Agreed. In the absence of context, there is no reason why "fille" couldn't mean "daughter" as well. The speaker of the above sentence could be describing a small family group having a disagreement. (I've generally have found that pushing the envelope doesn't pay much on Duolingo, but that won't stop me from tryin'--especially if it helps you find out more about how the language works.)
No. It was explained in the Tips Notes to Possessives:
Femme can mean "woman" or "wife" and fille can mean "girl" or "daughter" depending on the context. For example, when femme and fille are preceded by a possessive adjective, then they translate to "wife" and "daughter", respectively.
Une fille et une femme sont dans le restaurant — A girl and a woman are in the restaurant. (Not: "A daughter and a wife are in the restaurant.") Ma fille — My daughter. (Not: "My girl".)
Ta femme — Your wife. (Not: "Your woman".)
Yes, because the verb "dire" has "dit" for the third person singular both on "présent" and "passé simple" (it's also the "participe passé" so it's used for "passé composé" as well).
Have a look at this link for more information :
Does this mean that the girl: a) utters the word "pourquoi" (The girl says "why"); b) asks the question "pourquoi" (whether by using that word or some paraphrase); or, c) the girl explains the answer to the question "pourquoi" (the girl tells (someone) why)? Parts of this question have been addressed below, so forgive the partially redundant nature, but in general, does "dire" introduce reported speech?
Yes, "dire" can introduce reported speech. but in literature you'll usually find it with a colon and quotes:
La fille dit : "Pourquoi ?"
I don't know if this sentence is supposed to be reported speech, but it can be used for this purpose besides the punctuation inaccuracy.
Both a) and b) are valid possibilities, but c) is a bit trickier, usually we wouldn't say "la fille dit pourquoi" but rather "la fille explique pourquoi" in this situation, but I wouldn't say it's incorrect French strictly speaking, it just looks a bit odd.
If I were to say "La fille dit pourquoi" to a native speaker of French, would they understand this to invariably mean that the girl is providing an explanation?
I ask because to me, a native speaker of (American) English, the sentence "The girl says why" can only mean that the girl is providing an explanation. It cannot mean that the girl is requesting an explanation. Furthermore, although such use of "say why" might occur in my region as informal speech, I would not necessarily expect people from other regions to consider it grammatical or even meaningful. The more normative construction would be "The girl explains why." I know that this is not a literal translation of the French word "dit." However, there are various other exercises in which Duolingo rejects a literal translation and requires a more normative English construction.
Can the French sentence "La fille dit pourquoi" can also mean that the girl is requesting an explanation? If so then the normative English construction used to convey this meaning would be "The girl asks why."
We go through these exercises multiple times. I vary my responses to help me more fully understand what the French sentence means. If "The girl is explaining why" and "The girl is asking why" are both rejected, then it is difficult for me to understand what the French sentence actually means and to learn how to properly use the word "dit."
Multiple choice error number 47. 'Dit' missed from the sentence but only 'dis' offered as an answer. For the third time this session I have to come out of this set of questions and start again as it is impossible to get this answer right. Is this a weird wa of making me g over each set of answers again and again?
I am a native speaker of English. In my dialect of English, "The girl says why" would make sense in a limited context (i.e. when the girl is explaining, but not when the girl is asking), but also would be considered as very informal speech -- and consequently something that other speakers of English might not understand.
The key question for translation is how well it conveys the meaning of the original. If I simply wanted to do literal, word-for-word translations from French to English, I could use a French-to-English dictionary. My goal, however, is to learn to communicate in French. In order to do that, I must understand meaning. If a non-literal translation (e.g. The girl asks why) conveys the meaning of the original as well as or better than a literal translation, then the non-literal translation should be accepted.