"What exactly do they expect to fish?"

Translation:Ils s'attendent à pêcher quoi exactement ?

July 4, 2020

52 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moVJL8

Is this a fixed order?

Could you say, "Ils s'attendent quoi exactement à pêcher"


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

Yes, there is a logic to it, because otherwise you are splitting the 's'attendre à + infinitive' which hangs together as a natural construction. You could split it with an adverb or adverbial phrase which qualified s'attendent but in this sentence exactement is obviously not related to s'attendent.

There's also another reason behind the word order. Exactement should be as close as possible in the sentence to what it is qualifying to aid understanding. It is obviously qualifying 'quoi' and expecting the answer to be a type of fish. Otherwise, what would 'ils s'attendent exactement' or 'pêcher exactement' mean? Hence 'quoi exactement'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulineHoc1

Thank you . That's nice and clear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rose830046

Could, 'quoi, exactement, s'attendent-ils a pecher' work?


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

Your sentence is incorrect in French - Unless you use "À quoi" " À " before "quoi".

As per Lucy163354 comment below: "Quoi cannot begin a question. If you want to begin with WHAT, you would say:
"Qu'est-ce qu'ils s'attendent à pêcher".

À quoi s'attendent-ils à pêcher exactement?" should be accepted. But Duo doesn't seem to be happy with the word "exactement" being placed at the end of the sentence.

À quoi tu t'attendais exactement?" (or Tu t'attendais à quoi exactement?) meaning: "What did you expect exactly?" is another expression that is often used by the French.

The French expression is : "s'attendre à quelque chose"


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

The English is wrong. Why can't Duo make this one of the "report" options?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBradl52567

I agree. In English you must fish "for" something. It requires that preposition, much as so many French verbs require a particular preposition.


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

What's wrong with it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fred.duo

Also rejected: Ils s'attendent à pêcher exactement quoi ?


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

Same here. I think it should be accepted. Reported 12 August 2020.

But it surprises me that no one here has commented on what an odd sentence this is in English. I can't imagine anyone saying it that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graham207673

I'm English and I'm a fisherman (I went fishing for tench last night) but I wouldn't understand the English given above. I would assume that you had a poor knowledge of English and that you were trying to say "what do they expect to fish for, exactly?"


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

"À quoi s'attendent-ils à pêcher exactement?" should be accepted.

À quoi tu t'attendais exactement?" (or Tu t'attendais à quoi exactement?) meaning: "What did you expect exactly?" is another expression that is often used by the French.

The French expression is : "s'attendre à quelque chose"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gordon964264

That was my answer. No idea why it's wrong


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

I have this same question. Reported December 2020


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

Why can't exactement come right after s'attendent ?


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

I'll hazard a guess that it's because exactly is modifying pêcher and not s'attendre, although that doesn't explain why it can't go right after pêcher.


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

I doubt it. That would be saying they expect to fish 'in an exact or precise manner'. Similarly, 'exactement' after 'ils s'attendent' would mean they are 'expecting in an exact or precise way'. Neither makes much sense. Exactement must therefore be qualifying 'quoi' and should therefore be next it, and in this case after it, not only for the normal practice of putting adjectives and adverbs after the thing they are qualifying, but also to avoid any possibility of it being misunderstood as 'pêcher exactement' (for the foregoing reason).


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

You don't fish something, you catch it!


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

According to Merriam Webster's "to fish" can be transitive. They give the example of "to fish salmon". You can go fishing for specific types of fish and not catch anything.


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

Agreed, but have you ever seen it used in this fashion? "What are you fishing for?" would be natural, but "What to you hope to catch?" would be the closest to Duo's.


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

This is always going to be a problem with translation when the languages work differently. I totally agree with you, however: Look at the reverse. "What do you hope to catch?" How am I expected to know that this refers to fishing? It might mean a baseball, or Cocid-19 for that matter! I hardly think it's reasonable to ask the bods who organise Duo to give a full run down of circumstances for each item they want you to translate. Maybe in future, the course will evolve enough to include a section on each pastime and this could be in the "fishing" or "angling" section? To some extent, this is already the case in the stories, where context is known and translations are in some cases slightly different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanne448353

Valid comment and suggestion for future course content clusters. Personally, I've learned a lot re sentence structure from doing the stories, having completed all posted to date many times, especially the advanced "28 pointer" stories (e.g. Pixies in the Meadow, Puss 'n Boots - two favs). Secondly, I find when having an odd-to-me grammar structure, doing a literal translation helps with memory/creating a template for future use. In this case, the literal translation is "They are waiting/expecting to fish what exactly."


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

Thanks -- that's news to me!


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

Qu'est-ce qu'ils s'attendent exactement à pêcher? Why is this wrong please?


