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"La casquette, c'est la sienne."

Translation:The cap is his.

November 26, 2014



What's the difference between a hat and a cap?


All caps are hats, but not every hat is a cap. It seems to me that a casquette refers specifically to a baseball cap or something similar.


I second that. To me (in America, if that matters), a cap is pretty much exclusively a baseball-style hat. That is, caps are a strict subset of the set of all hats, to use set theoretic jargon :P


hat=chapeau cap=casquette


Why are all the genders assumed to be male in this app? Can't "la sienne" be used for both?


"la sienne" agrees with the object owned, "la casquette", not with the owner, who can be male or female (his/hers).


It may be either "the cap is his" or "the cap is hers". The feminine gender of "la sienne" agrees with "la casquette". The French "la casquette, c'est la sienne" is ambiguous as to being "his cap" or "her cap". If you want to be specific, you could say "la casquette est à lui" or "la casquette est à elle". These may not be very French. Then use, "La casquette, c'est à lui/elle". The latter is typical of French expressions, by offsetting the subject and following with another phrase using "c'est ...." English does not naturally use such expressions, but rather says simply "The cap is his" or "The cap is hers". I'm sorry to say that the most reasonable English translation does not make it convenient to back-translate to "La casquette, c'est la sienne". So would you rather have good English or nice statistics for how the expression is translated? For me, I much prefer natural English.


Mnemonic: If you wear a "cap" and get hit in the head, you'll end up in a "casket" If you wear a "helmet" and get hit in the head, you can go home and drink another "cask"


Somewhere I missed a beat. Even though I got this right my first inclination was to write " La casquette est la sienne." Why wouldn't this be correct again? Why do we need to say, "it is hers" (c'est)


Read through the comments, this is already covered. But in brief, you are correct. You could just say that, but this formulation is also correct, and is used for extra emphasis. It's just a way the French have of putting it - it's idiomatic.


...and that answer is accepted as well.


How does "the cap, it is hers." Translate into French?


La casquette, c'est la sienne.


Yes, This is the point made above!


It is really infuriating that Duolingo is so inconsistent about when it wants "it is" vs. "that is", especially when both are correct.


If you proposed "the cap that is his/hers", it has another meaning: "la casquette qui est la sienne", and this is an incomplete sentence.

It would at least need a comma or a pause in speech to be understood as "the cap (here that I point to), it is his/hers".


No, I'm saying "the cap is his" is a perfectly correct translation, and in fact better than the one that is accepted.


"the cap is his" back translates to "la casquette est la sienne" or "la casquette est à lui", so it is not totally faithful to the original sentence.


"The cap is his" is being accepted now.

We wouldn't really say "The cap, it's his" in English. (Though we could say "That cap? It's his.") Can you describe the difference in feel between "La casquette, c'est la sienne" and "La casquette est la sienne"?


"La casquette, c'est la sienne" has the same feel as "The cap? It's his/hers".

You may consider the formula "Le/La (noun), c'est..." as an emphasis on the focus of attention, or as if you said "if you ask me, the cap is his/hers".


Thank you. Then would there be much difference between "La casquette, c'est la sienne" and "La casquette? C'est la sienne." ?


Only in the tone of voice. Whenever you ask a question, be it phrased properly or not, your voice raises on the last syllable.


It must seem that way. But just because it says "The cap, it is his/hers" does not mean that is the only way to translate it to English. The syntax "la casquette, c'est la sienne" is very French. A natural natural English translation is "The cap is his" or "the cap is hers". Idiomatic English does not follow the French idiomatic syntax. Don't get too focused on the display answer. Sometimes it is written in a literal way to make it easy for you to see how the reverse translation will be formed.


So, in French, the context that will say if the owner is feminine or masculine ?


Right, the context that we usually don't have. That is why both "his" and "hers" are accepted.


Sorry, but this does not make sense. Duolingo won't let me pass. I try to say the right answer (which doesn't even correctly fill in the blank) and it says I am wrong. Help!


For clarification, that's as a multiple choice, fill in the blank exercise


Pearson, I'm guessing. Sigh...please provide a screenshot and/or report. There've been a few problems with Pearson 'leaking' into the course and the answers not being correct. It was interesting. They just sent me a survey around the same time there was a 'leaking' incident. Let's just say I was a little harsh. :P


Are you talking about the controversial Pearson English tests that contained many errors?


