I understand "What to do next?" as a less formal equivalent of "What must be done next?" or "What is necessary to do next?" "it is necessary" is implied there, at least in some contexts.
I guess you imagined something like a group of friends who just finished some activity and ask for suggestions for other program - off course, in this context "What to do next? don't imply necessity at all. But imagine two people, one installing some gadget and the other reading manual. If the one without the manual asks "What to do next?", he means "What is necessary to do next?" (let's suppose he considers following the manual as a necessary condition for making the machine work).
Anyway, I report that "What to do next" should be accepted.
The idiom? English speakers might ask this question all kinds of ways. I don't really think there is a major idiom here. In any case, O don't think this isn't the French for "What do we do next?" This is the French for the English case when someone does happen to go ahead and say "What must we do next?"
I think your second sentence should not use the infinitive "faire" but should be "il faut qu'il FAIT (quelque chose)" eg "il faut qu'il fait ses études" = "it is necessary that he does his studies".
My guess is the question might be "qu'est-ce qu'il faut qu'il fait?" "What is (it that is) necessary for him to do?"
Hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong.
The "we" is implied in the phrase "il faut", (or in this instance, "faut il"). It's a phrase that simply means "one must" or "we must". It is something that needs to be done. One must wash one's clothes,one must change the oil in one's car. One in this case is a generisation. One= We. Its origin is in "devoir"
Looks like you and I went to the same school. :c)))
Trust me, there are very few of us who think like you do. So far I have counted 3 in Duolingo. We are outnumbered in our thinking as you will find if you read a discussion in which I tried to put forth our suggestion and even consulted a few authorities in English. It seems, at least in the US, "What is it necessary [to do] next?" is considered more grammatically correct than our preferred "What is necessary [to do] next?" Or rather, without "it" I was told the sentence had a different meaning, in the sense of it is asking about the "tools" needed [to do the job], not about [the job to be done] itself. (I used the square brackets around "to do" because the verb in the sentence I was discussing was "manger" not "faire" but same basic thought.)
When I suggested the sentence you suggested, it was deemed unnecessarily wordy. So I have decided to settle on "What do we have to do next?" as my translation of Que faut-il faire ensuite ?
Here's the discussion in which I learned that not many agree with our thinking: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/210746
Ha ha ha, I am sure we went to the same school. :) :)
I am impressed by the amount of serious thought that you and others like you put in in here and also a bit ashamed of myself for being rather careless.
The first time I read srclarke's answer, it sounded wrong to me. After reading your comments and also Sitesurf's examples, I gave it some more thought. Yes, the answer that we suggested is wordy, but I believe it is correct in grammar and it can also be used when someone ones to sound more pressing. At the same time, I feel, 'what is it necessary to do next?' is also correct but colloquially. They are in fact the same sentences, only the latter has the part 'that is' removed for ease of conversation. I am starting to realize that there are many examples where 'that is' and 'that' are omitted in conversational English.
'What is it (that) you are eating?' 'what is it (that is) shining in the distance?' 'I feel (that) you should stay'.
I feel all the three answers(one without 'it', one with 'it', and the one with 'that is') can be more or less used for different connotations. However, I do not know which connotation is being suggested by the French sentence. Translation is really tricky business :( .
@srclarke, my apologies. Please ignore my previous comment.
I like the English translation here, but the only option with the words provided was very clumsy English construction.
Reading through the comments from 4 years ago, it's good to see that we have moved on from slavishly following "It is necessary" for "il faut", because it's far too stilted in English. It might be appropriate in a research lab report perhaps.
Because your sentence is adding more than was in the original sentence.
The sentence in this exercise is equivalent to "what must be done after/next?" while your proposed sentence is equivalent to "what must be done after it?" You are adding an object not mentioned in the given sentence.
The answer to the question in this exercise could be: "Next, it is necessary to [do XYZ]". The "it" here (and in the question) does not refer to anything in particular. However, the answer to your question would be "After that, it is necessary to [do XYZ]" where "that" replaces the "it" in your question which was actually referring. to something that came first and after which you are asking what needed to be done.
Oh, trust me, I tried that argument and even consulted with language experts and was told "it" is needed. I chalked it up to one of those things I somehow missed in my upbringing. Perhaps it is one of those mistakes made so often that we start to find them normal. Like when people say they are going to lay down instead of lie down.
You might consider reading the discussion so you can see that those of us who think like you do were outnumbered and had to give in. I even contacted English professors and was told Duo's proposal is correct. Turns out that there is a large number of English speakers who agree with Duolingo. You will see what conclusion I came to that made this easier to swallow. Maybe it'll work for you too.
The thing is there are more ways to convey the meaning of this sentence without using "do we".
"Is it necessary..." is how I would have translated it. Duo is testing your understanding. If you memorize phrases without understanding them well enough to be able to express them differently when you need to, then you are missing out.
This is constantly coming up as wrong, but the word choices for this sentence are not provided. It gives the options of "What, Is, Necessary, to, do, then, grandfather, home, wild, as, it"...so I will never get it right if the words; next, have, are not a choice. This is an error and should be fixed.
You probably need to read the discussion. I had your exact sentiments when I first did this exercise and even contacted English professors to ask about that construction. Turns out that those of are of us who see something wrong with this are in the minority. Experts told me that Duo was right. Check out the discussion.
Instead of rushing to post a question, remember there are many students who were at your level at one time and who passed through here. So always assume your questions are not new and read the discussion first. That way you won't ask redundant questions that get ignored because the answers are already posted.
I think you were marked wrong because your sentence does not have the nuance of the question being about what must be done AFTER something else has been done. In other words, your sentence might be what one can ask when a solution is needed: so what needs to happen now since X has taken place. While the sentence in this exercise is about what needs to happen NEXT, implying very clearly, there is already one thing that has already been done and now we need the sequel.