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  5. "Cette croisière a l'air null…

"Cette croisière a l'air nulle, mais tu l'as choisie."

Translation:This cruise looks bad, but you chose it.

July 2, 2020



"bad" doesn't seem a very good translation for "nulle". "Nulle" in French is a little more familiar; I think "lousy" is closer to the feel of the French. "Bad" is not in my opinion a standard translation for "nulle".


I agree. Avoir l’air nulle could be lousy, or as I marked it, boring


cette section de duolingo a l'air nulle!


I wonder if you're missing the three crucial points of this section.

  • participle agreement with a previously stated direct object

  • syntactical dislocation and restatement of the subject

  • use of verb tenses with depuis and pendant.

Anyhoo, this is a very complex and difficult section. And also a very important section. I think it's useful to focus on these grammar issues rather than squabble about minor vocabulary points. I hope it falls into place for you!


Roody-Roo: Thank you for your analysis. I agree - a challenging section. But, worth the work and attention to detail.


Can someone explain to me how can we see the crucial points on duolingo. After checkpoint 6, there is no more ! Need help.


Reading these comments is the way to get clues about the intentions of lessons after the Tips and Tricks stop. Sometimes the comments are useful (as here), sometimes they are a hot mess of complaining and international bullying.

  • 1072

Vous avez raison.


My question is this: Why is it '...l'air nulle...' when 'air' is a masculine noun? Shouldn't it be, '...l'air nul..'? Or, does 'nulle' modify 'croisière' and not 'l'air'?


That's right; this is one of the neat quirks of French. Avoir l'air is so frequently used that it's treated like a single verb so that the adjective agrees with the subject (croisière here). Agreement with the subject is more common especially with inanimate objects, but it's not unheard of for the adjective to agree with air. I've reported it, but Duolingo might be sticking to the common usage.


Merci beaucoup! Your explanation was very helpful. Have a lingot on me.


I'm starting to see the pattern. Are these exercises showing us that certain past participles are subject to gender even if they are conjugated with avoir? This might have been touched upon in earlier lessons and I just spaced out...If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it. Thank you.


The past participle agrees with the subject when the auxiliary verb is "être":
- Je suis une femme et je suis née en Europe.
- Elles sont venues plus tôt que les hommes.

The past participle agrees with the object when the object comes before the past participle.
- Tu as choisi la croisière. (Object - la croisière- comes after "choisi", so no agreement.
- La croisière? Tu l'as choisie. (Object - la - comes before "choisi" so participle agrees with singular feminine object.)


Excellent examples, but I would clarify that the past participle only agrees with the direct object when it precedes the participle:

  • Ta prof, je lui ai parlé (ta prof is the indirect object, so no agreement).
  • Ta prof, je l'ai aidée (ta prof is the direct object, so there is agreement).


As a native English speaker I can't imagine using the term "looks bad" for a cruise----it applies to behaviour of a person or a situation that "looks bad". One would use terms such as "isn't up to much" or the amenities are very poor or the quality of this cruise is very low. The use of the verb "look' sounds completely off to me. Interested in what other English native speakers think.


We use it this way. We discuss vacation options, send links or articles, and the responses include "That looks nice" or "That sounds like fun" or "that looks boring."

  • 1072

“This cruise seems rubbish, but you chose it.” Is accepted.


Man's voice pronounces "quoisière" instead of "croisière".
Woman's voice is a bit better but just a tiny bit.
And they both master the final "r" in this word way better.


It's a good thing "quoisière" isn't a word, so there's no possibility of confusion, right?


I'm testing to skip this unit. Without the context of the lessons, I definitely heard quoisière even though I know it's nonsense (this was a write what you hear question). I'm glad someone else did too.


I look up a l'air nulle and I get back sounds lame, but my translation This cruise sounds lame, but you chose it. is of course wrong!


Why not 'looks like nothing'?


Nul/nulle doesn't mean "nothing"; in être nul or avoir l'air nul, nul means 'bad, useless, not good' -- that sort of thing.


Why is "worthless" instead of "bad" refused?


Duo likes banal phrases in English and French and it's sometimes tric

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