"Tes garçons lisent un journal."

Translation:Your boys read a newspaper.

December 24, 2012

This discussion is locked.


Not one pulp fiction reference for this comment.


Why isn't "Your sons read a newspaper" correct?


i think it's because there is a different word for son?


Yes the word for "son" is "fils" (pronounced FISS)


That is why I actually came to the discussion. In English if someone says "my boy" we understand it to mean "my son". If someone says "your boys" we understand that to mean "your sons". This can't be used the same way in French?


True in English "my boy" can in some cases mean my son but it would only be used in very particular cases where the context was obvious (as you were implying). "Boy" is not a general substitute for "son".

It is interesting that in French there is single word for both wife and woman (la femme) and again a single word is used for daughter and girl (la fille). Not only that, there does not seem to be an obvious alternative pair of words.

While in the male equivalents there are distinct words "le mari" +"l'homme" and "le fils" + "le garçon"


like ellynikolet, i wrote that and it was correct although as we were learning this in french class, fils is probably grammatically correct and this could possibly be slang or like colloquial


Could "vos" be used instead of "tes"? That is the question. Not fils/garcons!


Hi berengeria. Yes.... "Ta"=Your (Tu-form) before a Feminine singular noun. "Ton"=Your (Tu-form) before a Masculine singular noun. "Tes=Your (Tu-form) before a Plural noun of both masculine and feminine gender. Similarly: "Votre"=Your (Vous-form) before both masculine and feminine singular nouns.(one of those annoying exceptions which have to be memorised) and "Vos"=Your (Vous-form) before a Plural noun for both genders


calling a waiter 'boy' is not appropriate any more.


Well, believe it or not, in northern Germany "Boy" is a quite common first name...so if you have a waiter with that name, and you know him on a first-name basis...:D


No, your boys stands for either your sons or the boys whom you are in charge of.


I am confused with ton, tes, etc. HELP!


Ton = your = masculine singular informal

Ta = your = feminine singular informal

Tes = your = plural informal

Each one of them must agree with the number and gender of the noun they are attached to. It is ton livre/ your book because livre is masculine and singular. It doesn't make any difference how many people own the book or what their gender is. All that counts is the nature of the noun livre.

Livre is masculine and, in this case, the spelling indicates that it is singular, hence ton.


an overview on possessive adjectives:

As you have well noticed, French possessive adjectives match the owner in their basic form and agree with the object possessed in gender and number:

o Feminine noun: - je mange ma pomme, tu manges ta pomme, il/elle/on mange sa pomme, nous mangeons notre pomme, vous mangez votre pomme, ils/elles mangent leur pomme.

o Masculine noun: - je mange mon pain, tu... ton, il/elle/on...son, nous... notre, vous... votre, ils/elles... leur

o Plurals, feminine and masculine: - je mange mes fruits, tu... tes, il/elle/on... ses, nous... nos, vous... vos, ils/elles... leurs


I am kind of wondering why this isn't somewhere explained as part of the lesson.


Now, you have it!


i got for other, thanks a lot. it's help me. but for Vous >> Votre so votre use for feminine and masculine ?


Yes "votre" is used for "your" (with singular noun) for both feminine and masculine. "Vos" is "your" (with plural noun) for both feminine and masculine.


Can someone explain the difference between vos and tes? Thks


Tes and vos are both plural possessive adjectives. The only difference is that tes is for the pronoun "tu" (second person singular informal), and vos is for "vous" (second person plural OR second person singular formal).


Why is she not pronouncing the "nt" in lisent even though lisent is followed by un, a word that starts with a vowel sound?


when in front of a consonant "lisent" = LIZ

when in front of a vowel "lisent" : LIZ-T-UN

That liaison is optional but it gives a better flow of words.

[deactivated user]

    I don't think there's a good reason other than verbs are handled a bit differently


    Yeah, It seems logical that "your sons are reading a newspaper" should work.


    How to refer to somebody's children when those children are already grownups???


    Being someone's child (son/daughter) is not a matter of age, I think, so you can use "children/enfants" at any time.


