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  5. "I like to look at the childr…

"I like to look at the children playing."

Translation:J'aime regarder les enfants jouer.

April 5, 2013



J'aime regarder les enfants qui jouent.

Would this not be correct also? I like to look at the children who play?

  • 1810

To play devil's advocate slightly, isn't there a difference in nuance between the two sentences?

"I like watching the children playing" implies to me the emphasis is on liking the 'playing' (e.g. rather than those same children working - j'aime regarder les enfants jouer ; je n'aime pas regarder ces enfants travailler.)

"I like watching the children who play" seems to imply an emphasis on the particular group of children that you like watching (e.g. rather than another group - j'aime regarder les enfants qui jouent ; je n'aime pas ceux-là qui travaillent).

To emphasise the point a bit, compare "I like children eating vegetables" and "I like children who eat vegetables". :)


Shouldn't this read "J'aime regarder les enfants jouer" or "... les enfants jouent" ? I find it strange that you can have two verbs, one after the other, that can both be attributed to the subject. In my mind, this says "I like watching playing the children."


"J'aime regarder les enfants jouer" is also correct.

"...les enfants jouent" is not correct, we have to use the infinitive form. It's often the case when translating verbs using "-ing".

  • "I like eating cakes" = "J'aime manger des gâteaux."


Sorry about that, I'm not sure what was going through my head when I wrote "les enfants jouent". Brain fart, I guess. I probably meant to use the gerondif, but how would one use it here? If I say "J'aime regarder les enfants en jouant" that would mean "I like to watch the children while playing" yet it implies that I am the one playing, not the children.


Yes your sentence with the gerund is correct, but indeed can't be used in this exercise.


or the rule of the french for double verbs, the construction is like that :D


Can anyone help me why "J'aime regarder jouer les enfants" is also correct ? :D


I think both are technically correct, but one is slightly more awkward than the other.


So in the multiple choice the correct answer is "J'aime regarder JOUER les enfants", but when I come here to discuss the sentence, the translation says "J'aime regarder les enfants JOUER". That's odd.


That's what threw me off from the get go as well...


That's the same thing I said. It didn't make sense.


Is there any reason why bien is added after J'aime?


It's very common to use "bien" after "aimer" in French. It adds a nuance, usually "j'aime" is superior in terms of strength to "j'aime bien". It's because "aimer" can have a romantic connotation which is hard to get rid off even if we talk about objects or activities. But there's nothing wrong in saying "j'aime jouer au tennis" for example, it really depends on context and on how the person wants to use the verb "aimer".


Is this a nature of the language or the culture/use of 'aimer' in France specifically?


I wouldn't know really. I don't see how it could be in the nature of the language, since a language is nothing without its culture around it. But you would need the opinion(s) of (a) linguist(s) to get a more satisfying answer.


Doesn't a new object that performs a verb reset the verb to its conjugated state? "J'aime regarder les enfants jouent?"


I like to watch the children playing. Aren't the verbs "like", and "watch" in that sentence? The object of watch is the children. Playing is an adjective I believe of the word children.


I had the same question, and am still struggling to understand why "jouer" is correct and ""jouent" is incorrect -- if you (or anyone else) have a moment, could you provide more information or a link on infinitive verbs being used as adjectives?


Not sure what you're talking about. The French sentence is fine. I would rather use "I like to watch the children play" in English but that was not your point.

And by the way, "J'aime regarder les enfants jouent ?" is incorrect.


I think the issue here is in terms of the noun/verb relationship. I totally understand the construction of "J'aime regarder" as "I like to watch". But for the second portion of the statement, the object is "the children", in which "playing" modifies the noun "children". So, I expected this portion to be translated as the present participle "les enfants jouants". Can anyone give me a French grammar lesson why it is not the case, here?


Infinitive is often used for ongoing actions. Or simply the present.

This link might help you :



It is better for the English sentence to use "watch" instead of "look at". Not only is it more correct, but it fits the translation "J'aime regarder les enfants jouer."


What is the function of "bien " here ?


Whenever you see "aimer bien," it's a lighter version of "love", making it "like." For example, "Je t'aime" is I love you while "Je t'aime bien" is I like you (as a friend). I've only really seen "aimer bien" used when talking about people, not objects. Warning though, I've spotted bien in places I wouldn't think it'd belong too, and I'm not sure what those mean. So watch out lol.

Here's a link to a comment with the same question with some other answers: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20839080/j-aime-vs-j-aime-bien


Good answer ! Thanks !


Why can't we say «J'aime regarder aux enfants jouer »??
À + les


I think it's because "regarder" is a transitive verb here -- it takes a direct object without needing a preposition. So "regarder" translates as "to watch" or "to look at", with the "at" needed in English already built in. So to write "regarder aux enfants" in this case would be ungrammatical, like saying "to watch at the children" or "to look at at the children."

I hope this makes sense/is a correct explanation (I'm not a native French speaker either). Wordreference/the Collins tab (http://www.wordreference.com/fren/regarder) might be better at showing examples of when you would use a preposition with "regarder."


