"She never used to lock the cage doors."

Translation:Elle ne fermait jamais la porte des cages à clé.

June 23, 2020

53 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott495798

How is 'la porte des cages' not translated as 'the door of the cages?


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

French logic is to use the singular « la porte » if each cage has only one door; English logic is that there are multiple doors so we would say "the cage doors/the cages' doors/the doors of the cages"! :)


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

but according to this translation there is only one cage and many doors. Doesn't make sense. How would you say the doors of the cage? Some cages have more than one door.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pasquale7Belle

In this case, in English, cage is in adjective. The assumption is one door per many cages


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

That is not a safe assumption, it could be one (or more) doors in one (or more) cage(s). Think of the Tiger King's setup, for example.

In English, the grammar only tells us that there is more than one door and that all the doors are cage doors.

In French, the grammar tells us that there is more than one cage and one door per cage. The only way to replicate those restrictions in English is to say "the door of the cages".

The French equivalent of the English is "les portes de cage", which should be an accepted translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pasquale7Belle

Not a safe assumption just an assumption. All I am saying is "the cage doors" can mean "the door to each cage" if you interpret cage as an adjective (in the former) which you can. I am not so fluent in french to say "la porte des cages" could mean that but that appears to be the case which would make the translation correct. It doesn't mean others are wrong. English is perfectly happy being ambiguous and I expect French is too although you might have difficulty finding a native speaker to admit it.


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

See my response to ReinholdHa8 below! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott495798

OK, got it (sort of...), thanks. Re the 'to' vs 'than' bit above, I was married to a very literate brit and I never heard her use 'to' in that construction, always 'than'. Maybe it's a regional thing...


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

I once read on an English professor's blog that "'different from' is American, 'different to' is British, and 'different than' is wrong." But usage determines standardization, and "different than" is fairly standard in America these days.
Timor mortis conturbat me.


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

As an English child I was very strongly taught that it should be different from, but many people now say 'to'. I was taught 'similar to'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott495798

I wish we could find him and get him to study French on Duo. He could certainly save us all a lot of time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liz369821

I'm English and in primary school we had to chant "different from and opposite to".


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

Interesting re the "to" vs "than" thing - thanks for adding! :)


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

french is different to english you know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott495798

MillaSTORE1: I guess you mean 'different THAN English, right? And yes, I know. I wasn't complaining, just asking why the plurality of door and cage switches between the French and English in translation.


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

Actually that's a UK (to) vs US (than) English thing! :)


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

Actually in my part of US we'd say French is different FROM English.


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

We'd say that too in South Africa (either "to" or "from")! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vic3141

Correct answer: Elle ne fermait jamais la porte des cages à clé. I'm wondering if it's possible to say, as I did - *Elle ne fermait jamais à clé la porte des cages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

Yes it woud be possible and absolutely correct, except Duo's sentence puts the emphasis on à clé and your sentence doesn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vic3141

Thankyou for your quick response Jojo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malcolm789674

My variant, rejected, is "Elle ne fermait à clé jamais la porte des cages." as I considered "fermer à clé" as the verb and put "jamais" as the adverb straight after, a bit like chrisbrown441096 only different. Is that usage just plain wrong?


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

Yup it's wrong - usually when the verb is made up of a phrase, the second negating word ( « jamais » here) goes after the first word in the verb phrase! :)


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

That was accepted for me! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReinholdHa8

So, "Elle ne fermait jamais les portes de la cage á clé" ... should be as well accepted by Duolingo for the English: "She never used to lock the cage doors" (as there is no indication that that is more than one cage!) So far it is not accepted! I will report. Thank you a lot!


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

Not sure - to my [SA] English ear, "the cage doors" sounds like many cages each with a door; to specify "one cage with several doors" I would phrase it as "the cage's doors"! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonasTranc1

I'm both a foreign French and English speaker, but to me it sounds like "the cage's doors" only refers to the doors of one cage. If there were several cages, with each of them having several doors, I would still say "the cage doors".

So I'd say that "Elle ne fermait jamais les portes des cages à clé." should be accepted as well. Is that correct?


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

I'm not 100% sure but I think that, using French linguistic logic, that would imply there are many cages each with more than one door?! I do think it should be accepted for this sentence though! :)


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

It's slightly more subtle than that.

It's many cages at least one of which has more than door.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReinholdHa8

How would the French differentiate if there was 1) one cage with several doors, 2) one door to several cages and 3) several cages with doors? in English: 1) lock the doors of the cage, 2) lock the door of the cages and 3) lock the doors of the cages. Could a French mother tongue explain?


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

I'll give it a bash:

  1. les portes de la cage
  2. la porte des cages (same as the example on this page; you would need context to differentiate; possibly adding « seule » before « porte » might work)
  3. les portes des cages

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/victoria555256

shouldn't the translation of 'the cage doors' be 'les portes de cage'


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

See my responses to Scott495798 & ReinholdHa8 above! :)


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

Elle ne fermait jamais les portes des cages à clé . is accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Geoffrey878583

Confusing, because the English uses the plural "doors" which was not available in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arron190

Should this be accepted: Elle n'avait jamais l'habitude de verrouiller les portes de la cage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/victoria555256

I think that 'les portes de cage' is the correct translation


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

I agree.

But Duo is trying to get back to it's original French sentence even though it provided a mistranslation into English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kululu6

They have 'cage' as singular and 'doors' as plural, yet the translated answer gives the opposite - one door and multiple cages. Sloppy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Citi93758

How many cages are there? Is it the that the cage has more than one door? Or she never closed the door of the (different) cages with a key.


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

C'est la phrase anglaise qui est ambiguë .


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

Why is this not accepted- Elle ne fermait jamais les portes de cage à clé


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

"the cage doors" is ambiguous. I interpreted it to mean "les portes de la cage".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bebeyoung1

why is 'les portes des cages' not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olga823331

Why do you give "la porte" for "cage doors"?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UlfPersson3

'elle ne fermait jamais les portes de cage à clé' was rejected. What I do not understand is why the doors should be singular in the French translation and the cage plural. There are several doors, and maybe only one cage, yet translated in plural (I admit it could be a reference to the whole Zoo. The word 'cage' explain what kind of doors we are talking about, and then it is not unreasonable, regardless of the number of cages, to use singular. Maybe I should have written de la cage to be consistent, but do we not talk about 'Salle de bain', 'table de chevet'? Is there a non-contrived explanation? Because it cannot just be an idiomatic construction particular to doors of cages


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoanneDela8

In the U.S., different from is the correct usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/david317145

What a stupid series of voices. Very bad aural example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Citi93758

This translation does not make sense!


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

what checkpoint are you up to

me: OnE

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