As Duolingo has been giving a number of these sentences with similar grammatical structures, I'm guessing that this is correct French, but if we translate literally it doesn't work.
It's frustrating, because more sensible English translations ("He leaves after eating") sometimes don't work. Ah, well, it's all part o' larnin'!
I was responding to Hasen6's comment indicating that "the only way to use 'leave' would be..." + a future tense.
Of course expressing a habit can be done in future, and also in past (my example), and also in simple present:
- (tous les matins), il part après qu'il a mangé/après avoir mangé. - that is what the original sentence says and means.
You're dead-on for the most part. While lots of people are pointing out a correct context for the translation, it's extremely unnatural grammar without that context (which is not provided).
DuoLingo asking us to translate into rarely used English isn't helpful. Esoteric translations are, in fact, one of the main critiques of DuoLingo that I often see when reading reviews.
My guess here is that the habitual action is "him leaving" and not the "eating". So, because he "has eaten" it is an action completed in the past so it's passé composé. Personally, I find the difference between passé compsé and the imperfait one of the most difficult things to get right in French, especially in circumstances like this.
You raise an interesting point and although it has already been discussed on this thread I thought it was worth adding a few points to my previous comments elsewhere.
To confirm my thoughts I have had a chat with @Sitesurf our foremost native speaking expert on Duo. So I'm not claiming full credit for the following reply - I am really just letting you know what she says.
Also elsewhere in the thread - @jesuisunmonstre and @DDCorkum have given the correct answer to your question.
You are right that "He is leaving after he has eaten" makes sense but it is not a correct translation of this particular sentence.
You are also right that "il part" can often translate as either "he leaves" or "he is leaving" but in this sentence the correct translation is "he leaves".
The given sentence "Il part après qu'il a mangé" refers to a habitual action. "He leaves (each day) after he has eaten".
Your suggestion "He is leaving after he has eaten" is in effect "He will leave after he has eaten".
French is much more precise in its use of tenses and so to achieve your suggested sentence we would need a future tense construction.
"He is leaving after he has eaten" = "il partira après qu'il aura mangé"
In effect - "He will leave after he has (in the future) eaten"
This requires "partir" in the future tense and "manger" in the future perfect (futur antérieur).
Can we get your post shifted to the top of the thread? It's such a looooong one! I've only just seen it and already reported the translation as an error... which i now realise (thanks to you and Sitesurf) it is not. ;-) Perhaps if we all up vote it, that will do the trick?
Keep at it and you will do fine. It takes some work but keep in mind that French is actually much more logical than English and doesn't break the rules as often as English does.
Yes it is hard work to learn a new set of rules but once you have them and practice them it all fits together very well.
Also keep in mind that speaking with an accent and making a few mistakes is FINE and only really stuffy people will mind at all.
If you mean you might never get so fluent nobody could tell you weren't French, well, maybe. But you would never get that far anyhow without spending a great deal of time actually speaking French with French people - i.e., living in a French-speaking environment - and in that case, I think you'd pick up these fine points from your daily exposure to the language.
So no worries, right?
Yes true, as stand alone sentences "He is leaving" and "He will leave" are not the same but if we add a future time marker then they will mean the same thing.
So for example what is the difference between "He is leaving in ten minutes" and "He will leave in ten minutes."
Yes, future tense of partir makes the most sense. But why not "partira" rather than "va partir"--He will leave rather than he is going to leave, which of course both mean the same thing. I said "he is leaving after he has eaten," which is a formulation that one would often hear in English (because people are imprecise with tenses) and seems the same as "he leaves" but it was gonged wrong.
Whether a relative pronoun or a conjunction, the French "que" cannot be dropped.
- nous savons qu'il est là = we know he is there (conjunction)
- c'est l'homme que je connais = he is the man I know (relative pronoun)
"Je dis que oui/non" is almost interchangeable with "je dis oui/non" in the name of brevity as well, and both could also be properly written like "je dis : « oui/non »". It is actually the kind of things you say without thinking in the flow of some story telling.
But as soon as there is a full subordinate clause after the main verb, "que" is absolutely indispensable.
You need to use the indicative after après que. Using the subjunctive in this case is a common mistake made even by many Francophones.
I think in their heads they think that since "avant que" calls for the subjunctive that "après que" must as well. This is not the case.