In my answer I used ". . . jouer des enfants." They only accepted "...jouer les enfants." I know I can go to about.com and get a detailed explanation of why "les" is correct here and "des" is not. But can anyone give me a brief and less confusing explanation that just pertains to this case?


Because this sentence is talking about a specific group of children. "The children" as opposed to "some children"


Not correct in my opinion. here it can be specific and general.


wilvandal, I don't know what you mean. thanks for responding.


thank you, thecatpetter


I like to look at the children playing is the sentenced given by duolingo. so you must use les, not des

but notice that, les can be used in two ways:

  1. things in general (Children, for example)

  2. specific group of things(The children)


I stand corrected! Thank you Wobjam for the thorough explanation!


I am odd man out. I understand the use of jouer, but am confused as to why it is "les enfants" rather than "des" as in "playing of the children" given the word order in the question. I can see it in the word order used above this discussion, but when it is "regarder jouer les enfants" I would expect the possessive to define the role of the children. Alternatively, I did see one comment that reversed the object and made it les enfants qui jouer. I understand that. But I don't understand "regarder jouer les enfants"


I admit I'm having troubles understanding you. It's "les" instead of "des" simply because the English sentence uses the definite article "the". There is no possessive form in this sentence, what made you think about the possessive form ?


In the example at the top of the discussion it says: "J'aime regarder les enfants jouer." I understand that. In the question on the quiz the word order was different: "J'aime regarder jouer les enfants." I seems to make the "play" the direct object. That would then make it "the play of the children", thus possessive. I assume I am missing something about the word order in "regarder jouer les enfants" but I can't find a rule to cover it.


It's not because something is a direct object that it becomes a noun.

"jouer" is still a verb, even if it's a direct object. So it's still "play the children" (well, English wouldn't allow to change the order, so it's still "the children play") and not "the play of the children".


j'aime regarder comment les enfants jouent. - good/wrong?


It's correct French, but it's not correct for this exercise.


Would you mind explaining how "J'aime regarder les enfants jouent" translates differently from this exercise / or is simply not correct french? I am still stuck on this despite this conversation above.


@eelrraatt's sentence was different from yours, he/she was talking about "J'aime regarder COMMENT les enfants jouent." which is indeed correct French and means: "I like to [watch/look at] how the children [play/are playing]".

The sentence "J'aime regarder les enfants jouent" is just incorrect French, so it's a bit useless to try to translate it. It's just about the usage of infinitive in French, for more information on that you can start here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/infinitive.htm

There are also the double-verb constructions which you should learn about:


As well as the semi-auxiliary verbs:



can you not say 'j'aime voir les enfants qui jouent'?


There's the same difference between "regarder" and "voir" as there is between "to look at / to watch" and "to see".


I don't understand when should I use "à". shouldn't it be "regarder à les enfants jouer"? Can anyone explain why not and when I do need to use "à" after a verb?


The preposition used after a verb really depends on the verb itself.

  • In English, you look AT something.
  • In French, you "regarde" something.

It's the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs.

If you want to know more about transitivity, have a look here:


If you want to know more about "à", have a look here:



I don't understand why "J'aime regarder jouer les enfants" is also correct.


"Playing" in the original, English sentence is a present participle. 1) Why can't we use the present participle of "jouer" in our translation? 2) And when can you use the French present participle if not in a situation like this one?


I don't understand why it is "J'aime BIEN regarder" and not just "J'aime regarder les enfants." Can anyone explain that added bien?


See note from Arjofocolovi above on this topic.


"I like well to look the children to play" Why isn't it "J'aime regarder aux les enfants jouer"? Where did the "bien" come from?


Why would "voir" not have been accepted?


Voir = see, regarder = watch / look at. Slightly different meanings.


One of my options on this question was given as "J'aime regarder les enfants en train de boiller." Well.


J'aime regarder les enfants jouant


How is that DL is giving both the following sentence correct? 1) J'aime regarder les enfannts jouer. 2) J'aime bien regarder les enfants jouer. "J'aime" and "J'aime bien" have the ssme meaning?


So, I got the answer J'aime bien regarder les enfants jouer correct one time and the next time I was told the answer was J'aime bien regarder jouer les enfants. Are both correct? I'm confused about these triple verb situations...


The option it's giving me is "J'aime regarder jouer les enfants," literally, "I like to watch to play the children." Should this be flagged as a mistake, since it's in the wrong order (jouer les enfants is VS not SV) but also it's the wrong suffix, in the infinitive instead of 3rd person?


it's really weird someone watching me play if it's me!


The translation was not a choice given on the screen.


ok but why is no one talking about the fact that someone likes watching children.


All three answers of Duoligo are wrong. (J'aime regarder jouer les enfants)


J'aime regarder jouer les enfants- this was the only option given in the multiple choice


where is the "at" in the sentence?


J'aime regarder des enfant à jouer. What was wrong ????


it's les enfants (the children), not des enfants (some children) (enfants being plural not singular) and it's not à jouer, it's just jouer (so i like to look at the children playing, not i like to look at the children to play).

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