No, it should still make sense in English when translated to English. This is one of those situations where a literal translation can't be used, because it doesn't make sense. It needs to be changed slightly. Duo has done this in the default translation we see when viewing this discussion. This more direct translation shouldn't be accepted.
Iflana, I agree that a better translation is needed here , and, speaking from three years in the future, Duo has in fact provided a better one since you wrote this post. So good! I'm glad you and others reported this so that the improvement could be made.
However, I think you put too much emphasis on translation. Translating sentences is not the same thing as acquiring a language. Most of us are here to learn French, not to make elegant translations. Many times, education is furthered when we are forced to translate awkward sentences in a mostly literal fashion -- even when the resulting translation isn't exactly great English prose.
The correct translation is listed for me as "I want her to close that menu." There are often multiple ways to express a translation while still maintaining the integrity of its meaning.
That's the correct solution now (2018), but it makes an awkward sentence in English. I assume it means that the speaker wants her to physically close (shut) the menu (as in the booklet the list of food items on offer is printed in) so the waiter can take the order.
I think the right translation would be "I want that she close her menu" This is one of those rare English subjunctives.
Technically it probably is, (http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/vouloir.htm) but the subjunctive is the same as the normal in fermer for il/elle ferme anyway. http://french.about.com/od/verb_conjugations/a/fermer.htm
Because while in English we use the infinitive (to close) for this sentence the French don't. I am fairly sure in French we can only use the infinitive next to another verb. You can't say 'she to close'. I want to close that/this menu would use it - Je veux fermer ce menu. But I want her to close the menu uses a very different construction that is closer to 'I want that she close that menu'. Now if you wanted her to want to close that menu that would be 'Je veux qu'elle veut fermer ce menu'
i don't understand this sentence, not even in english. what is it trying to say?
They are in a restaurant, she has the menu opened (it's a menu with several pages) in front of her. An the other one wants her to close it.
The sentence sounds angry and impatient in English. Does it sound angry and impatient in French?
At the moment Duolingo translates this into English as "I want for her to close that menu" that should be "I want her to close that menu" to pass an English grammar checker.
Using "for" in that position is not ungrammatical, just unusual. It is an example of "for" being used as an optional complementizer. Consider this sentence:
"For her to keep her menu open was very rude."
The word "for" allows "her to keep her menu open" to function as the subject of the sentence. That is (one example of) what complementizers do. (We could rewrite the sentence to avoid the use of a complementizer: "Her keeping . . .") A more familiar example of an optional complementizer is the word "that" in "I wish that you would close your menu."
I realize this is pretty arcane stuff, but I thought you might be interested. If you are, here is a very arcane link:
Je veux qu'elles ferment ce menu.
I tried this, and it was marked wrong (listening exercise). Is there a difference in sound?
Is que used very often in sentences like this? This seems so bizarre to me.
"Je veux que lui m'appelle plus tard." I want him to call me later.
"Je veux que leur m'entendent" I want them to hear me.
Yes, "que" is required here. In French (and other romance languages), this type of sentence uses "que" + subjunctive. In English, we usually use a different construction so you can't translate directly.
- Je veux qu'elle ferme ce menu - I want that she close this menu
- Je veux qu'il m'appelle plus tard - I want that he call me later
- Je veux qu'elles m'entendent - I want that they hear me
Note that the subjunctive is very rare in English so these direct translations sound quite bizarre.
Why would "that" even be a part of this sentence? I'm looking for a grammatical explanation.
The construction used in French to say that one person wants another person to do something is
- [conjugated verb expressing desire] + "que" + [conjugated verb in subjunctive mood]
The first verb could be "vouloir," "préférer," etc.
In English, we have the same construction:
- "I wish that she would close her menu."
And we have another construction that does not use "that" or the subjunctive. It uses the infinitive of the second verb:
- "I want her to close her menu."
French does not use the second construction in this situation. It uses it only when a person is talking about what they want to do themselves:
- "Je veux fermer le menu."
"ce, cet, cette and ces" can mean this/that and these/those.
There is no difference as long as you do not specify "ce menu-ci" which exactly means "this menu" or "ce menu-là" which exactly means "that menu".
As a consequence, any French sentence having a demonstrative adjective but no -ci or -là suffix will translate to the demonstratives this/that or these/those.
Because nothing indicates in the French sentence that elle is a girl. elle can stand for any feminine human being and here, without context, we could even imagine that elle stands for a female animal...
This is a strange sentence structure to me. Can anyone explain why it's written how it is? I want that she closes that menu.
It sounds strange to english speakers because the grammar of the languages are different, i'm brazillian and this sounds fine to me, i think it's because portuguese is also a Latin derived language, so the sentences' structures are similar. See:
Je veux qu ' elle ferme ce menu - Eu quero que ela feche aquele cardápio.
That is cool. It is very challenging for me at times. I simply have to memorise a lot. I would like to understand what purpose "que" even served in this sentence. It simply seems like the sentence would have meant the same thing without it. Just curious, what does "Je veux elle ferme ce menu" mean? I know word-for-word translations are not always feasible and the idea is to express the same idea in the respective language, but I have been shown repeatedly that "que" means "what", which for this sentence makes it seem like "I want WHAT her to close that menu."
"Que" means "that" in this sentence and in many others. In French, you'll always need the "que" when there is a clause following. So it's not correct to say "Je veux elle ferme ce menu." While in English, the word "that" which starts a clause can sometimes be omitted, in French, they keep it. Hope this helps. :D
OK, "Je veux qu'elle ferme ce menu" literally means "I want that she close that/this menu." I think Duo accepts this translation, too. But "Je veux elle ferme ce menu" is just not a correct sentence. :)
what is the difference in pronunciation between "je veut qu'elle ferme ce menu" and "je veux qu'elle ferme ce menu
The audios are more difficult to understand. Also, this translation would be considered bad grammar.
Why is there an L sound between veux and qu? it sounds like je veul qu'elle ferme ce menu. Is this just me?
It's not what we would really say in English but we are being taught to translate, and sometimes the more bazaar phrases make us have to think more?
I wrote "Je veux quelle ferme ce menu" and was marked right without even a correction! I should have been marked wrong for using "quelle", which is a real word, instead of "qu'elle".
In English it's roughly "I want that she close that menu". « que » is a very common word for joining sentences together.
I typed "qu'elles ferment" instead of "qu'elle ferme". But I was marked wrong. They both technically would 'sound' the same, and should both be marked correct, no?
This is one of the many homophones you can find in French. We report all those found in the course for the developers to apply a special filter allowing the plural translation when the original sentence is in the singular, and vice-versa. And in the meantime, we disable the dictation exercise. So I have reported the sentence and will now disable the "type what you hear" exercise.
No criticism here: But I would certainly like to know what this French phrase could possibly mean in English because a direct translation is nonsense. Perhaps it means "I want her to stop serving" or something like that: It does show very well that two languages cannot be translated word for word and that a good translation might in fact share no directly translated words with the original.
I want her to close the menu, because she has been reading it for 10 minutes, the server seems to think she has not made her mind yet, and I am really hungry.