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  5. "J'en ai marre, ils ne parlen…

"J'en ai marre, ils ne parlent que de politique."

Translation:I'm fed up; they talk only about politics.

July 23, 2020



'il ne parle que de politique' sounds exactly the same and should be accepted.


Can a true native speaker please let us know if there is a distinguishable difference in pronunciation, or if the singular and plural really sound the same to you too (as it does to me and many others on this thread)? is it truly purely context based?


Peter got a lot of up-votes because he's right. They sound exactly the same. This doesn't need a native. The phonetic transcriptions of il ne parle que and Ils ne parlent que are both [il.nə.paʁl.kə].

It is always the case that you can't distinguish singular and plural for regular 'er' verbs 3rd person present indicative (and some other tenses) unless there are vowels.

Elles jouent and elle joue sound exactly the same. Ils habitent is different from Il habite because of the liaison.


Great. Thanks for the reply and the explanation. This is one of those things where I always wonder if the "rules" vs "how things are really spoken" differ. It is actually comforting (although frustrating in Duo sometimes) to know that there is no difference.


How can one distinguish in dictation between ils ne parlent que and il ne parle que? Surely they both ought to be accepted


It rejected "i am fed up they talk only of politics". Reported 14 August 2020.


Moi aussi, LeeBrown.

I'm fed up, they speak only of politics = not accepted.

Reported Apr 2021.


DL insists on "...they talk only about politics."

"... they speak only about politics." = not accepted either. Grrr

Reported Apr 2021.


Rejected! July 2021 & reported


"They don't talk about anything but politics." is also rejected. Reporting. 4 September 2021. (With the negative, it's even closer to the French!)


The French isn't negative. Ne .. que works grammatically somewhat like negatives (jamais rien personne plus aucun) but it's not negative.

Your translation means the same thing and is good English, but DL usually doesn't accept things that stray too far from a literal translation.


rejected Aug 2021 - have reported


J'en ai marre was the guitarist from The Smiths


J'en y marre is better ... Some words are better than others!


It's probably just my American English ear, but if I listen to this sentence, without reading the text, I could imagine that the speaker is saying: "Jean et Marc, ils ne parlent que de politique". Is it possible for an ambiguity like this to exist even for an French speaker?


Not really, because there is clearly a difference in the pronunciation.
There is no liaison between Jean and et, but there is one between J'en and ai. Ai and et don't sound the same. You also pronounce the -c at the end of marc.


Thanks for the very useful response.


You're right about the liason and the c in Marc. As to et and ai, many speakers enunciate the difference between et (é) and ai (è) but in open syllables many don't and some regions say é for both. I asked my French teacher (from Normandy) about this and she confirmed that although she makes a distinction, many speakers don't. (Update: my current teacher, from the southwest of French, says he personally makes no distinction in these vowels in open syllables.)


How do ai and et sound different? Collin's has then both as [e]. Are you saying ai is pronounced [ε]?


singular and plural sound the same, without additional context both should be accepted.


Comment pouvait on savoir il/ils et parle/parlent !!!! :(


it still does not accept 'il ne parle que de politique'


"I'm fed up, they speak only about politics." not accepted.!


"I'm fed up, they talk only of politics." Wow! I remembered to say "talk", not "speak", but they got me on "about" and "of". Picky, picky.


May be I'm completle wrong but is it impossible to say "... About politics only"?


Does anyone else use the hints primarily to remind yourself exactly which of several possibilities in English Duo has decided to accept? By no means only in this sentence, but generally.

  • 1679

"J'en ai marre" -- can we say " I have enough" or " I have had enough"?

I personally do not like "I am fed up" and wish to use other expressions. But duo accepts only one.


Given a ' wrong ' because of writing 'speak'. Totally ridiculous!


"they talk only of politics" and "they talk of nothing but politics" are both unaccepted by duo...


Why isn't it "que de la politique" instead of "de politique"


That's a good question. Usually ne ... que doesn't follow the rule that de la becomes de when negative, since it's not really negative.

Google translate give Ils parlent de politique for "They are talking about politics." If that's correct, then perhaps this is one of those oddball cases where the French drop the article in specific idioms?

Maybe Jojo or one of the other French can clarify.

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