"Qui appeler ?"

Translation:Whom shall I call?

December 25, 2012

This discussion is locked.


Anyone else want to answer "GHOSTBUSTERS!!!!"


Chasseurs de fantômes!


why not "who calls?"


"Qui appelle?" = Who calls? or Who is calling? The verb is conjugated.

Appeler is the verb "to call", so the literal translation of "Qui appeler?" would be "Who to call?". Appeler is not conjugated.

Hope that helps!


Merci!! That helps a lot. Very simply explained.


"who calls?" is "qui appelle ?" where who/qui is subject of verb appeler. "who shall I call?" and "qui appeler ?" have who/qui as objects (the speaker is calling)


sitesurf ...je ne avais pas faire avec cette phrase en anglais. j'aurais aime voir: Qui dois-je appeler


Alors Qui applez-vous? À qui voulez-vous parler par téléphon?

Ce sont correctes, n'est-ce pas?


Qui appelez- vous ? -..; par téléphone


qui dois-je appeller?


I put "who SHOULD I call" and was marked wrong. In common American English as I speak it, "shall" and "should" are used interchangeably (even though they have distinct meanings). Should I have gotten this right?


After doing some research the difference between shall and should is even less clear to me. (Just kidding, a little) Here is what I have learned.

Should is technically the past tense of shall. But in practice they are both used in present and future tense. In past tense only should is acceptable.

In present and future tense shall is more commanding or decided, whereas should is more advisory. I shall call Sarah. I have decided I will call Sarah. I should call Sarah. I probably should call her but I don't know if I'm going to. You shall behave. (Implied or else) You should behave. (But hey, that's on you, just saying)

I think shall is technically supposed to always be used to denote future events but it seems harsher, more demanding, so should has come into use as a substitute.

After all this, who SHOULD I call actually seems like a better translation than who SHALL I call.


Also note that "shall" is a real imperative future with "you, he, she, they", mostly used in legal or official writing, whereas "I shall/we shall" are simple future.

Now, "I will/we will" express a firm intention, whereas "you, he, she, they... will" only express a simple future.


Also 'shall' is not seen as often in American English as it is in British English, so that's why in America 'whom should I call' is more common and 'correct' to the ear.

The negative form of this is even stranger in American English: 'whom shan't I call?'. Thus I think people would prefer to use 'should' and 'shouldn't' in AmE, so both should be accepted.


As a North Carolinian, I completely agree.


i also did the same thing (American as well). I think somehow, we have formalized "shall" and most people I know say hmmmm, who should i call?


It's true that "whom shall I call" is the most grammatically correct, but literally no one would ever say this in North America. "Who should I call" would be the most likely heard replacement.


Sad though it may be, almost no one ever uses the word whom. I would argue that this answer should be accepted. It may not be "proper" English, but it's pretty standard.


who shall I call = qui vais-je appeler ? or qui appellerai-je ?


sitesurf... Duo program is so sweet and tolerant. I did not know what do do with qui appeler... so I just said... who to call... accepted.... and then I read the comment:... another possible solution.... so sweet....the whole program is so encouraging.


Shouldn't it be "whom" shall we call? Someone help me with my English here, please. >_<


In day-to-day English, we usually use "who" instead of "whom", except in some few instances. You are absolutely correct though in using "'whom' shall I/we call?" as it is the proper way.


Okay, thanks. I just wanted to double-check myself. =)


I just got corrected to "Whom shall I call?" So plummy! I guess "Whom should I call?" sounds weird, and nowadays most people use "who" for both the subject and the object, instead of "whom" for the object.

"I should give it to whom?"
"To whom should I give it?"
"Whom should I give it to?"
*"Who should I give it to?"


Why is "Who shall I call?" an appropriate translation for "Qui appeler?" ? Shouldn't "Who shall I call?" be more like "Je vais appeler qui?"

"Who to call?" is far more precise.


¨who to call¨ is a more precise translation, but it seems to mean the same as ¨who shall I call.¨ I personally hear people say ¨who shall I call¨ way more than I hear ¨who to call¨, so I think it should be accepted as a translation. Also, the most precise translation of "Je vais appeler qui?" is ¨I'm going to call whom?¨ yet ¨who shall I call¨ is still the more common way to say it.


