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  5. "L'homme doute."

"L'homme doute."

Translation:The man doubts.

July 20, 2013



couldn't it also mean Man doubts, i.e. it's in the nature of man to doubt?


It could indeed. Since generalities in French are expressed with a definite article (le/la/les), a common way of making this distinction is to use a capital H (when context isn't enough to tell these two meanings apart):

L'homme doute = The man doubts
L'Homme doute = Man doubts


yes, that's what I thought too.


"The man is doubting" appears to bre a reasonable and accurate translation since it means the same as the "the man doubts".


Be careful. There are certain verbs in English that rarely use the -ing form of the verb. For example, in standard English, you almost never see "I am believing you"; it is always "I believe you". Same for "doubt".

See also the comment from MamaBear.


You are right. Reported it.


Reported 11/30/15


In English, there are verbs that are non-continuous (i.e. normally not used with continuous tenses. Those verbs express a state, not an action. Examples of most common non-continuous verbs: - feelings: hate, like, prefer, want, doubt; - senses: hear, see, smell - communication: agree, deny, promise; - other states: be, belong, concern, depend, involve, matter, need, own, possess. Therefore, the man doubts, NOT is doubting. See this for more examples and explanation: https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-continuous-meaning.htm


This sentence is deep.


Yeah, Google shows many links of douter to philosophy and theology books. But it can also be down-to-earth.


On the listening exercises, my mind keeps autotranslating and filling in English first. I'm really glad Duolingo detects that and gives me another chance to fill in the French I actually heard!


Why not "The man has doubts"?


While that might be a fine transliteration, it is not the most direct translation. Specifically, this phrase utilizes the word 'doubt' as a verb, not a noun. It is to be in the act of doubting, rather than to possess doubt.


That would be « L'homme a des doutes ».


This is accepted. I think this is a good translation because the verb "doubt" likes to have an object. "The man doubts." (no object) is an overall character trait or worldview.

Although maybe it's the same way in French?


the man is doubting was rejected. How would you then translate "the man is doubting whether or not he will get married?"


Souldn't be ok "The man hesitates"?


Hesitating and doubting are kind of close but not close enough to be used interchangeably. Hesitating is like refraining from doing something he was about to do. Doubting is not believing something.


I second @thecatpetter, besides there is an exact equivalent in French:

hesitate = hésiter

doubt = douter


Douter et hésiter is the same thing in French, according to petit Robert, but not in English, is that so?


Nope. Douter = to doubt, not being sure about something Hésiter = to hesitate, not being able to make a choice

However, you can use « douter » as “hesitate”, in a formal or elevated language: « Je n'ai pas douté un seul instant » (en faisant mon choix): “I didn't hesitate a single moment” (as I made my choice), but « Je n'ai pas hésité un seul instant » would be perfectly the same.

You couldn't use « douter » in some other contexts, though. If someone presents you with two options and you don't know which one to choose, you would never say « Je doute », but instead you would use « J'hésite ».

To sum up, I'd stick with the straightforward douter=doubt / hésiter=hesitate.


What's wrong with "The man is in doubt"?


To be "in doubt" is to exist in a state of doubt. This phrase is "to doubt", which is to be in the act of doubting.

By the by, they mean the same thing mostly. But the former is not the proper, direct translation of the phrase, as the latter is.


Is "the man doubts it" "l'homme le doute"?


That would be « L'homme en doute ».


@sothisislife101: You admit "in doubt" pretty much means the same thing. In that case it should be acceptable but then again only the exact translations are taken into consideration.


Funny thing, I said "L'homme doute" about 10 times and "L'homme" was always red. Then i said "Homme doute" and it was immediately accepted


Then there is a glitch with the audio listening program. It should definitely be « l'homme doute ».

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