"L'homme et la femme écrivent une lettre."

Translation:The man and the woman are writing a letter.

December 15, 2012

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How come it is "écrivent" and not "écris"?


All verbs are conjugated with various forms depending on the subject: j'écris, tu écris, il/elle/on écrit, nous écrivons, vous écrivez (polite and plural), ils/elles écrivent.


Which doesn't make much sense here because we're talking about the singular, "l'homme" and "la femme". Perhaps it changes from ecrit to ecrivent when there are multiple subjects in the sentence?


Yes, it does make sense if you consider that 1 man AND 1 woman = 2 people = plural. Only one other possibility would be 1 man OR 1 woman, which could prompt a singular form of the verb.


Thanks, yes, so pluralization AND multiple subjects requires the use of ecrivent.


It's the same in English. The man "writes" a letter/the man and the woman "write" a letter.


how do you know they are plural I don't hear a difference at all


It's plural because its more than one people.

Its the man and the woman who are writing the letter.

The man writes the letter.

The man and the woman write the letter.

NOT The man and the woman writes the letter.


L'homme et la femme ecrivent _


I agree. The words don't sound very different from one form (écrit) to another (écrivent). For the most part, the pronunciation drops the final consonant sounds. In hearing the spoken language, you'll gather from the subjects or other context which verb conjugation is used. Having the knowledge of the correct verb form is important, however, even if the ends are not pronounced, because the end IS pronounced when followed by a word that starts with a vowel. It's kind of like how we switch in English from "a" to "an" depending upon whether a vowel or consonant follows.


The third-person plural écrivent does sound different. You will hear the "V" pronounced but you have to train your ear to listen for it.


You won't "hear" the difference between écris and écrivent the way you are expecting lingo4me12. You just have to memorize the conjugation in order to know which form to use. Example: I write (j'écris), they write (Ils écrivent). As others have said, your ear will become accustomed to picking up soft sounds in time. Use the links Sitesurf gave above, the are very helpful. Make use of various YouTube videos as well. Seek out others on the web (if you don't have access to people who speak french) to practice with. Study, read, and write down French on your own separately away from Duolingo. Walk around and speak French aloud to yourself and say what words and ideas you can in French instead of your native tongue. You will understand more and more. Remember to have Fun with it!


How do you remember it? Are there any rules?


Yes there are rules and exceptions.

You may first use this: http://french.about.com/library/verb/bl-verbconjugator.htm

Look at basic principles: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/verbconjugation.htm


You may also learn main patterns for regular verbs then irregular ones, but you will mostly learn conjugations as you go through lessons, and you will need to memorize them.


Thank you so much.


Sitesurf, i am well aware of all those things and of what contraction should be used in some verbs but what confuses the most is that when you are using a singular/plural pronoun-- what kind of conjunction of the verb should be used? hope you answer my question. it'll help me a lot. :) merci in advance. :)


This is the full conjugation of the verb "écrire" (infinitive) in indicative present:

j'écris, tu écris, il/elle/on écrit, nous écrivons, vous écrivez, ils/elles écrivent.

[deactivated user]

    woah!!! so... écrivent is pronounced ecri...? that's nasty


    no, "écrivent" is pronounced écriV


    But you have to listen for the v at the end of écriv.....ent. The French expect you to be listening for it so they don't make a great big effort for you to hear it.


    It's not really a question of effort, it's because this sound is soft.


    Only "écrit" and "écris" is pronounced this way. = aykree. Ecrivent (ils/elles) = aykreev


    Why is "le homme" incorrect?


    It's kind of like how "a apple" sounds weird and doesn't roll off the tongue nicely so we say "an apple". The same goes for "Le homme" (Lu um) so it becomes "L'homme" (Lum). It makes the language flow better when spoken.


    In fact, there are some words with so-called "h aspiré" whereas the more common "h" is "h muet". Both of them have no sound, but you don't make liaisons with "h aspiré". Thus it is, for instance, "l'homme", but "le hibou" or "la honte". And there is no way to tell which "h" it is, you have to know the words.


