There are several issues that new learners struggle with here:
- The articles (All French nouns have a gender. "Le" is used for masculine gender nouns; "la" is used for feminine gender nouns. You will need to learn to recognize them. You will usually tell the difference by hearing if it is "le" or "la" because they sound different. The plural "le" and the plural "la" are both "les". No, there is no shortcut to learning what the gender is.)
- Pronunciation (First, it is a new language. Some of the sounds will seem foreign until you get used to hearing them. Yes, sometimes the "robot" voice may not be perfect, but it is what it is. Practice listening to the audio. Try forvo.com or other sites to hear recordings of actual human beings if that help you.)
- Conjugating verbs (You must know how to conjugate verbs in English first, since this is the course of "French for English-Speakers". Then you will need to conjugate them in French as well. The verb être (to be) is irregular. Je suis = I am. Tu es = You are (singular/informal). Il/Elle est = He/She is. Nous sommes = We are. Vous êtes = You are (plural "you" or polite "you", either singular or plural). Ils/Elles sont = They are. There is no single French word for "are"; you must learn how to conjugate the verb to choose the correct word. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/French-Verb-Conjugator-How-To-Conjugate-French-Verbs.htm
- French adjectives must "agree": French adjectives are different than English adjectives in several ways. In French, most French adjectives have masculine and feminine forms and most of them also have singular and plural forms, too. The form of the French adjective must agree (match/correspond) with the gender and number of the noun it modifies. Le petit garçon = the little boy. Les petits garçons = the little boys. La petite fille = the little girl. Les petites filles = the little girls.
- Placement of French adjectives: Although it is not needed in this exercise, in English, adjectives always go before the noun they modify but in French they usually (but not always) follow the noun: l'oiseau jaune = the yellow bird. There are a number of French adjectives which must be placed before the noun they modify. These follow what is called the BANGS rule. They are adjectives of Beauty, Age, Number, Goodness/Badness, and Size. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm
- Accents or Special Characters: French uses special characters in many words: it's "garçon" (not "garcon"). Missing the accent or special character is considered a spelling error. Sorry, that's just how it is. How to type these special characters? It's easy. On your tablet or smartphone, hold your fingertip on the letter for just a second. A little pop-up will appear giving you a choice to select the special character you want. If you use a Windows computer, you can type all the special characters from your standard QWERTY keyboard. Go to Control Panel, Languages, Languages and Keyboards, Change Keyboard, <select> US International. Click "add" and "save". Now you can type special characters like é è ê ù ç, etc. You can add the accent aigu by typing « ' » followed by "e" to get é. Type « ' » followed by "c" to get ç; « ^ » followed by "e" to get ê, etc. If you want to type a normal apostrophe, just type « ' » and a space.
thanks for the help sir, that is why i got confused in 'sommes' and 'sont'.
if the sentence was 'the girl and the boy are calm', would it be translated into French as 'la fille et le garcon sont calms'?. Basically what i'm asking is, do you change the ending of the adjective to match the gender of last noun?
Because in english, we would say 'the girl and the boy, they are calm' rather than 'the girl and the boy, we are calm' so we need to use the they (ils/elles) conjugation for the verb
Eh, I have a question. I speak both Spanish and English and I need clarification on exactly what this sentence is saying.
In Spanish I don't believe you can say the same sentence without being more specific as to which meaning. 1. El niño y la niña son tranquilos. 2. El niñó y la ñina estan tranquilos.
So in French is it... 1. The boy and the girl are calm (in nature/demeanor?) or 2. The boy and the girl are calm (at this moment?)
Or could it be both?
The problem is calme and calmes sound exactly the same. But I guess I should have listened to the context.
Yes, the distinction between "calme" and "calmes" doesn't matter here, we know it's a plural, because of "les" and "sont".
How do they expect me to guess this answer? It could either be riche or calme. Such as, the boy and the girl are rich. Or, the boy and the girl are calm. Also, do you knoe if its possible to rely on this app alone to become fluent in French?
Was that a multiple choice question? In french, when we have adjectives (such as "calme" or "riche") the spelling (and sometimes the pronunciation) changes with the number and the gender. If I say "le garçon et la fille sont calmes", I have to add a "s" at the end of "calme" because there are several calm people in this case. So if you had a choice like "calme, calmes, riche", "calmes" would actually be the only possible option here because it is the only plural form.
French is a bit tricky at the beginning, especially for a native english speaker since a lot of these grammatical points make no sense at all in english (there are no direct equivalent of changing the adjectives spelling depending on the gender and the number). But you'll get there, don't worry. This is one of these languages that are very very difficult to learn at the beginning, but it will become easier. The only problem is that you will need to study the grammar a lot.
