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  5. "J'ai mis la petite table dev…

"J'ai mis la petite table devant le canapé."

Translation:I put the small table in front of the sofa.

March 17, 2015



My French/English dictionary defines 'devant' as follows: before, in front, ahead. In English, before and in front are synonyms, they mean exactly the same thing and may be used interchangeably. My translation, "I put the little table before the sofa' is as correct as DL's. I suggest you make 'before' acceptable.


Perhaps. But being English, it sounds clumsy to me and I would always use 'in front of' . But I would say, for instance, 'I put the table in the truck before (I put) the sofa. 'Before' being used here to denote time not place.


Totally agree. Just because something is a synonym, it doesn't mean that you can expect to be understood when using it in a non-conventional way. When 'before' is used to denote space it's either for a person to stand before somebody/something ("I stood before the King", "I stand before you asking for forgiveness") or in the context of a queue - "They are before me (in the queue)". If somebody said to me "I put the small table before the sofa" I would not understand it. Maybe it exists in American English, but I certainly have never heard it used that way.

[deactivated user]

    I've never heard it or used it that way either (American here). We would say 'in front of'.


    It's definitely acceptable in (British-)English, see Shakespeare's Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 1 for a famous example

    "Is this a dagger I see before me".


    I put little table, but just curious as to whether or not you could translate 'petite table' as 'Coffee Table'

    • 1909

    A "coffee table" would be "une table basse".


    "mettre le table" means "lay the table", or am I wrong?


    lay the (small) table = mettre le couvert sur la petite table


    oups, i first answered as if you were learning english from french, sorry!

    So yes you're right, but that phrase is "a is". If you add a location object like in this sentence, then it's the literal sense that takes over as in "put the table over there"


    why not "I am putting"?


    I am putting is present = je mets

    j'ai mis is compound past : I put / I have put


    Can canapé mean the same as its usage in English (bite-sized finger food)?


    Yes, it can because it is a French word, but not in this sentence.


    I translated it as 'I set the little table in front of the sofa', intending 'set' like past-tense of 'to set <something> down' and it was marked wrong - is this just too semantically specific for Duo or am I really wrong?


    "I placed the small table..." should be acceptable too. No?


    Coffee table should be accepted. Who the hell says 'little table'.


    "couch" and "sofa" are synonyms. "couch should be accepted.


    I translated it as "I was putting the small table in front of the sofa." And it was incorrect. I'm not sure why.


    "I was putting" (continuous past simple) would describe a past on-going action = je posais (imperfect)

    "J'ai posé" is in compound past, which describes a past, one-time and complete action = I put (past simple)

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