1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Il y a de bonnes choses à ma…

"Il y a de bonnes choses à manger, si le cœur vous en dit !"

Translation:There are good things to eat, if you feel like it!

March 19, 2015

92 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/glushkov

Am I the only one not seeing anything "idiomatic" in this phrase?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pir_anha

Not in English, no. But "si le cœur vous en dit" is idiomatic in French, since it doesn't mean "if your heart tells you to", but "if you feel like it". I think many of us expected all idioms to be idioms on both sides. But "haste makes waste" isn't idiomatic in French either, for example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaRisa328107

Thanks for clearing that up and putting it in context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/santoshtripathi

Got it.... Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Val390

Si le coeur vous en dit...surely can be translated as ..if your heart tells you so. Duo thinks not!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qu0thraven

or ... if your heart says so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fifi
  • 448

or... if your heart desires (also marked wrong)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bendespain

Yeah, I put that and it marked it wrong 10-28-2015


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fleursmortes

This sentence is actually pretty literal and not nearly as poetic or philosophical as that beautiful phrase,¨si le coeur vous en dit¨ might suggest. Some research has indicated that¨if you feel like it¨, really is a good translation; as is ¨if you're so inclined, if you want to, and more all rather banal yet like ¨s'il vous plaît¨, a commonly used phrase. Ssso appears we were reaching too far in trying to attribute something more profound than simply, ¨there's some good things to eat , if you feel like it!¨.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on.the.brink

Ah, what tripped me up was expecting the entire sentence to be the idiom, not just the phrase "si le coeur vous en dit". I was able to translate the whole sentence literally (well. . . at least close enough to make a stab at trying to find an equivalent English idiom) but for the life of me I couldn't think of an English idiom involving good things to eat if the heart tells you.

So - "si le coeur vous en dit" means "if you feel like it" or "if you have a mind to" -- at least those are the two meanings I found in an old (very old) book "French Idioms and Proverbs" online.

Addendum 7/25/15 - I also found this phrase written as:

si le cœur t'en dit
if you feel like it, if the fancy takes you

In the Larousse Français / Anglais online dictionary under the entry for 'coeur'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlesCassar

Could also be; "If your heart desires" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaRisa328107

That would make better sense. ~3/2020


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanneMari506163

Is thst not overly poetic? Is it that poetic sou ding to French ears or is it more, Have some if you want?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cmccormick8

Why de rather than des?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

When an adjective comes between the plural partitive (or indefinite) article "des" and the plural noun, "des" becomes "de." Essentially, "des" must be immediately followed by its noun, not an adjective.

  • J'ai des amis.
  • J'ai de jeunes amis.
  • J'ai des livres intéressants.

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cmccormick8

Great explanation. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christy.daniels

For the familiar, is it . . . "si le cœur t'en dit" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pinkhajl

Can a native speaker give an example of when this phrase would be used? I don't get it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The idiom is a figurative way of saying "if you want/if you feel like it". Literally, it means "if your heart tells you to". It is an invite to do something that the person may or may not do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyB11

It's a rather sweet way of offering something without obligation to try. In English we might fumble about saying something like, "give it a try, you might like it, but you don't have to. I mean, I won't take offence..."

I've been in that position numerous occasions, and a short but sweet idiom would have helped in those cases! It's one of the things I love about idioms. At least when conversing with people who understand them. It limits any chance of being misunderstood. So learning them in other languages is a huge help, even if we don't recognize it now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ella.mckel

This is my stab at a literal translation; can anyone shed some more light? Il y a (there are) de (because adjective?) bonnes choses (good things) a manger (to eat), si (if) le coeur (the heart) vous (to you, in reference to the telling) en (??I thought en meant some/any) dit (speaks (to you)).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pir_anha

Yes, «de» because there is the adjective «bonnes» before the noun.

It's "your heart" for «le coeur» here because body parts use the definite article when the possessor is clearly identified.

As a pronoun, «en» is a very versatile word and has a number of different meanings, ranging from back reference to specific objects, to merely providing a weak link with what has been said previously, to there only being an implied link. This use often has no equivalent in English and is not always easily translatable.

As a rough guide, usually «en» placed before the verb means "(some) of it" or "(some) of them" -- it or them being previously mentioned. But we don't usually translate it like that, and it can shade into a lot of other, similarly referencing translations as well, or be left completely untranslated.

