"Mes enfants ne veulent manger ni dinde ni purée."

Translation:My children don't want to eat either turkey or mashed potatoes.

June 26, 2020

69 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LouiseRobi2

In England we would say "My children want neither turkey nor mashed potatoes"


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

Same in the USA.


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

This is in fact the grammatically correct form. Maybe in spoken language you can apply the Duo format as some of the other contributors say they would prefer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel589120

My kids want neither to eat turkey nor mashed potatoes. was accepted by Duo.


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

That sounds very awkward


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

Daniel589120, I think your translation is wrong: the ‘neither’ is wrongly placed. It should be after ‘eat’. Duo’s translation is better.


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

But the translation is incorrect, when the answer pops up


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

I wouldn't. I'd say it as they put it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBoru4

Me too. Though in speech the 'either' would often be omitted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7jeny3

I would write it that way, but in speech I would be less formal and would say it like Duo does. Southern US


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andre402951

I have a genuine question. Is that really what's being asked? Is the french asking the first rather than the second of my examples below?

There's a subtlety which stems from the period of time in the context of the question, context which we don't necessarily have because it's not given to us in the question.

In one scenario the parent may just be listing the two things the child won't ever eat, independent of a specific time period, perhaps: "My child will eat almost anything, worms, grass and soil, but won't eat either turkey or mashed potatoes." (So a form of "any of" but for only two items).

vs

Listing the two things they've tried that meal "I'm not sure what to do now, my child wants to eat neither turkey nor mashed potatoes, and I don't have anything else to give her."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

There is no context or time specified in either language so it could mean either I suppose, but in English at least the first meaning would usually involve some additional context to make it clear what was meant e.g. say "never want" rather than just "do not want". In the absence of that context the assumption would usually be that the meaning was the second one. I suspect it would be the same in French i.e. the sentence is referring only to the current situation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KJC367

DL forced me to include the "either" and wouldn't accept "My children don't want to eat turkey or mashed potatoes". I really wish DL would review these with a native English speaker before unleashing them.


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

The trouble is there are so many varieties of native English. What sounds natural to one sounds odd to another, so you need a lot of native speakers to test on. We are that test pool, please be patient.


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

Well, we neither use this way of speech in England nor in the US!!! To say either implies one or the other, so if they're not using NEITHER English from England NOR English from the UK, they must be using English either from Nigeria or the Caribbean!!! Ugh! No shade to either of those places, but seriously, you get my point, I hope.


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

Translations without 'either' are accepted, but the whole point of these exercises is to teach you the construction 'ne ... ni ... ni'.


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

Which corresponds only to "neither... nor". You can't apply the "either" equally. People may say it in real life incorrectly but it's strictly not the same eg. "I dislike either A or B... guess which one". It's enough to say "I don't like A or B". The "don't" negates the OR function to become NOR. If you add "either", the "don't" negates the "like" to become "dislike" = "I dislike either A or B".


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

KJC, The two translations have a slight difference of meaning. (I am a native English speaker) In Duo’s there is more emphasis on the children not wanting to eat either of the foods.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poef9

Why aren't there any articles or other determiners for dinde and purée ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paul959862

I was wondering the same Can anyone explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aussie3931

The ne..ni..ni construction omits articles. Here is a reference: https://www.carleton.edu/french/resources/language-tools/grammar/articles_negatives/ ...After ni… ni… the indefinite and partitive articles disappear altogether: Elle ne prend ni lait ni sucre avec son café.


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

Wondering the same thing. Why no articles after "ni" here. In a previous exercise they are required:

Tu n’as encore ni la nappe ni les assiettes (You didn't set either the tablecloth or the plates)

Looking for the rule for when the article is needed after "ni" - anyone? Bueller?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d10MplTj

These new translations are barely literate.


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

Duo rejected "My children don't want turkey nor mashed potatoes." Is my translation incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulieHarris921

Nor must be paired with neither. "My children don't want either turkey or mashed potatoes," or "My children want neither turkey nor mashed potatoes."


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

Not an expert, but I'd say you are incorrect but understandable.
You missed out the verb "to eat", an error which Duo seems very strict about.
I think what you are trying to say is "My children want neither turkey nor mashed potato", which is grammatically correct, although I don't know anyone who would say it.


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

Just wondering why not "... ne veulent pas mange ni ..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna180844

Because then you would have two negatives after the verb, and you need only one: - je ne mange pas de viande - je ne mange jamais de viande, - je ne mange plus de viande, "Pas" substitutes with other negations and you never use them double, as :" ne mange pas jamais" ni,.... ni plays the same role as other negations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarishAbbe3

First of all I think you need infinitive verb (manger) with "veulent" and secondly i think you don't need pas when using ni...ni.........rest every thing will be clear when the natives confirm that.....


