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  5. "Il répond à son père."

"Il répond à son père."

Translation:He answers his father.

December 23, 2012

36 Comments


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


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

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.


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

Perfect summary of the distinction!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glat64

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


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

Got the same question, while I know there is a difference in english, there might not be a difference in french?


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

Thank you, that is a very nice explanation!


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

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


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

foxtrotwhiskey9

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


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


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

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.


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

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


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

It got accepted. Dec 2015.


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

"responds to" is now accepted as correct. I guess your input worked.


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

Why with "à"?


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

Just a note--it might be easier to learn these verbs if every single one didn't start with r.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kara0916

It goes in alphabetical order.


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

He responds to his father?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/framericaine128

Why isn't "He answers to his father" correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

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


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

ils répondent. You can hear the d in répondent. You don't hear it in répond


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


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spencer372522

Accidentally pressed the wrong answer choice!! :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ralph220550

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aleung0

he answers to his father. Wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gidget15

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DMario16

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nelu859788

The psiho bird and a psiho appp.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DT92024

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"?

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