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"Cheese is easy to cut."

Translation:Le fromage est facile à couper.

5 years ago

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rfonseca

Why is the "Le" necessary before fromage?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Generality, universal truth: to be constructed with definite article le/la/les

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Azuremars
Azuremars
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Short and effective. Thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mphillips85

I can't keep straight whether to say à couper or de couper. Is there a rule to remember when to use each?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The trick here is that a number of adjectives (facile/difficile are the most frequent) may change their postposition (à or de) depending on how the sentence is constructed, ie

• impersonal : "il est facile de" or "c'est facile de" + infinitive

• or not impersonal : "quelqu'un" or "quelque chose est facile à" + infinitive.

Examples:

• il est difficile de refuser = impersonal construction meaning "we find it hard to refuse"

• elle est difficile à refuser = (l'invitation) est difficile à refuser

• il est difficile à décrire = (le tableau) est difficile à décrire

• il est difficile de décrire ce tableau

There are a few others: "dur", "bon", "commode", "pratique", "utile", "indispensable", maybe others that don't come to my mind.

• il est (c'est) dur de monter la pente / la pente est dure à monter

• il est (c'est) bon de connaître ce mot / ce mot est bon à connaître

• il est (c'est) commode d'utiliser cet outil / cet outil est commode à utiliser

• il est (c'est) pratique de manipuler ce couteau / ce couteau est pratique à manipuler

• il est (c'est) utile/indispensable de savoir les bases / les bases sont utiles/indispensables à savoir

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Timmer2
Timmer2
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thanks for that! Very good explanation. What about the other other adjectives, the ones that don't change their preposition? Do they all take de?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mphillips85

Ok, I think I've got it now. Thank you for clearing that up.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vamagman

Isn't "the cheese" impersonal? Evidemment non!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/harris39

Wouldn't the French translation offered technically mean "THE cheese is easy to cut"? Shouldn't this English sentence really be translated as "DU fromage" rather than "LE fromage"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Would you say "some cheese is easy to cut" ? probably not, you would rather say "it is easy to cut cheese" and then the French would be "il est facile de couper du fromage" because "du" would come after "couper" and not after verb être.

With the construction in English: cheese is easy to cut, you claim a general statement, "in general", as a fact that everybody would agree with. In that case the French uses definite article "le/la/les" and not the partitive "du" which would mean "a non definite quantity of cheese is easy to cut".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mmarkey

I don't quite follow why you say that it's OK to use "du" in your example, when it is still referring to the generality of "all" cheese.

What would the sentence: "il est facile de couper le fromage" mean then?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
ThanKwee
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@mmarkey

"Il est facile de couper le fromage" = It is easy to cut the cheese.

"Il est facile de couper du fromage = It is easy to cut cheese.

Cheese is easy to cut = Le fromage est facile à couper.

The cheese is easy to cut = Le fromage est facile à couper.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lanaroth

The sentence is not refering to a certain amount of cheese. It is refering to cheese in general. "Cheese is easy to cut" so if some type of cheese is easy to cut i still don't see why you can't say "Du fromage". Yes, in english you wouldn't say "some cheese is easy to cut" but Du fromage" can be translated to just "cheese" so it should be accepted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pachamami

As usual, a brilliant answer. Thanks!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChanBeauge

For this reason I put "c'est facile à couper du fromage" and still got it wrong

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The preposition changes with the nature of the subject:

impersonal subject: il est / c'est facile de couper du fromage real subject: le fromage est facile à couper.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enothere

we have learned du / de la, and we know that means "some" or "not a certain...", but sometimes it is not directly translated. so agree with you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/simulacre

Would it also be correct to say "Le fromage se coupe facilement"?

If I remember correctly, you can say "La baignoire se nettoie facilement."

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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you are absolutely right!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/simulacre

Thanks. Which version sounds more natural, the reflexive one ("... se coupe facilement") or the more literal translation ("... est facile à couper")?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Both are used, interchangeably.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NicVdE
NicVdE
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Le fromage "C'est" facile a couper. ça devrait être bon....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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This is correct as an emphatic formula: "le fromage, (comma) c'est facile à couper"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-Agustin-

à, de, de, à, à, de, de, à, à, de, de, à... I give up!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lukman.A
lukman.A
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Don't give up! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blofeld13

Especially when you are in the elevator by yourself.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ValerieMeyers

Why not: on peut facilement couper le fromage?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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It is correct and meaningful. But Duo intended to teach you the construction of "facile à + infinitive".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ValerieMeyers

thank you. Duo succeeded!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hhkarimi

If we replace 'le' with 'de', is it still a sensible sentence? "De fromage est facile à couper."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You cannot replace a definite article by a preposition. Please back translate: "of cheese is easy to cut"

This sentence is a generality: in general, cheese is easy to cut.

In French, generalities use the definite articles le, la or les.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hhkarimi

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Subalzero
Subalzero
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Can you say "Le fromage est facile de couper"? And when do I use à and de after an adjective?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Please read above (@17th post from the top).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chinmayhej
chinmayhej
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Can't we write "simple" for "easy"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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simple = simple

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyWelch1

If the cheese is masculine, why does easy remain feminine?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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There are tons of adjectives with an -e at the end in masculine, therefore identical in masculine and feminine:

Just a few of them for your information: vide, fade, dupe, rare, âcre, apre, pire, sage, sage, fixe, pauvre, large, calme, arabe, tiède, raide, acide, aride, avide, beige, belge, rouge, riche, moche, sale, ovale, noble, frêle, drôle, ample, digne, terne, jaune, avare, sobre, obèse, dense, lisse, leste, juste, vague, brave...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaydarKaraoglu

Why not Le fromage est facile pour couper?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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It would more or less suggest that you use the cheese to cut something else.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chairmanmuhc

I'm still confused as to why we need the preposition at all. The infinitive includes the word "to", so what purpose does "à" serve?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/steve843457

this is my question also. Isn't couper = to cut

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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In English "to cut" can be an infinitive or a specific construction with the preposition "to" + verb.

In French, infinitives are single words in their own right.

There are a few verbs that can be followed by an infinitive with no need for a preposition:

  • aimer/aimer mieux, aller, compter, croire, daigner, devoir, entendre, espérer, faire, falloir, (s')imaginer, laisser, oser, penser, pouvoir, prétendre, savoir, sembler, sentir, valoir mieux, venir, voir and vouloir.

But after an adjective, you will always need a preposition, "à" or "de" to introduce an infinitive.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoseErnesto
JoseErnesto
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These kind of sentences make me think about giving up... "Le" or "de" or "du"...

1 year ago