"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?

June 28, 2013

  • 1241

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". :)

May 30, 2016


Accepted now.

September 24, 2013


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."

May 2, 2013


"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."
May 2, 2013


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.

May 31, 2013


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

May 31, 2013


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

June 6, 2014


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

December 5, 2013


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

June 16, 2017


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.

April 12, 2014


both are ok.

April 12, 2014


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

May 5, 2014


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

June 8, 2018


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

May 16, 2016


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".

May 17, 2016


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

January 14, 2017


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.

January 14, 2017


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

April 5, 2013


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.

September 5, 2013


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?

May 15, 2018


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.

April 6, 2013


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?

May 30, 2013


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

This link might help you :


May 30, 2013


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."

May 17, 2014


What is the function of "bien " here ?

May 30, 2017


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

June 6, 2017


Good answer ! Thanks !

June 7, 2017


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

February 22, 2014


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."

March 3, 2014


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?

March 9, 2014


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

March 10, 2014


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

March 10, 2014


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

March 11, 2014


thank you, thecatpetter

March 11, 2014


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)

March 12, 2014


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

June 16, 2017


Thats creepy

November 27, 2017


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"

February 5, 2014


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 ?

February 5, 2014


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.

February 6, 2014


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".

February 6, 2014


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

April 22, 2014


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

May 17, 2016


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.

February 28, 2017


@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:


February 28, 2017


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

May 10, 2014


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

May 17, 2016


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?

June 10, 2014


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:


May 17, 2016


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

September 17, 2014


"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?

August 13, 2016


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?

February 5, 2017


See note from Arjofocolovi above on this topic.

February 28, 2017


"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?

April 25, 2017


Why would "voir" not have been accepted?

April 26, 2017


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

June 16, 2017


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

May 21, 2017


J'aime regarder les enfants jouant

August 9, 2017


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?

October 13, 2017


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...

October 16, 2017


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?

December 22, 2017


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

January 9, 2018


The translation was not a choice given on the screen.

January 15, 2018


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

January 17, 2018


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

January 30, 2018


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

July 21, 2018


where is the "at" in the sentence?

July 27, 2018


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

September 18, 2018


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).

September 18, 2018


Why 'bien' ?

October 11, 2018
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