1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Nous sommes bons."

"Nous sommes bons."

Translation:We are good.

December 22, 2012

57 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frenchieee

"Nous sommes bons." How do I know when to use masculine or feminine when the subject isn't he or she. Please help :) Thank you very much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoodwinker

Just always use the masculine as the default answer unless there is an indication that it's feminine (for example, the sound of an "e" or if you were just talking about women in the previous sentence.) French is sexist like that in which the masculine form always takes precedence. Even if there was a group of 1 million women and only 1 man, you would still use the subject "ils" to refer to the group.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j.wilder

The least sexist language I've found is Swahili. There is only one word for the third person singular pronoun (yeye) and one for the plural (wao). Essentially, there is one word that means either he or she, and one meaning just "they" (like the English they). You know if the sentence refers to a man or woman based on the context. Gender was not seen as important enough to differentiate between "he" and "she," let alone to characterize every object as masculine or feminine.

Edit (2 years later): I've since discovered, as those commenting below have pointed out, that having only one gender-neutral third person pronoun is not as uncommon as one might think!

Add to the list Persian as yet another language that exhibits this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andro0

Turkish has only 1 word for He/She/It = "O" <- (yes just the letter O lol)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HDNC9

Persian and Kurdish too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustLorenzo

Same with Filipino. It goes for all their pronouns. You can't distinguish the gender of which the pronoun refers to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daniel110500

Hungarians also have one word for he and she = "ő" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Typo3000

Bengali doesn't have gender anywhere at all either. "সে" (informal) and "তিনি" (formal) both mean "He/She" (sometimes means "It"); "এটা" (informal) and "এটি" (formal) both mean "It/This". Generally I dislike Bengali because of its other atrocities but this gender neutrality is what I like the most about it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KayZuken

Just like Spanish. Doesnt matter how many women are there in the room, the one man changes it all. History based everything off men, history is sexist, hahaha. Since you speak English it may come strange to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolo5lolo

Just like in Hebrew.. Hate that sexism


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShoshanaCo1

The Israeli Academy of the Hebrew Language officially changed that- you can use either the feminine or the masculine if a group has a female majority. Hopefully L'Académie française will catch up one of these days.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/doodlymoo

Is this advice just for duolingo or in general?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoodwinker

Language learning in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobPonte

The Italian version of Duolingo does not make this sexist presumption. It allows for either gender in such situations. Just sayin'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyNameIsntClever

What is the meaning of this sentence?

Can it be used to answer "How are you?" - like how we oftentimes say 'good' instead of "well'?

Or does it only mean good (as in good vs. evil)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jilamd

What if we are talking about women? Do we still say:"Nous sommes bons."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew8510

I gave it a few listens and it seems there is a very slight diffrences in pronunciation between "bons" and "bonnes", The "o" sounds very nasal in the former and very open in the latter. Check it out:
- http://translate.google.com/#fr/en/bons%2C%20bonnes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewm
  • 726

yeah if you're listening, it's definitely "bons" in this case, pronunciation is different. But if you get this sentence as a translation from English to French, it could be also Nous sommes bonnes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inc0ncevable

Ya bon sounds like bow(n) and bonne sounds like bun


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dmapel

bonne -- 'bɔn' http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/ɔ

bon -- 'bɔ' with a tilde on the latter consonant http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/bon#French

to reach the respective ɔ sounds: --compare with 'cloth' --the other is the same idea, but with a creaky voice


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VincentOostelbos

This is true, and also in bonnes, the consonant /n/ is clearly expressed, which it isn't in bon (it may sound like it is, but that's because the vowel itself is nasal there).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ardentllama

If you ARE talking about a group of women, separate from this particular sentence, however... Nous sommes bonnes would be fine. However, the moment you add a male, it becomes bons.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catfangs

It would be "bonnes" instead i think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Darwinist

I was moving fast and I wrote 'we are god'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kjenkins80

Am I right in thinking that while this sentence may be used frequently in colloquial French (as it is in English), the grammatically correct phrase would be 'we are well', i.e. 'nous sommes biens'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sineaddc

Can this be used in the same context if someone offers a group something, could they say Nous sommes bons if they don't want it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soheyl.moheb

i wrote: nous sommes bonnes, and duo detected that as wrong ... WHY?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomshc

could you also say "we are right"? cuz "la bonne robe" is "the right dress"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MirabilisSum

There's a phrase for that I believe its "nous avons la raison" or "we have the reason," literally :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giulioiak

we are beautiful..y not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mplscurt

Agreed. I find it very difficult to distinguish between the nasal sound in "bons" and absent in "beaux."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gervagu

The hell we are!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeMappelThanh

can we have the sentence " nous sommes bonnes"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tordo2002

need to speak clearer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mistanomizu

Clearer is not technically a word it's " Needs to be spoken more clearly." Sorry i may be ten but I'm big on grammar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Detect1veOrange

To translate "We are good" into French, if I'm talking about a group of girls would it still be "Nous sommes bons"? Or "Nous sommes bonnes"?

Thank you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mistanomizu

Yes it would because in french there wouldnt be another word with double letters and an e at the end. Hope i helped sorry if im wrong im only ten and american


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AshBrodin

Does "nous" act the same as "nosotros" in spanish in the sense that you don't HAVE to say it for the sentence to make sense? For example, "nosotros somos" can be cut to "somos" and still make sense (and is actually more common). Can you do the same with French verbs?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coconoire_

Difference between bien and bon and why bon is used in this context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RavishSing

I looked at the drop down help words and it said happy (plural). In this case, "we" is plural, so why is it that "We are happy" is incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewm
  • 726

They are just "help", not correct solutions for this sentence. Consult a dictionary to get more info about different possible translations: http://www.wordreference.com/fren/bon As you can see, it means 'good' or 'correct', even in "bonne anniversaire" it means simply 'good' – but in English this phrase would be translated with "happy".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RavishSing

Thank you! This helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kardste

Is there a way to know the difference between using "bonnes" or "bons?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanKilmar

Wrote 'we are happy' that wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taylorswiftie89

they did not go over bons


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lashan.r

Can this be used colloquially just like in english? i.e. "We're good, thanks" to "Nous sommes bons, merci"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calimorena

In one of the drop downs it said bon=nice, good, tasty, so why is "We are nice incorrect?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmyJayy

Is this used the same in English e.g. after an argument is settled to show there are no grudges or anything? Or is it used as we are the good (at ___)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bazokasyr

why not "they are nice" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yohanalzuh1

Something wrong when i enter the last answer for the practice it wont continue and i have to quit and lose my progress and obviously if you quit you lose your streak and cant continue


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabelesma

Do bon and bonne really mean "sexy" in informal french? If it's true, I noticed that in informal Portuguese it's used "gostoso(a)" for "sexy" and it means "tasty", a general word say a meal is more than "good", and in french "bon" can also refer to good tasted food so... (never say anyone is "gostoso" because it is slightly disrespectful) (anything I delete this coment)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wienDeigl

I wrote nice, as in kind which it said but it did not say it was right

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