"He has a lot of ambition and wants to become a lawyer."

Translation:Il a beaucoup d'ambition et veut devenir avocat.

July 15, 2020

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Why can't I say "beaucoup de l'ambition", like in one of the previous exercises of this lesson? I don't see that the context is in any way different. Needless to say, my answer was marked as incorrect...


There is no exercise using "beaucoup de l'ambition" which would mean "a lot of the ambition".


Thank you for your comment,GraemeSarg! Actually, I am not sure about "beaucoup" in the previous exercise, but I am absolutely sure about "de l'ambition". I am not sure, however, that word-by-word translation is the best way of finding out what works and what doesn't. In this case, perhaps, it does, but how can one know it?


But if there was no "beaucoup de" then "ambition" would be (in most contexts) "de l'ambition" because ambition is (in most contexts) uncountable.

But you can't say "beaucoup de de l'ambition", you have to drop the article: "beaucoup d'ambition".


All this sounds very convincing, so I might as well take you at your word. Which I do, with respect and gratitude. The only thing is: I am currently at the Level 1, and Duolingo hasn't so far provided me with the amount of information sufficient for arriving at conclusions similar to yours -- in fact, not even for feeling that they are obvious.


At this stage I think you are just meant to learn that:

  1. it is "de l'ambition" (and possibly also to recognise that that is because it is uncountable)
  2. That the vowel makes it a special case of "de la confiture" (for example).
  3. that "beaucoup de" changes it to "beaucoup d'ambition"
  4. and that the vowel makes it a special case of "beaucoup de confiture"

As you progress, you will meet other phrases which behave like "beaucoup de".


Why is "Il a plein d'ambition et veut devenir avocat" wrong?


It would conventionally be translated as "plenty of ambition", but it is probably similar enough.

[deactivated user]

    I am asked to write in french "He has a lot of ambition and wants to become a lawyer". I write "Il a beaucoup d'ambition et veut devenir avocat" and I am marked wrong. What is going on.....?

    • 1247

    I left out the "'" and wrong, then right with it in... most of the time they're not picky about "'" missing, or a space instead as i think duo's matching algorithm strips whitespace etc, piles down accents, and matches on the answer string - prolly unless that string still has "'" in it and then is picky... :)


    I wrote "Il a beaucoup d'ambition et il veut devenir avocat." and it was accepted. It seems could have left out the second "il". I can never tell when it is OK to leave out what is redundant in English, but necessary in French.

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