"They are writing names."
Translation:Ils écrivent des noms.
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.
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.
Checkout this link for an explanation of the French articles.
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).
why isn't it "Ils sont ecrivent des noms?" Don't you have to include are/sont?
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.
ecrivent just means "write/are writing," so that would be "They are are writing names."
In this case the "are" is part of the "are writing" to show that the verb is in present tense.
"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.
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.
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.
Oh? What context can you think of that would put "the" into the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence?
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.
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"
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:
When referring to particular nouns that are known to the speakers.
Before the subject of a sentence to state general truths about it.
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.
i clicked the answer ils ecrivent des noms and it was correct but i still got it wrong
"Ils sont en train d'écrire des chats de famille." What does this mean? It was an option.
Well, "des chats" means "cats" so to be honest, this sentence doesn't even seem to make sense to me :|
Google translate isn't a very accurate source usually. I translate it fairly similar and it doesn't make sense.
Then can you tell me about a more accurate source? It's sometimes required.
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.
It shows "Elles écrivent des noms" is another correct translation, but shouldn't "noms" be replaced with "nomes" because of femininity?
No. The object here is unrelated to the subject of the sentence. It doesn't take on the gender of the subject.
Do we always have to put article before nun? I did like ils ecrivent noms . Isn it right?
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.
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.
it was: "Elles ecrivent des noms." this one and: "Ils ecrivent des noms" both seem to be correct!
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