"Il ne met ni poivre ni vinaigre dans la sauce."

Translation:He doesn't put either pepper or vinegar in the sauce.

June 27, 2020

37 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Got this one with the word cubes. There was only "n't" so I used that and DL stated I had a typo as it should be "not", but that wasn't one of the choices available.


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

He puts neither pepper nor vinegar in the sauce.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carcs1

Yes, I think they are not using correct grammar when they translate "ni,,,ni...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

They are both correct forms of negated options.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dxm300

Neither...nor makes so much more sense here. Duo's awkwardness kills me sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hwin_74

I am sure you will reconsider after second thought. "Neither... nor" is used wit a verb in the affirmative..and "either.. or" is used with a verb (the same verb) in the negative and mean the SAME THING... it may depend on the emphasis. This sentence is using a negative verb...He DOES not so it has to be 'either or'. Of course you chan change the verb from negative to affirmative but then you wont be translating..you would be interpreting!


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

Same here, so annoying. Reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

There are many English grammar sites for a review before posting incorrectly.


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

I got it wrong for using neither nor. It is irritating!


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

he puts neither... nor ... is accepted now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hwin_74

Which as I posted above ,and was downvoted by two with more acrimony of thought than eudaemony of comprehension, REQUIRED that the verb be used in the AFFIRMATIVE and thus becomes an interpretation of the french sentence rather than a straight translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

I am intrigued by your insistence that changing a verb from positive to negative is interpretation rather than direct translation. How then would you translate into French the sentence "He puts neither pepper nor vinegar in the sauce."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hwin_74

You are RIGHT. I have overstated. My irritation is with the comments which seem to say that DUO's english sentence is absolutely wrong, misleading, etc. ... and UNDERCUTS any sound discussion and thus learning.

To answer your question, the french double negative "ne + verb followed ...ni...ni" IS THE ONLY WAY to say "neither nor" in FRENCH! Translating that to english has to be one of two! He puts neither.... salt nor pepper... or He doesn't put either salt or pepper'. Duo chose the latter. Duo's sentence is not 'awkward'; is not bad english grammar; is not deserving of contempt from 'fluent native english' speakers. ... EVEN IF DUO is changing the verb and thus re-interpreting the french to fit the ENGLISH use of the term 'either or' INSTEAD of 'neither nor'. However, as you and CARCS above point out, the French sentence, if directly translated into English' is the 'neither nor' version... and to ..achieve that the verb MUST be put in the affirmative in English,.. and DUO avoids having to do that by 'interpreting' it to 'either or' .

French has different ways to say ' either or' , chief of which is 'soit...soit'' etc but it is mostly seen with an affirmative verb in any search.. in my searches. I am not sure if you can have a sentence like "Il ne met pas soit du sel soit du poivre dans la sauce " which is then a 'word for word' translation of DUO's english sentence and uses 'ne verb pas' followed by soit... soit ( as yo would find with with 'ne verb pas' AND 'sans que NE'. Perceptive commentary would help answer that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

It's very simple. "Il ne met ni poivre ni vinaigre...." can be translated as:- 1) a negative verb + either .... or
2) a positive verb + neither ... nor.
Both versions are 100% correct.
Without knowing the context in which this sentence was uttered or written it's impossible to make a sensible judgement about which English version would be more appropriate, but neither version is wrong in any way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarraghDoh5

Fluent English speaker here. I'd fail a pupil who didn't use "nor" here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

Hmm - I hope you're not a teacher.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hwin_74

Your post seems to arrogate to yourself the curtailment of conversation regarding the structure of the sentence; based on the 'fluency' of your English! And yet you give no explanation as to what exactly is WRONG with the 'english' sentence. With a negative verb "he does NOT put" it must be either/or!! With a positive verb "he puts" it must be neither/nor! I am sorry but I think the 'pupil' who wrote this sentence did OK!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimJuette1

The English is both awkward and incorrect. Either is used without a negative. Neither is used to demonstrate negative choice. For example, you may have either this or that. You may have neither this nor that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

Where did you find this "rule"? Fowler's English Usage makes no mention of it. The Cambridge Dictionary contains multiple examples of either used with a negative.


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

you know the English translation sounds better as: He puts neither pepper nor vinegar in the sauce. Sometimes literal translations are not the most fluid way to speak. To really be comfortable in different languages one needs to interpret rather than translate literally. An aside from my opinion: Why is there so much acrimony between commentators and directed at DUO; someone's brilliant program with occasional weird translations.


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

Shouldn't it be: "ne met PAS ni...."? In a previous sentence it was: "ne veulent pas ni..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

No. Ne + ni ...ni works like ne + rien or ne + jamais. You don't need to use "pas".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

Il n'y a pas de quoi.


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

Neither... nor is better English


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

Neither/nor or any/or


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyGilbert6

The answers above simply can't be correct. The phrases "he puts neither oil nor pepper in the sauce", "he doesn't put pepoer or vinegar in the sauce" and "he doesn't put either pepper or vinegar in the sauce" all translate as "il ne met ni poivre ni vinaigre dans la sauce". None of these mean "either pepper or vinegar is missing from the sauce", as that would be "il n'a mis ni poivre ni vinaigre dans la sauce", surely?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyGilbert6

Ignore my comment above unless the can make sense of what i meant to say rather than what i did say.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyGilbert6

What I'm trying to say is that negating "il met du poivre ou du vinaigre dans la sauce" in French seems to change its meaning from either one or the other to neither one nor the other. There seems to be no logical construct to say only one of them is missing in this way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlGraing1

If you want to say he included one but not the other why do you need to negate the sentence? The French you have written already expresses that. You could emphasise that it's only one of them by saying "Il met soit du poivre soit du vinaigre dans la sauce", but putting the verb in the negative seems like an unnecessary complication in either language.


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

I'm sure both languages have a construct for "he puts one of pepper or vinegar in the sauce, but not both" But outside computer programming and logic puzzles we rarely need to express XOR.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyGilbert6

"He doesn't put either pepper or vinegar in the sauce" is correct, but "he doesn't put pepper or vinegar in the sauce" is wrong, according to DL. In English they both mean the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hwin_74

OK am I crazy or is she cackling as she speaks?


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

Who else fell for the option "our" instead of "or" because of not looking properly?

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