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  5. "Je doute qu'il puisse travai…

"Je doute qu'il puisse travailler avec cette chaleur."

Translation:I doubt that he can work in this hot weather.

March 6, 2015



Why not "that heat?"

March 11, 2015


Should be fine. Speaker may not be in the heat, so the guy working would be in "that" heat - in that other city, or in the sweltering warehouse, or whatever. However, still marked incorrect on 14 September 2015. Reported!


Seems like it should be right to me. Think I'll report it. I thought they were referring to someone working with a soldering iron so that's why I put "that" :)


My great discovery to share is this link...I hope it works...copy paste if not. We DO use the subjunctive a lot in English after certain verbs and words listed on this site and we just are not conscious of it. The link needs to be shared for as people tackle the subjunctive since it throws a lot of people.


thanks a lot, Maria. I was about to give up! Finaly, a light at the bottom of my dark way to Englishsubjunctiveland. Enjoy your lingot!


Accepted November 26, 2015


Shouldn't "I doubt that he COULD work with this heat" also be correct?


"Could" would be Imperfect Subjunctive, or Past Subjunctive. Which instead of "puisse", it would use "pût". Since "puisse" is used you must translate it into the present.


I disagree '- could is not only a past tense verb in English.


I am with you. In this context 'could is definitely present not imperfect. 'Would be able' is also, in my view, a sensible translation. 'Can' is, in my view, not a natural English translation and does not capture the subjunctive sense of the French sentence.


Could you give me an example?


Trying to figure out if that was a really good quip or unintentional, but that is a good example right there.


I dunno. Isn't the French subjunctive and that English conditional or past progressive?


What about "I doubt if he could..."? That seems to be an acceptable way to express it ("if" seems at least as conducive to conveying subjunctive meaning as "that," if not more so).


I think it's because it's in a sentence after "Je doute QUE"


It's correct...it's one of the chosen ways to get around the subjunctive in English


I need your help ! What do you think about this sentence ? Is this incorrect or bad English?

"I doubt that he can work with that heat."


That's pretty much what I was saying. "... with this heat" and "... with that heat" are both perfectly valid English. The difference is subtle: "this heat" implies that the speaker is also experiencing the heat, while "that heat" puts the subject alone in the hot place.


I have never heard 'with' being used in this context. I presume it's yet another regional/geographical difference.


You may be right about the geographical difference. I live in a subtropical climate and hear 'with this heat' all the time. We are moving closer to the equator at the end of the year and when talking about it often hear "How will you cope with that heat?".


Technically, if you say "work with this heat," it means that you are working with the heat itself. So, it really is a better translation to say "work in this heat." However, it is true that colloquially many English-speakers use "with [fill in the blank]" to reference a longer nominative phrase. For instance, they might also say "I doubt he can work with this noise," but what he really means is: "I doubt he can work with this noise [going on]." It is the missing words that are likely cause the confusion here.


"I doubt that he can work with that heat" Perfectly correct if you're talking about the temperature it will be in the future. i.e. "It will be 110 this afternoon, I doubt he can work with that heat".


or in the present: speaker is in an air-conditioned office looking out at a guy working in sweltering summer.


why in the future? i can tell "Pauvre Peter, il fait si chaud aujourd'hui, et je doute qu'il puisse travailler DANS cette chauleur"


I think if you were talking about heat you are currently experiencing you should say "this", however if you're talking about heat you are not experiencing at the moment you're speaking (i.e. you're indoors or at a different time or place) you should say "that" but depending on the situation "with" may or may not be acceptable and when it is not "in" is the best solution. This is because "with this..." is a colloquialism (i.e. "I can't focus with this noise", "He can't get anything done with this rain" or "He can't do his job with these storms".)

As far as a pattern I'd say "with" is only acceptable if what your talking about is directly affecting (usually only hindering) you or whoever your talking about. I would say it is most common when talking about weather so with this/that heat is a good English translation.


