Translation:Is the spider behind the cheese?
What if the sentence were "l'araignee et elle.." would you just have to use context clues?
Does "noun conjugate-pronoun" always translate to a question like this? I translated "The spider, is she behind the cheese?" which was wrong here, but is it right in some cases?
I made the same mistake. I think "The spider, is she behind the cheese?" is technically correct, but duolingo marks it wrong because it is an unnatural way of phrasing it.
Guys that is the way they phrase it in French, but you have to translate the meaning into English, not the word by word structure.
I would also point out it's imparting a sex on the spider - an incorrect understanding of the gender of the noun in French.
My answer was "The spider, is it behind the cheese?" which was also marked wrong.
Just put it in natural English. Whereas the French may use the noun set apart from the inversion to form a question, English just includes the noun in the inversion itself, i.e., does "is the spider behind the cheese?" instead of "the spider, is it behind the cheese?" You can say it but it is not typical English.
If you were actively looking for the spider, you can say "The Spider - is it behind the cheese?"
Isn't it ok to impart a gender on on the spider? Say if it was actually a female like the agelenopsis in my window here is definitely female. If so would you use the sentence in the same way or would you need to word it differently to emphasize that the spider was female?
I think if you wanted to say that a spider was female you would have to come out and say it, because grammatical gender in french only indicates the gender of the noun. For example, "Mon médecin est une femme"
Inversion is used a lot in French to ask questions -- Est-elle ici ? (Is she here?), Allez-vous au cinéma ? (Are you going to the cinema?) But if the sunbject is a noun rather than a pronoun, "il" or "elle", depending on the gender, is added after the verb with a hyphen. "Est l'araignée derrière le fromage ?" is wrong -- it would be "L'araignée est-elle derrière le fromage ?" Hope this helps!
It's not completely wrong but in English, you wouldn't say that, you would just say "Is the spider behind the cheese?" However, in French, you cannot say "Est l'araignée derrière le fromage ?" - it's incorrect grammar. You need to say the subject of the sentence twice for it to be correct: "L'ARAIGNÉE est-ELLE derrière le fromage ?" A translator would never translate that sentence into "The spider, is it behind the cheese?" because the extra words are unnecessary in English (and since the French sentence doesn't have a comma in it). If you did want that to be the English translation, you'd probably write "L'araignée, elle est derrière le fromage ?"
It's wrong because 'elle' never translates to 'it', I think. But I entered "The spider, is she behind the cheese?" which was also wrong...
"Elle" and "il" translate to "it" equally often. It's not just for female animals, but for any female-gender noun. "Is the dish behind the cheese?" would be "L'assiette est-elle derrière le fromage ?"
As you know, the gender of the pronoun refers to the grammatical gender of the noun (araignée, f), not the gender of the animal.
No, you can't do that. I'm pretty sure you can only invert subject pronouns (il, elle, nous, tu, je, etc...) If you wanted to phrase the question differently, you could always pull out the "est-ce que," write it as a statement but with a question mark (informal), or add "n'est-ce pas" to the end of the statement (also informal).
In French, it is incorrect to invert the noun subject ("l'araignée") and the verb ("est") when forming a question.
To form a question using an inversion, the noun subject ("l'araignée") remains in front of the verb ("est") and is repeated after the verb in the form of a personal pronoun ("-elle").
Sitesurf describes three degrees of formality when forming questions in French:
- Very formal - L'araignée est-elle derrière le fromage?
- Standard - Est-ce que l'araignée est derrière le fromage?
- Casual - L'araignée est derrière le fromage?
"The spider, is it behind the cheese?", was wrong. It might not be as common as, "Is the spider behind the cheese?" but it is equally valid and one might hear it, especially in such a circumstance.
The spider, is it behind the cheese? <-> L'araignée, est-elle derrière le fromage ?
Good response, I like to see how the punctuation makes it different. I see how the comma changes things. Makes better sense we'd use a comma there in English too if a scenario occurred where we might say it this way:
"Where did it go?" "Where did what go?" "The spider, is it behind the cheese?"
Why did they add elle to the sentence? Is it because spider is feminine and this is the way to ask a question?
'Araignée' is a feminine noun, and as such it should be referred to by 'elle'. The spider could have any sex, but the gender of the noun is what matters here. Note that some nouns do change gender with the sex of the subject - chat/chatte and chien/chienne... But these tend to be with animal that humans bond more with! (The il/elle distinction would change here.)
I’ve made similar comments before. In English you can say “The spider! Is it behind the cheese?” Or as Duolingo indicates “Is the spider behind the cheese.” Both are correct.
It is possible but likely to be an English structure created to mimic the syntax of the French. Just use natural English.
No, the inversion should be formed with the pronoun corresponding to the grammatical gender of "l'araignée" (f), i.e., est-elle derrière la fromage ?
The phrasing "The spider, is it/she behind the cheese" is perfectly normal English. (BTW, most spiders we see at home tend to be female, certainty the larger ones many of whom devour the males after mating).