C’est une histoire fascinante. On devrait en faire un film. = That's a fascinating story. They should make a movie of it.
Combien de soeurs avez-vous? J'en ai deux. = How many sisters do you have? I have two.
Si tu n'as pas de sel, je peux t'en donner. = If you don't have any salt, I can give you some.
Des oranges? Elle n'en a pas envie. = Oranges? She doesn't want any.
Voici une fourchette. Servez-vous-en. = Here is a fork. Use it.
Quel est son prénom ? Je ne m’en souviens pas. = What is his first name? I don't remember it.
Le sort en est jeté. = The die is cast. This is passive construction, and I see «en» used a lot in it; I think of it as equivalent to "thus" or "so" in order to remember.

The closest literal translation for «si le coeur vous en dit» that still sounds like actual English is probably "if your heart tells you so". It might be accepted, but I don't know whether it is. I wonder whether "if your heart so desires" or "whatever your heart desires" are accepted; IMO those would be quite idiomatic in this context, more so than "if you feel like it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilmiocantolibero

All the examples you've provided are excellent -- thanks so much!!! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graham207673

I ended with 'if you so desire' and got shot down in favour of 'if you wish'. Oh well, at least I'm not doing the English course!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anotherdean

There are some good things to eat if you feel like it...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillKresowaty

Why is it incorrect to say, "there are some good things to eat..."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/istranded

"Suit yourself" or something to that effect. Yeah?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amaya-lane

With the translation, « There are good things to eat, if you want them! » (which is currently accepted as being correct), it makes me think of a parent admonishing his or her child for complaining of hunger whilst refusing available food.

As mentioned above, the idiom is actually in the latter part of the phrase, but I can see how you'd arrive at « suit yourself » as a potential meaning.

Maybe we're the outliers, lol.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fleurbs

I think this is more equivalent to "whatever your heart desires", as in: Eat whatever your heart desires! which is more of an idiom than "if you feel like it". Duo did not recognize it though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

The first time I translated this, "There are good things to enjoy, if your heart will allow it." That was wrong. Then I said, "There are good things to eat, if your heart will let you..." Again wrong. Am I the only one who thinks that the heart is actually involved in the idiom?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liskarh

You're not the only one. :)

For anyone who is confused: the idiom (in a case like this) is just something that doesn't mean what it literally says. The heart does not actually speak because it does not have a mouth or vocal chords, for example.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/idiom


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChicagoAmal

I wrote "There are good things to eat if your heart desires". and it was marked wrong. It said, "There are good things to eat if you feel like it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

You’re not wrong. Just report it. Duo lingo is a living work of art. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoeHeron

Why can't I say "there are some good things......."

Please give me an answer. If in fact, I do get an answer, it will be the first time ever, since being enrolled in over a year and a half.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

There’s nothing wrong with that. What else did you say? The problem was not in this part of your answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danfro8989

"there are good things to eat if your heart is in it" marked wrong for that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rosalynnpow

Perhaps I don’t want to eat a dish with my heart as an ingredient.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristyGar987863

When the if clause is not at the beginning of the sentence, there's no comma. It should say: There are good things to eat if you feel like it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick933316

Si le cœur vous en dit. Is the idiom, and the first part of the sentence (good things to eat) is not. So its meaning is something along the lines of: 'as you like it', 'as you fancy', 'as you desire'. Interesting to read all comments, and see what people think it is or might signify.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redactedname862

That seems a little bit weird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trent800414

I don't get this at all, like this can be applied to anything. There are good phones to buy, if you feel like it. See?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trent800414

I'm an idiot, this makes perfect sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deepaknagle

Why not- il y a bonnes choses manger si le cœur vous en dit.

Why are ''de'' and ''à'' required ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

This is one of those points in grammar that occurs. Things that are there to eat are choses à manger. Then, Some verbs require à or de seemingly randomly at first glance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

And...(I know the comment is four years old, and it took two years for me to catch this...)...you're missing the partive article. There are never "...bonnes choses à manger...' Il y a DE bonnes choses à manger..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In this sentence "de" is not a partitive article (reminder: partitive articles are "du" and "de la"), but the plural indefinite article "des" that changes to "de" before an adjective.

"De bonnes choses" is simply the plural of "une bonne chose".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

Always good to see you...I've always taught that, as Laura Lawless puts it: The partitive article refers to an unspecified quantity of food, liquid, or some other uncountable noun. English has no equivalent article – the partitive is usually translated by the adjectives "some" or "any," or may be left out entirely." So, when the french use the preposition "de" to express a non-specific "part" of a whole, I've called that "partitive..." So in that, the plural indefinite becomes the "partitive." Since I've never had a French speaker in my classes in forty years...It's delightful to have all my presumptions challenged. Merci!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I would compare the partitive and plural indefinite articles as follows:

Partitive articles mean "an unknown amount of a mass thing".

