"Uncoupled'éléphants"

Translation:A pair of elephants

6 years ago

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/vrindadesh

The real question is why this is in the Family skill

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAKIYOSHI
RAKIYOSHI
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Because of the word "couple". Duolingo often has unrelated sentences that use the words in the Skill in different ways. I think it helps to connect the language together.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IanWitham1
IanWitham1
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Elephants have families too.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hec10tor
hec10tor
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so are they a couple of elephants or an elephant couple?

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CSA_GW
CSA_GW
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my try "an elephant couple" has failed.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_Hubbard
Thomas_Hubbard
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Well, yeah, so do all animals.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NoahRobins944603

Maybe the couple is really good at languages and they have a memory like an elephant.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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This is not a sentence, this is a noun phrase made of article + noun + "de" + noun.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gabewithafender

Or "noun phrase" or "syntagme nominal", if we're getting linguisticky ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcmisher

In any case, a noun phrase can stand on its own as a sentence, if its an independent clause, like "un couple d'elephants".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gabewithafender

It's still not a sentence. A true sentence needs a verb. It can stand by itself as a meaningful utterance or phrase, perhaps a response to "what did you see at the zoo?" "A couple of elephants."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabeDC
GabeDC
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You've made this editor very happy, gabewithafender. Please accept a lingot!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta
alphabeta
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Does it mean a couple of elephants in the sense of a pair, or in the sense of a small group? Or both?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Yes, in French it is a pair in the male+female sense.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flint72
flint72
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Is it only in the male+female sense, or can it be any two, such as male+male or female+female?

Or perhaps I misread you, and you mean that it is a pair as in a 'pair-bond'/ 'romantic/ sexual relationship pair' ?

I don't know if this expresses it well. I mean a couple as in a pair who would attend a dance together, say, as a date?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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for humans, it can be any couple linked by romantic/sexual relationship (any gender)

for animals, it will be male+female.

if 2 male animals or 2 female animals, we would say: deux éléphants.

note that "a couple of days" = un ou deux jours.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ecohansen
ecohansen
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If it is strictly the romantic sense, shouldn't "an elephant couple" be the only proper translation? "a couple of elephants" has no romantic connotations at all--"couple" seems like a pretty clear-cut faux ami, so "a couple of elephants" should be discouraged.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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The French "couple" means "pair" when used in the context of animals. It is understood that this pair consists of a male and a female. It would not be translated as EN "couple". Source: Oxford French Dictionary.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/on.the.brink
on.the.brink
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Sitesurf -

Could the English phrase "A pair of elephants" be accurately translated as either "Un couple d'éléphants" or "Une paire d'éléphants"?

If so, would "Un couple d'éléphants" mean a male+female pair
and "Une paire d'éléphants" mean any two elephants?

(There is some discussion on this at a related comment thread.)

Merci.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Actually, I don't think I have ever heard "une paire d'éléphants". Either they are "un couple" (male+female) or they are "deux éléphants".

However, if you said "une paire d'éléphant(e)s", you would be understood.

"Une paire" is more often used for 2 identical or symmetrical things, like shoes, glasses, horns... or pejoratively, like "une paire d'escrocs" (crooks).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcvandort

According to the dictionary paire can have either of these meanings. Is this then not representative for how it's used nowadays?

http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/paire/57285

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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When used in the context of animals, "un couple" refers to "a pair".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lanaroth

If elephants is plural wouldn't the proper use of 'de' be 'des' not d'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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No, because this formula is a "noun of noun", where the article is dropped.

In a "noun of noun" nominal group, the second noun adds information on the first one.

  • a sheet of paper = une feuille de papier (material)

  • a bottle of milk = une bouteille de lait (content)

  • a pair of elephants = un couple d'éléphants - "de" is elided to "d' " because éléphants starts with a vowel.

