"I like to look at the children playing."
Translation:J'aime regarder les enfants jouer.
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". :)
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.
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".
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 :
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
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?
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"
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".
@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:
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:
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?