    Call them rather aspirated "h" and non-aspirated "h", but not "mute" h", it's really confusing for English speakers. All the "h" are mute in French, there's only a difference with the liaison they allow or not...


    because the h is not pronounced in french for this word so it is as if it started with the vowel o


    No "h" are pronounced in French, but this "h" is not aspired, you're right.


    homme, habit and "h" or words starting with "h" are treated like vowels are in English. In English vowels are preceeded with 'an' rather than 'a' for easier pronounciation and better flow. Where as, in French, vowels and h's are preceeded with L' or D' in place of la,le, du. EXAMPLES: ENGLISH = An Apple NOT A Apple. EXAMPLES: FRENCH = L'homme NOT Le Homme HINT This happens when the word preceeding the vowel or h of the next word END in a vowel. For example: Les Hommes NOT L'hommes (Because les ends with an S not vowel) Another Example: d'un homme NOT de un homme (Because de ends in an E before a vowel)


    "h" is silent in 'homme', so since 'homme' starts with a vowel sound, l' is used instead of le. Ditto for l'hospital and l'eau.


    L'hospital is old French, not in use now, the word is indeed "hôpital" and not "hospital". See my comment about "silent" h above, all "h" are silent in French, but some are aspirated, some are not.


    Thought it was saying "m'écrivent" or writing me a letter


    Yes, it's because of the "m" of "femme". If the sentence was: L'homme et la femme m'écrivent une lettre", the "m" would have been more audible.


    In google translate the "T" at the end of ecrivent was pronounced. And it went right into the article (like "tun").. Is that how it's supposed to work?


    That liaison: "écrivenT-une" is optional but recommended. It eases the understanding of the sentence.


    when to use ecrivent vs. ecris?


    This is the conjugation of the verb "écrire" (3rd group) in indicative present:

    j'écris, tu écris, il/elle/on écrit, nous écrivons, vous écrivez, ils/elles écrivent.


    what's the difference between tu and vous? they're both you right?


    The "ent" at the end of écrivent is silent! You know it ends with "ent" since its "The man AND the woman" meaning plural.


    I don't understand how ercris becomes ecrivent


    If you understand that "to write" can show as "I write" and "he writes", you will understand that French conjugations are extended with various forms depending on the grammatical person:

    • j'écris, tu écris, il/elle/on écrit, nous écrivons, vous écrivez, ils/elles écrivent


    Bah. Keep writing "Les femmes" instead of "La femme" Is there an effective way to tell them apart?


    Yes, there is, if you practice listening to the difference in pronunciation between LA and LES. (same as between BAT and BET in English) Otherwise, there is often something else to give you a clue, like a verb, adjectives, etc.


    I'm noticing in reading these comments that a lot of people seem to struggle with articles. Just listen for differences in each, because le, la, and les all sound different.


    Why can it not be they are writing "the letter"? It sounded like this to me from the voice, honestly I'm getting frustrated with the sound quality.


    How do you tell the difference between e and é?


    what do you mean: the sound difference between e and é?


    Yes. Do you just need to know the word or can you tell by hearing someone say it?


    sound é is EH (THEY) and sound e is EU (THE), but at the end of a word, -e is generally mute (unless it si a very small word, like le, me, se...)


    You need to know the spelling, but if you give me a word, as I know the accent rules, even if I don't know this word, I can guess where to put an accent, and what kind of accent. In you case, there are rules, but you should memorize their spelling.


    qui peut m'expliquer pourquoi "write a letter"? i don't konw a et an ...


    A is the indefinite article used when referring to not any particular one of a class or group. It can also be one.

    An is the same article in the form used when it is followed by an word that starts with the sound of a vowel.

    A apple is difficult to speak smoothly in English so the letter n is added to a to make a smoother sound.