Ok, thank you! This tense is a little bit confusing for me. There are so many forms of the verbs in my head :X :) I hope that people don't use this tense very often when they speak French.


what about «with such a hot weather» or «such a heat» ?


Seems fine to me. "With" means "in spite of" or "because of" and probably other better synonyms that are not used in this sentence. "With" is used in this way. "I can't concentrate with this headache." "I can't work [with these tools] with my fingers numb from cold."


In English, we would say "I doubt that he could work with that heat."


"qu'ils puissent" sounds the same...


In this case, you would have to use the context of the sentence (As Duolingo only gives you single sentences, I'm afraid this would be impossible in this instance.) However, if you were having a conversation, you would probably know who the subject is.


It surprises me that nobody else has complained that "avec" should mean "with" in this sentence, and that it makes for a perfectly valid English sentence. I've already reported it, but I was hoping someone else had explained why it's not accepted.


Why was "I doubt that he can work in that heat" rejected because of the "that"? Aren't this and that more or less interchangeable?


I think that *in" that heat is more natural in English. To me, "with that heat" sounds a little awkward. But 'with' might be more likely to be used in other contexts, eg. "How can you think with all that noise?"


Do you reckon ' I doubt IF he can work in this heat' might be an acceptable translation? DL doesn't think so.


Compare these two: Is:
I don't know if DL with respond......

= (or =/=)

I doubt that DL will respond....


I agree with AnnaTall " I doubt if he can work with this heat" should be accepted. Please Duo or at least explain why not.


I do think the sentence with IF should be accepted, I also think that DL translation is better than my suggestion :)


I think that marking incorrect "I doubt IF" comes down to americanisms whereby, apparently, one can write a letter or write somebody rather than writing a letter TO somebody


My immediate response was "I doubt whether ..."; DL didn't like that either. Does now though.


I am wondering why 'je doute qu'ils puissent travailler avec cette chaleur' wasn't accepted. I don't believe there is a difference in the sound of 'il puisse' or 'ils puissent'.


If it was a "type what you hear" exercise, then you are absolutely right. Report!


Yes, I had the same experience. I could be wrong, but it seems to me to be an error on the part of Duolingo.


Can we use "...would/will be able..."?


i think that "DANS cette chaleur" is better then "AVEC"


For what I noticed, "dans" is used in a physical context, as when you're actually inside something/somewhere.


Am I right in thinking that, 'I doubt he can't work in this heat.' would be Je doute qu'il ne puisse travailler avec cette chaleur (with the pas omitted)?


I agree - why not THAT heat??


can we say - je doute qu'il puisse travailler en cette chaleur ?


Why not "I doubt that he will be able to work in this hot weather"?


The subjunctive is still alive in English: I doubt that he be able to work in this heat, is still correct English.


I am doing this lesson on a very hot day actually. Coincidence?


Yes. That's a coincidence. That and your username is one letter off being the nickname I gave myself in primary school (sad, isn't it?).


:). I love coincidences.


Why not "could" instead of "can"?


I doubt that he could work in this heat.


'I doubt he could work in this heat' was rejected. Is 'could' and 'can' not of the same meaning?


I scratch my head when the hover clue for puisse gives can for he she it but for I it translates as am allowed to or am able to. it seems odd that the translation for I is so different from the translation for he she it.


Why "warmth" is not correct ?


puisser vs pouvoir

what's the difference?


Puisser isn't a verb as far as I know. Puiser is. It means to draw (as in draw water) to get hold of, to obtain, and possibly other variants. Pouvoir means "to be able to" broadly speaking.


The stem "puiss-" is what you use to form the subjunctive of "pouvoir." Il peut travailler avec cette chaleur = statement of fact or certainty Je doute qu'il puisse travailler avec cette chaleur = statement of uncertainty


But how are we supposed to know this? There was no explanation for this set of lessons and there doesn't seem to be a fixed pattern for the subjunctive forms. Am I missing something?


