1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "On tombe malade."

"On tombe malade."

Translation:One is getting sick.

December 20, 2012



People in England don't "get sick". They become ill, or unwell, or poorly. "Getting sick" rather implies collecting a bucket of vomit from somewhere.


So in England, you may say "We are becoming ill." But in French, "On tombe malade!" If we were learning how to speak U.K. English, yours would be an excellent point. After we gain more experience, we will all set aside the two-step process of thinking of something in our own language and then translating it word-by-word into French. It seems like a good objective that when we want to express something (in another language), we simply do so without thinking of how we say it in our own language and then translate it. Others have contributed that by continuing exposure to the language, the various expressions and constructs will just start to "sound right." At that stage, we are near to being able to think in the second language and just speak it.


I live in england and I have said "getting/got sick" my entire life


I would say "to get sick" as "to throw up/ vomit/ puke" in Hiberno-English.

But "to fall ill" makes sense as "to become sick" to me.


Maybe they should add second translations for sentences like these. It wouldn't hurt.


They do. Some sentences have literally hundreds of translations.


People in Australia "get sick". They don't become "poorly", think that "ill" is a bit old-fashioned, and rarely become "unwell". I guess we all have to appreciate that there are many accepted versions of "English", and provided we all understand the meaning of the translation, it can only be a benefit to learn how fluid our language really is!

PS. Some Australians like to refer to "vomit" as "spew".


I don't have to add that duolingo is an american start-up ;)


The funding may be mainly from the US, but the founder is not American, at least by birth.


well, since "tomber malade" literally means "to fall ill", they'd better accept it


That's what I wrote, and it was accepted.


We definitely say getting sick in Australia - its a common expression here.


Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of puke. If you were a nurse-orderly you would asked to fetch 'the sick', not to get sick. I've heard the phrase 'get sick' used to refer to falling ill, with or without vomit, on your TV shows


That's doubtful. It's an Americanism for sure. I don't know why so many non-English have such a strong opinion on the English language on this site. The OP is correct in his/her usage of the term. The only time most English will use the word 'sick' is if someone is physically sick. Ill, poorly, unwell it is here.


I'm english, born and raised in England, and I would use any and all of these examples. I'm sick, ill, poorly, unwell. Perhaps it's from America, but it's pretty common place in Britain, at least now.


This one was difficult/took many tries...


It can be considered an expression, "getting" sick or "becoming" sick are simply idioms that vary from country to country, which the french replaced with "falling"


In English it's possible to use the idiom "falling ill" but it's a bid old-fashioned.


One can also "come down" with some kind of illness (like the flu ; ) This expression seems to fit in well with the Fr. use of 'tomber' as per Duo's sentence.


"I fell ill" is accepted.


How come "tombe malade" means "(you) get sick!" in the hint?


The French "on" is used to describe an action without attributing it to a particular actor. In very formal or archaic English this would be translated as "one", e.g. "One gets sick". In more colloquial, modern English it would be translated as "you", e.g. "You get sick". The bracketed subject "you" is probably just used to show one where the subject ought to go.


I'm a bit confused. Isn't "on" in French used instead of "nous"?


Yes, "on" is often used as a replacement for "nous". For example "On y va?" would often translate well into English as "Shall we go?" However, more generally, "on" is often used as a way of describing an action taking place without having the need to attribute that action to any particular actor. For example "On peut le faire" could be translated into English as "It can be done", "One can do it", "You can do it" or (as you point out) "We can do it".


Ohhh... Thank you! :)


I know because tombe means fall...


I putted "we feel sick" and lost a heart. Could someone explain why this is wrong?


Because feeling sick, and becoming sick don't mean the same thing.


Why not "nous tombe malade"?


Nous tombons malade is the correct spelling for tomber in this sentence, for future reference :)


You could write that but you'll have to conjugate "tombe"


thanks for the comparison


Why is it not "on tombons malade"?


"Tombons" is the conjugation for "nous", so you would use it if you were saying "nous tombons malade".


On gets the same conjugation as il/elle.tho, it means we or one.


Doesn't 'On' mean WE? Why is it translated to ONE in this sentence

[deactivated user]

    One can translate "on" as "we" but also as "one".


    one falls ill -- wrong???

    [deactivated user]

      One is displeased with Duolingo.


      "One is getting sick" is one of those Duo phrases that are never heard in real life in english. Unless in a limited context where "one" refers to one of two or more, e.g. One is very sick already, one is getting sick, and two are OK for now.

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