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  5. "Quand descend-elle ?"

"Quand descend-elle ?"

Translation:When does she come down?

December 25, 2012



Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the final "d" is (correctly) pronounced as a "t" to facilitate the liaison, but it's not spelled that way. Neither is it spelled "descend-t-elle," because the verb already does end in a consonant. The only change is in pronunciation.


You are correct. A "d" in liaison is always pronounced "t".

Worth noting too that an "s" in liaison is always pronounced "z".


Thanks for pointing that out. I think everyone needs to use more than just Duolingo to learn their French. I learned from french.about.com that there are mandatory liaisons, prohibited liaisons and optional liaisons, as well as the "t" for a "d" and "z" for an "s".


I agree. French.about.com and the comments on this website have taught me so much! Every time I come across a new word or concept I look it up on french.about.com and wiktionary.org. They are fantastic resources.


Since this was posted, about.com changed its name to thoughtco.com. It's still a fantastic resource for learning French in conjunction with Duolingo.


And, at least for now, the old links to french.about.com that you will find in many of these discussions almost always properly redirect to thoughtco.com.


Thank you both (FuzzyBear and mforster1uk) for pointing that out! I was wondering why it sounded like "descend-t-elle", and now I know. :)


i would use the report a problem, but there isn't an option for sketchy audio....


Sometimes they don't give an option for the thing that's actually wrong, then I tend to use "Other" and describe it.


Almost every time she says "quand", I could swear she's saying "comme"...


Pourquoi n'est-il pas possible d'utilizer descendent-elles?


That would be pronounced "descendeT-elle" instead of "descenT-elle"


which sounds EXACTLY the same cause the "d" and "t" are becoming the same sound and the "e" between the d and T would always be silent.... So the question makes sense to me!


Actually, the "d" at the end of "descend" is usually silent, and is pronounced as a "t" in liaison with "elle". Whereas the "d" near the end of "descendent" is pronounced (and then the final normally-silent "t" is in liaison with "elles"). So there is an extra "d" sound in the plural, which is not present in the speech, so only the singular answer is correct.

In IPA: "descend-elle" is /de.sɑ̃-tɛl/ "descendent-elles" is /de.sɑ̃d-tɛl/

It is quite subtle; I got it wrong, and I suspect I may again next time I run into it.


Google Translate's audio makes both sound the same.


I agree, they sound almost identical in Google Translate, which seems to be wrong.

If you put in "descend; descendent" (without the "elle(s)"), however, you will clearly hear the "d" in the latter.


Merci. Didn't think of that.

  • 1848

KateGreatest :I too would really like to know the answer to your question .

[deactivated user]

    Je suis d'accord madame Kate.


    I love duolingo to bits but seriously I'm smashing my head against the wall, WHY does duolingo introduce new terms without explanation? I have to use google to figure out the answer because I don't want to lose my final heart to some BULLSH*T forcing me to start over. I know this is a rant but I'm frustrated and only want the best for this awesome app! Either reform the content or the hearts system before I rage and break my head.


    I'm sorry, but you're deceiving yourself: When have you ever read explicit explanations for anything on Duolingo? Every word you learned through the app/website was "introduced without explanation" at some point. For the simpler chapters, you were simply able to deduce their meaning through repeated usage and context.

    There are hundreds of dictionary apps/websites, as well as many other resources to use for research when your intuition and wit is not enough to infer what Duolingo expected you to have learned. Though I agree with you that some advanced concepts are tough to grasp by the trial-and-error method of Duolingo alone, it is up to you to do some research on the side and complement your learning. Why should the content be reformed, when Duolingo teaches by testing you, and nothing is stopping us from reading up on something if we want it spelled out?


    Duolingo usually introduces a word or a phrase in text where you can get a hint to its meaning before it is given as a "type what you hear" exercise. When I hear something for the first time without ever having seen it in text, this is what really frustrates me (which is how I first heard "descend" and had no clue what it could possibly be).

