"Tu ne payais jamais ni les restos, ni les cafés !"

Translation:You never used to pay for either restaurants or coffee!

June 20, 2020

This discussion is locked.


Does "cafés" in this expression represents coffee or cafes? I wrote "you never did pay for the restaurants or the cafes". To me, the expression seems more logical if it is addressing similar objects in this particular context. Restaurant and cafes are business establishment versus dinners or coffee which can be either food items or events. Maybe someone can offer a better rationale.


Yes, a weird translation from French, which seems to be talking about premises where food and drink can be purchased., those being restaurants and cafés. A restaurant and a cup of coffee are not in the same category at all.


Perhaps is should be translated as " ... would never pay neither in restaurants nor in coffee shops."


That would be a double negative, an absolute no-no in English, unlike many other languages.


To me, Duo makes sense here. In modern English 'to go for a coffee' often means to go to a venue like Starbucks which in terms of price and formality is a rung or two below a restaurant but where, in addition to coffee, you can get simple hot and cold snacks. So linking it with restaurants in a sentence is not so odd.

In the UK coffee shops have largely replaced the traditional 'café'. Where 'cafés' still exist they tend to be located at the roadside and aimed lorry drivers (ie truck stops). In UK slang they're called 'a greasy spoon'.

From what I know of modern France I can't imagine the English use of 'café' would back-translate to the same. Duo's sentence must surely refer to all the occasions they 'had a coffee' in any of the different types of establishment you can stop at for a coffee, glass of wine, a croque-monsieur etc where, unlike a restaurant, the table doesn't have a tablecloth!


It is talking about restaurant bills (USA: "checks") not restaurants themselves. Here "restaurant" is being used as an adjective, not a noun, and it is describing something that Duo neglected to mention. Bad owl, Duo! Must do better!


You don't pay "for" restaurant bills/checks, either. You pay them. Of course it's trying to talk about the check, but the current phrasing (ignoring the incorrect "either" usage) literally means you never paid for the restaurants.


payer => pay, pay for


You did not ever pay = you never paid. The latter should also be accepted.


'You never paid' is actually better, I think.


paid worked for me, Feb 2022, so if it doesn't work for you, look for a different error


One does not "pay for restaurants", unless they are in the habit of purchasing restaurants!


pay at restaurants is a little better.


I've reported it - I had the same complaint. I tried, "You did not ever pay either restaurants or for coffee!" (I was limited to selecting words.)


Yes, we "pay for a meal", not for a restaurant.


D'accord chef! "...pay restaurant bills (checks) or for coffees" is correct.


Yes you do, if -- like the French sentence here ('les' restos) -- you are using the term as a generality, or a category of expenditure. There's nothing unnatural about saying 'When we're on holiday I pay for restaurants and my wife pays for train tickets'.


Truly dreadful English. Please, Duo.


this exercise contains a lot of really stupid examples


'You did not ever pay for restaurants, or coffee either' ought to be accepted


Agreed. In English, the placement of 'either' in either location doesn't affect the meaning.


Actually it does. Duo's placement is grammatically incorrect. Michael.d.dwyer's sentence is grammatically correct and has the same meaning as the French sentence. In English, "either" must be at the end of a negative sentence, and it's better to use "neither...nor" instead.


Can you quote references for the first half of that claim?


Still not accepted 08/11/2020.


'You never paid, either in restaurants or in cafes.' Not accepted by Duo in July2020. Reported. It is not correct that 'les cafés' only translates to 'coffees'. It can be translated to the places where coffees and snacks are sold: cafes! And we pay IN those and IN restaurants, not FOR them. We pay FOR the bill/check IN restaurants and cafes.


best translation yet


I disagree, as explained in a comment further up. 'Payer' also means 'pay for' and you 'pay for restaurants' when you are referring to them as a class or category of expenditure. Eg: 'Which budget do we use to pay for restaurants?' That's the clear sense in which the French sentence is to be understood.