    I got this as multiple choice. One option was "Vos garçons en train de lire un menu." (Your boys are currently reading a newspaper.) By duolingo standards, I didn't expect it to work. Suprisingly, it did. I know it would be understandable, but the way it was written just didn't seem like duolingo would count it as correct.


    In persian garçon mean waiter


    For pronunciation exercises, i find "…lisent… " difficult to get a correct mark on, so I've taken to breaking it down, e.g: …garçons-li…sent-un journal. Seems to get me through


    tes-vos-votre!!! what is the difference???


    As you have well noticed, French possessive adjectives match the owner in their basic form and agree with the object possessed in gender and number:

    o Feminine noun: - je mange ma pomme, tu manges ta pomme, il/elle/on mange sa pomme, nous mangeons notre pomme, vous mangez votre pomme, ils/elles mangent leur pomme.

    o Masculine noun: - je mange mon pain, tu... ton, il/elle/on...son, nous... notre, vous... votre, ils/elles... leur

    o Plurals, feminine and masculine: - je mange mes fruits, tu... tes, il/elle/on... ses, nous... nos, vous... vos, ils/elles... leurs


    I answered this question with the above response and was told that it was wrong and that I should have had "Your waiters are reading a newspaper". Considering that at no point during the course so far has the word "waiter" been used, let alone with "garçon", I'm a little cranky.


    Hello NinaZerO. Welcome home to cranky! I will try to be concise. Duo is attempting to get us speaking French as soon as possible... for free! They will score us wrong sometimes for missing a letter in French and then score us correct when we miss a letter in English (Woot! You made a Typo) There has been recently some input to level the term "Garcon", because to use this word for "Waiter" is now considered quite rude in France. En Seveur, or Monsieur is polite.Nina, it could be that Duo are updating the course daily and you have found yourself at the crest of the latest update. Please see if you can understand and handle this. You see it is a free course which we, the users perfect. Please continue to raise any issues you may have because they just help Duo to be relevent though always consider whether your post is for discussion or for the "Problem" post. Also, before you post in discussion always First read through the posts already there so that we do not repeat each other and clutter a site which some 3 million are using daily.From now on, don't translate or use "Garcon" for "Waiter". You and I are at the same level and I'm surprised that you haven't come across the "Waiter" scenario before. Nina please may I recommend that you lose some hearts and just try alternative definitions in your answers and you'll see that there is context,timing, gender and so much more to trip up on.It is certainly not You which is cranky.... it is most certainly the language that you, all innocent like, are doing your best to learn which is cranky. It is nina, it is; FUN.!


    Thank you for your response. To clarify, I'm aware that using the term ''garcon'' for waiter is rude which is why I used ''boys'' and to be marked incorrect was surprising. At no point in the course has the garcon/waiter pairing ever been used and I assumed that it was an anomaly that had slipped in. I did read the previous replies and thought it would be proper to add a further data point to those who run also come across the same issue. As Duolingo is a work in progress, I assumed that feedback such as this might be helpful - if not to the developers, then at least to other students. Regarding my use of the work ''cranky'', it is a reminder to me that humour does not translate well on the internet. I meant no harm or censure by it.


    When you have a difficulty answering or with the result of your lesson, try about.com for explanations and www.french linguistics.co.uk for beautifully simple examples. Have fun.


    Could this also be: Vos garçons lisent un journal. ?


    Because 'sons' is called 'fils' and garcons is boys.


    I wrote "your sons read a newspaper" and it says its correct.. How do I know if it is supposed to be "sons read" or " are reading" when I am listening?


    In French, there is not difference between the two. Both translate as "les garçons lisent".


    I didn't see this in the posts below; I am wondering about an idiomatic usage in American English. We use "the" newspaper interchangeably with "a" newspaper, in a way that we do not, for example, say "the magazine" for "a magazine." In other words, we can say "He is reading the newspaper," about an unspecified newspaper (The Times, The Post, The Daily Bugle, etc.), but we don't say "He is reading the magazine" unless the magazine has been specified in advance. So, that being said, I translated this as "Your boys are reading the newspaper," which I think is a valid translation, but was not accepted. It's not a huge problem for me, but I think perhaps the translation could allow for both in the future, because of American English usage.


