https://www.duolingo.com/phoebe__theresa

'Le singe marche derrière sa femme'

I originally translated this as 'the monkey is walking behind her wife' and lost a mark, though a) Same sex marriages are legal in france, and many other places in the world where duolingo is used (New Zealand, states of the US etc) and b) Sa is dependent on the gender of the subject, his/her should be both accepted. Yet I lost a life...

September 4, 2013

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/dacm1311

I think Duolingo is right because the possesive pronoun "sa" refers to the gender of the object, in this case "femme", not the subject "le singe".

The same applies to "Sa ceinture" (his belt) or "sa chemise" (his shirt")

November 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/joseph-french

In French, we never say 'la singe' or 'une singe'. We always say 'le singe' or 'un singe' because 'singe' is always a masculine noun.

...so 'le singe' or 'un singe' can represent a male monkey or a female monkey either. When you simply hear 'le singe' or 'un singe' , you are not able to guess whether it is a female or a male.

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/phoebe__theresa

Oh, yeah, I know, I accidentally typed la instead of le, but I was talking about 'sa femme', and how that could be interpreted as his or her wife.

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/anguschan916

So if 'sa' refers to "somebody(a female)'s" rather than "the monkey's", 'the monkey is walking behind her wife' should be considered to be correct. It is because 'sa' could also mean "somebody else's", it doesn't have to be "the monkey's". Am I correct?

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/abuzraigha

you are correct, but the sentence would be incomplete and one need to know what is before it to interpret it as such!

January 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/anguschan916

Alright, thx! :)

January 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/anceps

You're right!

September 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/HK-FTW

It's just how the way it works?

September 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/joseph-french

If we want to mention that the monkey is a female, we say : 'le singe femelle' or 'un singe femelle' ('la femelle singe' or 'une femelle singe' are also correct)

And besides, the gender of the possessive adjective is the gender of the noun, in French, whereas

the gender of the possessive adjective is the gender of the owner, in English.

Anyhow, Duolingo has to think that concerning a lesbian couple, we can say 'her wife'...Some people perfectly have the right to view Duolingo owl 's choice as a discrimination, I agree.

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/joseph-french

Where did you find 'la singe' ?

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/phoebe__theresa

Afjsdf typo, thankyou!

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/joseph-french

ok, ah, ah !

September 10, 2013

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