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  5. "Il part après qu'il a mangé."

"Il part après qu'il a mangé."

Translation:He leaves after he has eaten.

December 17, 2012



Does this sentence make any sense?


I got this wrong the first time too. The only way I see it can make sense is if it refers to a habitual action: "He leaves [every morning, for example] after he has eaten."


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'!


A father comes home after work and finds a very unsuitable boy sitting next to his daughter at dining room table and says, " He leaves after he eats." La fin


Yes, it is correct and precise English.


Why would "He leaves after he ate" be incorrect?


flaneurdubois, It is incorrect because the present tense should not be combined with the past as it is in these two clauses. It should be "He left after he ate."


I put in "he left after he ate" and it was wrong.


Because "il part" is present tense.


I wrote "he leaves after he ate" and was marked wrong. Should this be reported?


That wouldn't be accepted because one part is in simple present tense and one is in simple past, meanwhile "he leaves after he has eaten" has a part in simple present and another in present perfect. "He leaves after he has eaten" is a general statement.


Isn't that completely different from "He leaves after he has eaten"?


Yes it is. "He leaves after he has eaten" is exactly right. "He left after he ate" changes the verb tenses.


"He leaves after he has eaten" and "He leaves after he ate" are both wrong in English but the former is accepted. The only correct answers would be "He left after he ate" or "He left after he had eaten". The only way to use 'leave' would be "He will leave after he has eaten".


"Il partait après qu'il avait mangé" or "il partait après avoir mangé" would express a habit in the past.

"Il partira après qu'il aura mangé" or "... après avoir mangé" would express a habit in the future.



Every morning he eats breakfast. When he has finished his breakfast he leaves. He leaves (each morning) after he has eaten.



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.



Isn't that a past habit as in - "He used to leave after he had eaten"

How do we express his current habit of leaving each day after he has eaten?



Yes indeed ;)

It is useful to get your confirmation of the meaning of the original sentence as so many contributers to this discussion thread seem confused.


@ PatrickJaye In that case (habitual action) wouldn't it be passé imparfait rather than composé?



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.


'He leaves after he has eaten' is perfectly ok in English as a general statement. That is what he generally does - 'he leaves after he has eaten' - a present continuous


Sooooo true. These sentences of several lectures must be re-edited I work my b... off to totally golden every lecture but go nowhere under these translation


He is leaving after he has eaten. Makes sense and should be right. Doesn't il part normally translate to he leaves, he is leaving?



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?


Thanks for explaining all this. These fine points make me doubt I could ever really speak French well.


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?


So I got most of the way through working out this when translating into English, but decided that "He leaves after he has eaten", describing an habitual action, would be in the imperfect tense. Why isn't it?


An imperfect would be possible if the story were in the past:

Il partait après qu'il avait mangé = he left/used to leave/would leave after he had eaten.


"He is leaving" is not the same as "He will leave". However, the habitual action comment makes sense. "He is leaving" is a single action versus an habitual one ("He leaves").



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."


Good point, but this sentence has no future time marker.



What is the meaning of "He is leaving after he has eaten" if it is not referring to a point in the future?

If it is that he is leaving in the present wouldn't it be "He is leaving having eaten" or "He is leaving now that he has eaten".


Question: "I see he is leaving. Has he eaten?" Answer: "He is leaving after he has eaten."

One could also form the answer using the variations you mentioned.


Or maybe the question is "When is he leaving?" Answer "He is leaving after he has eaten" ;)


Thank you for the clarification; I had the same problem.


very interesting, thanks, I was just coming here to ask the same thing...


Thanks a lot. You both have explained my question.


Thanks for that info, it is much appreciated.


How to differentiate parle and part?


The "parle" is pronounced with quite a noticable "luh" on the end - "il parluh". Il part just ends with an "ar" sound:




A better sentence would have been (with accents...): Il va partir apres qu'il a mange." meaning He will leave after he has eaten.


'He left after he ate' was rejected and I can see why but 'he leaves after he ate' is not correct English. 'He leaves after he has eaten' must be the correct solution.


"He leaves after he has eaten" is now given as the correct answer.


Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think in French there would be a tendency to use le futur antérieur.

Il va partir (ou: il partira) après qu'il aura mangé.


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.


'He leaves after having eaten'

is accepted.


It looks right.

  • 1716

Why is there a "que" before "il" as in qu'il Why cant the sentence be "il part apres il a mange?" Also, why is mange not in the infinitive?


It's 'mangé' rather than 'manger' as this is the past tense - 'he has eaten'.

As I said above, I think this is an odd combination of past and present tenses, seems a bit strange to me.

As for 'que'... sorry I don't know. It's just how they say this kind of thing in French.


Why can't I use "il part après avoir mangé"


Because it is a past infinitive that is not taught yet at this stage in the course.


This is a transliteration, I'm afraid. Otherwise the best equivalent in English would be: He leaves after eating (e.g. breakfast)


Why is there a "que"?

  • 2443

The "que" here is a conjunction. It introduces the clause "he has eaten". Contrasting examples: "Il faut manger." Because "manger" isn't a clause, it doesn't require "que". "Il faut qu'il mange." Here, "il mange" is a clause, so it requires the conjunction "que".


"après" by itself is a preposition, but prepositions cannot be used as conjunctions, this is why "que" is added to form the conjunction "après que", like "bien que", "pour que", "afin que", etc.

  • 2443

In English, we often drop the "that" and let it be implied. "We know (that) he is there." In fact, dropping the "that" is encouraged in the name of brevity if the meaning remains unambiguous. Some authors will edit their texts ruthlessly striking out unnecessary "that"s.


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.


I know that and have no problem with understanding that. The problem with this sentence is that I've never seen "after that" used in this way, when translated literally (hence the English translation given uses "after", not "after that").

