"No one has served us for an hour."

Translation:Personne ne nous a servi depuis une heure.

July 1, 2020

37 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don550357

Why not pendant instead of depuis


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

Indeed, if we are no longer waiting at the restaurant, but rather telling about the bad experience to someone else, why not "pendant"?


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

I think in that case the English would read, "No one served us..." not "No one has served us..."


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

But that's a valid translation of this sentence!


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

What happened to using present tense with depuis? Does this have something to do with the negative here?


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

yep - negated depuis uses the passe compose (why? because it's french)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HLN2006

Personne ne nous a servis ....le complément d'objet direct est placé devant le verbe....


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

"Personne ne nous sert depuis une heure" rejected. I thought we were supposed to use present tense when we use "depuis" to translate an English sentence in past tense.


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

Apparently when the sentence is negated that's not the case. News to me.


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

"Personne" is a negated pronoun. I don't see why the negation affects either the rest of the sentence or "depuis".

Since the wait is still ongoing, I do not understand why present tense is not correct, either instead of passé composé or as an alternative.


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

ServiS -) COD devant le verbe !?


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

You are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucy163354

Why isn't servi plural to agree with nous, a direct object preceding the verb?


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

Isn't nous the indirect object, while whatever was served (actually, not served) is the unspoken direct object? In which case, the participle doesn't have anything to agree with.


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

According to Larousse:

[dans un magasin] …
servir quelqu'un de OU en quelque chose
    to serve somebody with something, to serve something to somebody

the person being served IS the Direct Object.

Only when an item of food or drink is specifically included as the Direct Object would the person being served become the Indirect Object ("servir quelque chose à quelqu'un").

But even then you can say "La serveuse nous a déjà servi(e)s en légumes." ("The waitress has already served us with vegetables.") or "La serveuse nous a déjà servi l'apéritif." ("The waitress has already served the aperitif to us."). So we have the same Direct/Indirect quandary in English, but it affects the word order, not the past participle.

In the case of non-edible items (eg shopping) the item would be the Indirect Object and the servee is the Direct Object ("servir quelqu'un de/en quelque chose").

Under "Difficulties", Larousse states that:

The past participle servi, conjugated with avoir, agrees or not depending on the meaning.

Servir qqn, qqch. The past participle agrees with the direct object that precedes the verb: le garçon nous a servis ; les plats que tu nous a servis.

Se servir de qqch, en qqch (=to serve oneself with sth that one uses or in sth that one consumes), the past participle agrees with the reflexive pronoun: elle s'est servie du marteau ; elles se sont servies en viande plusieurs fois.

Se servir qqch (=to serve sth to oneself), the reflexive pronoun is an indirect complement, the participle does not agree with it: elles se sont servi du vin (= elles ont servi du vin à elles-mêmes).

Servir à qqn, à qqch. The past participle remains invariable: ces notes lui ont servi ; ces questionnaires ont servi à l'enquête.

Duolingo has got this one wrong.

It should be "Personne ne nous a servi(e)s", just as it is "le garçon nous a servis" in the dictionary example.


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

Thanks for tracking that down, Graeme.


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

Oh, good point. I was puzzling over this, too, but you are right. We say, "The waiter serves us" but, unless we are on a platter, we really mean, "The waiter serves our food to us".

At least, that is how it works in English. I can only guess that it makes the same sense in French....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michael.pr6

What's wrong with, "Personne n'on a servi depuis une heure."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucy163354

On can never be used as the object of a verb, only as the subject.


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

I own several textbooks on French and none of them mentions the use of "depuis" instead of "pendant" with the passe compose just because the sentence is negative.


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

I have found confirmation in Lawless French:
www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/depuis-vs-il-y-a


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

"Nous" is a Preceding Direct Object in this sentence.

It should be "Personne ne nous a servi(e)s depuis une heure.".

Duolingo's translation is incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GonzaloNav488130

Personne ne nous a servi pendant une heure should be accepted.


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

Is this just your opinion, or do you have some references to back it up?


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

The past participle is wrong because it needs to be plural. But then Duo's is also wrong.


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

I think the OP was proposing using "pendant" rather than "depuis".


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

But that bit's not wrong (IMHO).


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

Be that as it may, Duo is not accepting it. So far, the accepted answers are:
Personne ne nous a servi depuis [1 / une] heure. [Ça / Cela] fait [1 / une] heure que personne ne nous a servi.


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

I don't know if the person who downvoted my remark, just above, thinks I am somehow responsible for Duo's procedures, but I'm not Duo, I'm just another student and I'm just passing on information.

And, on the off chance that someone thinks my revealing what the currently accepted answers are is somehow cheating: it isn't. The answers are only visible to people who have already done the exercise. One of them is always posted - by Duo - at the top of the discussion page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/22lele

I totally agree with you!


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

why not nous avons servi? why nous a servi?


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

Because it's not "we" doing the serving. "Personne" is 3rd person singular. The "nous" in this sentence is the indirect object, not the subject. No one (Personne) has served us (nous).


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

"Personne ne nous a servi pendant une heure is correct but marked wrong


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

Can you explain why you think so? It sounds odd to me, like, "No one served us during an hour".


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

It's correct (apart from the ongoing issue with the incorrectly matched participle).

In this context "depuis", "pendant" and "pour" are all interchangeable.

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