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  5. "Dans mon enfance, les enfant…

"Dans mon enfance, les enfants étaient plus polis !"

Translation:In my childhood, children used to be more polite!

July 18, 2020



Seems poorly constructed in English. I know it's the direct translation but "were more polite" sounds more natural to me


You're right, Make_me_Poly.

We'd say "were" because we've already located the time we're talking about firmly in the past, so we don't need "used to be".


Us boomers heard this statement from our own parents, and our thought was, I'll never say that when I'm old. :-D I'm sure this sentiment goes back in all cultures to the time of the Neanderthals.

In reality, I think children today are much more polite than we were 50 years ago.


What?? Have you actually met any of today's children Roody?

Why can't they be like we were, Perfect in every way?


  • 1069

D'accord, boomer


I chose "youth" as an option. Why is this incorrect as opposed to childhood?


Youth and childhood are two different things covering different ages ranges, although probably with some overlap.

enfance = childhood, infancy

jeunesse = youth (which includes late adolescence)


------ does "enfance " = "infancy " ? . . .

Big 29 jul 20


not here, and only figuratively


when I was young children were more polite?


That conveys the same thought, more or less, but it strays unnecessarily from a more literal translation. Also, at my age now I think of 25 as young but it's not childhood.


No. If you were speaking as an eighty year old then 20 would be when you were young but not your childhood.


said every adult from every generation ever


Whereas "In mi childhood..." already establishes l'imparfait, the awkward and redundant "used to be" is superfluous. A proper English sentence, grammatically correct and faithful to the French grammar parallel would be "In my childhood, children were more polite." The persistent use by Duo of "Used to" is not only awkward, but an idiomatic crutch. It actually means originally, "were put to use (used) to accomplish something", and thus, has come far astray. It is an awkward construct, and wherever possible, the unambiguous imperfect tense would do better to teach French grammar as well as help Anglophones with their own language.

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