But I agree that 'cafés' means the places where coffee (and snacks) can be consumed. I just don't think they're translated back as 'cafés' in modern France.


Duo should rethink this exercise, or someone shoould explain how this expression fits in French culture.


Can't see why "You did not ever pay either for restaurants or coffee!" is not accepted. Is more natural to my ears.

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Does 'paying for restaurants' actually mean 'paying for meals at the restaurant' in French?


learning french by denying english


Shouldn't it be 'you never paid for'


you never used to pay should be accepted


It absolutely does not make sense to have "les restos" and "les cafés" in the same sentence and not have them both refer to places that you can purchase food. After about ten minutes of trying out different things I honestly don't believe there is a single alternate translation accepted for this. Even "You never used to pay either for restaurants or for coffee," which is how I gave up and phrased it to try and jump through this hoop, is not accepted.


You are right. And I'm pretty certain Duo is referring to places where you can get food and drink. I read 'les cafés' here as Duo teaching us the use of 'synecdoche' in French, ie the linguistic device where a part of coffee shops is used to represent the whole establishment. In point of fact, since it is usual in France to be able to get coffee and alcohol interchangeably in many establishments like brasseries, bistrots etc, 'les cafés' stands here, I suspect, not just for coffee shops like Starbucks but for all the places which are cheaper and less formal than 'les restos'.


I agree entirely!


I agree with comments below, it's both unnatural english and 'les cafés' can translate as either 'coffees' or 'cafés'.


Copy-paste job. Just so you give DL EXACTLY what it wants, and nothing else. Stupido!


Terrible translation to English!


True and I don't blame the guy for not wanting to buy the restaurant but he should have bought coffee once in a while.


what an awful exercise, this kind of english should never be accepted!


So the weirdness of this example aside, is it imperfect or compound past? Duolingo has given me this same sentence both with imperfect and with compound past, so which is the correct one?


Both work. They have slightly different meanings.

Imparfait = "You never used to pay..." i.e. "you'd never pay [in the past]"

Passé composé = "You never paid..."


… or "You have never paid …".

"You never paid …" could mean either.


I find Duo's English language very awkward - unless I am missing something. Please refer to this link; https://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/The-Difference-Between-Neither-and-Either


What!! Why not cafés, a logical follow-up to restaurants? Where does coffee come into it??


again "ni le resto ni le cafe why not ni resto ni cafe

  1. The nouns are plural, not singular. 2. French requires articles in many situations where English doesn't, and this is one of them.


Duo knocked me back for putting "You never used to pay either for restaurants or coffee". In English 'either for' or 'for either' are both acceptable.

[deactivated user]

    I don't understand why "Tu ne payais jamais ni restos ni cafés." isn't accepted. I thought the definite article is omitted in ne...ni...ni... constructions unless talking about specific restaurants and coffee. Where am I going wrong?


    I also am confused about the omission of definitive and partitive articles when using ni....ni. I would like guidance please.


    It's not accepted because it's not what was said on the audio.

    It's also incorrect. Definite articles are retained with "ne … ni … ni". Only indefinite and partitive articles are dropped.


    This should be 'pay in restaurants' not 'for restaurants' as people are saying.


    The translation is bad English


    Only a very few pay for a restaurant as it implies buying the whole restaurant. Should this not be: you never pay AT a restaurant?


    Whatever the correct meaning of this sentence is in English, I am dead certain that Duo's translation is NOT it.


    This is some truly awkward English wording...


    The word cloud translation for this sentence is very awkward (at best) English. I had to stare at it for several minutes trying to figure out how the options could possibly make a sentence that matched the French.


    I agree with the comments below. The suggested translation needs to be corrected.


    I profoundly object! Duo's translation makes no sense at all. Who the heck goes around paying or not paying for restaurants?? Not paying for coffee DOES make sense, whereas paying coffee makes none. Since payer can mean to pay OR to pay for, the sensible, rational translation would be "...... either restaurants or for coffee." One does not pay coffee any more than one pays for restaurants. Duo's translation is silly.


