"Je crois qu'il y a eu un accident quelque part."

Translation:I believe there was an accident somewhere.

July 10, 2020

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Why il y a eu not il y avait?


A one-time event completed in the past is normally passé composé rather than imparfait.


I translated this as: I think he had an accident somewhere. "eu" is past participle of "avoir" . Not sure why my translation is not correct


« Il y a eu » is the passé composé form of « il y a » and so means "There was" or "There were."

I guess could see how « Il y a eu » could mean "he had ... there" in some context. « Il ne veut pas aller à Berlin, il y a eu un accident. » But even that would probably be heard as "there was an accident" rather than "he had an accident there."

Anyway, surely "He had an accident somewhere" would be « Il a eu un accident quelque part. »


From the "type what you hear", I can't distinguish 'eu un' from 'un' :-|


I hear eu clearly. It's the same vowel sound that's in du and tu; in IPA it's [y]. Some anglophone students struggle to distinguish French vowel sounds. If you can tell du from doux from deux from d'eau from d'un then you should be able to hear this. If you cannot sort out those vowels in isolation, then work on that.

So il y a eu un accident is [i.li.a.y.œ̃.nak.si.dɑ̃].

Listen closely for that [y] phoneme between a and the nasal u phoneme [œ̃]. That [y], corresponding to the word eu, is a very different vowel sound from anything else in the phrase, so it stands out.

Far more difficult is il en a eu une, since instead of a nasal u there are two normal French u's. The French often run these two together so it can be hard to hear the difference between il en a eu une and il en a une.


I too have trouble hearing this particular combination... but saying it is a whole new ball-park of difficulty!

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