Even though I personally believe "Do you have an adapter?" is the correct way to ask that particular question, I do agree that the phrase "Vous avez un adaptateur?" should be translated as either "You have an adapter?" or "Have you an adapter?" as "Do you have an adapter?" should probably be asked as "Est-ce que vous avez un adaptateur?" and I am sufficiently pleased with my French progress that I now know the difference. :D
On principle, we should always mirror the register of speech from the original sentence to the translation/
You may remember that there are 3 ways in French to ask the same question:
- Formal: Avez-vous (As-tu) un adaptateur ?
- Standard: Est-ce que vous avez (...tu as) un adaptateur ?
- Relaxed/in speech: Vous avez (Tu as) un adaptateur ?
In English, you basically have 2 registers:
- Formal/Standard: Do you have (US) / Have you got (GB) an adapter/adaptor (2 possible spellings)?
- Informal: You have (got) an adapter/adaptor?
Note: using "tu" or "vous" does not change anything in terms of register of speech.
The singular "vous" is something you use with people you don't know (until you become familiar with them) or with people you owe respect to (your boss, public forces, etc.)
"Tu" is for family, colleagues, friends, people of the same age/activity, etc.
Saying "tu" to someone does not prevent from being polite and speaking proper French. This is a totally different dimension.
Of course, you may argue (you won't I'm sure) that it is undoubtedly easier to say "tu n'es qu'un idiot !" than "vous n'êtes qu'un idiot !", and that "tu" may sometimes connote patronizing or contemptuous attitude, but still, you have to assume this is a different dimension.
I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but having an engineering/electronic mind I certainly do not think of a power adapter when I see the word 'adapter'. Many situations use an adapter to match physical configuration as well as electrical configuration. So, naturally for me, I translated 'adaptateur' as 'power adapter' because I think that is the intended meaning. I was marked wrong. I think the accepted translation list needs editing here.
Thanks, me too. But what I am saying is that is a POWER adapter. It adapts alternating current power at high voltage to direct current power at a lower voltage. On the other hand a digital signal adapter, such as two different sized USB connections is not a power adapter, but a protocol adapter. That is why Duo should accept 'power adapter as a correct translation' ....in my humble opinion.
First of all the french word for power isn't mentioned so you can't insert it into the sentence. That's like saying "une pomme" can be translated into "a round apple". Secondly, power is voltage times current and it isn't alternating or direct. The adapter in this sentence is presumably converting (not adapting) alternating current at low voltage to direct current at extra low voltage. The adapter refers to the plug ends, you are adapting a mains voltage plug to a laptop or phone DC power port, you are not adapting power, current or voltage. The fact that there is a step down transformer installed between the two plugs has nothing to do with the act of adaption. The adapter you're referring to is a power CONVERTER.
Thanks Ozlaps. Agree with most of what you said. I understand where you are coming from using the word 'converter' but I hope you won't be offended if I offer more information. We actually call them Power Adapters because they adapt mains voltage power to the lower voltage requirements (for laptops, mobile phones etc.) with respect to voltage, polarity and current capability. They contain rectifiers, some of which are regulated to provide a stable DC power supply from the mains supply. ( if DC is what is required) or a simple step down transformer if AC power is required at a lower voltage. But this is all irrelevant to my complaint about the phrase 'power adapter' not being included in the acceptable answers list. I'm pretty sure that the French are referring to a power adapter when using the word 'adaptateur' even if the word 'power' is not mentioned. If I am wrong about the intended meaning, please accept my apologies. That is why I am here.... to learn.
In "n'es" and "n'est", the n' is elided from "ne", because "es" and "est" start with a vowel.
"ne" is the first part of a negative: ne... pas, ne... plus, ne... jamais
- tu n'es pas/plus/jamais heureux = you are not/no longer/never happy
- il n'est pas/plus/jamais heureux = he is not/no longer/never happy
so am i right in assuming that saying it like you wrote above is more hurtful than just "tu es un idiot' ? or do i have to include "n' & qu'" ?
sorry for being so pedantic but proper learning is really important to me and i wanna say i truly do appreciate every bit of info that you give and the effort you put into your answers i know it can be a daunting task to write so much and so often , and if u ever want any help with Spanish or italian/portuguese i would be more than thrilled to help although i imagine for a french speaker all the other romance languages are a piece of cake lol , either way thank you from the bottom of my brain and have a great sunday !
Thanks a lot for introducing this, sitesurf, I would always have gone with "tu es un idiot" ! But does your translation of "tu n'es qu'un idiot" as "you're but a fool" lack a "nothing", i.e. shouldn't it read "You're nothing but a fool" or if I take it more wordly but probably more correctly (also thanks for pointing out that "ne..que" means only) "You're only a fool" or "You're a fool, only" ? Thanks in advance !
Hi. The use of the numeral '1' in many Duo exercises is a glitch that has been around for a long time. I have read several times that the development team is working on fixing it. In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with using 'a/an', as you can see at the top of this page. Perhaps your answer had a different issue?
"Avez-vous un adaptateur ?", with a Verb-Subject pronoun inversion is formal, mostly used in formal writing.
"Vous avez un adaptateur ?", phrased like a statement with intonation, is informal and used in speech.
"Est-ce que vous avez un adaptateur ?" is the standard interrogative construction, to be used in speech and formal or informal writing.
With this sentence, you are shown how people speak in everyday situations.
- Avez-vous un adaptateur ? is the formal phrasing
- Est-ce que vous avez un adaptateur ? is standard French (spoken and written)
- Vous avez un adaptateur ? is informal and common in speech (not to be written).