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"Je ne sais pas répondre."

Translation:I do not know how to answer.

5 years ago

75 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CochonDeSurprise

I'm a bit confused here -- why doesn't this translate as "I do not know to respond"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/codeandcoffeh

The sentence "I do not know to respond" is not really that grammatical in English, or rather semantical, if that's a word: I can't discern its meaning. "How" comes after "know" in such a situation, I'm sure.

And if you mean to imply that you don't know where the "how" came from because a similar word ("comment") wasn't in the French, the "comment" is implied:

Je ne sais pas répondre

is equivalent to

Je ne sais pas comment répondre

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam_Younis

"I don't know to respond" in english is synonymous with "i dont know that i am expected to respond".

An example:

"why didnt the boy answer the question?"

"Because he thought it may have been rhetorical; he didn't know to respond."

To an english reader the french sentence looks like it could be implying this meaning. I understand now that the "know how" is implied though. Thanks for clarifying.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"Je ne sais pas répondre" can mean "I don't know the answer" or "I am unable to respond (= react)".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/snowflake77

Would "I don't know what to answer" be acceptable?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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I don't know what to answer = je ne sais pas quoi répondre

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lucasgee
lucasgee
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Is 'I have no answer' acceptable here as an English translation. Maybe arguing semantics but 'I don't have an answer' effectively means the same as 'I don't know an answer' and it's a more natural way to say it in English in my opinion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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I have no answer = je n'ai pas de réponse, which can have another meaning, like: I asked for information but I have not received an answer yet.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonjon737

Are we sure she's actually saying répondre? It sounds something like répon-nondre, or something other than répondre.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
ph516503
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Anyone else struggle with the audio on répondre - I thought it sounded very garbled

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeblancHer
LeblancHer
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To my french ears it sounds right

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
ph516503
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Fair enough, I guess that's how it should sound then. Thanks for responding.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lisaskier

sounded like "reponondre " to my ears, played it multiple times. Reported.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonjon737

Yes. I'm quite mystified that others seem okay with it. I'm starting to think that some of these audio files might be being rendered with tiny segments which repeat, giving the appearance of an additional syllable. It's much more of a feature over in the German lessons.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anneduol1ngo

I got a female voice and there is definitely an additional syllable

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

Some get the male voice, which is absolutely correct pronunciation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Although there are different opinions there, too. "His" pronunciation is more southern French, with greater emphasis on final syllables that the northerners usually drop.

Ex: "J'aime" - northern, one syllable; southern, two syllables.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchwol

In the Southern US, they tend to draw words out, and add syllables & vowels, and drop ending consonants alot, too.. while in the North they tend to speak more quickly and accurately. Language nuances are soo interesting!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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I know that "savoir" carries the implication of "to know how [to do something]" when followed by an infinitive, but I think a lot of the confusion comes from what this phrase actually means in English.

When I say, "I do not know how to answer," in English, it's kind of like saying, "I'm speechless." It doesn't mean that I literally do not have the mental capacity to understand how to respond to the question. Is this the same in French?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aradia112

I don't understand where we would get "how to" from? does the word 'répondre' imply 'how to'?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/codeandcoffeh

'Savoir' implies the 'how'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeblancHer
LeblancHer
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In French the sentence means that I don't know the answer

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/driusan
driusan
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If you say it without the "how to", it's not really correct English. You're right that a word for word translation would be "I do not know to answer", but that doesn't make any sense in English (or in any situation that it might, is really awkward), so you need to add something (most naturally "how to", though "what to" might be acceptable, I haven't tried) to make the English phrase make sense.

So why does the English have it but not the French? Because they're different languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrHazard
MrHazard
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"I cannot answer" is not acceptable, but "I cannot reply is" and the main translation of "repondre" (see above) is "to answer." Duolingo needs to expand its databank here. Reported.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/driusan
driusan
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It shouldn't accept "cannot" anything. That would be "Je ne peux pas répondre"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrHazard
MrHazard
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Agreed. This was a while ago for me and I've forgotten the details, but I think I was responding to the rejection of "answer" and the acceptance of "reply." Neither should work with "cannot"; I'm not sure why I confused things by using it. Sorry.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumna
lumna
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I cannot answer

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Je ne peux pas répondre.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ktinparis

I feel the same way.....should there not be "comment" in the sentence?? ou "Je ne sais pas comment je peux répondre."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye
<h1>ktinparis</h1>

When "savoir" is followed by a verb as it is in this case it means "know how".

Checkout link for more information on "to know" including the use of "savoir" with other verbs.

http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/savoir-versus-connaitre-the-verb-to-know-in-french

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yellow_card
yellow_card
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"I am not able to reply" is accepted, but "I am not able to answer" no... Why?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

@yellow_card

The strictly correct answer to this exercise is "I don't know how to respond/reply/answer"

Duo is being flexible in accepting "not able to reply" - I would probably mark it wrong - but I am not marking the exercises.

Clearly if "not able to reply" is accepted -then so should "not able to answer/resond".

Duo hasn't really decided that your suggestion is wrong - it is just that it isn't on the list of accepted answers. This happens when an exercise has several different possible answers.

The exercises are marked by a computer program not by a human being - so if an answer is not on the list the computer cannot recognise an alternative.