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

Does puree mean mashed potatoes? I've seen puree to mean carrots, broccoli, parsnip etc, and pommes ecrasses to mean mashed potatoes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aidan424456

In several European languages, an unmodified "puree" (or пурэ, if I can remember how it is spelled in Russian) is, indeed, mashed potatoes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noelmichae2

Isn't 'mashed potato' 'purée de pommes de terre'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andre402951

It is but I think that sometimes people just say "purée"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teeee6
  • 1179

I hate this section.


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

I’m sorry you are hating it. There is a lot of confusion in these comments. In English you should not have what is called a ‘double negative’, you might find it helpful to look that up.


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

My kids do not want to eat turkey nor mash = accepted!


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

That was an incorrect acceptance. ‘nor’ should have been ‘or’.


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

This should be 'neither--- nor' not 'either ---or'! I cannot count the ways in which English is being marked wrong when it is correct!


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

potato should be accepted


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

As in "mashed potato" or just "potato" by itself? Because "purée" means mashed potatoes specifically. I do agree that "mashed potato" should be accepted though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyB11

Although in the UK, "mash" alone is totally synonymous with "mashed potatoes". For it to be made of any other ingredient, it would mention it, e.g. mashed swede (ugh!). In fact I can't remember the last time I said or heard (at home - you'll see it in menus) the full description. In some menus - eg in pubs - you might even see mash written down, it's that ubiquitous. Everyone knows what it is, even posh folk.

Our own mashed potatoes and sausages are known as "bangers and mash" :) (the bangers date back to when there was a lot of water in the sausage mix, making the skins bang in the frying pan, the water heating up and blowing holes in the skin. Doesn't happen so much now unless you buy really cheap sausages!)


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

'Mash' and 'mashed potato' are both accepted.


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

It is usual to say mashed potato when talking about a dish served at table. on the other hand, I would ask someone to mash the potatoes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve286496

In the audio (female voice), the d sound is missing in dinde. Reported Sept 8, 2020.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eleonora188

why is purée translated to include "potatoes"? Couldn't purée be of any kind of vegetable on condition it's mashed??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

I think it defaults to "potatoes" unless you specify what you are mashing (as in English where "mash" defaults to potatoes). e.g. *purée de carottes"

https://www.wordreference.com/fren/pur%C3%A9e


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael238101

So much for Christmas dinner then!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanWashi1

Neither should be used, not either


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

I disagree. The negative is in the first part of the sentence, so should be followed by ‘either’. If you want to use ‘neither’, you have to make the first part affirmative ‘my children want to eat neither turkey nor mashed potatoes’.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rgrindle1

Question: So which DO they want to eat; turkey or mashed potatoes ?


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

They don’t want to eat turkey or potatoes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael238101

So they presumably want to eat both turkey and mashed potatoes?


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

You have the opposite of the intended meaning!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NED524575

Duo needs to expand his translation dictionary.


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

In english, the way it's written, the speaker seems to be recalling that his children don't want to eat one of the two things, but he doesn't recall which it was. NEITHER/NOR, COÑO!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tweed903443

Again, horrible English Duo.


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

Whoever is writing the English translations doesn't understand the English use of either vs. neither. These translations do not match the French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBoru4

On the contrary, I think this shows a good understanding of English. Absolutely nothing grammatically wrong with the Duo translation. Either v neither is a matter of style and choice. Either/or is more likely to be used in everyday speech, while neither/nor is more likely to be used in writing or more formal speech.


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

It's not equivalent as you think. When you include "either" between "not" and "or" you set up an ambiguous dichotomy.

eg: "I dislike either A or B, which is it?" = "I don't like either A or B, which is it?"

"I don't like A or B" = "I dislike both A and B" = "I like neither A nor B"


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

If you at the dictionary meaning of the usage "neither .... nor..." and "either ... or..." you will see they or not the same or a matter of preference. "Neither ... nor..." excludes all of the options. "Either...or..." allows one or more options. It's not about "everyday" and "formal" English speech as much as "proper" and "improper". I think we should be precise in translation.


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

It's 'not either ... or', not 'either ... or'. 'Not either ... or' is equivalent to 'neither ... nor'.

Not… either… or denies both possibilities:

He doesn’t speak either English or French.

https://www.lawlessenglish.com/english-mistakes/either-and-neither/

All three of the following are logically equivalent:
[52] i She found it neither surprising nor alarming. (=[48i])
ii She didn’t find it either surprising or alarming.
iii She found it both not surprising and not alarming.

R. Huddleston & G.K. Pullum (ed.), The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Cambridge University Press 2016, p. 1310.


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

Same comment as in the other sections, but this is not correct. The "not" negates the verb. "She didn't like..... either A or B" = "She disliked either A or B, which is it?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teeee6
  • 1179

This is what was confusing me about this section. The statements are meant to signify an exclusion/dislike of both A and B, but way that the sentences are written introduces doubt, it could have been either A or B. It may have been the turkey or the mashed potato that the children didn't want to eat.

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