"Vous oubliiez de me souhaiter un bon anniversaire !"

Translation:You used to forget to wish me a happy birthday!

July 20, 2020

This discussion is locked.


How do you tell a pronunciation difference between "vous oubliez" and "vous oubliiez"?


You don't. Isn't that humerus? Ahem, excuse me - I meant humorous. Or maybe that's not write. Um. Right.

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Bumbersnatch - I appreciate your excellent point, but usually for words that have such different meanings that also sound alike and could be used in the same context, such as"vous oubliez" and "vous oubliiez" there would be some additional manner a speaker would use to differentiate between the two. For French speakers, do they use other words in the typical sentence to imply whether they are speaking about the past tense? Any hints you have about real-life techniques by speakers would be helpful! Thank you!


Yeah, JBaer - good point. Context will usually bear that weight. I suppose that - absent any context - one might add the word avant to the sentence (though, strictly speaking, avant is not going to absolutely necessitate this aspect). I should point out that my earlier point is only almost correct because there is the slightest little bit of difference in pronunciation, not that it's particularly discernable in everyday speech - especially for learners.


Why is 'you forgot to wish me a happy birthday' rejected?
I don't understand when you have to use 'used to', it seems so arbitrary to me when it is required in Duo and when not. Besides it seems more logical to forget a birthday just a single time instead of being used to it.


I think the point of the sentence is that in the past "you" forgot my birthday in more than just one year.

This meaning is clear in French with only the imparfait verb.

But in English we have no imperfect tense, so we have to use additional words to convey the repetition of the action.


"You have a typo. Youd forget to wish me a happy birthday!" Reported as "something else went wrong".


You would forget to wish me a happy birthday! = accepted Apr 2021. Did you type "youd" or you'd?


Duolingo is very keen on the form, "You used to...."


There seems to be no clear rule for Duolingo on when "used to" is required for translating an imperfect verb. "You forgot to wish me a happy birthday" was not accepted here, but many other exercises will accept imperfect verbs translated without "used to".


Its not about a rule, it's about the meaning. With the French imparfait tense, we automatically know the meaning, that the past action was ongoing, repeated, and/or interrupted.

But English has no matching imperfect tense that conveys the meaning of the French imparfait. So we have to provide additional words to convey that past action is repeated, ongoing or interrupted. Sometimes this is done with an adverb like often, always, sometimes, usually, etc.

But this sentence has no adverb to convey the imparfait meaning. So we have to tinker with the verb tense to convey it. For example: used to forget, would forget, were forgetting.

I know I usually get down votes when I post this information. But I'm pretty sure it's correct. If you disagree, go ahead and downvote me. But PLEASE, also post what is wrong with what I said. Downvotes don't contribute to learning, but a post might. Merci.


You get a lot of downvotes for this because while, in English, it is not always as clear without the additional words, it is not incorrect without the additional words. English speakers quite often (in the USA, at least) speak in the inperfect tense without these additions.


I've never heard "anniversaire" pronounced with an American "r" before - is this a regional variation of the pronunciation?


The female voice sonds good to me. I don't know what would be an Amercian r. The voices are computer generated and do not show any regional accents.


It also sounds fine to me. However there are clear regional accents in some of the voices - in particular one of the male voices has a clear southern accent.


Please note: The voices are not computer generated. They are digital recordings of real human voices.


They are computer generated. I had made a similar comment elsewhere in the forum, and somebody responded with links to the TTS engine from Google. Here they are:




oubliiez vs. oubliez. That stupid case has the same pronunciation. How woıuld I learn that without seeing this forum? I miss those tips !


I imagine that French students learning English have similar fits when confronted with a sentence such as "We put the towels in the closet." Is the verb in that sentence to be understood as being in the present tense? Or is it to be understood as being in the past tense? Same spelling, same pronunciation, but two different possible tenses!

At least with "oubliez" and "oubliiez", the spelling reveals the tense.


"used to "??? really instead of "forgot" ?


Yes. Forgot, a one-time occurrence, would be expressed using passé composé.

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