Note: "des" is never elided, because elision is supposed to solve a vowel conflict. Since "des" ends with a consonant, there is no ground for any elision, which is replaced by a liaison: "des [Z] éléphants".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nicholas_ashley

In the case of compound nouns with the structure:

noun + preposition + noun

the second noun, connected to the first noun by a preposition, is usually not preceded by an article (le, la, les).

examples

une tasse de café - a cup of coffee

une guide d'ordinateur - a computer guide

une histoire d’amour - a love story

une sale de bains - a bathroom

un verre de vin - a glass of wine

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lukman.A
lukman.A
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@Sitesurf: Can we translate "un couple d'éléphants" to become "a couple of elephants" in English too? Merci beaucoup de votre response.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You can, no problem.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flint72
flint72
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It accepts this translation, August 2014.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel
chirelchirel
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Lucky me :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DobbsBob
DobbsBob
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Should "an elephant pair" be accepted? Didn't work for me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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Not every combination produces natural English. "A pair of elephants" is the most natural.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eclecto

Is the French "couple" only used in a romantic, sexual, or procreative sense? Can it be used like the English noun "few" and be applied to unrelated people and inanimate objects?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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to your first question: yes.

to your second question: you can hear people use it with inanimate objects, but this is technical jargon (un couple de colonnes, de phares, de rouleaux...).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eclecto

Ahh, merci beaucoup!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Morphenius
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Is this masculine "un couple..." because "éléphant" is masculine? E.g., would it be "Une couple des souris"? Or is it always "un couple" regardless of the gender of the noun that is being coupled?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"un couple" is always masculine (in France), sometimes feminine in Quebec (une couple de...)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bdgawmk

Duo accepted "Un couple d'éléphant" (no s) from me - is this right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Logically, a couple = 2 individuals

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fufan46

Having read all the comments here, I believe "a pair of elephants" is the best translation. In English, "a couple of elephants" to me just means two of them, no relationship implied. That is, a "couple" is two of anything, just as a "few" is three to six of them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nectarivorous

Do you have a reference that asserts that a few is 'three to six' of something? I've never seen a prescribed value for a few. If you are talking about something like the stars and describing a very small fraction of them, you could still be talking thousands of individual things, and a few would apply quite nicely as it's a small quantity compared to the whole.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlyssaL123

Could "couple" be used, like in English, when you say something like "I have a couple pencils"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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No, you could not. "Un couple" is 2 people in love, married, etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johncir

Can I use "couple" talking about years?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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No, you will have to use "un ou deux ans".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Manarelle

I typed the exact answer, and it gave me "Oops, it doesn't seem to be in French! Try again!" Would not let me continue until I threw random extra accented letters in, and, of course, it was wrong. Odd glitch.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bvcruw
bvcruw
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I thought it translated as a couple of telephones

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tachy90
tachy90
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What's wrong with "A couple elephants", without the "of"? Is that not acceptable English? i'm a native speaker fwiw.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fufan46

No it's not.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tachy90
tachy90
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Oh ok

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jakejanus
jakejanus
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the dropped 'of' is seen in some dialects (I am from northern England and dropped it too, as most people there would in my experience) but it is not correct in standard English. I wouldn't say it's unacceptable per se though, but I can see why duo wouldn't accept it as in most dialects of English it wouldn't be correct

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabeDC
GabeDC
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True enough: the major style and usage manuals in the United States (the Associated Press and Garner's Modern English Usage, for example) maintain that the of is inherently part of the phrase and that to drop it is nonstandard. But jakejanus is right about dialects that drop it, especially in oral conversation—people from my native Texas almost always do.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gilgoose

Lol, I thought it said "On coupe de l'éléphant." My bad :p

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankMccab

is '2 elephants ' acceptable

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Harri725785

just curious: if you saw two elephants, how would you say " there are a couple elephants" or in a recipe "add a couple cups of sugar"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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When it comes to recipes, "a couple cups" may not be accurate enough, but let's say that it means 2 = "ajouter deux tasses/verres de sucre".

"Un couple" is only a pair of humans or animals, married or the like.

So either "un couple d'éléphants" = 2 elephants.

Or "A couple elephants" = quelques/plusieurs/ deux ou trois... éléphants.

"Une paire" is used for things: une paire de ciseaux, une paire de gants, une paire de chaussettes... and it means exactly 2.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Harri725785

Merci beaucoup

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Milezinator
Milezinator
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In English, although it is not TECHNICALLY correct, it is far more common to simply say "a couple elephants" rather than "a couple of elephants". This should be accepted.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fufan46

This is a sweeping generalisation. It might be common where you live, but I have NEVER heard it.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rocteur
Rocteur
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An elephant couple should also be accepted, as would a French couple, a tall couple, the elephants could be a couple

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexDalgliesh

Why is "One couple of elephants not accepted?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiset1
Qiset1
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Well, it sounded like "Un couple de le fonts"

1 week ago
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