    No, Rodney. As soon as you can, do drop thinking in English when learning another language. The mindset and approach is different. I understand what you say but French is far more specific in its demand of particular articles., as is its grammar. This sentence had "Un" which translates to "A, or An" never "The". If the sentence contained "Le, La or the plural Les" it would translate to "The", never "a/an". Never the twain to meet. I think the term is "Embrace" the language... give it your heart and let your head do otherwise. :) (Remember, we're learning French here, not describing our English, yeah?)


    I agree that one should not be thinking in English when speaking another language, but when translating said language into English, the translated sentence should convey the meaning of the original sentence, but now in English. In this case, "the newspaper" should be correct


    Exactly. Translation is fundamentally a two-way enterprise. The advice to "drop thinking in English when learning another language" does not recognize either the position of second-language learners, or the ambiguity of both native and non-native languages, or the burden of translation itself. This is an idea that Saussure dealt with a hundred years ago.

    The pedantic description of how French deals with articles is beside the point. As I have learned by instructing non-English speakers about article usage, it is not helpful to reify the particular usage of articles in the second language, as if it were gospel, but rather to simply and humbly admit: "this doesn't make a lot of sense, and you will have to simply memorize when to use the article and when not."

    I'm intensely interested in DuoLingo as a mode of language instruction. But crowd-sourcing does not always produce good pedagogy, to which I think these comments attest.


    Hi Rodney. Your post interests me greatly and I do respect your standpoint. I didn't intend to give an opinion nor justification. I only meant to give an idea of how Duo seems to be working this course and I did not make that clear. When posts are on the discussion thread it is more or less assumed that they are of the nature of a query or question. This is because there is a "Post a problem" facility for other types of input. This can of course give rise to a danger of appearing patronising when responding to a post which actually was not, as it seemed, a query but possibly a statement. It could be said, I suppose, that any will to be of help could be termed a form of being patronising or pedantic. I'm saddened if my response to your original post seemed as such. At the end of the day, I have much appreciated the input and have learned a little more. I have upvoted this post of your because it raises issues of great use in the translating of any language and I thank you for it.


    I think we say a person is "reading THE newspaper" because a newspaper is typically a regional thing, to which most of us can relate--when someone in my household is "reading the newspaper" I can specifically identify what it is and where it is from (barring the unlikely situation that they read 'newspapers' from another city or country) therefore, "the" becomes the appropriate article, and not "a", although "a" would work as well. Surely you raise a good point, "the newspaper" is almost idiomatic at this point, but I would equate that to a trend toward general speaking when there isn't a need/desire to be specific (perhaps as a result of newspapers being indicative of the readers political preferences, or perhaps out of sheer laziness). That being said, there are other elements to consider here. For instance, what is the French disposition toward speaking of another persons political interest? Is there a more popular newspaper that individuals of a certain region would naturally assume someone to be reading? If so, is the specificity necessary or important? I would venture to guess that if it was, they would use the indefinite article (un/une) in this case, rather then the definite (le/la/les), and then go on to specify which newspaper was being read. The appropriate translation of "un/une" is "a", not "the", regardless of how we English natives refer to newspapers in the U.S. In this regard, Jackjon is correct, we must learn French on its own terms.



    The idiomatic usage of "the newspaper" in AmEn you point to is, on a grammatical stand point, how the article "the" specifies a noun. This specificity lies in the fact that in most cases "the newspaper" is the one you usually buy, the one you are a subscriber of, the one available in the waiting room at the dentist's...

    This exactly translates to "le journal".

    "Il lit un journal" can be interpreted in a couple of ways:

    • un journal is any newspaper, unspecified. He could be reading a brochure, a book or a magazine, but it just happens that he is reading a newspaper. He could read Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération, l'Est Républicain or Ouest France, but we don't know that, we just know that what he is reading is a newspaper.
    • un journal is also "one newspaper", as opposed to two or more (if he had time or if he needed other views on our world).

    Therefore, I think you could mirror these nuances with:

    • he is reading a newspaper
    • he reads one newspaper

    I won't elaborate on plurals for the time being.