I wonder what went wrong with this...


I have disabled the Form Exercises (fill in the blank from 3 options) because there seems to be another bug in the program.


How come sienne sounds like chienne?


Because "chien" sounds like "sien"... and "rien", and "bien" and "italien"... just a coincidence.


So just to clarify... the audio of "la sienne" in this example sounded identical to "la chienne" just now (female dog), i.e. sh-i-en, both on fast and slow, which led me to check here for any discussion of this point.

Should I understand from your reply to DevinM.4 that this is just glitchy audio that should be heard as "s-i-en", or should these words correctly be both pronounced the same way, with a "sh" sound?


I believe it is a glitchy audio. The words rhyme but sienne and chienne start with an /s/ sound and a /sh/ sound respectively.


Why is everyone pre occupied with the exact definition of casquette and not getting on with the lesson? Move on folks before someone introduces Beret.


I put "that" instead of "this", I thought they were interchangeable? Or did I miss something?


I think it just sounds weird to use use "this" and "that" to refer to the noun you just stated. Usually, the pronoun you would us is "it".

The cap, it is his/hers" just sounds better.

IMO,"this" and "that" are called demonstrative pronouns because they help identify the particular thing one is talking about, as if pointing to it. So when you say, "the cap", and you didn't say "this cap" or "that cap", then the assumption is we know the cap you mean. So the normal thing is to refer to it by the third person impersonal pronoun "it".


Well, I constructed the sentence in English as "That cap is mine" because that's the more natural English translation. (We don't do the emphasis thing the same as I recall.) Duo's correction only changed "that" to "this!"


Oh I see what you were talking about. First of all, you should know that when you give an answer that is completely off, Duolingo gets confused and gives you a weird response, highlighting the wrong thing--although I must say I've not known it to suggest a wrong answer; it just will highlight the wrong thing and give some weird explanation.

la casquette can never be "this cap" of "that cap". It can only be "the cap"

The word la is a definite article before a feminine noun.

Had the sentence started with "that cap" then the French phrase would have been cette casquette.

Does that make sense, or did I once again get the wrong end of the stick?

Also, another mistake la sienne = his/hers

For the sentence ending to translate to "mine", you would have had la mienne in the French sentence.

  • la casquette, c'est la sienne = the cap, it is his/hers

  • la casquette c'est la mienne = the cap, it is mine


I guess I was taking some stylistic liberties. In English, you wouldn't really say, "The hat, it is hers," would you? I mean, I wouldn't, unless I was trying to be funny.

From my hazy memories of high school French class, the French language uses repetition before the sentence as a form of emphasis. For example: "La femme, elle est mon sœur" or, "Désirée, elle est ma femme." You would not say, "The woman, she is my wife" or, "Desiree, she is my wife" (unless you were talking to Desiree about your wife, Cindy, I guess).

So my use of the declarative was intended to show that emphasis. But maybe I was being too clever?


Personally, I do think Duolingo should allow "the cap is his/hers" as a correct answer, because in English we don't usually use a noun and its pronoun together like this. It is usually one or the other. I can remember back in elementary school getting in trouble for saying "me I don't know", instead of simply "I don't know".

But Sitesurf says earlier in this thread that it is not accepted because it is not faithful to the original sentence. Back translating is usually helpful in showing how far you have gone from the original sentence. In your case, you went from "the cap (it) is hers/his" to "that cap is mine".

From your using "that" where you were supposed to translate la, it gives the impression that you don't know that la is the definite pronoun "the".

Also you believed your using "that" showed emphasis, but all I get is that the cap was not close to you. Unless you are speaking whereby you can show emphasis by a dramatic pause after saying "that", the only way we would know there was emphasis in something written is if you used italics or bold font, which would be completely lost on Duo.


So how do we know the gender of the owner? Is it purely through context?


If you want to make it clear what gender the owner has, you can use the form de + lui (male) or de + elle in the third persons


What you can do is to add "à lui" or "à elle" after the noun:

  • c'est sa casquette à lui (it is his cap) or c'est sa casquette à elle (it is her cap).

But in the construction here, you cannot distinguish "his" from "her", neither with "de" nor with "à".