    I don't rant about losing hearts, though, because 9 times out of 10, I aim for a perfect score, so if I lose even one heart, I quit the lesson and start over. Love collecting those lingots!


    You sure got your wish! No more hearts, and good riddance as far as I'm concerned. Making "mistakes" is a crucial part of learning, since that's when the brain forms and consolidates neuronal associations. The heart system too often discouraged the type of thinking that pays off the most.


    You took the words right out of my mouth.


    I got this right, even though I was convinced it was going to be wrong, because it definitely sounded like "Quand descenT-elle?"


    It does sound descenT-elle. That is the correct sound for a "d" in liaison.



    sorry if I'm being stupid--and I'm probably totally wrong. Can someone help me understand?

    ~thanks :)


    No you're not being stupid at all! I totally understand--i've been in your place. Right, but Duo is also right--he is usually correct in his answers. Did you try reporting it? I'm sorry i can't give a better answer. :)


    Thanks! No, your answer is fine. And yeah, I did try reporting it, so maybe they'll change something!


    This will happen to you in the future lessons. Just wait. Muhaha


    HELP!! could it mean when does she come off? as in off the tram or bus?

    • 1767

    Yes, it could. I wrote "When does she get off" and it was accepted. In the lyrics of a French song I once heard: "Terminus. Tout le monde descend". http://www.wordreference.com/fren/descendre


    come down from where? i'm not following the context for this question.


    When is she coming down to dinner (from her room)? or When is she coming down from the mountain (where she's been climbing)? Or any one of a thousand and one other contexts.


    The thing that is somewhat confusing is that I was correct with "she is going down". That is quite different from "coming down", don't you think? So, this means that both are correct in different contexts?


    I was tempting by that, but it sounds quite dodgy...


    I agree. The translation I receive for going down is the same in a translation program as coming down. That does seem odd.


    She is coming down to see us


    I received a translation to that word "take down". I use this function to learn precisely the meaning of a new word. At lease I would like to. (than it turns out not take down but come down). This is the 2nd case in this round, you are not reliable to give a full translations, versions of a word, so that I could use it to learn the meaning of the words.


    The Duolingo method is to (sometimes) give a few hints of the word for some context. Not all meanings are covered by the hints. And not all hints are suitable for all contexts. Sometimes none of the hints are usable in a given exercise. Instead they give, at best, some idea about what the word can mean.

    We are expected to do our best by trial and error, a lot of repetition and reflection upon the given exercises. That we fail is part of the process, as well as having to deal with unknown words and phrases. See it as if we have been moved to a French speaking country and come upon the phrase in real life. We do not always have met all words or meanings, sometimes we only know a meaning that do not fit.

    We are free to look up new words and phrases in dictionarys, ask others for their meaning and use here at the discussion pages or elsewhere, read grammar at www.french.about.com, practice oral understanding at www.forvo.com, make use of the international phonetic alphabeth IPA for pronounciation guidance and so on.

    That is the best way to learn, to make use of several resources and going over the exercises over and over again until we understand and solve them with ease.


    when will she, when does she: how can you tell from quand descend elle?


    "When will she go down" would be "quand descendra-t-elle".


    This is present tense. "Will" implies future tense and the verb is conjugated differently.


    My opinion is that they all mean more or less the same thing. In French, we can use future simple tense, or we can use "aller" (when is she going to) or sometimes present tense (when does she) but they all imply action in the future. I think there are subtle implications about how soon in the future.


    Does "quand est-ce qu'elle descend?" And "Elle descend quand?" Work too?


    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


    I was under the impression that with this spelling, the first syllable of descend should be pronounced as de rather than dé (which is what it sounds like)? Am I wrong?


    You say "descendre" like "déscendre" because the "de" is followed by two consonants that are in a separate syllable... I think. I'm not 100% of the exact rule, but it is indeed supposed to sound like "dé"!

    ETA: I found the rule: "When followed by one or two consonants, e is often pronounced like é (e.g., assez) or like è (e.g., elle)." Interesting that it can go both ways.