    Of course I agree with what you say - however there is in fact a more subtle reason for the use of "to read the newspaper"

    Each morning I buy the newspaper. On the train to work I read the newspaper. - tomorrow morning I will again read the newpaper - yet I haven't decided which particular newspaper it will be. Yet if instead I bought a magazine each morning and read it on the train it would be - a magazine that I buy - a magazine I read.

    So why the difference? - it is not about the particular newspaper or my subscription - in fact it isn't even about the newspaper. In fact if it was a long train journey and I read through three different newspapers - if later in the day I was asked what I did on the train I would still say I read the newspaper.

    The reason for this apparent oddity is that I am actually saying "I am reading the news" - "I am acquiring the day's news" - it just happens to come in the form of a newspaper or several newspapers.


    Thank you so much! You're the first one to really give substance to this oddity.
    And, cherry on the cake, giving it another thought from your angle, I think it can also work the same in French: since "journal" has kind of lost its material identity (= printed paper) with the successive arrivals of radio, cinema, TV and the Internet, it has become synonymous with "les nouvelles", "les informations", "les actualités".
    For action, I will just add variants, knowing that learners can still translate "tes garçons lisent un journal" to "your boys are reading a diary".


    Why does "lisent" sound like "lees"? They aren't the same. What I have learned most about the french language is that there is no such thing as enunciation. Why start saying a word if you're not going to finish saying it? There are too many other words that sound just like the grunt you just made. Is this phenomenon just because I'm listening through computer speakers? Do people actually enunciate but the computer doesn't catch the subtle differences?


    "lisent" is pronounced LIZ to make it different from "lis" or "lit" (LI) and also from "lisant" (LIZAN) (gerund = present participle).

    Sometimes the audio is not good here, but French speakers may not enunciate either.

    I assume non-enunciation would exist in all languages, wouldn't it?


    Would if it could and because it can it most certainly does here in English sitesurf. Our favourite is to lose the "T". "I bough? i? from the ticke? office" "I bought it from the ticket office". "We?? go? the National Lo??ery" "We've got the National Lottery" etc. One interesting example though, which is yet debated is "Where has he gone" which will be enunciated in full when stressed "where HAS He Gone???!!!" but in common interrogative use becomes "Where's ee gone?". Some masters argue that the use of an apostrophe to replace "has" is legitimate, others disagree and some suggest that the "ee" is a legitimate derivative from the OE "he" pronounced "ee" in the North and South West of England where Germanic language persisted for centuries meaning a man, person of either gender, you, that, and combined with the letter "w" the small one as in "wee".


    What is the difference between vos and tes?


    Both mean "your" followed by a plural noun (your boys.....) but Vos is formal and Tes is familiar. (Remember Vous vs Tu? Same inferred difference.)


    Can anyone tell me how to tell if it's plural or not? It's hard to hear, but is there another word that gives it away?


    Yes. The article. Always listen out for the articles to see if it's singular or plural. Here "Tes - sounds like Tay"=the plural You (familiar) If it was singular it would be Tu(Tyoo) = preceding a masculine noun or Ta(Tah)=preceding feminine. Same goes for Le(Luh) La(Lah) and Les(Lay)<plural> in that order.


    Can anyone tell me the defence between vos and tes???


    "Tes" is used to speak casually to one person. "Vos" is used to speak to more than one person, or to be polite to one person. Both of them refer to multiple objects owned (the singulars are ton/ta and votre). So:

    "Your boys" can be translated like:

    "Tes garçons" when you're speaking to one person informally, like a friend "Vos garçons" when you're speaking to a stranger or your boss, or speaking to both parents.


    Siofracat, this is less than correct. Please read your post through and then see just below your post. With respect


    Yes Blackrose88.. Here it is complete-ish (There are tiny bits missing)...... Ma=My and Ta=your (Tu form) before a feminine singular noun. Sa=His/Her before a feminine singular noun....Son=His/Her before a masculine singular noun......Ses=My before a,feminine, masculine, mixed/unidentified plural noun.....Votre=Your (Vous form) before both feminine and masculine singular noun. Notre=Our and Leur=Their before both feminine and masculine singular noun. ..Mon=My and Ton=Your before a masculine singular noun... Mes=My before a plural noun of either/both gender...Tes=your (Tu form) before a plural noun of either/both gender... Vos=your (Vous form) before masculine, feminine or mixed/unidentified gender plural noun.... Nos=Our before masculine, feminine or mixed/unidentified gender plural noun and Leurs=Their before either masculine or feminine or mixed/unidentified plural noun. Hope this helps rather than confuse further.


