"Elles lisent des livres."

Translation:They are reading books.

April 11, 2013

67 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Avwh

Thought it was Elle lit des livres argh

April 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ARrocket

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

April 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/petit_bibre

how?

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Andro7093

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

I fell for it too

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/NoNameHaveI

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.

July 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Enthael

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

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sabrina_grimm

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

July 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusty_G

I want to pronounce it leez-on

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/itsbabel

In the plural lesson, everything is plural.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcoPolo92

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

February 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusty_G

Voicing, mostly.

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/desrain

me too

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/plantgrrl

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. :(

October 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AstroTheNomer

They really need to recorn a person.

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hernanday

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.

August 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/nousie

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

October 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewm
  • 442

"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"

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jorvip

Great explanation!! Thanks a lot.

February 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BendyStraw

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

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jorvip

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

February 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jabenpor

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

August 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/soniavanegas

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";

September 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/almafarzane

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

November 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AileenGuan

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.

April 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AstroTheNomer

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.

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hernanday

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.

August 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RituAggarwal

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

December 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AstroTheNomer

It shouldn't...report it

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/aguynamedguy

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

March 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/niting

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

May 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/julie1019

des means some ? then what about "les"?

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/niting

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.

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mallopallo

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)

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewm
  • 442

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

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/julie1019

merci beaucoup!

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/niting

bienvenue!

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kylebacon

de rien** =)

March 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tashantea

Why can I write "Elles lisent de livre"?

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewm
  • 442

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"

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ZEXALII

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

January 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewm
  • 442

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.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ZEXALII

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

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jorvip

Why it gives like error "... the books"?. "Some" translate like quelcun.

February 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LJSulli

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?

February 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

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
February 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/iarnuocon

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.

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

"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).

http://french.about.com/cs/grammar/a/verbswithprep_3.htm

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

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/iarnuocon

Thanks!

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JTskeptic

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"?

February 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JTskeptic

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?

February 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewm
  • 442

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:
http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/singularplural.htm
http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/singularplural_2.htm

  • 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.
February 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AnotherCindy

The word "des" in this sentence has one definition being "some (of the)", but when I write "They are reading some of the books", it's incorrect? Why? I'm also having a difficult time understanding what "de", "des", "du" is used for as opposed to "le", "les", "la".

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

"Des" does not mean "some of the". "Des" is the plural indefinite article in French.

Indefinite articles in English = a / an

Indefinite articles in French = un (singular masculine) / une (singular feminine) / des (plural masculine and feminine). Because there is no plural indefinite article in English, we get across that idea by either not using an article at all, or by using "some"

So "They are reading (some) books" = "Ils lisent des livres"

"They are reading some of the books" = "Ils lisent certains des livres" = With this sentence "des" is not the indefinite plural article. It's the contraction of de+les (of the). You don't say "Ils lisent des des livres" in French as a translation of "They read some of the books", instead you say "Ils lisent certains des livres" = Ils(they) lisent(read) some(certains) of the (des) livres (books).

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AstroTheNomer

Des is like some in English like when you say some apples or apples

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElleryAlla

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

December 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeoftruth

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

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AhadXIVAwan

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

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hernanday

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.

August 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bellabee104

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

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hernanday

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

August 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/PhantomPhlyer

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?

April 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/julea356486

Beacause im french its ok

August 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Pam520742

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?

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pam520742

The des ( some ) livreS

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pam520742

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

August 19, 2018
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