    If this horrible, horrible sentence is really good French, which I doubt, it certainly demands a tutorial from Duo explaining the structure in use.


    This is actually good french, but the translation is absolutely mangled. You'd be better off skipping this "lesson".


    what is this YOUD never pay. Should it be you would never pay? I don't think youd is a word.


    That was painful.......


    It seems people have been raising valid misgivings fora long time but Duo won't budge.


    Duo this simply isn't english. it's just not. idk what it is, but this sentence is butchered beyond recognition.


    Yet another ambiguous statement that makes translation awkward. In English the plurals cafes or coffees would be fine. We might also say "in" restaurants or cafes.


    Since you're talking about establishments (restaurants), it's logical to assume that 'cafés' means cafes (another sort of establishment), not coffees.


    Wouldn't 'or coffee' be 'ni des cafés', while 'ni les cafés' means 'or cafes'?


    I reported my preference. I'm sure it will be accepted soon. I hope others are doing the same.


    The emphatic past tense (do + verb) is not a good translation of the imparfait tense. The emphatic suggests one-time action which is indicated by the P.C. tense in French.


    You never paid for restaurants nor cafés


    Double negative! Although you can say "neither......nor, you can't say never.....nor in this sentence.


    Not accepted :-(: You never paid the restaurants nor the cafés


    this is a bad one -- there are so many ways to say this


    Never paid vs. never used to pay. I got the impression that to turn it into "used to" one needed to put Avant at the beginning of the sentence.


    coffees or better cafés


    Duo, my father would turn in his grave! Never never say "you never used to" it is "you used never to pay for either restaurants or coffeee.


    I've never heard more whining, back stabbing and petty churlishness in a lesson module Duo. There is no lateral application of this kind of learning that I can see. I'll be glad when this module is over.


    "You never paid at the restaurants or for coffees."


    If Duo wants coffee, fine, but cafe should be accepted. Why "les" instead of no article at all? Because in the affirmative the definite article would be used. "Tu payais les restos et les cafés." You used to pay for restaurants and coffee. Now add "ni." "Tu ne payais ni les restos ni les cafés." You paid for neither restaurants nor coffee. The translation problem comes with the addition of "ne...jamais." Now the French has a double negative, but the translation can't, so neither/nor gets axed. It makes sense to start out with "You never used to pay for..." At that point I would simply add "restaurants or coffee." But Duo insists on either or neither with "ni," even if it inevitably makes the translation awkward and the meaning ambiguous. So I accept Duo's translation. Placing "either" at the end of the sentence changes the meaning. Think about it.


    'You never paid, either in restaurants or for coffees' if Duo can't accept 'in cafés' (which is a better sentence).


    How is one to get through this? I'd adapted to the American way of having coffees, and now I'm supposed to put coffee in the singular.....and we aren't allowed to treat them as cafés (where we go to drink coffee). This is making things unnecessarily annoying, and really isn't teaching me any French.


    The Americans I know go out for coffee with their friends, never for coffees. Since I'm an American living in America, you can take my word for it!


    There are many different ways we do it, not always dependant on which country you're in. In England, I would go to friends for coffee. Now in Ireland (much influenced by what happens in America) I am dismayed to see a great trade in the village mini-supermarket of take-away coffees. (Bad for the environment)


    Very odd sentence. Would never speak this way in Calif. English.


    Pay the restaurant, Pay for the meal, Pay the bill.


    Why is Duo so hung up on 'used to'. I read the question as 'you never pay for either restaurants or coffee'


    "You never pay" is present tense. So I think the French translation of that would be "Tu ne payes jamais." "Tu ne payais jamais" is the past imperfect, which Duo often translates as "You never used to pay." This is a great site for verb conjugations: https://www.gymglish.com/fr/conjugaison/vatefaireconjuguer/search?verb=payer

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