"Ils jouent à quoi ?"

Translation:What do they play?

December 22, 2012

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Not quite , I think. In French, "jouer à" introduces the name of a game: ils jouent au Scrabble, for ex. Including games with no accessory, like: ils jouent à cache-cache, ils jouent aux cow-boys et aux indiens. Now "quoi ils jouent ?" is not correct. You should say "qu'est-ce qu'ils jouent ?" or "que jouent-ils?" for musicians or actors, but the verb "jouer" is then transitive (no preposition needed)

December 22, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/clares
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I believe an old English sentence structure is "they play at cricket". It's not used anymore but it is useful to remember, as it's the direct translation of the French and has the same meaning. I could be wrong!

May 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dhMuse
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We still have "play at" in certain situations, for instance, as an expression describing some type of deception or hidden strategy. "I can't figure out why he wouldn't give me his number. I wonder what he's playing at." I wonder if this usage exists in French, too.

May 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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It does: "Je ne vois pas pourquoi il ne me donne pas son numéro. Je me demande à quoi il joue."

May 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dhMuse
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Ah. Thanks.

May 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Chefie

You are absolutely right. I answered it that way, I must be very old fashioned LOL

May 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bonnie03

I agree with this... 'they play at ?" should be accpeted

May 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/carmelsweetie
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what is the purpose of "à" in this sentence?

July 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sashee

Different prepositions are used with "jouer", depending on the context.

On its own, "jouer" means to have fun or play around. Je nage pour jouer.

"jouer à + article" is used for sports or games. Je joue au golf. Ils jouent au basket. Jouons au jeu de société!!

Uses with other prepositions here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/jouer.htm

August 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/carmelsweetie
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Merci!

August 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/hbatchelor16

In English you might say 'What are they playing at?' when someone is behaving inappropriately. Anyone know if this translates exactly? This was the answer I put and it was marked as correct.

April 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, the sentence in French can mean the same as 'what are they playing at?"

April 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eliebarbar

why is the "à" needed?

September 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Different language, different verb constructions and prepositional usage:

  • sports and games: jouer à + definite article = jouer à la balle, jouer au ballon, jouer aux fléchettes (darts)
  • musical instruments: jouer de + definite article = jouer de la harpe, jouer du violon, jouer des cymbales (fem)
September 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eliebarbar

Merci!

September 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Camerican

Could "Ils jouent à quoi" not also be translated to, "They play with what" or "What do they play with"? Either seems consistent with a literal translation.

And wouldn't "Quoi ils-jouent" be another grammatically correct way to ask this in French? (without the à)

December 22, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Preste
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Not "Quoi ils-jouent" but rather... à quoi jouent-ils?

October 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/OregonScholar

How is this different from "What are they playing with?"

March 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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what are they playing with? : avec quoi jouent-ils/elles ?

March 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MyNameDoesntFi

why is there an a

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/FrancisBuahin

I guess that's how the French have DECIDED to say it after centuries of the existence of their beautiful language

November 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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play + sports or games = jouer à un jeu / un sport

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hwdavidward

How would you say. "What do they plan in?". Would that not be Ils jouent à quoi?

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HollyNorton

Having listened several times, I can't hear the clues to knowing it's 'ils jouent' as opposed to 'il joue'. Help, hints, appreciated.

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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In dictation, you cannot hear any difference because there is none.

July 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HollyNorton

Well, that's what I thought but having got it wrong, assumed there must be some unfathomable reason. Don't mind losing the heart now that I know (thank you, Sitesurf) that the answer I gave wasn't incorrect.

July 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom419655

The singular form is accepted here.

December 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zimmokutyakutya

What about " play on"?

October 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The French would then be: "Sur quoi jouent-ils ?"

October 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DarylBagle

How would one ask what they play to, as in a certain number of points?

January 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nelu859788

The most confuse appp.

February 17, 2018
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