"Ces monuments extraordinaires, on les a visités."

Translation:These extraordinary monuments, we visited them.

June 26, 2020

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again the suggested answer is very poor English. Please change.


While it may be a strange way to say it in English, it can be helpful to learn the direct translation to remind you how it is phrased in French, which is what we're learning here, not English.


But I am a learner of English, too. It's horrible to jeopardize one's acquired skills in English while learning a new language.


You are totally right, Chris. The only way to learn this common French syntax is to translate it directly. There are better places to learn English composition than in a French course!


Is this course only for learning French from English or is it used for learning English from French as well?


There are several Duolingo trees for learning English. This one was designed for English speakers learning French.


I agree. The structure of the English sentences is unnatural. Sentences are simply formed differently in different languages.


It's important to understand that on Duo, you get the same sentences in a variety of exercises: listening, speaking, translate-from and translate-to.

The idea here is that, when you get this as a translate-to-French exercise, you will naturally keep the structure of the English sentence, and so produce a topicalized French sentence.

If the default English sentence was "We visited these extraordinary monuments", you would probably translate that as "On a visité ces monuments extraordinaires", which is a valid French sentence. In that case, you would never learn how to form these kinds of topicalized sentences, which are common in French.


There isn't a single philosophy/methodology of second-language teaching that supports creating mangled utterances in a target language to help learners 'remember' the structure in the original.


One would seldom say this phrase in English. It is backwards.


I have the feeling that Duo no longer has good English speaking monitors.


Nobody is insisting that you copy it.

The Duolingo architecture requires the suggested translation to be the same sentence as the reverse translation exercise, but there is nothing forcing you to mangle your own English translations.

Even from the WordBank you can enter "we visited These extraordinary monuments.".

By this stage of the course you should be trying to improve on Duo's translations, not mimic them.


The only context in which you might hear the English translation would be if Yoda returned in a Star Wars sequel.


English does use this form of syntax (called dislocation), although not nearly as much as the French do. If you're interested in the linguistic concept, this article is helpful:



Why "visitéS" (with s) . In DL I really miss some explanation. I have been searching and found " the past participle must agree with the direct object when it precedes the verb". See https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/agreement-with-direct-objects/


A large proportion of the questions in this section are like this: Noun phrase, comma, sentence including an object pronoun that refers back to the starting noun phrase and also a past participle. This means that in French the participle has to have an ending to agree with the original noun phrase. I would guess the corresponding English construction only gets used in literal translations but it's French we're trying to practice here.



Special cases when the past participle agrees (in number & gender) when used with 'avoir' in Le Passé Composé

*Case of direct object pronouns: when you replace the direct object by a direct object pronoun (le/la/l'/les), it moves before the verb. That's when the past participle has to agree.
J'ai regardé la fille. I watched the girl.
-> The direct object la fille of the verb ai regardé is placed after the verb, therefore there's no agreement.

Je l'ai regardée. I watched her.
-> Here the direct object pronoun l' (which replaces la fille - feminine/ singular) is placed before the verb ai regardé, therefore there is agreement.


Perfect! Thanks for sharing this. This is the discussion I've been looking for in this section (not all this junk about how the English isn't perfect formal English)

So I'm assuming this applies anytime a direct object pronoun is used with avoir in the Le Passé Composé?


Also when the Direct Object itself precedes the verb, not just as a pronoun:
"La fille que j'avais regardée …"


Yes, but only if it is conjugated with avoir, if it is conjugated with être it agrees with the subject.


Frits, it's because "visités" refers to "Ces monuments extraordinaires" which is the masculine plural object of the sentence. As you discovered, the pp is agreeing with the direct object preceding the verb. (The subject of the sentence is "on").


This kind of construction is common in French, but in English it's stilted and seldom used.


Is it common in french? I came here to find out which is the more common sentence construction.


But how do you learn the French construction if the teacher or the teaching program doesn't translate it directly into English? That would be impossible! We have to be reasonable and accept a little awkwardness in the English in order to learn a second one language.


Is there anything wrong with "ces monuments extraordinaires nous les avons visités"?


It is one thing to give an English translation which is misleading to learners of English, but quite another thing to fail to accept the correct word order for the translation of the French sentence. At least you could accept our translations as alternatives. Yes, we know that is the French construction, but please don't expect us to give you an incorrect English translation to satisfy you. Maybe that's why we often here French people saying the English translation in an improper order. My friend, she is so sweet. The sky, it is so blue. My dinner, I have already eaten it. It's very French, but misplaced in an English translation. That said, I love French Duolingo, in spite of these frustrating sentences!


Poor English, We visited these extraordinary monuments.


But then how would you learn how to create this type of topicalized French sentence? You wouldn't, you'd just translate that as "On a visité ces monuments extraordinaires" and miss out on this aspect of French grammar.


Why is "we have visited" not accepted?


we have visited them!


Most of this section is 'clunky' even in French, but at least we're practicing agreement of Past Participles!


do people actually talk this way in france?


Yes, it's very normal in conversational French.


There seems to be a whole set of lessons, "Adventure", that are written in dreadful English. And presumably the French is rubbish too. What is going on???


Not once did you pronounce the s except on les.


Why does Duo sometimes ignore typos and at other times marks the answer incorrect. I had a typo in monuments but the rest of the sentence was correct.


Ces monuments extraordinaires, nous les avons visités. No typo this time but sill rejected. What is wrong with this answer? Can anyone explain please?


Talking like Yoda, all these sentences are!


Nah, just the French syntax.


These duolingo sentences, i translated them

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