    Curious, could this refer to your sons? Similar to how Ma femme could mean my wife?


    If you are speaking to a coach about "his boys", you will have to use "tes garçons" (tes gars, colloquially).

    If you are speaking to a father about "his boys", it will be "tes fils" (tes gamins, colloquially)

    "ma femme" is a bit different: it can be "my wife" or "my woman", ie officially married or not.

    Note that often, men refer to their (non married) woman as "ma compagne" (opposite situation: mon compagnon)


    Assuming compagne means companion then? Also, fils is confusing, because immediately my mind goes to filles, which I suppose makes sense as the feminine fils :D


    Is there any difference between des and tes in pronunciations?


    Yes there is a difference although sometimes the DL voice is not clear. Type both words together into "google translate" let me know if you then hear the difference.



    Yes I found the difference. It is actually the difference between D and T. In fact long ago my teacher told us about this but I forgot. :P Des seems closer to the rear of the mouth and more like a voiced consonant, and tes is at the front of the mouth and more like a voiceless consonant. Hard to describe accurately, but I'm sure I know it now. Thanks! :D


    Why is "Des garcons lit un journal" incorrect ? Can someone please explain.


    The conjugation is wrong:

    je lis, tu lis, il/elle/on lit, nous lisons, vous lisez, ils/elles lisent

    In addition, "tes" = your


    Does "lisent" have two syllables here?


    No, but the "s" in Lisent is pronounced.


    Thanks Sitesurf. Yes I really should have added the pronunciation otherwise my post could have been misleading.


    How can I know when i am listening if garçon is plural or not?


    @igor. Focus on the article not the noun to see if it is singular or plural. Le/la =noun singular; Les=noun plural, Mon/Ma=noun singular, Mes=noun plural. Du,De la, De L'=noun singular, Des=noun plural. Son/Sa=noun singular, Ses=noun plural. Ton/Ta=noun singular, Tes=noun plural. Notre=noun singular, Nos=nounplural, Votre=noun singular, Vos=noun plural. Leur(e)=noun singular, Leur(e)s=noun plural. (I thought that there was a short cut to a more informative site at about.com or everythingyoueverneededtoknowaboutfrenchsimplified.com. But not being much cop on compukers didn't find one so I did that lot up there as default, not wanting to leave you in the lurch. If you'd like to take the time and have 'puter knowledge, there are sites out there which will explain this all in depth. Bonne chance. (I actually feel quite let down by technology right now because I did so want to give you a site to go to rather than all that lot up there above.) JJ.


    That sounded so much like des garçons


    This helped me become a except in french merci beaucoup Duolingo


    i typed GARçON ..from what i heard and i am wrong?? but how?! this is what i heard from the voice and it sounds same if said Tes Garçson and Tes Graçon !


    Hiya OrnySahatciu. Yes, there is no difference in the sound of "Garcon" and "Garcons" You need to focus on the article to deduce whether there is one or more Garcons/Boys. If there was just one garcon/boy you would hear "TON" garcon. (Toh Garsso(n)) But there are more than one garcons/boys, so the article moves to plural "TES" garconS ("Tay" grasso(n)(s)") "Ton" Garcon"="Your Boy". "Tes Garcons"="Your BoyS"


    Following on from what Jackjon said, the same would apply to both sexes. For instance, you would have Ta Fille and Tes Filles. Tes automatically implies plurality for both genders :)


    I got it worng for saying Book and not Diary... How am i gonna know that?


    @KeaPiper. Book=Livre. Diary does= Journal and I've no idea why Duo doesn't accept it. They want Newspaper which probably throws you even more. I'm glad you posted this, I shall research this. Did you post your query in "Post a problem"? Hope so.


    Ok, it's messing with me again. The translation options for 'journal' are newspaper and magazine. I put in magazine , and it said I was wrong because it should have been diary. Anyone else?