My idea of how these words are meant to be used:

will: a person has a will and decides to do something; He will do it. shall: an event is going to happen, regardless of whether a person is involved (act of God, the weather, gravity, etc.). It shall rain. I shall get older.

Though, in practice, almost everyone says "will" instead of "shall". And, what we mean with "will" becomes more like "might think about possibly" doing it.

"I will take it" is equivalent to "I shall take it" UNLESS I change my mind. Then perhaps it becomes "I should take it because I earlier told people 'I will' " and a person of character does what they have said they would do.

The Question:

So, "Who calls?" sounds to me like, "Who has called?" or "Who is calling?" and that could translate to "Qui a appelé?" or "Qui est appelant?", or possibly "Who (is) calling?" or "Qui appelez?"

Yet, no, DL gives "Qui appeler?"

But, I understand French uses Present Participles entirely different than English. ymmv.


What a dummy, he completely forgot that "appeler" isn't "call", it's "TO call", so "Qui appeler" is "Whom TO call". Sheesh, where do these people get their crazy ideas? :-)


Since there is no subject specified here in French, a better translation would probably be the impersonal forms "Who do you call?" or "Who does one call?" (although the latter form sounds formal/literary and is uncommon now in American conversation). I'd also like to point out that technically all of these phrases are grammatically incorrect, because "whom" should be used rather than "who" (since it's not the subject). But of course we all know this and ignore it anyway!


Language is not subject to the same rules of correctness that say, mathematics is. If 99% of people think that 2+2=5, then 99% of people are wrong. If 99% of people think that "who" is correct, then 99% of people are right.

This is what causes language to evolve, otherwise I would say you were wrong for not speaking Old English. It would be better to say that 100 years ago "who" instead of "whom" was wrong, but not anymore.


I like your technically all these phrases....I had a French lady friend read a few french phrases, they too were wrong to her mind, what do I know, just trying to learn to communicate, but no one can understand me with the audio and phrase structure...


Is this the correct pronunciation of "appeler"? I thought it was ap-pel-er rather than app-ler, which I hear here.


I thought the same, but as bdgawmk points out Collins offers both pronounciations and the audio examples in Larousse all seem to be the "ap-pler" version. See/hear: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/appeler/4651


Ou bien encore "Qui devrais-je appeler?".


To me this sounded like qui appelait? Who called? any difference aurally?

  • er endings are pronounced [é]

  • ait endings are pronounced [è]

Go to Google translate, enter both appeler and appelait and listen.


appeler ends in [-e] and appelait ends in [-ɛ] in IPA. They both represent "e" in English as in "pet". [ɛ] is the American pronunciation and [e] is the Australian pronunciation.

As far as I know there is no English varient that distinguishes these two sounds. This is why it is so hard for all English speakers to both hear and pronounce the difference.

The Wiktionary page for appeler lists all of the conjugations and their pronunciations in a single table.


Me too. I was marked wrong for qui appelait. The robot is not clear in the different pronunciation.


Please compare the é sound in "appelé" with the è sound in "appelait" - with Google translate for instance.

It is the same difference as between "et" and "est".


Thanks Sitesurf, I wrote "Qui appelait". but now I am sure your advice has been really useful for me to learn how to distinguish between the two sounds. Before, I didn't even know that they are different!!

Even though, I am not able to tell, from our audio, what they say. In fact, to my poor spanish ears, it is as if the faster said "appelait" while the slower said "appeler". I assume it is a matter of (lack of) practice. Thanks again.


why shouldn't be translated to ''who called'' ?!!


who called? = qui a appelé ? (past tense)


I put "Who is calling" is that acceptable?


No, you have switched the subject and the object, because "qui appeler ?" means "who (shall I) call".

who is calling? = qui appelle ?