You're right that there are no grammar notes for the subjunctive units, which is a shame because those are pretty important and it isn't necessarily obvious to native English speakers, since we don't really go in for subjunctive very much. Although the Duo folks are very busy, I hope and trust that there will be grammar notes for this stuff eventually.

The subjunctive stem "puiss-" for the verb pouvoir is found in Lesson 1 of the 3 lessons in the Subjunctive Present unit. It's irregular (obviously!) and we are meant to slap the appropriate ending onto it.

Here's a quick overview of present subjunctive, including the basics, if anyone is interested. This is going to get VERY LONG, so no one should read beyond this point if they are already comfortable with subjunctive or simply aren't really that interested. :-)

"Indicative mood" refers to when verbs are used in statements of fact, and "subjunctive mood" refers to when there is some kind of uncertainty or opinion involved. "I can speak French" is a statement of fact. "It is useful that I can speak French" is a statement of opinion. "He doesn't believe that I can speak French" is a statement of doubt/uncertainty. "We shouldn't go to France unless one of us can speak French" is a statement of opinion too.

The most common use of subjunctives is when your sentence has two clauses with two different subjects (actors), connected by "que" (usually equivalent to "that" in English). Taking one of the example sentences from the paragraph above, "He doesn't believe that I can speak French" has two clauses - he doesn't believe, and I can speak French. "He" is the subject of the first clause and "I" am the subject of the second clause. "That" ("que") connects the two clauses.

Most present subjunctives are formed by taking the third person plural form of the present tense, cutting off the ending, and adding the subjunctive endings -e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, -ent (for je, tu, il/elle, nous, vous, ils/elles respectively). What this means is that many of your "-er" verbs are going to end up looking exactly the same in the subjunctive as they do in the normal present (indicative), EXCEPT for the nous and vous conjugations, because those endings are different than the usual present tense endings.

So let's take a nice regular verb like parler as an example. Our present indicative third person plural is "parlent." We remove the "-ent" to get the stem "parl-" and then add our endings as follows:

Il est impossible que je parle japonais. (First clause has impersonal subject "il" meaning "it" instead of "he" in this case. Second clause has subject "je." Two different subjects, clauses joined by "que." Requires subjunctive. BUT compare to the indicative statement "Je parle japonais." You can see that it's "parle" either way, indicative or subjunctive, so it looks and sounds the same in subjunctive or indicative.)
Il est impossible que tu parles japonais.
Il est impossible qu'elle parle japonais.
Il est impossible que nous parlions japonais. (Notice that this looks different than the indicative statement "Nous parlons japonais" would look.)
Il est impossible que vous parliez japonais. (Ditto.)
Il est impossible qu'elles parlent japonais. (And we're back to normal, here.)

For "-re" and "-ir" verbs, the third person plural in subjunctive will still look like normal present indicative, but the other conjugations will tend to look different. Let's use vivre as an example. Third person plural = "vivent." Remove the "-ent" ending to get the stem "viv-" and then add our endings:

Mes parents veulent que je vive avec eux. (Compare to the indicative statement, Je vis avec eux. So "vive" and "vis" are distinguishable.)
Tes parents veulent que tu vives avec eux.
Ses parents veulent qu'il vive avec eux.
Nos parents veulent que nous vivions avec eux.
Vos parents veulent que vous viviez avec eux.
Leurs parents veulent qu'ils vivent avec eux. (This verb form looks the same, whether subjunctive or indicative.)

How about finir? You start with "ils finissent," remove "-ent" to get stem "finiss-" and then add the endings:

Il faut que je finisse mes devoirs. (Compare to the indicative statement, Je finis mes devoirs. So "finisse" and "finis" are distinguishable.)
Il faut que tu finisses tes devoirs.
Il faut qu'elle finisse ses devoirs.
Il faut que nous finissions nos devoirs.
Il faut que vous finissiez vos devoirs.
Il faut qu'ils finissent leurs devoirs. (This verb form looks the same, whether subjunctive or indicative.)

