"No one has served us for an hour."

Translation:Personne ne nous a servi depuis une heure.

July 1, 2020

This discussion is locked.


Why not pendant instead of depuis


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


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


But that's a valid translation of this sentence!


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


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


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


"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.


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


"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.


ServiS -) COD devant le verbe !?


You are correct.


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


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.


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.


Thanks for tracking that down, Graeme.


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....


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


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


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.


I have found confirmation in Lawless French:


"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.


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


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


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


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


But that bit's not wrong (IMHO).


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.


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.


I totally agree with you!


why not nous avons servi? why nous a servi?


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).


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


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


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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