You can also try to use some other websites to learn more vocabulary in parallel with Duolingo, and study some french grammar somewhere else. I think for this kind of difficult languages, other complementary applications for studying are necessary.
Verb être (=to be) in present tense indicative:
Je suis=I am
Tu es=You are (N.B. informal singular you)
Il est=He/it is
Elle est=She/it is
On est=One is (N.B. one is not a number here)
Nous sommes=We are
Vous êtes=You are (N.B. either formal singular you, formal plural you or informal plural you)
Ils sont=They are (used for all masculine group, or a mixed gender group)
Elles sont=They are (used for all feminine group)
No, not always. Some words ending with s always have this s clearly heard, as ours=bear. But most ending s are not heard unless the following sound is a vowel sound, that is a vowel or silent h. Then it is pronounced as z and tagged onto the following vowel sound.
I m studying french i find its easy to remember if its wrote down in a book so you dont have to keep doing the lessons again Hope this helps
I also agree. It also helps to learn the proper spellings by writing down not only the tips and notes - but writing down new sentences and words as you encounter them
i wrote calmes as calme and they put it wrong, since the beginning is not in plural form isn't the rest not suppose to be in plural format?
Because it is a girl and a boy there are two of them which means you need to use the plural form. Hope that helps
In french calme and calmes has the same sound, te answer is in plurar form because the sentence mention two persons "garçon et fille" the pronoun for these personns are they( in french is ils or elles) an the verb "to be"(être) for these pronouns is "sont". disculpa si tiene algún error mi explicación ya que mi lengua nativa es el español.
It is difficult in the beginning to distinguish between le and les. It is a matter of training the ears to pick up the different and new sounds. Type them at www.forvo.com and listen to native French speakers pronouncing them. Listen repeatedly until you can hear the difference. Good luck!
confused again... when does 'calment' get used? i thought if there were more than one person. "le garcon et la fille sont calment"
Don't make the confusion between the adjective "calme" with the verb "calmer". Here, it's only the adjective. Plural of ajectives take "s" not "nt" as verbs. Calmer: je calme, tu calmes, il calme, nous calmons, vous calmes, ils calment.
hey, So the verb 'calmer' (calme, calmes, calmons, calment... ) is to refer to somebody CALMING another person(s), instead of the state of being calm (calme and calmes)?
Yes, it is and does. Hey! I thank you for this post of yours. I started writing that Calme was an adjective or noun; not a verb but after a lot of research found that you are correct. It's not listed in the wonderful about.com site nor on most others. It is certainly a verb in English which is what aroused my suspicions over my intended reply. After loads of research I found your truth. Thanks again. Is Calmer as a verb rarely used, then? Strange that it's so illusive in the French sites.
Je t'en prie! :) I've just started learning French here, but it's more effective than the French classes I took before. I really love Duolingo's method of teaching & fostering a community amongst its learners. Very happy that my comment was appreciated / helped you in some way. :)
I agree Christiane, my old french teacher was a native but her love of chocolate interfered with her teaching. So, I am a expert of chocolate in french. :)
No, because "es"is only for "you" (tu). In English, they are, in French, ils sont.
That is a really good thought. And that is the thought behind the verb form sont (ils sont=they are), that is why that exactly verb form is correct and none other.
But Le garcon et la fille sont calmes can not be translated into They are calm. You have to keep the parts of "they" and translate them: The boy and the girl are calm.
When a word got s in it ... For ex when we say hommes still it is pronounced same as homme .. Plzz explain why??
That is right, the final s is not pronounced unless the word is in front of a word beginning with a vowel sound (vowel or silent h). That is as the French grammar is constructed.
The plural is heard in speech in the articles des, les, mes, tes, ses and the plural persons nous=we, vous=plural you, ils=they, elles=they and their corresponding verb forms.
For plurals in French, the 's' is always silent (so it is not pronounced). However, if there is a liason, the 's' may be pronounced. A liason is when the plural is followed with a vowel. For example "Les hommes ont un chien". Here the 's' is pronounced because 'hommes' is followed by 'ont' which begins with a vowel.
hi Sumi2. Each agrees with it's determiner; Je suis, Il/Elle est, Tu es, Vous etes (circumlex over first "e") Nous sommes, Ils/Elles sont. These are the simple present-tense conjugations of the verb Etre (circumflex over first "e") "To Be".