I'm afraid your post is kind of confusing because it is hard to know what you mean without an example of the grammar you are proposing in use. Right now it seems as if you are saying that we can write "la casquette, c'est la sienne de lui/d'elle" which I don't believe is correct. So can you explain what you mean?


whats the difference between "le sien" and "son"? Don't they both mean "his"? how do you know which one to use?


"Son" is only used before a noun for possession, so you could say "sa casquette" (his cap - casquette is feminine so you need sa, not son), but you can't use it on its own. To translate "It is his" you need something that can stand on it's own as a pronoun, which is the function of "le sien." (note the definite article) A bit confusing because in English one word fulfils both functions.


"Son" (and "sa") are possessive adjectives, e.g., sa casquette = his/her cap. "Le sien" and "la sienne" are possessive pronouns. "Le sien" takes the place of a previously mentioned masculine noun (and it means "his" or "hers"). "La sienne" takes the place of a previously mentioned feminine noun (and it also means "his" or "hers"). Perhaps this has influenced the development of the very French habit of mentioning the noun first (La casquette) and follow with "c'est la sienne". To be more specific, one could say "La casquette est à lui" or "La casquette est à elle".


I am beginning to see patterns in the spelling of words to add le or la but cant fathom how la casquette is his cap and le casque is hers...maybe i misread



"La casquette" is a feminine noun just as you guessed.

"Le casque" is a masculine noun.

We cannot tell whether either is 'his' or 'hers' from the given French sentence.

"La casquette, c'est la sienne" - can translate as both "The cap is his" and "The cap is hers". That is because the possessive pronoun "la sienne" agrees with the gender of the thing owned and not necessarily with the gender of the owner.

"Le casque, c'est le sien" could be either "The helmet is his" or "The helmet is hers"


"sienne" is an adjective that it is not much in use nowadays.

But the pronoun "la sienne" means "his" or "hers" when the possession is feminine.


Howdo tell the difference in recorded sound of "cela" and "c'est la"


The "e" sounds are different. I can't type them here, but if you look in a dictionary you will see that they use different phonetic symbols. C'est is like the e in "get," cela is like the e in "the" (not "thee"). Also, you will know from context because "cela sienne" is impossible and doesn't mean anything.


why not the helmet is his?


helmet = un casque (for bikers, cyclists)


Isn't la sienne = hers and le sien = his?


No, it corresponds with the noun. Since the noun = the cap, is feminine, you use "la sienne" but it translates to both his and hers. Confusing, I know.


Thank you for that clear explanation!


If you were standing in front of a man and woman, and another person with a cap in their hand asks you "Which of these two people does this cap belong to?", how would you say (without pointing) whether it is "his" or "hers", since "c'est la sienne" can mean either?


Again, French possessives - adjectives and pronouns - agree with the thing possessed, and do not give any indication on the owner.

his/hers = "le sien, la sienne, les siens, les siennes", depending on the object's gender and number.

In the specific situation you are describing, you would say "la casquette est à lui" (his) or "la casquette est à elle" (hers).


Merci! C'est clair!!!


I believe you could say à lui/elle instead of la sienne.


This just seems so wrong. How can one tell the difference between "It is his" and "It is hers" if "la sienne" is definitely female and "le sien" is male.


As a bit of a technical correction, "le sien" is masculine and "la sienne" is feminine. These are completely grammatical terms and don't have to relate to biological sex/actual gender.

As far as telling his from hers, you'd tell from context, or by using "à lui/elle" instead.


See explanation from Sitesurf immediately above.


You can't guess the owner's gender. Context would tell.


Should be "her" answer of this questin. Because " la sienne".


This question has been answered already. Please get into the habit of reading before posting.


So since casquette is female, it is la sienne and if la casquette is owned by a male, it would be "La casquette c'est ???


"Une/La/Cette/Sa casquette" remains a feminine noun, whoever owns it, so "c'est la sienne".


The same. The gender of the object is determinative, not the owner.


Is the sentence not a feminine construct? La sienne?


Not sure what you mean. La sienne refers to the feminine object in question: la casquette. The person to whom it belongs could be male or female.


It could also be 'the cap is hers', but that was scored as incorrect on a test.


It absolutely should be accepted. Perhaps some other mistake was made?


I am confused about the possesser,is it his or her.


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