"Nous mangeons son riz."

Translation:We eat his rice.

May 22, 2013

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Ok, this sounds very much like ''Nous mangeons un souris.''


I'm glad I'm not the only one who heard we eat mouse


no, i disagree. i think \song.Ri sounds very different than \su.Ri (or \soo.ree in English spelling). one has the IPA vowel \o with a nasal n while the other has the IPA vowel \u without a nasal n (i can't bother to find and copy-paste IPA symbols, sorry), let alone the difference between the pronunciations of "-ons" and "un" and the inequivalence of syllables (look at the pronunciations, \jong.song.Ri vs \jong.UN.su.Ri see the difference?). if you can't differentiate between those (except noticing the extra syllable "un", in that case i'm afraid it's much more serious), i think you have a lot of listening AND speaking work to do in order to grasp French phonetics well. Keep it up the work my friend, peace!


I don't understand a word of what you just wrote, but I think you are being a bit unfair. It sounded like Nous mangeons souris to me too.


Well, it wouldnt be correct grammatically since there is no modifier for "souris" , un, des, les etc.


Rubbish; sounded like souris. You're listening to software here, not a person. (Dear oh dear).


No need to be so pretentious. We all mishear things. Some words are easier to distinguish than others.


Poor dog has no food now...


since when do dogs eat rice!?!?


In non-western countries


Our dogs eat rice


Starving dogs eat anything. In Poland in the villages no one buys dog food. They eat potatoes and scraps of meat


he was being funny cuz one of the sentence said "the dog eat rice"


I know but i work around pet food and they strangely do??!


I answered "we eat its rice" and it says wrong. Why does it have to be "his rice"?


Indeed, it could be 'its' rice if the owner of the rice were not human (animal? company?)


why is Son translated into both "His and Hers" i mean if i said that sentence how do we know whose rice was eaten? thanks


You can't tell. Context and previous sentences will help irl.


The answer can't be "it" if the rice belongs to a person or group of people. I think it could be used if it belonged to an animal as you suggest.


Isn't "sa" feminine and "son" masculine? or am I wrong


In French, possessive adjectives agree with the object, not with the owner. So, "riz" being masculine, you have to use "son".


How do we know it's a girl thought...?


we don't know, in the absence of any context


So depending on context, the sentence could mean "his" or "her" rice? If so, make that a point of note to the learner!


Could "their" be an appropriate translation then?


I understand the French meaning perfectly well. But we aren't translating to French, we're translating to English here. We don't know any specific information on the gender of the owner of the rice in this situation. Rather than assuming (correctly or incorrectly) that they are either male or female, English speakers frequently use "they/their/them" as a singular gender neutral. I realize in French the default tends to be assume male if it's unspecified (IE, using ils when talking about an unknown large group of people, even though they could be all female). It's polite to use singular they whenever you are unsure of the gender. French doesn't have this ambiguity with possessives because the possessives carry the gender marker of the object they describe (son chien vs sa chienne would both translate to his/her/their dog in English, depending on the gender of the owner of the dog).

Here's an example: Quelqu'un a oublié son livre sur la table. Would be best translated as: Somebody forgot their book on the table. Unless you knew who it was that had left their book.



Duo proposes all sentences in rotation: written/dictated, French to English / English to French, multiple choice.

Therefore, not all variants can be available and an English sentence with "his/her" should not translate to "leur", nor "their" to "son/sa".

The priority here is to show the "right" French, even if it means to get back to single and explicit genders in English.

Therefore, when Duo proposes "son riz", you can pick "his rice" or "her rice" but not "their rice".


no, because their = leur


Not in French, unfortunately, singular and plural and masculine and feminine are still used in their prime purposes.


Ah, but their is also commonly used as a singular gender neutral in english.


Thank you for clarifying that rice is masculine.


Ok. THAT is what i needed to know. These user posts are generally helpful, but Duolingo would be INFINITELY more useful if the lessons were linked to a succint summary of the particular grammatical rules that are relevant to reach exercise ... and these enlightening discussions. Thanks.


I heard "nous mangeons souris". Do I just assume that they are not eating a mouse or is there a way to hear the difference?


If it were about boas eating mice, you would have: nous mangeons des souris


Oh yeah, thank you


Why can't we use "their rice"; their being singular genderless in this case due to the lack of a more common English genderless pronoun?


There is nothing like "genderless" possessives in French, since they agree with the following nouns which are always masculine or feminine.

However, "son riz" can translate to "his rice" or "her rice" or "its rice" but you have to keep the owner singular.


