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"Inutile d'essayer de t'échapper, c'est fermé à clé."

Translation:Useless to try to escape; it's locked.

June 23, 2020

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErnestGree4

"It is useless trying to escape, it is locked" ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/effyleven

Indeed.... "it is," or "it's" (useless to try...) one or other is not optional in English.

Considering how wordy French is, I am amazed at what is here left out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/effyleven

Update: "It is useless... " is accepted. 21 Mar '21.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clive143810

"it's useless to try to escape, it's locked." If yours was accepted, effy, what am I missing (apart from a capital I)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Whatever you're missing I'm missing also. Mine was also declined with it's, but accepted when useless went first. I refuse to start an English sentence with useless~ unless I'm practicing Yoda speak. (Useless it is, in trying to write intelligible English.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangedesfruits

Since thereʼs no subject in the first half of the sentence, you cannot say, “it is useless.”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErnestGree4

I do understand that there is no reference to or corresponding word for "it" in the french statement. Also, you mentioned that there is no subject in the expression to which I agree. Contrary to the notion that it is improper to use "it is useless" in place of "useless" when making the translation to English, it is a legitimate form of its usage, particularly in such circumstances.

Imagine being asked to complete the statement, "The french expression Inutile d'essayer de t'échapper, c'est fermé à clé means, " where you' are to provide the meaning. It would seem rather compelling to add, "It is useless trying to escape, it is locked" rather than "Useless to try to escape; it's locked" as the answer.

The french expression "Inutile d'essayer de t'échapper, c'est fermé à clé" means, "Useless to try to escape; it's locked" vs

The french expression "Inutile d'essayer de t'échapper, c'est fermé à clé" means, "It is useless to try to escape; it's locked"

:)

For further reference : https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardlr4

Grammatically correct sentences (clauses) in English have a subject and a finite verb. Though we often do write and speak using phrases (without a verb), this one sounds wrong to me. Maybe the French are happy to omit the finite verb? (The finite verb in "it is locked" is a secondary one and could stand alone as a sentence.) If we changed the word order to "It is locked and (therefore) [it is] useless trying to escape" the second "is" is implied; but it still sounds a bit odd without it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lulularosa

Your last proposed sentence "It is locked and (therefore) [it is ] usless trying to escape" sounds odd because it is incorrect. The second "it is" is not optional. The subject "it" of the first clause is different from the subject "it" of the second clause. It will become obvious to you if you substitute the first "it" with a noun, e.g. "the house is locked and useless trying to escape".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardlr4

Yes, thanks lulularosa. (Spotted it before I read your reply.) I'm not sure if it (my version 2) qualifies as a syllepsis (like "She arrived in a temper and a red Ferrari") or just a solecism (offence against grammar). Have a lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lulularosa

I think it might by a zeugma in the form of a semantic syllepsis leading to a solecism.

That was fun. And here's a lingot back to you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardlr4

Absolutely. And sorry, I just corrected my spelling of your name. (Hope it didn't make you ululate.) Edit: How about lululation as a neologism? P.S. Sorry, Duolingo World, for our little conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lulularosa

Now I'm really laughing, Edward!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/effyleven

"Trying to escape is useless, it's locked."

This is a rather better translation than Duo's, because it acknowledges the absence of "It is" before "useless." Indeed, I am surprised that this translation has been rejected, because it accords so well with the spirit of the French construction...(IMO)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@mangedesfruits, it's thoroughly unacceptable to begin an English sentence as if it were already in progress~ translation or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisbrown441096

This should come in handy now that we are returning to lockdown


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bammette

I agree with the addition of It is in the beginning. I might go for the more dramatic "Trying to escape is futile, it's locked"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/effyleven

I agree! You beat me to it, bammette! :-) I have requested this translation, with my strong recommendation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardSus4

de t'echapper: i said. it is useless for you to try to escape, it is locked--perhaps the you or t' is only implied, but can't it be mentioned in an English translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sakallitavshan

