"My sons, you must wear shoes."

Translation:Mes fils, vous devez porter des chaussures.

April 6, 2013

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Why not, "Mes fils, il faut porter des chaussures?"


Well semantically, "Mes fils, vous devez porter des chaussures." is more accurate.

"Il faut" usually refers to a rule or a norm that everyone has to observe. In this exercise, we know that his sons have to wear shoes, but it doesn't say anything about other people.


But in English "you" is used enough to refer to the rule or norm that, without context, "you must wear shoes" could easily be a rule. E.g. "My sons, when you work in a bank, you must wear shoes."


You're talking about the English point of view. Indeed in English if you use "must", It can be related to a rule applied to everyone. But in French, it's "devoir" both for "have to" and "must".

In a French point of view, "Mes fils, vous devez porter des chaussures." can perfectly apply only to the sons, and not to other people.


Yes, I was talking about the English point of view, because I was presented with the phrase "My sons, you must wear shoes." and told to translate this into French. I interpreted it as a general "you", used "falloir" and lost a heart. Sad times.


I would have always gone for the personal subject pronoun first in this situation. And as Falloir is impersonal, I would have chosen Devoir. This is my take on it.


Why not "Mes fils, tu dois porter des chaussures"?


Because "tu" is singular. Here there are at least two sons.


Ohhh I see. so "vous" can be plural then?


Yes, "vous" can also be plural.


Why was my answer of les chaussures wrong ?


definite article, you need an indefinite article as in the English sentence (no article marks indefinite):
- My sons, you must wear shoes. <-> Mes fils, vous devez porter des chaussures.
- My sons, you must wear the shoes. <-> Mes fils, vous devez porter les chaussures.


Why not "Mes fils, vous devez porters des souliers"?


Well, because "porters" is not a French word. The correct word is "porter".

And for "soulier", it's an old word which is now most of the time replaced by "chaussure". But technically it's correct to use "soulier" if you don't have a context, because it's still used in literature and stuff like that.


I didn't realize that about "soulier". I grew up with Haitian French (aka probably somewhat outdated, but still arguably correct French), and in my household "souliers" are much more common than "chuassures".


Also true in Qu├ębec French.


What about "Mes fils, vous avez besoin de porter des chaussures"


"Mes fils, vous avez besoin de porter des chaussures" = "My sons, you need to wear shoes."


Why not "Mes fils, il faut que vous portiez des chaussures?


See my previous post about this matter.


Your previous response regarding an "Il faut" construction doesn't actually address this, since you describe "Il faut" being used regarding a rule that applies to everyone. "Il fault que vouz..." is addressed to one person/the group of people addressed. While it could be an instance of a general rule being applied to an individual, wouldn't it also be usable to tell an individual/group what they must do? For example, "il faut que tu partes".


Hmm. Maybe. I would need to make some research on this.


I would agree with petchupacabra in my experience - another difference being the use of subjunctive or not. Another possible construction could be "...il vous faut porter des chaussures." though this is not very common as far as I'm aware.


Personal subject pronoun. Simply, the subject is personal so you use a personal pronoun.


Can you use mettre here instead of porter?


I think "mettre" is used to convey something more like "putting on" rather than "wearing". "J'ai mis un chapeau" - "I put on a hat."


What about "fistons" here?


Fiston(s) is an affectuous nickname for "son", it is not really incorrect yet that's quite colloquial so it's not astonishing if it happens to be refused

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