Two sites worth looking at: On google "www.about.com/fr grammar verb conjugator" (type all that I've put between " " ), follow the links; and on youtube "French lesson 2: conjugation of - er verbs, subject pronouns by Rafatheman" ( type all I've put between " " ). There are 3 groups of verb conjugations: 1) those infinitives ending in - "er", 2) those ending in "ir" and 3) those ending in "re". These sites give some order to it all and help prod the memory.
Im confused how theres more than one way to pronounce "are" and "the" how d'o i know when to use certai n ones
OK Aseven............ "Le" (pronounced Luh)= "The"' preceeding a masculine noun. "La"(pronounced Lah)= "The", preceeding a feminine noun. (Le livre= the book <masculine noun>:::::: La table=the table <feminine noun>). "Sont"="Are"... They ARE in the house. When to use Le or La is a matter of acquaintance over years of usage. There are no rules. The gender of a noun is routed in Latin. Consequently there is no "why" nor "wherefore". Genders of nouns reaches far back into Linguistics and there are debates about the origins. For example, a school of thought suggests that before Aramaic a table was the realm of a woman, whereas a book was the realm of a scholar.... a male. How many scriptures in any religion have been written by, or attributed to a woman until very recently? Anyway, if the noun is masculine "Le" for "The" is used. If the noun is feminine "La" for "The" is used. "Sont" is "Are", so both the masculine and feminine "Le" and "La" "Are" articles. "Le et La Sont des articles"
In English, only the following sound dictates wich pronouncuation "the" takes: "the girl" has another "the sound" than "the elephant".
In French both the following sound, and the gender and the number has something to say. All nouns are either masculine or feminine (in some rare cases both). And all nouns are have a singular and a plural form.
The thing to learn is each noun together with its gender: "une pomme" - feminine, instead of just "pomme", because each noun is always accompanied by an article: un/une/des; le/la/l'/les; du/de la/de l'/des or some other grammatical class acting as article.
un/une, le/la/l', du/de la/de l' are all singular and des and les are plural. The plural articles do not care about the gender of the noun, but the singular articles do. And all articles except un/une do behave different depending on if the following sound is a vowel or consonant. The le and la are both contracted to a l' if the following sound is a vowel, and the s in des and les is heard (as a z) only if the following sound is a vowel.
Back to English, the person doing something decides which verb form to be used: talk or talks; am, are or is.
In French, both the following sound and the gender and the number have something to say.
Each verb has six different forms for each tense, compared to the English two or three forms. Each form is connected to a certain kind of subject called 1st person singular (that is I), 2nd person singular (that is you), 3rd person singular (that is he, she or it), 1st person plural (that is we), 2nd person plural (that is you) and 3rd person plural (that is they).
An advice is to learn each verb form together with its person: "ils sont"="they are" instead of learning the verb forms and persons separately: "ils"="they" and "sont"=are. In the latter case is it much more difficult to know when to use this "are" and wehen to use any of the other "ares": "es", "sommes" and "êtes".
All verb forms of verb être (=to be) in present tense indicative:
Je suis=I am
Tu es=You are
Il/elle/on est=He/it/she/it/one is
Nous sommes=We are
Vous êtes=You are
Ils/elles sont=They are
How can you say that a thing/noun is a feminine and a masculine? I'm a bit confused right npw.
I'm afraid in many languages including French every noun is either masculine or feminine. Not BOTH though. To make matters worse, there's no rhyme nor reason to it either. An egg (what is more female than that?) in French is masculine "UN œuf" but war, an utterly male-orientated thing is feminine "LA guerre". Could it get worse still? ........YUP! Indeedy. All nouns gender needs be learned by heart. At least you're not alone with this massive task and I hope you are no longer confused..... maybe just a little frustrated? Bonne chance mon ami. JJ.
Couldn't this also be translated to "The boy and the girl are quiet."? I always thought calme could be translated into either "quiet" or "calm" based on the context.
I do not understand why it is le and not les because we are talking about the girl and the boy.IF someone could explain to me it would be helpful
The boy is just one person, thus le.
The girl is just one person, thus la.
But 1+1=2, so the verb form is a plural one.
The boy + the girl = are calm= Le garçon et la fille sont calmes.
why is it 'les hommes sont riches' and not 'les hommes sont richs'?
Because mascular adjective plural get -s and feminine adjective plural -es?
Same with 'l'homme est calme'? Why isn't it 'l'homme est calm?'
1) The French adjective is "riche" (for both masculine and feminine nouns). The plural form is "riches". 2) The French adjective is "calme" (for both masculine and feminine nouns). The English counterpart is "calm".