Well, my guess is that the meaning of the sentence has shifted a bit.
Although "is leaving" is technically in the present tense, combined with the phrase "after he has eaten", it is clearly referring to a time in the near future. "You don't need to make up a bedroom for him. He is leaving after he has eaten."
In French, they would throw all of this into the future. As DDCorkum explains further up the page, it would then be, "Il partira après qu'il aura mangé"
The explanation is that, though it's true that "il part" can be translated as "he is leaving", the rest of the phrase (after having eaten) renders the present continuous ungrammatical in this context; you have to translate it with the present simple.
For example, even though you can say, "J'aime manger des oranges" (I love eating oranges), it would be grammatically incorrect to translate that as "I am loving eating oranges." Perhaps there's a more elegant explanation out there.
I don't think "he is leaving after having eaten" is wrong. I think it's just a translation DL hasn't yet put in its database. Report it, that's what we're here for.
Edit: Also, "I am loving [whatever]" is acceptable English, although it's a turn of phrase I find a little overly cute.
Later Edit: See PatrickJaye's meticulous explanation for why "He is leaving..." does not convey the meaning of the French sentence.
It isn't, really. "He leaves (present) after he ate (past)" is just wrong in English. You can, however, combine the present tense and the present perfect - as "he has eaten". The present perfect tense implies an event in the very recent past, quite often right up to the present.
Here's an example - telling a story in the present tense:
John wakes up early, ready for his first day of school. He dresses carefully and goes downstairs, where his mother has prepared his favourite breakfast. His best friend is waiting to walk with him, and he leaves after he has eaten and kissed his mother goodbye.
Native English speaker: it does not make sense to use Present continuous to describe an action regarding a completed past event. By saying, "he leaves ..." followed by a past action, it describes a habitual action. The sentence is really not tricky. Here are some different versions of something one might say (not what this sentence says, though).
- il part après qu'il mange = he leaves after he eats
- il part après qu'il a mangé = he leaves after he has eaten
- il est parti après qu'il a mangé = he left after he ate
- il partait après qu'il avait mangé = he would (used to) leave after he had eaten
You could take a look at Français Authentique (www.francaisauthentique.com). It's aimed at learners who have a good grasp of written and spoken French, but who still do not feel like they're "conversationally" fluent. It's mostly video-based (videos are housed on YouTube), with transcripts on the website. Those who want more can also purchase lesson packages. At the highest level, there's also an "academy," but it has limited membership and I believe is currently closed. Another option that I also use is only available as an iOS or Android app, not a website, is called MosaLingua. It's more similar to Duolingo in the way it's organized, but it teaches phrases and slang and is generally at a higher level than Duo. There is a free version of the app that's good to start with. Then, if you decide that you want more, you can upgrade to the paid version (still only like $4.99, I think) and if you want still more, there are specific packages that you can buy within the app. Finally, check with your local library about their resources. I am able to use Rosetta Stone by connecting through my local library's website. I just have to give my library card number, just like checking out an e-book. Bonne chance !
In French, you usually do not have a choice.
The two phrases above are mutually exclusive, which means that if you use a subjunctive with "après que" and/or an indicative with "avant que", you will be incorrect.
This does not affect your translations to English, where the use of a subjunctive is rare and sometimes optional.
Other than the time span, there is absolutely no difference in English:
- before you have eaten
- after you have eaten
Is there any logic as to why "après que" doesn't take the subjunctive (or is it just one of those things you have to memorize)? I would have (and probably have) used it as well because of the "que." Are there any other "____ que" phrases that don't take the subjunctive?
As I see it, the subjunctive is mostly related with possibility and probability (as in, doubts, alternate ways things could've gone, etc.). Something like "après que" has nothing related to any possibility, it's purely indicative (e.g.: X does y after x does z). Keep in mind, this logic doesn't always hold up. Many are just arbitrarily set phrases which must be used with the subjunctive.
Passé composé may indeed be translated into either Present Perfect (he has eaten) or Simple Past (he ate). However, the presence of the leading clause forces us to use only the Present Perfect here. It has to do with the perspective of the person making the statement. For example,
- Il est parti après qu'il a mangé = He left after he ate. This sentence refers to a one-time occurrence.
- Il part après qu'il a mangé = He leaves after he has eaten. This sentences suggests a habitual action that 1) he eats, and after he has eaten, he leaves.