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"Mon chat ne mange que les escargots de notre jardin."

Translation:My cat only eats the snails from our yard.

July 14, 2020

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olga793905

Here we have a 'garden'. 'Yard' is only used in America. Jardin/garden - what can be wrong with that?


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

Americans have gardens too. Yard is a different word - "Cour" in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tachyonashley123

Correct me if i'm wrong, but i think you're thinking of "une cour", without the s (except in the plural). "Un cours" is a course, stream or class.

With regards to English usage, a "yard" (originally "geard") initially meant all the land on someone's property, including the house itself. "Garden", from the Old French "jardin" meaning outside grounds, and ultimately from the same Germanic root, was borrowed into English with the restrictive sense of a managed outdoor space where plants were grown, for food or decoration, which is still the usage in the USA, and sometimes in the UK.

In modern British English, though, the word "garden" is commonly used for the outdoor part of a property, even if it's just a lawn or completely overgrown with weeds, which (again, correct me if i'm mistaken) Americans would simply call a yard.

Here in the UK there are actually two uses of "yard" at present, the one meaning a fenced outdoor space, which is often paved and usually will not feature a lawn or a vegetable plot (as in farmyard, courtyard, scrapyard, dockyard), and the modern London use meaning home (as in "to touch yard" meaning to go home), which is basically equivalent to the original Old English meaning, having found its way back into the vernacular via Jamaican English.

Given all this, i wouldn't say it was correct to insist on there being a definite distinction between "garden" and "yard" that holds across all varieties of English. Duo accepts both for "jardin", imo rightly so.


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

Thanks for noticing my typo on "cour", have corrected it. You are correct that yard is not just used in America. However the point being made is that a yard and a garden are not the same thing, I don't think anyone is claiming that Americans use the word yard to mean garden.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

No. We most certainly do not. We use yard for yard and garden for garden. I'm done trying to convince people of that. No hard feelings at all~ I'm just done spending my time on that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tachyonashley123

No, but Brits do quite commonly use "garden" to refer to what Americans would call a "yard", as in "back garden" - if there's any greenery there at all, even just a lawn, we in the UK would generally not refer to this as "the back yard".

The more pertinent question is, what does "jardin" mean? Judging by the contexts in which i see it used, i believe the French do use "jardin" in a very general way, pertaining, yes, to flower gardens and vegetable plots, but also to what we might call an orchard or an arboretum, and also to the fenced area around a house which Americans term a "yard". This is supported by online dictionaries, e.g. https://www.wordreference.com/enfr/yard (first definition).

However, i'm not a native French speaker, so if any would like to clarify that for us, that would be most helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Thank you. I've tried to communicate that till I'm blue in the face~ tag, your it! It's your turn now. Bonne chance mon ami :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike716479

Jardin is garden not yard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tachyonashley123

That's an English regional difference, both are fine.


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

In English I could interpret this two ways:

My cat only eats snails, and only those from our yard.

My cat eats many things, but when it eats snails, it only eats the ones from our yard.

Can anyone say whether the French is more specific, or equally ambiguous?


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

The French is specific:

The provided translation "My cat only eats the snails from our yard." is incorrect (ignoring the other error of jardin = garden).

In French the "que" is placed in front of the word being restricted, so the correct translation is "My cat eats only the snails from our garden." This has the meaning that the cat eats nothing but snails from our garden.

To have the meaning that the cat eats other things, but when it eat snails it only eats the ones from our garden is "My cat eats snails only from our garden." which I think would be "Mon chat ne mange les escargots que de notre jardin."


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

"My cat only eats the snails from our yard" was rejected, even though it's given as the official translation here! The "correct solution" is "My cat only eats snails from our yard" (without "the"), which I think should use "des" instead of "les" in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lafayette94th

This is a cat with very discriminating tastes, clearly.


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

Is it wrong to write "the snails" as in "My cat only eats the snails from our garden"?


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

He can come and eat some of ours - they just destroyed the sunflower seedlings in our front yard (sorry) front garden!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Velvet013

I don't get where the negation "ne" comes in at all. I just can't get my head around it. I mean, I love snails and all, but this is just... grrr


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

Hi. It's not a negation at all. It is the combination of "ne....qwerty ... que" where "ne que" means "only", but the two components are separated which can make it look confusing. There's a good explanation here: https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/how-to-use-restrictive-ne-que-with-simple-tenses-to-express-only-negative-expressions


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Ce chat est français de part en part


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

I know that this is a simple question, when do I use du and when do I use de? I seem to be confusing the two. Thanks


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

It's a simple question, but it's not always a simple answer. But "du" is an abbreviation of "de le" meaning "of the" or "from the" (assuming the thing is masculine and singular). In this case you don't need "the" because we have "our".

I'm sure you'd agree that "...from the our garden" would be weird. This sentence could use "the" or "our" but not both.

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