  • 2443

Perhaps Sitesurf can explain the "que" in "Je dis que oui". "Oui" is not a clause, but I sense that "que" here is a conjunction. Is a clause such as "je suis d'accord" implied?


Actually in "je dis que oui", "oui" is used as a replacement for something much longer.

Il m'a demandé si j'avais fini mon travail et je lui ai dit que oui (oui = que j'avais fini mon travail).


Thank you! Now that makes sense! I never understood the "que" either; I just figured it was a quirk of the language.


Doesn't "he ate" also make sense?


No as it mixes the tenses. He leaves is present while he ate is past.

He is leaving (he leaves) after he has eaten is the only thing that makes sense in English.

Read the thread. This has been explained in greater detail earlier.


''après qu'il AIT mangé'' fait beaucoup plus de sens que 'a'...


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.


I wrote "He WILL leave after he has eaten" since in French the present indicative can also mean the nearish future -- same meaning as "il va a partier apres. . . etc." Marked wrong. I'd say "live and learn" -- but I just don't trust Duolingo translations.


This requires future anterieur, which literally would translate to: He will leave after he will have eaten. Il partira après qu'il aura mangé.


Why not, he left after he had eaten?


Il est parti après qu'il a mangé".....He left after he had eaten........I believe this is the correct way to say what you wanted to say. "Il part" means he is leaving, or he leaves. This does sound awkward to me as well.


Since eating is even further in the past than leaving, you could even use plus-que-parfait as follows:

Il est parti après qu'il avait mangé.


What's the purpose of using "que" in here?


Sitesurf explains that earlier in this comment thread


Since the present is often used in place of other tenses when the timeline is established I'm still baffled why the more natural "he left after .." is not accepted.


How about "he is leaving after he has eaten"?


I too put he is leaving after he has eaten _ why is it wrong?


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"


Should be accepted


I wrote "he is leaving after having eaten" which was marked wrong and the right answer was "he leaves after having eaten". In other lessons something like " he leaves" and "he is leaving" are treated as equally correct, what's the magic trick here?


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.


I agree - this is just something to chalk up to DL not having that translation yet.


How is "il a mangé" "he eats". Thats what duolingo told me!


"He leaves after he has eaten" is accepted but "He leaves after he ate" is not. Very odd.


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.


I also think "he has eaten" is better in this context.


Well, unfortunately, when we were asked to translate this sentence into English, the correct answer was given as "He leaves after he eats." I had entered "He leaves after he has eaten." and it was marked wrong. Should be fixed.


I guess it has been, because "He leaves after he has eaten" is now (24May16) the given correct translation at the top of this page. Thanks for reporting the error.


Why is there a "qu'" before "il"?

  • 2443

"Après que" is a conjunction meaning "after". Je mangerai après que je me lave les mains. "Après" alone is a preposition. "La fête était après l'examen."


Why is 'he leaves after he has eaten' incorrect?


It shouldn't be, unless it got dinged because it wasn't capitalized. It's exactly the translation at the top of this page.


I wrote "he is leaving after he has eaten", which makes perfect sense in English but was marked wrong.


Why is a "qu" in this sentence?

  • 2443

"Que" is needed because what follows is a clause. "Après que" is the conjunction meaning "after". You'd say "…après qu'il dorme" and "…après le chien" because "il dorme" is a clause while "le chien" is not.


Merci, Patrick Jaye


I guess the "qu' " is part of "apres", I used "what he ate" and it's incorrect. Any thoughts?

  • 2443

Après que is a conjunction, joining two clauses. Il part is one clause; il a mangé is the other. Après by itself is a preposition, adding a word or phrase. Après l'éclair on entend le tonnerre (after lightning we hear thunder).


What is the difference between "He is leaving after he has eaten." (which I got wrong, and "He leaves after he has eaten." (which I supposedly should have written)?


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


Ha-ha, I did this as a listen-and-translate exercise but in a noisy environment I heard, "Il parle après qu'il a mangé." So I imagined this person to be an after-dinner speaker.


The French is Duolingo is not superb to be honest but it's free and will at least increase vocab


Duo is primarily for beginners; superb French is for very advanced learners.


Do you know of any site that teaches superb French for free?


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 !


Thank you so much!

The last part isn't applicable for me because I'm in a really underdeveloped country, where there's next to no "proper" libraries (let alone libraries with websites that Rosetta Stone will allow).


Glad I could help!


I was taught that 'apres que' must be followed by the subjunctive. Comments please/


There may be some confusion with "avant que".

  • avant qu'il ait mangé (subjunctive)
  • après qu'il a mangé (indicative)


What is the difference in translation between the sentences using the subjunctive and indicative moods?


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.


That's right: there is a higher degree of certainty with "après que", at least in present and past tenses.


Thanks Typo3000 and Sitesurf!


Why is he leaves after he ate wrong?


You are using two separate tenses together. "leaves" just doesn't work with the past "ate". "has eaten" implies that he left right after eating. I don't really know how to explain. Please wait for Sitesurf's response.


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.


Why apres que and not apres

  • 2443

Après que is a conjunction, joining two clauses. Il part is one clause; il a mangé is the other. Après by itself is a preposition, adding a word or phrase. Après l'éclair on entend le tonnerre (after lightning we hear thunder).


A koala eats shoots and leaves. Michael Corleone eats, shoots, and leaves.


@ibnsina786, that is great! Haha. What a difference punctuation makes.


There are a lot of comments here, so I don't know if this has been said before, but I entered an incorrect answer, and Duolingo gave me "He leaves after he eats." Wouldn't that be an incorrect translation?

  • 1419

would "ate" work in place of "has eaten"?


I wrote: He leaves after he ate. But it was corrected: He leaves after he eats.-I do not understand it.

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