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  5. "Ils votent une nouvelle loi …

"Ils votent une nouvelle loi en ce moment."

Translation:They are voting for a new law right now.

June 24, 2020



"They are voting on a new law right now" vs. "They are voting in a new law right now" vs. "They are voting for a new law right now". There are subtle differences between them. Which does the French sentence imply?

The first means they are voting but the outcome is unclear (it might pass, it might not).

The second and third means they are voting but it's fairly certain the vote will pass.

What does the French sentence mean?


My French references include the use of either "pour" or "contre" to make it clear if you are for or against the new law. Without these, I'm wasn't sure, so I went with "... voting on a new law ...". Any native French speakers who can clear this one up?


There is another - less obvious - alternative, that they are passing a new law, which is one of the alternatives here: https://www.linguee.com/english-french/search?source=auto&query=Ils+votent+une+loi

But, Invertedgo, it appears your first option - voting on - is the most likely, again from Linguee. (I suspect this is another instance where the preposition is added in English. I remember Ils payent le taxi meaning "They are paying for the taxi".)


Yes, there are subtle diffs but my mind went straight to They are voting on a new law at this moment


Me too. Voting "for" or "in" implies that the vote is successful. Not all are.


Why vote if the outcome is predetermined (for). The French sentence doesn't seem to imply the positive support, so it seems the englush translation is subtly wrong.


They are now voting for a new law. <--accepted.


So if this means they are voting for a new law, how would you say in French they are voting on a new law?


Got to admit that this sentence made me uneasy considering that in other exercises we have been saying voter pour. A little more research has revealed, or so it seems, that the form "voter pour" applies to voting for people/candidates, whereas when it comes to voting on laws, a different rule applies and the preposition "pour" disappears!

(Looking at it at even closer, it is clear that the prepositions shift around in Engish as well. Oh you prepositions...! ;-)


Tricky Prepositions!


"They are voting on a new law at this moment" was accepted but only as a typo for "They are voting in a new law at this moment." which has a quite different meaning. No real way to report this issue though...

I wasn't quite game to try "at the moment" given Duo always seems to reject the translation of "ce" into "the" even though it is quite usual English usage for "the" to mean a particular object, not a general one as meant by "le".


Duo delights in ambiguous statements that make it tricky for learners. Without further context we can only guess at the best interpretation. Perhaps there were others who were voting against the new law right then? However Reverso thinks the statement means: "They are passing a new law right now." I'm no expert, but I thought that in the UK voting takes place on "Bills". If the vote is carried then whatever it is becomes an Act of Parliament, following which it becomes law. Perhaps this isn't what happens in France. Perhaps there could also be a national referendum about an existing law - the possibilities are almost endless!


It’s worse than that, Martin: the UK parliament votes on Bills, which become Acts only when passed. A white paper is something else entirely.

As for what the French means …


Ah, yes, you are right.... in the anguish of the Duomoment I forgot about Bills... I'll edit my comment! Thanks.


I think I once read a nouvelle vague novel called L’angoisse du Duomoment, actually.


Le Monde and similar periodicals generally refer to a "bill," going through the two chambers of the French Parlement as a projet de loi.


They are passing a new law right now. Accepted 11/2021. Guess Duo accepts this as the same as "voting for" a new law.


At the moment in UK English


Your translation is wrong Duo. Some would be voting against the law. N'est-ce pas????


On a law they vote! Not "for"!!!!


Again we come up against the differences between American and English. 'En ce moment' is translated as 'right now', but in English we would say 'at the moment'.

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