"Il s'est cassé l'épaule en tombant à vélo."

Translation:He broke his shoulder from falling off his bike.

July 17, 2020

32 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Why is falling off a bike described as a velo. I thought that a was used to indicate motion towards something, not away from it. I would have expected something like en tombant DE son velo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uinni
  • 1047

The original French sentence essentially means "he broke his shoulder becase he fell down while riding his bike"

The phrase "à velo" is not directly connected to the fact that the fell down (fell off the bike) but just describes the means he was using when he fell down (he was riding a bike).

It's the same phrase used e.g. Il va au travail à vélo = he goes to work by bike.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randonneur3

Well, no, surely it was in the action of falling that he apparently broke his shoulder.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graymouse1

Actually, it is more likely that the landing caused the broken shoulder. The falling caused the landing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graymouse1

The question is a really good one, but no one is actually answering it. Why is it "a velo" but "de l'echelle"? In both cases, the preposition is absolutely connected to the fall. Someone is falling FROM something.


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

"à vélo" means "cycling" or "using a bicycle". So there is nothing about falling FROM a particular bike.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N.Hilary

Good question!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N.Hilary

Wouldn't the correct translation be: "...from falling off a bike", since the French sentence doesn't say 'son velo'? It is merely implied.


[deactivated user]

    He hurt himself falling off a bike is accepted.


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

    No, "from" is totally incorrect to use here.

    You are correct that it could be "a bike", but the possessive is often used in English for a bike being ridden by a person, even if that person is not the actual owner of the bike. So "his bike" is not incorrect.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne212350

    Please explain the use of the word "from" in the English. I don't recall using "from" when someone falls.


    [deactivated user]

      Personally it's not how I would say it. You might get sick from eating bad seafood but you hurt yourself falling off a bike or by falling off a bike.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N.Hilary

      You can use "fall from" something, such as: "The child fell from the tree."; "He fell from the roof."; "I fell from the ladder." But, "fell off/fell off of" is also used. "He fell off the roof"; "I fell off the ladder"; or "I fell off of the ladder."; "My daughter fell off her bike."


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

      That's right, but I think that Anne was asking about "from falling", not about "falling from". In DL's translation, the preposition "from" connects "he broke his shoulder" with "falling off his bike". However, "from" is the wrong preposition! "By" and "while" work much better, or you can just say "He broke his shoulder falling off his bike". "From" works in some cause-and-effect situations where the cause led indirectly to the effect (as in eating bad seafood, as MertMort noted), but it doesn't work when the effect is immediate.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N.Hilary

      Oui. Je comprends. As in, "He died from Covid-19." Although, it is not uncommon to hear: "How did he break his shoulder?" and the answer: "...from falling off a ladder."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobWells5

      Although this Brit would normally say fall "off" a bike I would not regard fall "from" as incorrect. However, I would definitely expect to use "from" if the vehicle was a car or a train.


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

      A question about the meaning of the original French sentence :

      One does not actually have to fall off a bike to get hurt, one call fall while riding a bike and get hurt. In the latter case, in English, we might say "He hurt his shoulder when he fell cycling".

      My question: Does the expression en tombant à vélo insist on the "falling off the bike", or can it mean something like "He fell while cycling and hurt his shoulder" (note, I am not offering this as a translation. I simply want to understand the meaning of the original phrase ).


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

      You are right, "à vélo" means "cycling" or "using a bicycle".

      So the most accurate translation is something like "He broke his shoulder by falling while cycling". Your version is good although "est cassé" specifically means to break rather than just hurt.

      All the discussion about whether he fell "off" or "from" "a bike" or "his bike" is a bit misleading.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randonneur3

      A point not mentioned is the use of the present participle -ing. It animates the telling, more than : He fell off his bike and broke his shoulder. Or, he broke his shoulder when he fell off his bike. Both actions in the past tense here.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graymouse1

      It’s not a present participle. It’s a gerund, a verb used as a noun, in this case the object of the preposition “en.” As a noun, it has no tense.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fH6lclhu

      Where is HIS in the French phrase? Wouldn't the matching French be .... Il s'est cassé l'épaule en tombant à son vélo


      [deactivated user]

        It’s natural English. We say he fell off his bike even if it was a rental bike. Nothing wrong with he fell off a bike though, just less likely to be said. But in French you don’t say either. It’s à vélo or de vélo.


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

        If you're an avid cyclist, you say the bike.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shunting65

        It's amateur hour around here with all the acceptable translations that get rejected. I was rejected for "He broke his shoulder by falling off of his bicycle".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joerie82

        He broke his shoulder while falling when he was riding a bike. Why is this wrong?


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

        Except in freak accidents, you don't break your shoulder while falling. You break it when you hit the ground as a result of falling. So it should either be from falling, or by falling, or just falling with no preposition. Meanwhile, the fall happened while riding a bike.

        As for those freak accidents, I once dislocated my shoulder while inline skating without actually falling. I waved my arms so hard to keep my balance that my shoulder popped out. It was not fun.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ken891388

        As far as I'm concerned the word "from" doesn't need to be there. 99.999% of English speaking people wouldn't use it in this context.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabb318_PHL

        why is "He broke his shoulder from falling off of his bike" wrong?


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

        Not "from." "by falling from his bike," is OK, but he didn't break it "from falling" but by falling from (the bike.) Duo is constantly using "from" when it is not the right word.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan664371

        His bike? He fell of a bike

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