"Je ne doute pas que vous entendiez les hiboux."

Translation:I don't doubt that you will hear the owls.

July 10, 2020

6 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c5nest
  • 1141

"I don't doubt that you will hear owls." should also be correct. Without a context it could be either generalized "owls" or specific "the owls". Reported


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isaac433425

Does the "douter que..." construction make what would be the imperfect (past-tense) now future tense, or is this a mistake on Duo's part? I would've thought "Je ne doute pas que vous entendrez les hiboux" would translate as "I don't doubt that you will heard the owls" whereas their current sentence translates as, "I don't doubt that you heard/were hearing owls."


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

It's not the imperfect, "l'imparfait", it is "le subjonctif présent".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isaac433425

Right that makes sense, my bad. Merci beaucoup !


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

Yes for we/you (plural) French doesn't make any distinction between imparfait/Indicativ and présent/subjonctif. Those two forms are identical in French! (Spanish DOES differentiate them clearly! Ha! ;-D

So, without context, like in this case, it's not possible to differentiate them at all.

Which makes it very unfair, that Duo doesn't accept the past tense translations:
you used to hear / You were hearing / You heard.

The BIG problem here is that there's no simple accurate way to translate the subjonctif into English. Since there's no verbal conjugation for it.

Even the translation as future should be wrong. Because being a present form, it’s more like present in English “I don’t doubt that you hear the owls” (which is indeed accepted) with an implied: “it might be so, I have no reason to doubt you, but there’s anyway a chance it isn’t, which I leave open”.

That’s why learning the subjunctive modus is usually one of the hardest things for people whose languages only work in the indicative modus. It's all about potentiality.


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

why is subjontive used here? "je ne doute pas", there is NO doubt. Please enlight.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.