    Hi Bingo. You'd probably have been successful with Diary. Best bet for Journal is Newspaper unless the sentence context SHOUTS Diary. Journal does translate to Magazine but Magazine is far more often Periodique. Harsh learning, eh? You're not alone with drop-down hints confusion, if that is any consolation.


    I wrote "kids" instead of "boys" and the app deemed my answer wrong. Am I really wrong?



    The Sentence refers to "garçons" - that is specifically "boys".

    "Kids" could be boys or girls and is moving too far from the original sentence.


    How do you know if she is saying your boy or your boys? as to put ta instead of tes


    What's the difference between Vos and Tes??



    "Tes" and "vos" are both plural possessive adjectives and translate as "your".

    Which we use depends on who we are talking to. If we are speaking to someone where we would use the "tu" version of "you" - a single person who we know well or are on familiar terms with - in that case we use "tes" for "your" (plural noun).

    If we are speaking to anyone else or to a group of people - we would use the "vous" version of "you" - in that case we use "vos" when saying "your" (plural noun).


    Boy, too many words to mean one thing!! Will I be able to remember them all??


    When the word ' journal ' was introduced, the definitions given were; newspaper, diary and magazine. I have been using them all in my answers. Now it has marked this wrong because I used ' magazine '. Anyone know what's up with that?


    Depending on how long ago you were last marked correct for using Magazine for Journal, I think you should report it. Strictly speaking Magazine (Eng)=Magazine (Fr) and Duo may have very recently updated this lesson to reflect that.


    Thanks, that explains it. The definition now says; newspaper, paper and journal. Does 'paper' refer to a thesis paper, or a short form of 'newspaper'?


    In English, Kara, Paper in this context is a contraction of Newspaper. I think a Thesis Paper is Papier de These (with accent) When I'm back in the marina there's a bloke close by who reckons he can get me access to accents once more. Hope so.


    At school, a "paper" is "un devoir". A thesis paper is "une thèse" or "un mémoire".


    why your kids is not correct ?


    "kids" can be boys or girls or a mix of both.

    "garçons" has one and only accurate translation: boys.


    Because, Abdo, this is a language course and it is marked by robots. There and in here a Kid is a young goat. Nowthen, care to argue with a robot that has no ears? Use this as a language course and be as formal as you can and you will progress. With respect, JJ.


    I am so confused - there are so many words for "your" can someone explain when you have to use them? Like where I am meant to use ta/tes/ton/votre


    Hi Sprite. I'll have a go. "TA"=Your when speaking in a familiar context (A close friend, family, child, pet)when the object noun is feminine singular. "Ton" in the same context when the object noun is masculine singular. "Tes" in the same context when the object noun is plural. "Votre"=Your in a polite or formal context (speaking to someone you don't know, or your boss or someone in authority) when the object noun is singular of either gender. "Vos" in polite context when the object noun is plural. I must say that I am also learning and am pretty certain of this but I'm not even 100% certain of the grammar in my native tongue. Use this as a guide rather than a rule. Bonne chance, JJ.


    "votre" + singular possession and "vos" + plural possession are also used with "vous" for an address to 2 or more people.

    Also note that "ta" + feminine singular possession has to change to "ton" if the next word starts with a vowel sound.


    Thank you Sitesurf for rounding this up. I'd forgotten about Ta defaulting to Ton when it precedes a vowel sound but I didn't know about Vos being used for an address to two or more people. I learn at least as much from these discussion threads as from the lessons themselves.


    You knew it, I'm sure: if you already know that "vous" can be formal and singular or plural, you know that "votre/vos" are the possessives related to "vous", don't you?


    Yes. Thanks. I do more revision than fresh learning because I forget so much but I yet find it all fun and good.


    Was wondering whether to write 'son's here "Tes garçons lisent un journal' remembering a different occasion when Duo wanted 'daughter' instead of 'girl' as a translation for fille' Guessed 'boys' for first answer and was right!:lol

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    It says I typed it in english which is wrong. However, it won't let me tell it that it made a mistake. The report option doesn't have that option this time.


    "Your boys are reading the news" i guess we can't just say news, huh?

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