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"They are writing names."

Translation:Ils écrivent des noms.

5 years ago

56 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zootaloo

How do you tell if like foods and stuff are feminine or masculine?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sevillaarvin

Words ending with 'e' are usually feminine like "la famille" or "une poche" or "une pomme", and then there are exceptions which you have to familiarize. Easy enough through repetition.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zootaloo

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SteveMbonu

Those that end in 'au' are mostly male. Un chapeau, un manteau, un château

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mecassid

They need a separate lesson on articles. I'm getting the plurals right, but the articles wrong, and there isn't a clear explanation anywhere! Des vs. les vs. du vs. de la, etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

@mecassid

Checkout this link for an explanation of the French articles.

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_4.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/protocactus_PC

Simply put, des is "some" (in these cases), les is "the" (plural), du is de + le which means "of the" (masculine), and de la is de la which means "of the" (feminine).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marksem
marksem
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why isn't it "Ils sont ecrivent des noms?" Don't you have to include are/sont?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Destabrook

When talking about eating, drinking, reading, writing, ect, you don't say "are" or "is," because it's already implied by the word. Don't ask me why, it's just another thing to memorize. Nice picture by the way.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/koshermal

In a way, '-ent' equalt sont.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

ecrivent just means "write/are writing," so that would be "They are are writing names."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KalebWest

In this case the "are" is part of the "are writing" to show that the verb is in present tense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/busseyb

How do you know if the translation is male or female?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MystMustache

"They" in English translates to "Ils/Elles" in French.

If you have context behind the sentence, like the "They" in this example are boys instead of girls, you would use "Ils".

For Duolingo use, either one is fine if they don't specify.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Triskit

Why not vous?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WeiDeTaiwan

Vous = You

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heytee24

Why 'des noms' and not 'les noms'?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Because les noms would mean that they're either writing a definite set of names (which is not implied in the English sentence) or writing all names in general (which is not a reasonable reading of the English sentence). The English sentence means they are writing some names (where "some" is understood), thus des.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dogend
dogend
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Thank you for the explanation, which is excellent, but I disagree that les noms represents an unreasonable reading of the sentence. Without context it could be an answer and it should be accepted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

Oh? What context can you think of that would put "the" into the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dogend
dogend
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You mean in a story? How about this. A visitor and a guide are on a back-room tour of a museum of natural history. In one room packed with specimens they find researchers with long lists busily tapping their keyboards. The visitor asks, "What are they doing?" The guide answers, "They are writing names." In other words, they are transcribing the names of the specimens. Or how about this: At an animal rights conference an attendee sees a pair of suspicious characters surreptitiously scribbling in little pads and asks a friend, "What are they doing?" "They are writing names," the friend says, as in the names of everyone at the conference, because they're undercover police. In both cases they're not writing a few names or some names haphazardly but all names, i.e., the names. If either of those seem plausible, then les noms would be a plausible answer.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

No that is not correct - in both cases the original sentences by guide and friend are still saying "they are writing some names". In fact your own examples prove this because they have to be asked for further explanation of what names. It only becomes 'the' names in the explanations.

They are writing some names (des noms) just means they are writing an unspecified number of names it does not mean that we could not count the names to see how many there are.

Instead guide says Hey you want to help? Well take this list and write down THE names" - Now we have "les noms"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

PatrickJaye is correct. Neither the indefinite or partitive plural article commits you to something less that the total number. It just means that it's unspecified, which it is because the person didn't say "the" or provide a number.

Now consider this from French-English course moderator DXLi:

"When articles are missing in an English sentence, they must be added to the French translation. The definite article can be used if one of three conditions is met:

  1. When referring to particular nouns that are known to the speakers.

  2. Before the subject of a sentence to state general truths about it.

  3. Before the direct object of a verb of appreciation (like aimer) to express like/dislike.

If any of the above is true, then use the definite article. Otherwise, use the indefinite or partitive, depending on whether or not the noun is countable. In most cases, use du or de la (partitive) for singulars and des (indefinite) for plurals."

So even if the sentence were general (e.g. "What do researchers do (in general)?" "They write names (in general)."), it still calls for "des," because it doesn't fit rule 2 or 3.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/youtubestalker9

i clicked the answer ils ecrivent des noms and it was correct but i still got it wrong

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tigerbread99

SAME

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/French_Khaliel

why when i chose ils ecrivent the said it was elles how can i tell the difference

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sadiehoops

I am so confused with when to put des in front of a word, and when not to.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

"Ils sont en train d'écrire des chats de famille." What does this mean? It was an option.

3 years ago

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

Well, "des chats" means "cats" so to be honest, this sentence doesn't even seem to make sense to me :|

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

"They are writing cats family" This is what google translate has to say.

3 years ago

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

Google translate isn't a very accurate source usually. I translate it fairly similar and it doesn't make sense.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

Then can you tell me about a more accurate source? It's sometimes required.

3 years ago

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

I usually use word reference, however it only only translates one word at a time - not sentences. If you want to translate a whole sentence, it's probably just best to ask someone who knows French well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cricketowens

It shows "Elles écrivent des noms" is another correct translation, but shouldn't "noms" be replaced with "nomes" because of femininity?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

No. The object here is unrelated to the subject of the sentence. It doesn't take on the gender of the subject.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaniceGladstone

What is the meaning of Ils écrivent aux noms? as opposed to des noms?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nhannyb

I though Elles also means they for feminine?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mohumohu

Do we always have to put article before nun? I did like ils ecrivent noms . Isn it right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

Generally in French we are not allowed to have naked nouns. So there will almost always be an article or other determiner in front of the noun.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RasulV
RasulV
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Anyhow, I didn't quite understand why choice 1 is incorrect.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

What was choice 1?

These exercises appear in different forms so not everyone will see it as a multiple choice. Even where it is given as a multiple choice it won't necessarily be in the same order that you saw.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RasulV
RasulV
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it was: "Elles ecrivent des noms." this one and: "Ils ecrivent des noms" both seem to be correct!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

Yes in that case you are right - both should be accepted as correct

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RasulV
RasulV
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thanks Patrick!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrooklynHeaney

hi

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lama.EgypSyrian

what does the first option mean ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/French_Khaliel

why when i chose ils ecrivent the said it was elles how can i tell the difference

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LynnaMarty

i click that and it was wrong...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/4bimic
4bimic
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he is writing sandwiches to his family???

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mrcookies

I had three options, one wrong was "ils écrivent des canards". If the people in the subject are actually writing "canard" it would be right tho

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aucunLien
aucunLien
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well, yes, but it wouldn't be a correct translation, right?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mrcookies

yeah, just kidding

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/koshermal

Ducks ducks ducks ducks ducks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fatih120

Can you not

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/koshermal

Can you?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrFrenchFry1234

Noooooooo

4 years ago