But then shouldn't the French actually be "Que appeler" since Que is the direct object and Qui would be the subject? You're asking "whom to call" not "who to call" which is technically incorrect English unless you meant "who should be the one making the call"


I was given just the oral sentence which I wrote down as "Qui appelez?" which is what it sounded like to me, thinking it was Who are you calling? I am assuming that this is not how you can say that. What would DL say for Who are you calling? A qui appelez?


There are a few possibilities, and I'll probably miss one or two.

  • Qui appelles-tu?
  • Tu appelles qui?
  • Qui appelez-vous?
  • Vous appelez qui?
  • Qui est-ce que tu appelles?
  • Qui est-ce que vous appelez?

I think that's it, but if someone has others, feel free to add.


With e-mail, who calls? Avec e-mail, qui __? Avec envoyant à texto, qui __?


In the dictation version of this question there is no way to distinguish between "Qui appeler?" and "Qui a appelé" (Who called?) in normal speech.


Why is who do we call wrong?


How do you make it sound like a question?? Apparently when I do the question speaking exercises, I'm not rounding it off so it discounts the question mark.


Why no contraction in the French ... qu'appeler and qu'appelle? We have a small community here in Saskatchewan Canada called Qu'appelle based on this legend: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Qu'appelle_Valley


"qui" is never elided to "qu'".


That would have to be "que"+"appelle" = "qu'appelle".


If this is Whom shall i call why is it qui and not que? or why is it not qui dois- je appeleras lit translation of the phrase is who to call?


The interrogative pronoun "qui" (who/whom) does not have an object form (to avoid any confusion with "que" = what).

Only the relative pronouns work differently:

  • c'est l'homme qui appelle (the man who calls = subject)
  • c'est l'homme que j'appelle (the man whom I call = object)
  • c'est la machine qui travaille (the machine that works = subject)
  • c'est la machine que je possède (the machine that I possess = object)


Well that's half the question answered and another example of crazy French where the same word has two very different meanings qui is nominative case qui is accusative case brilliant


Actually, since French does not have cases, adding "à qui" or "de qui" or "par qui" can make "qui" correspond to genitive, dative or ablative as well...


I know that I was merely using case as a label for a usage You have still not answered the question as to how the infinitive (appeler) is translated as 1st person singular future aspect ,'shall I call' What indication is there in the duo sentence that it is I rather than you eg?


I'm an English speaker and I have no problem with Who to call, on whose atuhority do you maintain that it is not natural English? Whom is another matter as it has fallen into deseutude except in formal situations.


Still no answer why should Interpret as an indicative what is clearly an infinitive?


re: "There is no indication on who is supposed to call, so you can interpret it as "I", or "you" or "we" or "they"..."

So "Whom shall you call" would be an acceptable answer here? (just in case the question doesn't come up again, though i guess it probably will.)

Also with respect to natural English, "What to do?" would be a comparable and maybe more commonly used example of that construction, I think? It's often more like mulling something over to oneself than asking for an option or direction from someone else...

(can picture someone staring at the phone murmuring "who to call? who to call?", trying to make up his/her mind)


(Just thinking through usage. If your boss said "Find out how many units are being shipped" and you didn't know who to get in touch with you could respond "Whom shall I call?" but you wouldn't say, "Who to call?" So wondering if there's a similar difference in French usage.)


I can not find a reply button to your most recent comments,just to point out that with a little more context the formula WH-+infinitive is common in EnglishEG ,I don't know who to call..They cannot decide where to go.I'm sure your team could think of innumerable examples


"Who am I calling?" - no?


Who 'should' I call vs who 'shall' I call. Not sure there is much of a difference.


It's very subtle. "should" implies an obligation, whereas "shall" implies a decision, similarly to "will".

  • I should call someone (I ought to call someone). Who?
  • I shall call someone (I will call someone). Who?


Saying "shall" in a question is more like asking someone else who they would have you call next. It takes the responsibility or 'will' away from the caller. I 'should' is definitely about responsibility, though not necessarily personal desire or will. I 'will' is definitely about personal will or desire.


Isnt appeler reflexive?


"s'appeler" and "appeler" have different meanings:

  • je m'appelle Patrick = my name is Patrick (= I call myself Patrick)
  • j'appelle Patrick = I am calling Patrick


Who should I call is not ok? Why?