The plural indefinite article means "an unknown number (> one unit) of a countable thing".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

Again, thank you...So it boils down to whether or not de bonnes choses à manger...are choses dénombrables....or simply choses comestibles sans compter...As long as it's eaten and enjoyed, the grammar will take care of itself. (8-{)}


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Une chose/des choses" definitely is a countable noun (dénombrable).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/6TY7ty3

i don't get how this is an idiom...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa786

I looked around and conclude that this phrase is very rare on the Internet, and perhaps only the second half of the sentence is the idiom: "si le cœur vous en dit" and so we are being misled into thinking about food when it's just about that phrase, meaning along the lines of "as you fancy" " "as you are moved" or "if you like" http://context.reverso.net/translation/french-english/si+le+coeur+vous+en+dit


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liskarh

A little off topic: How would one make the "oe" in coeur the way it's supposed to be?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The page is in French but the commands are explicit:

http://www.resonomade.com/taper-ligatures/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kitty931359

how can 'it 'be correct, when there are good things [plural]!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa786

if you are referring to "...if you feel like it," then I can explain that the word "it" is referring to the whole experience of eating, not to the good things. In (American?) English, the idiom "to feel like it" means to want to or be inclined to do something. So, for example, I could also say, "you may read more on the Internet if you feel like it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/natburn232

hello friends of the duolingo, i had a problem and was wondering if anyone could help me. My dad left and hasnt come back and mother cant afford to pay for wifi, any good books that could help with my learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bart1991

Not very logic text.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/earlmontanez

I am just commenting so I can refer back to the other users' explanation on why THIS is an idiomatic expression. My head hurts right now trying to make sense of THIS.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spamilton828556

Totally off the subject, but just noticing the flags that go with the languages. For ENGLISH, the flag is the US one, not the UK or England flag. ENGLAND is where English originated, I don't see why Americans take credit for it. Not dissing Duolingo, I love it, Just pointing out a common theme w/ English Language. Anyway back to learning French in Quarantine ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Duolingo is an American business and it is its right and prerogative to teach American English, even when they rebuild their courses according to the CEFR structure (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spamilton828556

but it seems to me that certain courses e.g French are not being rebuilt. I got asked what 'bathroom' (toilet in US English) is in French. I said 'Salle de Bain' and it corrected me as 'les toliettes'. Sorry for being so moany, I just need somewhere to rant cos I have nowhere at the minute ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petemehegan

This problem in particular is fascinating! Salle de bains is what they call a bathroom in Québec...making everything more complicated...but this way you learn all the parochial issues with language. I understand, as Spanish is spoken in so many lands...and that they have no governing Académie, their problem is exacerbated. Les toilettes is used as we use washroom, and, since in many French homes, the toilet is often separate from the bathroom, they will call the toilet the WC, and the bath the salle de bain. The first time I discovered this, living in France, I asked for the bathroom...and ended up with a room with a bath, a sink but no toilet...and a bidet, which I had never seen before in my life! I could not imagine how one would flush, but was very happy I did not have to discover the answer to that mystery at that moment...I only needed to pee.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spamilton828556

I gave you a lingot, thanks for response :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanTully1

Duo uses American idiom. Thus we have "movie theatre" when we Brits say cinema just like the French. English may have orginated in these isles but our American cousins own it as much as we do, it's their ancestral tongue too, there's no primogeniture in languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenny196074

I always get this question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanTully1

"Take your pick" covers it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vidhipup

I wrote the correct answer buy it marked it as wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/harshika.aaa

"There are many delicious meals to eat if you are in a good mood" your welcome


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vesko188580

Doesn't "si le cœur vous en dit" mean "if you are willing to ask"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marisssz

why is it "à manger" when manger already means to eat??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AudreyFern19

But there was not - to word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngelaMcca726291

Why is it de bonnes choses instead of des bonnes choses


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/44-Maxwell

Some of the magic of french is looking at the litural translation, and comparing it to the english equivelent. A small view into the french speaking mind.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Devorah925156

I can't make the connection to why this would be an "expression" or a "saying" in English. I would just say this in English as something to say but not a common expression. Is this a common thing to say in French? Confused. Devorah


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hanzy1003

Um, all I forgot was the comma and period, so why is it wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.DFno70

Just have not written is then wrong

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.