No, I mean, since the gender of the owner is not stated, it could be anything when you TRANSLATE it-- you go from gendering an inanimate object to someone who actually /does/ have a gender identity, and you don't want to go stepping on that person's toes by misgendering them. If the owner is actually male, it'd be rude to call him a she (her rice), or if it's actually a girl, it'd be weird to call her a him (his rice); or if the owner is outside the binary, you wouldn't use he/she/his/her at all. So you'd go with something more neutral-- singular "they". (And since it's possessive here, it'd be "their". Their rice.)

"They/their" is the most commonly used pronoun when someone's gender is ambiguous and is not always plural (depending on the context), which is why I think it should be accepted as a translation if someone's gender isn't explicitly stated :I


That I understand perfectly, but it is irrelevant here. When you translate a French sentence to English, you have to demonstrate that you have understood the grammar of the French sentence. Duo offers all variants (his/her/its) which match 3rd person singular in French. Using a plural for a singular or vice versa in French is simply wrong.


Well it would always be son riz because riz is masculine. Because the owner's gender is never explicitly stated why don't we state the gender of the object? If we used 'their' every time then everything would be meaningless.

Also, this is French, not English. I'm pretty sure 'their' is reserved for plurals, and singular they is simply unnecessary.


I put 'nous mangeons sans riz'. Probably doesn't make much sense contextually but neither do some of the examples. 'L'éléphant est rouge' for example. If their actually chosen phrases made sense I think it would help in the listening exercises.


I put the same. I figured they were eating a meal without rice.


"Nous mangeons son riz."- My roommates


Doesn't "son" also mean her?


This sounds like "nous mangeons sans riz" - "we eat without rice". Should be accepted as well, because the sound/pronounciation is exactly the same as it is for the default solution.


How do you know the difference between "his" and "her" if there is only "son"?


If you only have the one sentence, you can't tell whether "son riz" is his rice or her rice (or even its rice, I suppose!). You would have to use other sentences/context to tell if it is his or her.


i answered "we eat their rice", since we are not informed of who owns the rice, man or woman, and in english that calls for the neutral pronome their. Why is that wrong?


You have to switch to the French mind set, where "their" can only mean several owners = leur riz.

So, if you get "son riz", you can translate to "his or her rice" (both will be accepted), but not "their rice".


Sorry, I disagree. If I'm translating from french to english, I need to use the "english mind set", otherwise the translation will mean something different than what was first intended. Now if it was from english to french, then I should use the french logic.


So how will you remember that the French do not use a plural to mean a singular?


That doesn't seem to be related to my point. I will remember by answering other sorts of questions. What I'm saying is, if you pay a professional to translate that text to you from french to english and they (not he or she, since i'm being generic) randomly choose a gender to use, they could be changing the meaning of the text; therefore, it wouldn't be a good translation. I'm sorry to insist on that, but it makes a lot of difference to me to learn the best correspondance between two languages.


the point here is "to learn french", so it'part of it to learn the french mind set.


The point here is that there isn't a point to having singular they in French. So learn to translate it as son or sa or ses. DL contributors do not control languages.


other translation does not make sense ( we eat its rice )


Yes it can make sense: the dog's rice or the rice from a specific country or store or farm?


I said his rice, it says her rice m


"his, her or its rice" are possible for "son riz", because "son" indicates that the owner is "he" or "her" or "it" and that the noun "riz" is masculine.


"Son" means "his", "her" or "their" depending on the context. Would the authors add the plural "their"?


No, we won't. So that you are not tempted to use "leur" when speaking French, which would not be proper French with a single owner.


When do we use son and when do we use sa? They both mean his/her/its. When to use mon/ton or ma/ta? Does it depend on the object?


Yes, exactly. Possessive adjectives, like all other adjectives, have to agree with the noun they modify.

"le riz" is a masculine noun, so "his/her/its rice" will translate to "son riz".

"la soupe" is a feminine noun, so "my soup" will translate to "ma soupe".


We eat "his" rice. But if we put her then it would be right too...? Im confused


Since "son" agrees with "riz" and does not give you any information on the owner (except that it is a singular 3rd party), you can translate it to "his", "her" or "its".


please edit the meaning to show "we eat his/her rice" Could it also mean 'the' rice?


Conventionally, the object belongs to the subject.

If it were "her" rice, the French sentence would have: "il mange son riz à elle".


where to use sa and where to use son?????


It's as simple as for "le, la, les" or "un, une, des": "mon, ma, mes / ton, ta, tes / son, sa, ses" agree with the following noun.


comment dit-on 'our rice'?


My answer as above was marked wrong and told the correct answer was we eat its rice - get your act together Duolingo

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