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

Try it with the long adverb at the end so pêcher isn't "stranded" from the first verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poef9
  • 1008

Just to confirm: "Qu'est-ce qu'ils s'attendent à pêcher exactement ?" is accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martyn413385

Wow - another Duo trigger for endless discussion as a result of an ambiguous statement. I've no idea what the exact intention is to convey in French. However, the given English translation only makes some kind of sense if it is applied geographically rather than being aimed at a type of fish. In other words you can fish rivers, lakes or oceans. Hence the answer to this question could be: All the lakes in Cumbria.


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

Lol, have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Margaret958653

I have also been an English teacher and would never use "fish" without "for!" In fact a more natural sentence, to me, would be: "What exactly are they expecting to catch?" The use of the present simple does not sound natural either, but then we have no context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martyn413385

Agreed - almost. As I noted a while back, the given English translation only makes some kind of sense if it is applied geographically rather than being aimed at a type of fish. In other words you can fish rivers, lakes or oceans. Hence the answer to this question could be: All the lakes in Cumbria.


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

Qu'est-ce qu'ils s'attendent exactement a pecher? (sorry~ no accents) Once again, I see nothing wrong with this. (?)


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

it seems quite good, but it will be better with "exactement" at the end qu'est ce qu'ils s'attendent à pécher exactement? et en langage "pop": ils pensent attraper quoi?...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shakara.Kiing

What's wrong with "Qu'est-ce qu'elles s'attendent exactement à pêcher?" ?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnV770857

I can't see anything wrong with it. I tried it on Google translate and the only change it made was from elles to ils.


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

What, exactly does quoi refer to??? The English sentence seems to be misusing the verb "to fish", whose direct object would be the water you are fishing in. What you hope to catch is the indirect object, requiring a qualifier, such as "for".

Do you expect to fish the lake?

Do you expect to fish for trout?

Since this is a weird English sentence, I have to ask if it's an error or not: So, does quoi refer to the water or to the fish?


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

I'm English living in the USA and I have not got a clue what this means in either English-English or American-English. Sounds like broken English to me!


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

Why is quoi s'attendent ils à pêcher exactement wrong


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

Quoi cannot begin a question. If you want to begin with WHAT, you would say Qu'est-ce qu'ils s'attendent à pêcher.


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

or

que s'attendent-ils à pêcher exactement ?

accepted as well


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

Is it possibly because the hyphen is missing in s'attendent-ils?


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

Yeah, I've been disqualified for missing the hyphen a few times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Waterflea1

I wrote 'C'est quoi qu'ils attendent exactement à pêcher?' which wasn't accepted. What's wrong with that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GBR100K

What exactly do they expect to fish? in English the answer to this question would likely be a river or a lake. Its more about what kind of fishing they are expecting. What exactly do they expect to fish for? If the answer is a type of fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

I can't see how I can come up with the exact word order by consulting grammatical rules, which we've never been taught! IMPOSSIBLE! I must just as soon memorize this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ken798791

Qu'attendent-ils exactement de pêcher?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/STRADS1551

What's wrong with "Que s'attendent-ils exactement à pêcher" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/la-Baronessa

I wrote: "Quoi, exactement, est-ce qu'ils s'attendent à pêcher?" Not accepted. Why not?


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

Your sentence is incorrect in French - Unless you use "À quoi" (see my previous comment).

  • "À quoi s'attendent-ils à pêcher exactement?"

  • "Quoi? Qu'est-ce que tu dis"? What? What are you saying?

  • "À quoi penses-tu"? What are you thinking about?

  • "Je ne sais pas ce à quoi il pense, mais je devine que cela doit être pénible." I don't know (precisely) what he is thinking about, but I guess this must be hard (penible - painful)

  • "De quoi parlez-vous? What are you talking about? (in a case of somebody trying to join a group of people talking, wanting to know the suject of the conversation)

  • "Quoi que tu décides, je te soutiendrai". Whatever you decide, I'll support you.

  • "Je pense aller à la montagne en vacances, quoique la mer me fait envie". I am thinking of going to the mountains on holiday, although I fancy the sea too. (Quoique in this sentence means BUT - meaning that I might go the to mountains or change my mind and go to the sea).

  • "Quoi que tu fasses, cela m'est egal" - Whatever you do, I don't care.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ketan1987

What about 'qu'est ce qu'ils s'attendent exactement a pecher'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoanSmith0

In this case why wasn't the English sentence written: they expect to fish what exactly? which would have been the French accepted answer. I realize that not every English sentence translates exactly to French, but in this case it seems more logical


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EllaDiana21

Also accepted: Qu'est-ce qu'ils s'attendent à pêcher exactement?

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