    A apple = difficult. An apple = easier. Article changed to make it easier

    A newspaper = easy. No change to the article

    So un/ une can be translated to a or an depending on the first sound of the word that follows.

    A/ an is gender neutral like most words in the English language. The proper form to be used has nothing to with gender.


    Can someone explain to me, what's the difference between the accents é and è?



    é = e

    è = ɛ


    How can I make a difference between femme referring to wife and femme referring to woman? ?


    If "femme" or "fille" is preceded by a possessive, the meaning will be "wife" and "daughter" respectively.

    Note that "ma femme" can be understood as a married or non married partner.

    For a married woman, you will get "mon épouse" (ma turned to "mon" in front of a vowel)


    Please pardon my poor knowledge of french.. But is there any difference between the pronunciation of mange, mangez, mangeon and mangent??


    -Please, not first that: "an" and "on" in French are nasalised sounds.

    -Mange = (for "il", "elle") = manj

    -Mangeons = (for "nous") = manjon (the "e" is only there to allow the "g" to be pronounced as a "g" in "giraffe" and not a hard "g" as in "guitar". (same role than the "u" in "guitar")

    -Mangent = (for "ils", "elles) = manj, same pronounciation than "mange", the "nt" are only there TO BE A WRITTEN MARK OF THE PLURAL, but has no role to play in the pronounciation.


    You can go to Google Translate, enter just about any word in pretty well every language, click on the icon in the bottom right corner and they will give you a reasonable idea of what the word sounds like.

    Much more reliable sound than Duo. Knowing what the words should sound like will help you identify the presence of subtle differences that may actually be available in Duo's rendition but are obscured.

    Google translations, themselves, are not so reliable.


    I don't see why it can't be plural l'hommes instead of l'homme, singular. I'm so confused.


    There is not such contraction as l'hommes. The contraction l'homme is such because "le" ends in a vowel and "homme" begins with a silent "h". In "les homes," "les" ends with an "s" so there is no possibility for a contraction.


    If 'la femme' is in the sentence then why is homme suddenly '`L'homme' why is the L in home?? please someone help :(


    La femme means "the woman", L'homme means "the man." In French, "H" is usually silent when used at the beginning of a word. You cannot have le homme becuase the "h" is silent and "o" is a vowel, so it is contracted to "L'homme". Note that "The men" is not contracted, it is "Les homme" and a liaison is used in pronouncing it.

    Exceptions to this often happen with words borrowed from other languages. In such cases, contractions aren't used and liaisons aren't allowed.


    thank you for the detailed answer, i understand now :)


    pause. how am i supposed to know that ecrivent means write i'm only 4% fluent french people


    But you know it now, don't you? When you see the French sentence, you can mouse-over the verb and see a hint. You can also click on Conjugate. It will tell you all the forms of the verb écrire.


    is there a difference between ecrive and ecrivent while spelling i couldn't hear it perfectly


    "écrive" is valid for "je, il, elle" and "on", but this is subjunctive mood.

    In indicative present, the 3rd person singular is "il écrit" or "elle écrit", and the 3rd person plural is "ils écrivent" or "elles écrivent".


    thank you so much but i was trying to ask about pronunciation difference


    This answer was given already: the verb endings -e and -ent are equally mute (all verbs).

    This means that the last sound you hear is that of the last consonant: V

    So "écrive/écrivent" both sound "ekreeV"


    thank you so much :)


    I would like to know if anyone knows a good site for learning the subjugate for different verbs? Like for Ecri"s" and Ecri"vent". There is a "vent" instead of a s.


    I dont understand when to use ecrivent


    Every time the subject is a plural third party or 3rd person plural pronoun:

    • Paul et Pierre écrivent
    • Les enfants écrivent
    • Ils écrivent
    • Elles écrivent


    What's the difference between ecris and ecrivent?


    This is the conjugation of the verb "écrire" (3rd group) in indicative present:

    • j'écris, tu écris, il/elle/on écrit, nous écrivons, vous écrivez, ils/elles écrivent.
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