"Mais plus les années passent, moins ils sont nombreux."

December 26, 2012


How was I supposed to figure this one out?

December 26, 2012

You are not supposed to pre-know things. They teach you by examples that you digest and memorize (hopefully) one after another.

December 26, 2012

I agree that there's a poor methodology in teaching in this context - the phrase sounds familiar in English, but the direct translation seems no where near what it should be. If they were trying to introduce (exact) common phrases as part of the process, it should not in the lessons random translations.

January 11, 2013

This doesn't even make sense as a sentence

February 7, 2013

A Duolingo mid-life crisis perhaps...

February 21, 2013

LOL! :)

March 26, 2013

This question comes in two forms and each has a realm of comments following them. If it is causing so many problems and it is a phrase I suspect is used very rarely Why is it here? Lost yet another heart on it as I just cannot remember it either French to English or English to French. Nor do I want too!

April 19, 2013

The most literal translation, "But the more years pass, the less they number."

December 27, 2012

I agree, this is terrible pedagogy. For one, "the more...the...." sentence structures have not been taught yet. For two, having to get it wrong in order to figure out what's being said is poor planning, especially in a gamified graded system. Might I suggest making sure that first contact with this phrase is made readable, with mouse-over explanation for it rather than as a listening exercise. Especially because the recorded samples leave much to be desired; they should not be introducing new sentence structures or grammatical patterns.

April 4, 2013

New things actually need to be introduced at one point or another and by failing and redoing, we are learning also; I think it is in Duo's DNA to teach by examples.

However, the very structure "the more... the" might have been introduced little by little with easier sentences to start with, like :

(pls correct my English if I am wrong)

  • plus je mange, plus je prends du poids (the more I eat, the more I gain weight)
  • plus je mange, moins je sens la fatigue (the more I eat, the less I feel tired)

  • maybe an idiom:

  • plus on est de fous, plus on rit (the more, the merrier).
April 4, 2013

I was reminded of a song about world war one veterans - ' But year after year, those old men disappear..' If the second part of the sentence had been referring to ' les annees ' ( sorry I can't do the acute accent on this keyboard ), then ' nombreux' should have agreed in gender - ' nombreuses '.

April 17, 2013

You are right, that is a good example: "Plus les années passent, moins les anciens combattants sont nombreux" (as the years pass, the fewer veterans there are)

April 17, 2013

why do you have to say "sont nombreux"? I mean, you're already saying "the fewer" by using "moins" are you not?

April 17, 2013

"nombreux" means "numerous" "moins" means "less"

"fewer" is already a comparative formed with few+er (lit. more few), which is a form that does not exist in French.

April 17, 2013

Yes, we hadn't been taught nombreux, so it simply isn't fair.

January 1, 2013

the noun "années" is feminine, so why is "ils" used as the subject later on (with the masculine adjective)?

January 18, 2013

You are right, "années" is feminine. But in this sentence, "ils" is not meant to relate to "années" but to someone or something we know nothing about.

To be clear, you could have: "Plus les années passent et moins (les arbres = ils) sont nombreux (dans ce parc)".

January 18, 2013

I got this right with "But the more years pass, the less they are numbered." This is such a clunky sentence. I think it could be great to have something like a mini-unit before trying the sentences out, seeing as sometimes a single word will change its meaning when it is part of a phrase.

May 30, 2013
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