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"Leur lit peut être très large."

Translation:Their bed can be very big.

April 9, 2013

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Herbstzeitlose-

It can be? So it changes size?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is difficult to give a firm answer to your question, because it would very much depend on context.

When I saw it, I imagined it was about big or tall people (giants) whose beds could vary in size... Just a personal perspective!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Herbstzeitlose-

I was joking, but I guess that makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stancollins

For a bed that we know exists but we don't know how large it is, an English speaker would say "The bed could be large." "The bed can be large" just doesn't sound right in most contexts. (Perhaps if one was in a store, and one was offered beds that can be small, medium or large.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eteduardotavares

Maybe it would make more sentence in a situation like: "Their bed can be too large for this new room".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

I think we would use "could" instead of "can" here. The bed either IS or IS NOT too large, but we might not know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Could is a better choice than can. I agree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

We were all taught from grammar school forward; that can = has the ability to be able to. And that may = has permission to do. Could = might be able to. When I saw this Q I pictured a very large couple and my girlfriend asking me, "how do they sleep?" "They can have a big bed.." but you're right, I think 'could' is a better choice. Does DL read our comments?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saktinu

Or, or, they might have a really nice retractable bed!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

I imagined someone is buying a bed. Here, a very big bed is an option.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Point taken. Is that, however, the context? I don't know that answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Perseph1955

A bed that changes sizes is Procrustean in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CochonDeSurprise

I gave "Their bed could be very big," and it was marked wrong -- it seems that 'could' and 'can' are interchangeable in this sentence, no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Probably, but the French is in the present tense!

pls note that "could" being both the preterit and conditional forms, the French would be different:

  • leur lit pouvait être très large (imparfait)
  • leur lit pourrait être très large (conditionnel)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stancollins

The tricky part is that this is the sort of 'not technically grammatically incorrect, but awkward' sentence that if a person uttered it in English, it would mark them out right away as a non-native speaker.

"I could do that" just 'feels' like present tense in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/snipegavain

I don't think that is a sufficient explanation not to add "could" as one of the correct answers. "It could be big" can be present tense, whereas "it could have been big" is definitely past tense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jomoro

The audio is terrible here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/illuminoidal

It's like the TARDIS. It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prky
  • 255

Wouldn't "grand" be appropriate here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

If you refer to somebody's bed, yes certainly.

But not if it is about a river's bed, which can be "large" (wide), "profond" (deep) but not "grand"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisaskier

I came to this discussion to see what this sentence actually means as I was amazed that Duo considered my translation correct.

As it currently stands this is not something that would ever be said in english.

For it to make sense "can" would have to be changed to "could".

I guess this is just another example of how the 2 languages differ ;}


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cobold

Why is "perhaps" marked wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"peut-être" is an adverb meaning maybe or perhaps

"peut être" (no hyphen) translates to may be or can be


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veneering

Great. Thank you. I used "perhaps" as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tgelabert

"Their bed may be very big" means you allowing it to be big. "Their bed MIGHT be very big" is saying the size could possibly be larger than expected. Duolingo is just wrong in its English usage here and yet still I've lost a heart.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jasonsu21

I made a mistake that thinking of "peut être" = "peut-être" (Perhaps), so I wrote: Their bed is perhaps very large, which got wrong....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

If you use "peut être" (can be/may be) as an adverb, your sentence misses a verb.

The difference between "peut être" and "peut-être" is exactly the same as between "may be" and "maybe".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allie469225

C'mon Duo. How about using sentences we might actually say in real life?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryNichol969521

This sentence does not make sense in English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryNichol969521

Their bed may be very large-- might be a better way to say it??

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