"Il répond à son père."

Translation:He answers his father.

6 years ago

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/shriramk

Several people have asked why "answers to" isn't correct.

In English, to "answer to" is to acknowledge the authority of someone: "the bishop answers to the pope". In contrast, "answers" simply means to respond to something.

Someone's father may well be in a position of authority over that person, but (and here I CONJECTURE) I believe this sentence is using "answers" in the general, not authoritative, sense. The `a is common after a verb in French indicating the direction of the action, so it is fair to mentally translate it to "to", but in this case literally adding a "to" in English changes the meaning of the verb.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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shriramk......excellent post. I almost responded with answers to but as you point out it means something different.

The cabinet member answers the reporter's questions but he answers to the president.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shriramk

Perfect summary of the distinction!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Glat64

Hi, so how do you say answers to in french as in subject to authority? Merci d'avance.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VeledaLorakeet
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Got the same question, while I know there is a difference in english, there might not be a difference in french?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nenadm
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Thank you, that is a very nice explanation!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wfluckett

I still think that answers to is correct as well, unless the French have another way of saying the same thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/foxtrotwhiskey9

I would expect "He responds to his father" to be accepted as well. That's basically equivalent to "He answers his father". Reported.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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foxtrotwhiskey9

There is a difference. It has been covered in previous comments.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/foxtrotwhiskey9

The above comments talk about "he answers to". Which I agree is different. "He responds to" though is not the same as "he answers to". I can "respond to" someone's question. I can also answer someone's question. But I cannot "answer to" someone's question.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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He responded to his father by walking out, slamming the door and failing to answer him.

Dictionaries match Duo in putting respond as a definition of répondre well down the list, a place where often it can only be used in certain contexts.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VeledaLorakeet
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Still, this difference in english does not automatically imply that such a difference exists in french. So I do not consider this question answered. I am still wondering

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Saukkke

It got accepted. Dec 2015.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SavageUkr
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"responds to" is now accepted as correct. I guess your input worked.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/haedehr

Why with "à"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CTrinity
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Just a note--it might be easier to learn these verbs if every single one didn't start with r.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kara0916
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It goes in alphabetical order.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ActualGoat

He responds to his father?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/framericaine128
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Why isn't "He answers to his father" correct?

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Sorry, you could say "He responds to his father." or "He replies to his father.", but the most common English way to say it is "He answers his father." The verb "answers" just is not followed by "to" for this meaning. If you put "to" you will change the meaning, see above posts by shriramk and northernguy.
Be careful with "répondre" as it is often best translated as "to answer". "To respond" means something different as it means to react. You could say something back and not answer the question and you would still be responding. Sometimes "répondre à" does mean "to respond to" as in "He has always responded to my kindness." Il a toujours répondu à ma gentillesse. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/r%c3%a9pondre/68435?q=repondre#67687 http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/répondre

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dan.hunt

i said "responds to" and was deemed incorrect. That can't be correct.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

I'm reporting it--"responds to" should be correct. "Responds his father" is accepted, but is grammatically incorrect.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enrnab

I also thought it sounds like the plural, but I was wrong only singular accepted him not they

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

The plural ("they respond to their father") would be "Ils répondent à leur père." EDIT: Fixed a silly mistake. Thanks northernguy!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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ils répondent. You can hear the d in répondent. You don't hear it in répond

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DMario16

Yes but, in English: He trows a strike, I answer with a kick! Duo said I was wrong when I said "He answers to his father." Duo said "He writes his father." WTF!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grandesauterelle

If you look up "respond" in Larousse it gives variations of "repondre" to cover "to respond to" and "respond to" in its examples. On the other hand translating "repondre" to English, there is barely a mention of "respond". So is "He is responding to his father" correct? Duo says no, but then says "He is responding his father" is correct which is a phrase I don't think I have ever heard.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Spencer372522

Accidentally pressed the wrong answer choice!! :(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mjburke23

Wow! Walked right in to that hole! Thanks, Shriramk for such an elegant explication. One question - tout le monde - does anyone know why duolingo corrects it with "he writes to his father"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ralph220550

I have the same question. How does "il répond à son père" translate to "He writes his father" ( the correct answer per DL).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aleung0

he answers to his father. Wrong?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

Yes, because that means that he is accountable to his father, not that he respons to his father.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vmar33
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French Verb Tenses and Moods (Simple and Comound) + all other forms of a verb + examples. http://learn-french-free-with-stories.weebly.com/brief-explanation-of-the-french-verb-tenses-and-moods-simple-and-compound.html

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gidget15

The answer I received was "He responds his father". This does not make sense in English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DMario16

"He is writing his father back"????? Are you kidding me!?! I would have NEVER got that out of this!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nelu859788

The psiho bird and a psiho appp.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Summerdawn659

In google translate, "He answers to his father" translates the same as He answers his father.

Is there a more specific way to write "answers to" as opposed to just "answers"?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bopbe

the word respond is rarely used in day to day speech in England, in families. How are we supposed to know its a formal sentence . Also there was no translation of the word as an alternative when you hovered over the word respond. Please play fair!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnnycopt

He answers to his father is also correct.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gorzoid

he meets is father aswell

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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That would be "il rencontre est père." and does not make sense. Perhaps you meant "he meets his father." which would be "il rencontre son père."

5 years ago
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