Actually it is included. The equivalent of "to escape" in French is "s'échapper" and not "échapper". T' is a part of the translation for to escape. (I'm not a native speaker and I don't know if échapper has it's own meaning)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardlr4

s'échapper and échapper both exist. See my answer below.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomCarlisle

What is the signifigance of the t'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardlr4

t’ is short for te when using the verb escape in its reflexive form s’échapper (de) e.g. to escape (from prison). Compare the reflexive English verbs to free oneself or to extricate oneself. There is also a non-reflexive form échapper (à), which I think would be used when escaping from a person or e.g. a lion. Notice échapper au lion, not échapper du lion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBaer1
  • 2008

Very helpful, but I could use more clarification. If you want to say, ¨I am escaping.¨, do you say ¨je m´échappe.¨?? 2nd question: How would you say, ¨I am escaping from you.¨ ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardlr4

JBaer1, I think it’s Yes to your first question. I’m not sufficiently knowledgeable to answer your second question with confidence. I think you can say “Je t’échappe.”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Velvet013

It just seems weird for Duolingo to throw a sentence out at you where "you" is implied.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christineg116789

T'echapper. Doesnt it mean useless for you to try to escape ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IndianaKlex

I don't understand this neither in English nor in French


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/doublelingot

Es inútil tratar de escapar, está cerrado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IndianaKlex

Funny enough, now I get it. Thanks! It seems to me that "pointless" would make more sense than "useless"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BYiF0K7Y

the french uses the verb t'échapper, so the translation should be (it is) pointless for you to try to escape...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave962976

Could a native French speaker please tell us if this is good, or even common, French?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/waakak

I'm not a native but I can assure you this construction is common in dialog, idk about "good".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Twisted-Diddi

'Useless to try and escape; it is locked' not an exact translation but it something english speakers say informally


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/traindrivermark

"there's no point..." would be better


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KingKuron

Why is "Useless to try escaping, it is locked" not a valid translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ILIAS175231

Pourquoi pas "fermée" p.e. la porte, la cage...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lulularosa

The subject of the phrase is "ce"/"it" (c'est fermé). When "ce" is a démonstrative subject pronoun, it is invariable, always neutral, and always takes a masculine adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonaBenjamin

Wow. This is creepy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard7281

In English, you can say Useless to try escaping OR Useless to try to escape. DUO accepts only the infinitive and not present participle. Clearly not a native speaker doing that. It's similar to saying that "I like to go to the movies" is correct but "I like going to the movies" is not correct!!!! Very poor


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LisaCooke

Locked fast is English term to mean it's locked and wont budge.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brevitas

Very omnious statement...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristopheQc

Since there is no context for this sentence, would "de vous échapper", "de nous échapper" or "de s'échapper"? It is unclear whom this is addressed to: is it one person trying to escape (te), are we talking to more than one person (vous), are we trying to escape as a group (nous, on), or is this just a general statement about the security of the place we are trying to escape from (on = people in general)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valkenier

Made me think of "resistance is futile. You will be assimilated" Don't think this translation will be accepted. ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rangerrusty

The big question is does one ever say "c'est inutile de t'echapper"?? In English in certain situations one could easily say "it is useless to try" or 'Useless to try" and be correct and understood. Or is the French an idiomatic expression that doesn't change??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LesterOlso

"Useless for you to try to escape it's locked." Might this be an acceptable translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norman491209

Wouldn't say this in UK English- it's ueless to etc etc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesjiao

Saw the movie.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PKE26318

Actually, the 'it's" is not part of the English translation of this sentence. This is a more colloquial usage, such as you might seen in a movie.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bammette

Where are you from? To me it sounds very weird without the "It is" in the beginning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tachyonashley123

It's pretty common in the UK, at least, but only ever in spoken English. You'll hear "Too late now" or "No use crying over spilt milk" or "Ah, well, probably for the best". None of these is a grammatically complete sentence, but we're lazy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanFogart4

It simply will not be understood. You have to mess with the tense to get around the adjective-like property of the participle: "Useless to try to escape, it has been locked."

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