances. (Like talking to the Queen! ) So very annoying to be marked incorrect.


Is there a way to rephrase this like "Qui avec je parle?"?


The more formal structure is "Avec qui parlé-je", but we don't use it because of the weird (but correct) addition of "é" to make it flow properly.

However, if the subject is not "je", you will use "Avec qui parles-tu ? Avec qui parle-t-il ? etc.


what does the T in there mean?


This dummy T is added for pronunciation only, because "parle il" would not sound right.

This addition with hyphens on both sides is required with all inversions where the verb is from the 1st group (infinitive ending in -er) and all 3 pronouns "il, elle, on":

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


Will "Qui suis-je parle" be good too?


Avec qui suis-je en train de parler ? can be correct to translate a continuous present if you want to stress that the action is in progress now.

Remember that French does not have any continuous verbal forms, so whenever you have "am/are/is Verb-ing" to translate to French, you will preferably use the present tense.


"Avec qui je parle ?" would be correct, but less used.


who is speaking with me?


Why it doesn't accept "Am I speaking/talking with who?"


Incorrect English. You could say, "With whom am I speaking?".


could it be "je parle avec qui" = "who i'm talking to?"


Why can't "je parle avec qui" be "Who am I speaking with?


In proper English, the object pronoun is "whom".


True, but almost no one, written or spoken in the US uses "whom" correctly or consistenly (not sure other English speaking countries) and so Who am I speaking with, or who is talking, or who am I speaking to" are the most typical/usable functional translations. Only customer service representatives who are trained to say "with whom" use it ;)


No. The English people also do not use "with whom" as a general thing. Love the Sales Person reference.


I can't remember the last time I heard someone say "whom"


it suggested to use the word talked, when I used it told me that I was supposed to use speaked. This is unfair


Probably something else was wrong in your translation.


it says that qui is whom but it is who


In its object form, and especially after a preposition, "who" should become "whom", at least in correct grammatical terms.


am I drunk or do I have memory loss. a disorder or just in trouble, when will I need this?


You are calling someone by phone, but you are not sure if you have reached the correct person.


Help appreciated. Why qui? The lesson notes say qui is used for the subject and que for object. Here it seems to be the object. What am I missing? Thanks.


I think I've worked it out. My above comments only relate to the construction 'est ce que /qui'? When it's que or qui outside of that 'est ce ' construction then the rule is qui for people, que for everything else. Is that right?


Yes, the confusion comes from the similarities between the relative pronouns qui/que and the interrogative pronouns qui/que.

Relative pronouns

  • Subject (people, animal, thing) "qui": ... l'homme/le chien/ la maison qui apparaît ici: "qui" is the subject of "apparaît".
  • Object (people, animal, thing) "que": ... l'homme/le chien/la maison que je vois ici: "qu" is the direct object of "vois".

Interrogative pronouns

  • People "qui" (who/whom/whose):

-- Qui est là ? (subject) = Who's there?
-- Tu vois qui ? (direct object)= Whom can you see?
-- De qui tu parles ? (indirect object) = Of/About whom are you talking?
-- A qui est ce manteau ? (indirect object) = Whose is this coat?

  • Things "que/quoi" (what):

-- Qu'est-ce ? (subject) = What is it?
-- Que sera votre choix ? = What will be your choice?
-- Que fais-tu ? (direct object) = What are you doing?
-- Il y a quoi ici ? (direct object) = What's in here?

So, the interrogative pronoun "que" is a subject with the verb "être" only. With other verbs, you have to use "qu'est-ce qui + verb":

-- Qu'est-ce qui sent si bon ? = What smells so good?
-- Qu'est-ce qui changé ? = What has changed?
-- Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas chez lui ? = What's wrong with him?

  • People, animal, thing "lequel, laquelle, lesquels, lesquelles":

-- Lequel de vous a faim ? (subject) = Which (one) of you is hungry?
-- Lesquels vois-tu ? (direct object) = Which (ones) can you see?
-- De laquelle parles-tu ? (indirect object) = Of/About which one are you talking?


I keep coming back to read this. Very helpful. Thank you again.


Sitesurf, thank you for all your examples and your patience


I got O.k " Who am I talking with ? "


With who do i speak?


Ooooh no. You can not go partially formal. If putting the 'With' first you fo have to say 'with whom'


"With whom am I speaking?" was not accepted???


This is on the list of accepted answers.


"Je parle avec qui ?" With whom am I talking very outdated. Rarely used in England. Should Duo not also accept the phrase we do use mostly? IE. Who am I talking to?


So, Sitesurf, please tell me. Should "who am I talking to" be accepted?


It should be since it is on the list of acceptable translations.


The 'With' has a capital 'W'. '_'

[deactivated user]

    I think that the correct phrase should be: "With whom am I speaking?" or "To whom am I talking?"


    With whom am I talking to? (DL please check out my translation)


    "To talk to" or "to talk with", not both:

    • With whom am I talking?
    • To whom am I talking?
    • Who(m) am I talking with?
    • Who(m) am I talking to?


    "Am I speaking with whom?" Surely speaking could be accepted here...

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