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  5. "Elles lisent des livres."

"Elles lisent des livres."

Translation:They are reading books.

April 11, 2013



Thought it was Elle lit des livres argh


The "s" sound in "lisent" gives it away


Because the t in lit is silent and the s in lisent is heard.

I fell for it too


How do you pronounce "lisent"? I'm having an extremely hard time with this, so when I see "lisent" I want to say "lee-scent." English...sigh.


It's pronounced "leez", sort of like the n and t weren't there. Hope that helps!


Also, what's the difference in the pronounciations of Elles and El?


I want to pronounce it leez-on


In the plural lesson, everything is plural.


Lis = Ll, Lisent = LIZ .. Look out for the Zz sound..!


Voicing, mostly.


I'm pretty sure when I took french you could hear the difference between lisent and lis but I can't tell what she's saying. :(

[deactivated user]

    They really need to recorn a person.


    Maybe you had a poor instructor. I went through 4 years of university French and the instructor never corrected alot of mistakes students made because there were too many or they were not knowledgeable enough. I heard her pronounced LEES = LISENT, the -ent is pretty much silent, it just makes the last letter before it pronounced. if she was pronouncing Lis it would sound like LEE in English.


    its not possible to know if its elle lis des livres or elles lisent des livres

    • 928

    "Elle lit" is correct and the final T is silent. "Je LIS" or "tu LIS", in both cases S is silent. However in "ils/elles LISENT", it's pronounced "liz"


    Great explanation!! Thanks a lot.


    It is an earing problem like in "poison et poisson". Practice will solve it. But Elle lit... not sound exactly like Elles lisent...


    If it was then the conjunction of lire would be lit not lis.


    imposible distinguir entre singular y plural, ni sujeto ni verbo, artículo o nombre. ¿como se puede distinguir solo de oida? me estoy planteando no seguir hasta saber la diferencia


    El sonido es diferente en el verbo en singular para los hispanoparlantes el verbo lire suena "li" mientras que para la tercera persona del plural suena "lis", tambien es diferente el sonido entre "le" y "les"; en el primero la "e" tiene un sonido mas cerrado, similar (casi como "lo") mientras que "les" el sonido es abierto y suena "le";


    I heard DE /do/ not DES /de/ !!


    What's wrong with 'Elle lise des livres."? Why can't the subject be singular. A single (no pun intended) woman can read many books.

    [deactivated user]

      This sentence talks about "they"-some people.

      Sure,a single woman can read many books,but the sentence talks about a group of women reading books.


      Because it was plural. Also it would be elle lit des livres if it was singular, and the t in lit would be silent. The only way it could be lise, was if it was the subjonctive mood, which expresses a wish, hope, desire, or fear. As for why it is not subjunctive. Well usually the subjunctive uses the word que, and it usually is in a comparison form of several people. But how do you express those concepts without an additional word? You cannot. So she would wish to read, would need the word souhait in there or something.


      Why is des used? I am sorry if it's too late to ask this right now.


      des means some ? then what about "les"?


      Des means some (or mostly for an indefinite article), les is for definite article. When I say -> les enfants I mean -> The children Des refers to indefinite like -> Il a des livres He has interesting books (or) He has some interesting books.


      Thanks for the explanation, but I am am wondering what is the relation between des and du. Is there a countable vs uncountable issue? For example: "elle lis des livres" ("she reads some books", with books countable) vs "elle mange du pain" ("she eats SOME bread" with bread uncountable)

      • 928

      yes, that's exactly the case here. Of course "some" usually wouldn't appear in English translation, it's just implied meaning


      merci beaucoup!


      i used ils in place of elles..why was that wrong?

      [deactivated user]

        It shouldn't...report it


        The language would be correctly structured by she said "elles" not "ils". This is a listening test as well.


        Why can I write "Elles lisent de livre"?

        • 928

        Books is in plural, so you need "livres". Because the number of books isn't specified, you need "des" in this case.

        But if you mean when you listen to it – because it's not a gramatically correct/sensible structure and because "des" is pronounced differently than "de"


        I figured that it would be "elles lisent" because of the "des"

        • 928

        nope, "des" relates to (some number of) books, nothing to do with the number/person/gender in the verb: Je lis des livres, Elle lit des livres, Vous lisez des livres etc.


        well, i lost a heart anyway. D'oh!


        In the previous question 'tu parles des livres' the only accepted translation was you are talking about THE books, and yet here the translation omits the article 'the'. Can anyone help?


        It's because of "Parler de" = "To talk about"

        Tu parles = You are talking OR You talk

        Tu parles de = You talk about

        Tu parles de les = You talk about the. However, de+les=des

        • Therefore, "Tu parles des" = You talk about the"
        • Therefore, "Tu parles des livres" = You talk about the books.

        In the sentence "Elles lisent des livres", "des" is the plural of "un". We don't have a plural "a/an" in English, so the article "des" is translated by "some" or by omitting the article. So "Elles lisent des livres can mean:

        • They read books
        • They are reading books
        • They read some books
        • They are reading some books


        I'm not sure that clarifies it for me. "Parler de" = "to talk about". It would seem this implies that "Lire de" = "to read about", but clearly it doesn't. So how would one say "she read about the books" (as in, for instance, reading book reviews)?

        The whole aspect of "des" sometimes being filler, sometimes being "some", and sometimes being "of the" or "about the" is terribly confusing.


        "She read about the books" = Elle a lu au sujet des livres".

        You have to learn which prepositions to use with each verb. "Lire de" does not mean "read about". Only some verbs use "de" to mean "about".

        Many French verbs require a certain preposition in order for their meaning to be complete. Here is an alphabetical list of French verbs and the prepositions they need (if any).


        A few other verbs that use "de" to mean "about"

        • parler de - to talk about
        • se plaindre de - to complain about

        You should also read this: http://www.staff.city.ac.uk/~ra735/grammar/french/littlewords/printprepositions.html and watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwL588a5-8s


        I am having an issue understanding when to use "des", "de la", and "du".

        I understand the difference between "de la" and "du". I do not understand when it changes to "des", however.

        I could say "je mange de la viande", but could I say "je mange des viande"?


        After searching further, I found an explanation of the fact that "des" is used for countable things, while "du" or "de la" is used for uncountable things, like meat in my above comment. Can anyone confirm this?

        • 928

        Correct. Have in mind though that English and French don't necessarily have the same idea about what is (un)countable:
        http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/de-vs-du-de-la-des_2.htm – 2nd point, linking to:

        • Occasionally uncountable nouns can be also countable, meaning different types, so both options are valid in proper context, e.g. des bières, des fromages etc.


        Why was is incorrect to say that "girls read books? "


        "Elles" is a pronoun, meaning "they." It does not always refer to girls.


        I thought it was lis but it is actually lisent. How is that possible?


        Elle lis doesn't exist. You probably were pronouncing it wrong the whole time. Elle lit however does exist. and the t is silent. So it would sound like LEE like jet Li in English. If you hear lis, then you know there are letters after it.


        Isn't elle "she" and not "they"?


        There is an s on the end so it is they, like those girls or they girls. elles.


        Why can't this sentence be translated, "The women are reading (some) books?" I realize 'they' can be used in place of either Ils or Elles, but this does specify gender, does it not?


        Beacause im french its ok


        And back to des meaning some! Do get the 'Parle de' making it ' the' but are there any other such traps waiting out there to get me?


        The des ( some ) livreS


        Borher. . . . Should of helped you really. Helped me get it right by making me listen again and there was the 's' sound :-)

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