"Who should I call" in French is qui devrais-je appeler?


Each form of a verb has a specific meaning, related to person, voice, mood, and tense. In this case the verb infinitive is used, so the meaning is "to call". "Qui" is simply "Who". So word for word it becomes "Who to call?" This has been stated by several people in the thread.

An English speaker may not be satisfied because we wouldn't say that. A lot of a language does not, cannot, translate easily to another language. Does it mean, "Who should I call?", "Who shall I call?", "Who will I call?", etc.

Then we see the DL translation to, "Who shall I call?" and it just doesn't mesh. Something seems wrong or incomplete.

Perhaps giving a range of usages would help.

J'appelle ...... I call

Je m'appelle Mark. ..... I call myself Mark.

Je t'appelle. ..... I call you.

Je l'appellerais. ..... I used to call her.

J'appellerai. ..... I will call.

J'ai appelle. ..... I called.

Note: The double "ll" is only used where there is a silent 'e' following or for the present conditional tense or the future simple tense (examples, "J'appelle", "J'appellerais", "J'appellerai").


“Whom do I call?” Or more colloquially, “Who do I call?” One would almost never hear “Whom shall I call?” in everyday speech in the South, even though we all know it is correct. One would hear either “who do I call” or “who should I call.” We understand that we shouldn’t write it that way in formal writing, however.


Notice that you keep throwing in other words such as "shall" or "should" which the French sentence at the top doesn't include. It has two words: "Qui" and "appeler". "Qui" may be "Who" or "Whom" and "appeler" the infinitive means "to call", so together they mean "Who/whom to call" It seems entirely simple and correct, except that English language speakers wouldn't ever say that. It's just a poor sentence to use for English.


Actually it must be "Whom to call?" if you want to be grammatically correct. Test: Shall I call "him" or "Shall I call "he." The first option indicates the correct use of "whom (him) in English.


why not "who is calling?"


Who is calling? = Qui appelle ? - with the verb conjugated in 3rd person singular, "qui" being the subject.


Stop it! It's "who", not "whom." "Whom" is the object of a preposition.


"Whom" is the direct or indirect form of "who".


On a different note, why "Qu'appeler? Would be incorrect, as in "Qui appeler", but taken out the "i" due to two vowels, any thoughts??


"Qui" never elides.


I put "who do I call" which was corrected to "who to call". My answer seems closer to the translation shown above. (O.K., I didn't put "whom", but does that matter? Edit - It didn't accept "whom do I call" either.


Shocking pronunciation, as usual. Didn't sound at all like appeller!!!


so if it is whom shall I CALL why is the infinitive used rather than appele which is 1st person singular


"Qui" is the object of "appeler", not the subject.

Who is calling? = Qui appelle ?

Whom (is one) to call? = Qui (doit-on) appeler ?


Since technically it's "whom" the direct object rather than the subject, shouldn't it be "Que appeler" since "que" is the direct object of appeler not the subject? "Who should I call" or "who to call" is actually incorrect English. It should be "Whom to call"? Not that most people say that....but since we're being formally correct shouldn't the same apply in French?


No, the interrogative pronoun "qui" is used to translate "who?" or "whom?", and the interrogative pronoun "que" is used to translate "what?".

  • Who's there? = Qui est là ? (subject)
  • Whom should I call. = Qui devrais-je appeler ? (object)
  • What is this? = Qu'est-ce que c'est ?
  • What are you doing? = Que fais tu ? (object)

It is different with relative pronouns, where "qui" (that/who/which) can represent anyone or anything as a subject and "que", anyone or anything as an object (that/whom/which).

  • This is the car that was parked here yesterday. = C'est la voiture qui était garée ici hier (subject).
  • He is the man (that/whom) I saw yesterday. = C'est l'homme que j'ai vu hier (object).


Whom shall and who do are interchangeable in US english in a sentence like this. But duo don't think so. I good english


Why is "Who is calling" wrong?


"Appeler" = to call. Who is calling: "Qui appelle?"


whom to call is the simplest and good

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