But you probably know this by now! ;-)
"Calm" is the English word. The French word is "calme" (for both masculine and feminine nouns). When the adjective modifies a plural noun (or as in this case, plural nouns), the adjective changes to its plural form (calmes). French adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. There are a few exceptions which you will learn along the way.
I thought it was "Le garcon est la fille sommes calme." I agree, the French voice makes it sound different...
By now, you have learned how to conjugate French verbs, at least some of them. Even though, "sommes" and "sont" do sound a little similar, you will never mistake them if you pay attention to the subject of the sentence. In English, the verb to be is conjugated as "are" in the 2nd person singular and all the plural forms. First-person singular is "I am"; third-person singular is "he/she is". But the word "are" does not have just one word in French; it depends on if it is you (singular), or we/you/they (plural). Each of these has its own separate word in French.
- Nous sommes = we are (this is the first-person plural form of the verb)
- Les hommes sont = the men are (this is the third-person plural form of the verb)
- Ils/Elles sont = they are (also third-person plural)
Hold your fingertip on the letter for just a second and options will pop open to allow the selection of the special characters.
The correct translation for this sentence is The boy and the girl are calmed. You always use ed at the end of verb when the are used after the verb to be.
The French word "calme" is an adjective here, not a verb. The boy and the girl are calm.
I think that 'Sommes' is to be used when 'Nous' (we) is being used in reference to that in the sentence or phrase: 'Nous sommes calmes'. 'Sont' is to be used in other cases: "Le garçon et la fille sont calmes'.
i just freckin get it now!! when the sentence seems plural its sont when its singular its est
but what about sommes?
It is a little more than the one word "are"; it is about how the verb is conjugated:
- Je suis = I am
- Tu es = You are (when "you" is singular and informal, i.e., a friend)
- Il/Elle est = He/she is
- Nous sommes = we are
- Vous êtes = you are (the "polite" you, either singular or plural)
- Ils/Elles sont = they are
If it's just "are", this would be:
you (singular or informal) are = tu es we are = nous sommes you (plural or formal) are = vous êtes they are = ils sont
But you should keep in mind that some sentences that require the verb "to be" in english might be translated without the verb "être" in french.
Because the subject is "le garçon et la fille", so "they", so the conjugation is "ils sont". In english you would say "the boy and the girl are calm" too.
If you don't know how to speak a language how are you going to know which word is supposed to come next
I think it's s on the end for plural, e on the end for feminine and es on the end for feminine and plural but that might just be for past tense plurals from être sorry idk
I know creole so its realy easy to learn french cause creole is broken french
-1-1 the same time as a result of the most important thing is that the only thing I can get a chance of getting a new one of the most important thing is that the only thing I can get a chance of getting a new one of the most important thing is that the only thing I can get a chance of getting a new one of the most important thing is that the only thing I can get a chance of getting a new one of the most important thing is that the only thing I can get a chance of getting a new one of the most important thing is that the company that I am writing because the last two days after a while since I was wondering if anyone has any questions or concerns about the same time as a result of the most important thing is that the only thing I can get a chance of getting a new one of the most important thing for the delay in responding so much more than happy
why couldnt it be "riche" was it because it didn't have an "s" at the end of it?
Can anyone tell me the difference between Somme and Sont. they both has the same meaning "are".
Why is it calmes and not just calme. as there is only one boy and one girl its not plural so why is calmes used instead of calme?
Tell us why we got something wrong would be of great help learning instead of just telling us we are wrong.
But the sentense is pural shouldnt it be sommes? Because the boy and the girl, so thats two people. Does the same rule as saying "we are" (sommes) not apply here?
The boy and the girl are "they" not "we", so it's "sont" instead of "sommes".
What if I don't want to use the microphone? It counts as an answer wrong, and I don't like that.
I think that french is a really cool language. I was just looking at this sentence and I instantly knew what it was.
While practicing for this sentence, there was no option to select right answer "sont"
question was wrong because there was no option sont. There was only one option and that was suis
What i wrote was "les garcons et la fille sont calmes". Is it wrong? Is there some way to know if we are referring to A boy or to SOME boys in this context? Thank you
I'm not very happy. I wrote the girl and the boy are calm. i get it wrong. thats messed up.
Since the words "les" and "le" sound the same, and can both be followed by sont, it's hard to know which is which when listening to the audio. So frustrating.
Why can't it be 'The boys and the girls are calm' if you just go on the spoken prompt and don't look at the written sentence?
Why is it calmes instead of calme?? Is it because calmes is plural and calme is singular
Yes. See the first post at the top of this thread where it says that numbers of things must agree.(fourth bullet point if memory serves).