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  5. "You must think about the fut…

"You must think about the future even if you're young."

Translation:Il faut penser à l'avenir même si tu es jeune.

April 30, 2020



Why not 'tu dois penser'?


Because this sentence is more of a general statement and not one being made to a specific "you" personally. You can tell because it says "even if you're young". If it said "even though you're young, then that would be talking about the person you are speaking to specifically. But this sentence is making a statement that pertains to all people who are young.

Also falloir (il faut) connotes necessity, while devoir connotes obligation or duty. So I usually end up translating "must" as il faut and "have to" as devoir. "Need" could also be il faut depending on the context. But devoir isn't really the right word choice for this sentence, so for instance on doit penser would also be incorrect.


But the preferred translation uses "même si tu es jeune," which implies that the speaker is addressing a specific individual and not just making a general statement. I got this wrong the first time because I answered "Tu dois penser à ton avenir, même si tu es jeune" because I pictured a father and son having a man-to-man talk and I came here to figure out why that was wrong. After reading your comment, when the exercise came up again, I answered "Il faut penser à l'avenir même si vous êtes jeunes," which was accepted, but Duo's "preferred" translation is "même si tu es jeune," which, to me, doesn't go along with a general statement.


This is very useful, and makes perfect sense. Thank you very much


«Tu dois» was accepted anyway lmao


I actually took it to be personsl myself, like a parent trying to teach a child what's important. I think it's ambiguous.


I agree it sounds like a parent talking to child, whilst it can be construed as a general statement , I think most of us thought it was specific and in fact the translation given by Duo is a specific person -si tu es jeune - nothing general about Duo’s translation.


tu dois penser was accepted if the rest of the sentence is correct.


Would 'même si on est jeune' be wrong?


In spite of the comments of linguaphile it appeared to me to be addressed to a specific person, telling them that they should think about the future even if they are young. It is purely a matter of interpretation I would probably use -even if - if I was addressing a specific person. On the other hand I might use though if I was addressing a group of people. If it is meant to be a general observation then surely the plural vous should be used.

  • 1357

Since "avenir" is male, why isn't is "au avenir"? Also, since it is a general statement shouldn't it be less personal and use "si vous etes jeune"?

  1. Because avenir starts with a vowel.

  2. Agreed, but it was accepted for me, at least.


It is not clear that it is addressed to people in general. So Vous devez penser à l'avenir même si vous êtes jeune should be accepted. there is nothing to say it is a general declaration. Il faut is general but that is not indicated in the sentence itself and since we are not mind readers we are not able to divine the future or the answer you are looking for. this is supposed to be a course in French not in mind reading.


Also why not use réfléchir for think about rather than penser à ?


I tried using réfléchir à and devoir + plural vous and it was accepted


"Vous devriez penser a l'avenir meme si vous etes jeune." Where did I go wrong?


Vous devriez = you should

Vous devez = you must


"tu dois penser à l'avenir même si tu es jeune" . Accepted , which makes some of the comments below redundant


I was struggling with when to use Penser à vs. Penser de; here is a good reference: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/penser-lesson/


Why not

'Tu dois penser sur l'avenir même si tu est jeune'..?


Because the construction is penser à not sur


"even if you're young"... Est-ce que cela pourrait s'adresser à un jeune en particulier?


Yes it could - it could mean a specific "you" or the more general "you".

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