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  5. il faut → one/you/we should


il faut → one/you/we should

I am not a native English speaker, so I may be mistaken. The "il faut" phrase seems very close to "you should" or "we should" or "one should" in English. However, these translations never pass at Duolingo. Is this a Duolingo bug or my mistake?

August 25, 2012



I can't see the difference between "you must" and "you should", both of them have the same meaning as "it is necessary that you..."

Il faut que tu lises ce livre = You should read this book = You must read this book

In fact, I'd rather say "you should read" if this is an advice. "Must" seems a stronger imperative.

Am I wrong?


I think the debate could go on forever if we mix conditional and simple present tenses. il faut/faudrait comme from the defective verb 'falloir' - il va falloir que je m'en aille. there are plenty of ways to express the various degrees of obligation : declared, plainly expressed, understated, etc. Each person may use several but in the end, all mean more or less the same. "je dois partir - il faut que je parte - je n'ai plus qu'à partir - il est nécessaire que je parte ...". Now, at the end of the day, it's Duolingo who pre-estimates what's right and what's not. So, try and try again, then when the sentence is finally repeated in the other language, try and remember what the right answer should be (must be, has to be, is needed...).


hello olimo, I am a native english speaker and this happens with mine. I think it is because there is a bug(maybe). If this still carries on why don't you contact duolingo by this address: Walnut St, Pittsburgh, PA, USA


I will post feedback if some people who know English and French well positively confirm that this is Duolingo's mistake.


I am a native English speaker and suspect that "il faut" translates better to "it is necessary" or "you must" rather than "you should" - although my Collins dictionary does include "you should" in some examples.


I suspect that they expect "you/we need to" - for what it's worth, I have tended to identify some of their tricks then write what I am expected to.. even if in this case, "il faut" correctly translates in all your suggestions.


@olimo, as a native English speaker, I'm pretty sure you're right, and I've been having the same problem with "devoir." The owl only accepts "must" or "need to" where I'd almost always say "should."


« Il faut » is better as "you got to/have to/need to/must." Should is usually written conditional, yeah? Like « Tu devrais... » = You should/ « Il faudrait (que tu)... » = it'd be necessary, (you ought to)


I guess I'm completely confused now...

@jena, could you give me some examples with these phrases where the difference is obvious?


"Il faut" and "Il faudrait" is both from the verb "falloir". But "Il faut" means "we must", as it's an obligation. "Il faudrait" is more like "we should", as it's a suggestion.

"Il faut" -- Must do it "Il faudrait" -- I think we must do it

I think it,s subtil, in french as much as in english


Il faudrait que je m'en aille= I should leave/ Faut que j'y aille= I need to go


@Sitesurf, your point of view is very close to mine. I do just what you say: try and remember the Duolingo version. I just wanted to know if it is appropriate to use feedback and suggest adding "should" to translations.

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