Some of the more common irregular stems are, of course, some of the more commonly used verbs overall. Examples:

Pouvoir becomes puiss- plus endings, as we have seen.
Faire becomes fass- plus endings (Il faut que nous fassions attention!)

And of course avoir, aller, and être are just completely irregular, because we use them all the time and why would they be simple and normal, right?!

avoir: que j'aie, que tu aies, qu'il/elle ait, que nous ayons, que vous ayez, qu'ils/elles aient

aller: que j'aille, que tu ailles, qu'il/elle aille, que nous allions (note stem change!), que vous alliez, qu'ils/elles aillent

être: que je sois, que tu sois, qu'il/elle soit, que nous soyons, que vous soyez, qu'ils/elles soient

There is no future subjunctive - we use present subjunctive for anything referring to now or in the future. There is a past subjunctive, which is the forms of avoir or être conjugated appropriately, plus the past participle. "Il était nécessaire que je sois allée au bureau," for example. It was necessary = an opinion. As opposed to the indicative "Je suis allée au bureau" (a statement of fact: I went to the office).

Remember that you can usually get around the subjunctive if you aren't sure whether it ought to be used in a specific situation. For example, regarding the supposed necessity of my having had to go to the office at some point in the past (see paragraph above), I could have got around using the subjunctive by saying "Il m'était nécessaire d'aller au bureau," perhaps, or "J'ai dû aller au bureau." In either of those work-arounds, we don't have two clauses with two different subjects connected by "que."

Finally, if you have borne with me thus far, please note that there are also imperfect and pluperfect subjunctive moods, but you won't hear them spoken, nor will you have to speak them. They are literary and you will probably be able to recognize them when you see them, most likely in older and/or more formal written texts. Don't worry about them.


Thanks so much for this super lesson! Three lingots for taking the time. I also thought I should point out that after I did the first of the set of subj. lessons, clicking on conjugate began to show the subjunctive forms in the chart, which it didn't before. Maybe its a minor glitch but I'm pretty sure the same thing happened with future tense before, conjugate doesn't update until after completing the first lesson - I'm sure Duo will tweak that in time.

I really wonder if French speakers actually use all these tenses when speaking... if so that's quite impressive! I would assume learning to spell correctly would be more of an academic pursuit, but even the relatively easier verbal conjugation is pretty intensive.


What is wrong with "ils puissent"?


If it is the kind of exercise where you type what you hear, then nothing is wrong with that and you should report it.


"Cet homme est tres chaleureux. Quand nous parlons, il est tres gentil. Mais ici, tout le monde est tres mechant. S'il travaillait ici avec nous, je doute qu'il pouvait travailler avec cette chaleur." So: "I doubt that he could work with such cordiality/geniality/sincerity/enthusiasm."


Duo would not accept "I doubt whether he can work..." which to me sounds far better English than "I doubt he can" which seems to be missing a word.


I doubt that he will be able to work with this heat? Pourquoi pas? Puis il n'y a pas un subjonctif futur


I believe just saying in this heat should be enough..


I doubt that he can work in this hot weather.--That was my answer .Please tell explain why it was wrong.


Now "that heat" is apparently accepted. Why not "this heat"?


I can not fit the correct answer in the space provided


In this context can 'je doute' be translated: 'I don't think' ?


I don't see why 'that' is not acceptable. The hot weather could be in another country, along with the worker!


Duo didn't accept "i doubt he can work in this hot weather". I believe it's correct putting it that way.


Someone could be working inside a cabin or a pit and 'weather' would not make sense in that context. Translation dubious.


I doubt that he could work with that heat.

Some regional versions of English preserve the subjunctive: "I doubt if he be working in that heat."


It was 41° C today It was hard to work in the heat ... Duo had me change it to hot weather .. Its been hot for days but today was hotter


"Could" should be used in the case of "possibility" , uncertainty


Should be "heat" not hot weather.

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