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  5. "Quand mon pauvre mari est mo…

"Quand mon pauvre mari est mort, sans toi, je serais devenue folle."

Translation:When my poor husband died, I would have gone crazy without you.

June 24, 2013



I'm sorry to be critical, but the English version if this sentence is a mess. Just not good. Better would be "if not for you, i would have gone crazy when my husband died"


Yeah, the English phrase is really clunky and awkward.


I was given the translation "When my poor husband has died, without you, I would've become crazy." This translation contains both past and present and not in a way that makes any sense. The man isn't dead yet. :-(


Why is 'devenu' not accepted?


From what I understand, it's because a woman is the speaker of the sentence -- "folle", not "fou" -- and when etre is the auxiliary verb, the participle must agree with the gender (and number).


My audio is definitely a man's voice!


In a lot of countries, it could be a man or woman speaker. In that case, it seemed that devenu should work?


I think what tab.o meant is that "folle" dictates the speaker is a woman. If the speaker were a man, he would have said "fou".


Ah, I think I see: I should have originally said that I got the sentence as an English-to-French translation. So, it was my answer that had included the devenu. (That said, this was quite a while ago—maybe I had used devenu with folle, which had caused the error.)


Unless it was a gay marriage, the person with a husband is a woman.


I realise the grammar of the last clause here makes the present tense of the first incorrect, but how in general do you distinguish between "he died" and "he is dead"?


You'd use "he died" to refer to a moment, and "he is dead" to a fact still true today.


He meant in french


The pronounciation of "folle" is terrible


Don't use a male voice for this sentence. It is very confusing.


Why not "When my husband is dead ..."?


"mort" is both an adjective and the past participle of "mourir". In both cases it translates as "dead."

Quand il est mort [adjective] = When he is dead;

Quand Il est [aux. verb] mort [past participle] = When he died; When he has died.

So they look the same. In this case, you know it cannot be "When he is dead" because of what comes after: " je serais devenue folle/ I would have gone crazy," which is past conditional.


Because that's not correct in English. French uses être for mourir, English doesn't use to be, but have. French: je suis mort. English: I have died.


Why does 'mort' use 'être'?


I think this verb tense is too difficult for Duo to teach because in American English, we are not so rigid in our phrase order. For example, we could put "without you" 1st, 2nd or 3rd in this sentence and it would be no big deal as long as you put the commas in the right place. Here, the wrong order is the wrong answer and you get dinged.


Why can't I begin the phrase with ´Without you, when my poor husband died, I would have gone crazy'?


Might need to change the accepted answers with marriage equality. The "je" could now refer to a man, making it "devenu".


Is this how it works in France? In England, two men would be 'civil partners' and the term husband still only legally refers to 'husband & wife'. It's an interesting point though - I don't know what the legality is in France or if they have specific language for these circumstances?


Since 2013 (year of the legalization), every occurence of wife and husband has been replaced by spouses in our law texts.

For the @SueWaller comment, je could refer to a man (physically speaking), but we don't care. In this sentence, folle clearly states that the speaker is a woman, or at least female gender self-identified. So we need to keep devenue.


In the US, it is now fairly common to use "wife" or "husband" for same-sex marriages, which have the same legal status as opposite-sex marriages. My gay/lesbian friends seem to use it quite deliberately as a way of saying "my marriage is a real marriage."


Tricky! I heard "Quand mon" as "Comment", "mari" as "Marie" and "folle" as "Paul", which gave me a sentence that made no sense whatever. Good exercise in distinguishing sounds.


Why are the write what you hear the most complex things they use. It would be much easier to learn if they would give simple phrased instead.


And not only that, now you can't hear the clear male voice, but only the woman's voice, which is as clear as mud.


I don't think in these days you can guarantee the assumption that the speaker is feminine.... just saying "quand mon pauvre mari est mort, sans toi, je serais devenu fou" could easily be said in a modern context.


What do you mean by "modern context"? Are you talking about same-sex marriage or about gender identification?
In both cases, the speaker may not be a woman/feminine, but is clearly female gender self-identified. The speaker has chosen folle and you cannot change it.


When just translating from English, this should indeed be correct. In the listening version, you clearly hear 'folle' thus 'devenue' must have the 'e'


Plot twist: he is the one who killed her husband.


Thought of that. Thought it could have been her as well. We'll never know ;-)


Does "je serais devenue folle" mean "I would have gone crazy" or "I would have become crazy" or both? Because in English, I'd say "going crazy" and "becoming crazy" are two different things.


It means both. Know that in French, you can't say "aller fou/folle". It's always "devenir fou/folle".


'gone mad', for English English.


And already accepted here.


“. When my poor husband died, without you I would have gone crazy”, should be accepted


That's already accepted. Check your sentence again.


interesting that this was accepted as correct before "Quand mon pauvre mari est mort, sans toi, je serais devenu folle." (with no e in devenu...)


With the new format, the exercise which asks you to click the words in the boxes to reconstruct what you hear has become VERY MESSY (at least on my laptop). Words overlap each other.


Why there is a comma after toi?


I missed the commas which hasn't been a problem before

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