    Did anyone else have a lot of trouble being heard by the microphone on this one? I had to repeat this one a million times and eventually had to skip it. My neighbours must think I REALLY want to know when she's coming down but my friends simply will NOT tell me!


    I just managed to get it to work (on my phone) by putting it up to my mouth and speaking loudly (without shouting).


    Will her highness, Jan Levinson-Gould, be descending from her corporate throne this evening to visit us lowly serfs here at Dunder Mifflin Scranton?


    How can one hear the difference between "Quand descend-elle" and Quand descendent-elles?


    C'est une bonne question d'un chat a l'autre. Perhaps it is the "d" sound rather than the "t" sound. I also would like to know.


    'descendent' you can hear the 'd' sound whereas "descend" ends in an "on" kind of sound. You shouldn't pronounce the second 'd' in "descend"


    When descend is followed in inversion by Elle, there is a liaison and the final d is sounded as a T. You cannot omit this liason - it is obligatory.


    Can this also mean 'come down' in the context of having been euphoric? Like if someone is 'high' on the excitement of a new relationship, for example.


    I haven't heard it used this way, but since "descendre" can be used in an abstract context (e.g., how desire can rise and fall; "le désir peut monter et descendre" (although "monter and descendre" can also describe a bobbing motion!)) I would imagine it could be used that way as well. That said, again, I rarely hear "descendre" used for anything other than going down somewhere (downstairs, down a mountain, down from a tree, down a river, down somewhere south of where you were before, down from the sky) or taking things down somewhere (e.g., taking a Christmas tree down into a basement (for storage); "Il a descendu l'arbre du Noël à la cave").


    I have heard other francophones pronounce the "d" as more of a "t" sound. Yes, it's confusing.


    It is always pronounced that way before a vowel. That's the correct way.


    I have noticed that too.


    What does the [sb/sth] mean


    They're abbreviations that you should never see (somebody/something). There is a bug where they sometimes come up in the word block tests.


    On the slow speed, I hear deZend-elle. Surely it's an S?


    Why can the plural form descendent-elles be used here for this audio?

    [deactivated user]

      I would very much appreciate if somene would explain what this sentence means and where to use it. :)


      When is she coming down? For instance, she is upstairs in her room and is coming downstairs for dinner. Or she is staying up north and is coming down south for a visit.


      Why couldn't elle be translated as "it"?


      I can hear "Quand deZend elle ?"...


      very weird sentence, i ended up typing When does she land? cuz when does she come down sounded weird, but now thinking maybe she is up on tree or something so it can be logical too, lol


      It would be a very common thing to say if you are waiting for someone who is upstairs in a house or building.


      Can you really tell the difference in pronunciation between the following two versions:

      Quand descendent-elles? Quand descend-elle?


      I think the answer is Yes, but there are two interacting factors, the verb conjugation and the liaison with "elle(s)": - You can type them both into Google Translate and press the speaker icon to try to hear any difference. I hear a subtle difference. - The following web site shows the IPA pronunciation for all conjugations of verbs: https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/Annexe:Conjugaison_en_français/descendre By itself, "descendent" is pronounced /de.sɑ̃d/, whereas descend is pronounced /de.sɑ̃/; that is, there is a "d" sound the end of the plural form that is silent in the singular form. - Finally, there is a liaison between the verb and "elle(s)", so the "t" at the end of "descendent" is pronounced "t" at the beginning of "elles", and the "d" at the end of "descend" is also pronounced "t" at the beginning of "elle". So I think you can still here an extra "d" in the plural form: /de.sɑ̃d.t‿ɛl/ vs. /de.sɑ̃.t‿ɛl/

      Would be good to get confirmation from an expert.


      Should this be future tense after quand?


      It could be an option if you were wanting to say "When will she come down?" But just as in English, French has a few options for expressing the future. "When does she come down/when is she coming down/when will she come down" are all English options, and French has corresponding versions of all those too.


      Can I guess that "ascend" in French literally means "go up/going up"?


      The verb you are after is "monter." Like mount in English.

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