Report your suggestion using the report a problem button and it will be added.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Apprendere

Why not "I cannot answer"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Je ne peux pas répondre.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaCa826187
PaCa826187
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Can this be equally 'I don't know what to say' and 'I don't have the technical expertise to post a reply'?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DennisClay1

Fais and sais sound alike on turtle.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hope197

Are both "je ne sais pas comment repondre" and "je ne sais pas repondre" correct? If so, is there a specific context in which one would use them or are they equally common?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

In this context both could be correct. Adding comment gives extra emphasis. That's about it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnMorgan833858

Yeah that's quite succinct there in my case.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ccbaran
ccbaran
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Why not ' I don't know the response'? It seems to me it means the same as "how to respond"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

I disagree. Not knowing something and not knowing how to respond to something are completely different things.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ccbaran
ccbaran
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No, I know, different meaning. By the translation seeming 'the same' I had meant 'equally likely' - given the way the sentence is written in French. Just as logical a translation? To me it seems like a more literal translation? Unless sais usually translates to 'know how to' as well as 'know'?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronnie-JA

Yes, that's it. Savoir in this context is to know how to do something. Contrast with connaitre which means to know somebody (in another context).

Also remember savoir is a verb not a noun. So the sentence implies that it is the act of responding which is the focus, and not "the response" itself.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ccbaran
ccbaran
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Thanks, good to have that clarified!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally407010

How come "I don't know what to say" is wrong?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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That would be "Je ne sais pas quoi dire." Different verb.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally407010

Thank you for clarifying for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BizzLizz
BizzLizz
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"I have no answer" was incorrect, however "I cannot answer" is correct.. what is the difference? .

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

In your first sentence, you have changed the verb "répondre" into a noun.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jvdiana
jvdiana
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I think repondre in this sentence ia a verb not a noun. If Duo want we translate: I do not know the answer, Duo should use the noun Je ne sais pas "la response"...... ;).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/graylensman

"i don't know how to answer" (from "do not" to "don't") was marked wrong.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LunaSilvia2

What's the difference between "connais/connait" and "sais/sait"?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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"Connaitre" connotes a more intimate knowledge of something. If you're talking about a concept, you use "connaitre" to indicate that you know it well. If you're talking about a person, you use "connaitre" to indicate that you know them and "savoir" to indicate that you know of them.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/charlie_001

I love how one of the options is "die"

"I do not know how to die"

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FumioM

I don't know what to say

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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This was addressed above. "Dire" and "répondre" have different meanings.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S.Jyothirmaie

I do not respond is given as a wrong answer. May I know why?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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Because you're missing the verb "sais" in your answer.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PennyColes1

I got no audio til I pressed a bunch of c's to get the answer!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lane578328

Utilisez un livre de grammar aussi, pas seulement cette application. Si vous voulez vraiment apprendre comment parler le français.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alpha_in_France

" i know not how to answer / respond" shoild be accepted as its perfectly natural to say!!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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I don't know which English-speaking country you live in, but unless you're in a Shakespearean play, "I know not how to..." is not appropriate phrasing.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiset1
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Several French words have an article built into them. It looks like "repondre" must be one of them. I thought so and put "I do not know an answer" which was counted wrong. What got me was the correct answer it then presented. "I do not know the answer" This seems quite strange to me. How would I know to use "the" in this translation?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"Répondre" does not have an article built into it because it is a verb in infinitive.

I do not know the answer = Je ne connais pas la réponse: both use a noun and "the/la" suggest a specific answer, not an indefinite answer.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SleepyTinman
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"I do not know what to reply" is perfectly good English and I have seen no argument against it in the text below. Come on Duolingo, accept it. I'm getting a bit fed up of reading the "clutter" only to find the issue has not been addressed or there are spurious arguments against something.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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In what context would an English speaker say, "I do not know what to reply?"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SleepyTinman
SleepyTinman
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I accept it's not the most natural thing to say but it's not grammatically incorrect and you have to give a bit of leeway when translating because translating too literally can sound odd but translating idiomatically can be too loose and does not always demonstrate an understanding of the grammar. It's very difficult to know where to pitch a translation on Duolingo. The Spanish version accepts a lot of literal translations which are pretty meaningless. In this particular French instance, let's work through the options building up some logic. "I do not know to reply" clearly does not give the right meaning. "I do not know what to say" is a good enough translation but would be rejected on the grounds that say=dire. "I do not know what to reply," whilst slightly, odd sticks to the meaning and is grammatically correct. "I do not know what to say in response" is better English but strays too far from the original.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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There are lots of sentences which aren't grammatically incorrect but which are syntactically nonsensical. "I trip the bat through the block," is perfectly grammatical, but it doesn't work.

Similarly, no one says, "I do not know what to reply," while people do (contrary to your assertion) say, "I do not know how to answer/reply." It's not the same as saying that you don't know what to say. And it's fine English. Your proposed sentence is not a valid translation in either the literal or colloquial sense.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SleepyTinman
SleepyTinman
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I did not assert that people do not say "I do not know how to reply." I am asserting that it is not wrong to translate the French as "I do not know what to reply." I would also point out that "I do not know how to reply" is ambiguous because it could mean "I do not know what to say in response" or it could mean "I do not know by what means I should reply" i.e. by email, text or verbally. My translation does not have this ambiguity. If the French is equally ambiguous I would say your translation is obviously better, but if not they both have a downside: yours is ambiguous, mine is slightly clumsy.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nerevarine1138
nerevarine1138
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The French for "I do not know what to reply," would be "Je ne sais quoi répondre." Similarly, "savoir" does not imply, "by what means" without additional qualifiers. The French here is not ambiguous; it means precisely what is translated.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SleepyTinman
SleepyTinman
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Nerevine1138's explanation above is actually agreeing with me. I am saying that the English translation "I do not know how to reply" is ambiguous, but that the original French is not ambiguous. "I do not know what to reply" is as unambiguous as the French and as a true, if somewhat clumsy, translation should be accepted.

1 year ago