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"Depuis qu'il est riche, il est mauvais."

Translation:Since he became rich, he has been bad.

December 26, 2012



I'm confused. I assume ,this sentence, like others on Duolingo appears throughout the entire learning tree; so some of you may be farther along than me. I am currently on prepositions after having completed verbs present tense 2. Yet when I give what I assume is the correct translation, "Since he is rich, he is bad.", the answer is considered wrong. Seeing the correct answers is even more confusing. "Since he was rich, he's been bad." and "Since he has become rich, he is bad." I haven't even seen "he was", he's been", or "has become" covered in my lessons. I know Duolingo throws new stuff at you without explaining but this seems a little soon. My question is whether there is a way to know grammatically from looking at the sentence how to tell if it should be translated as "he is" or "he was".


The verbs are all in the present tense still - this is just a special case with the preposition "depuis." In French you don't say "since he has become rich" or "since he has been rich" - you just say "depuis qu'il est riche" to mean either of those things. There are more complicated tenses for "has been" or "has become" but you don't need them to say "since he has been." Another example: "Depuis qu'il pleut, je suis triste" would mean "Since it started raining, I've been sad."


Thank you for the explanation.


I still don't know if that would make the translation "Since it is raining, I am sad" incorrect...which is what Duolingo is currently doing.


Yes it would. "Depuis" translates as "since," but there are two meanings of the word "since" -- the time meaning ("ever since it started raining I've been sad") or the because meaning ("since it is raining, I am sad"). The second implies that you're sad because of the rain. The first just means you became sad at the same time as it started raining.

"Depuis" has no "because" meaning in French. The French construction for "because" is "parce que" (or "car"). "Depuis" just means "since" with regards to time.

Hope that makes sense.


Yes, excellent explanation, that does make perfect sense, and was something I was just not understanding. Thank you!


Thank you for taking the time to post such good explanation.


Amazing explanation, thanks


That had me puzzled too but clear now thanks. Really enjoying Duolingo


Thank you for for that explanation


Yes this was very helpful thank you


All true. The problem is that DL has conditioned us to transliterate. More often than not, doing a good translation from idiomatic French to idiomatic English gets us marked wrong.


would it be correct to say: depuis qu'il devient riche, il est mauvais", to be in keeping with the fact that he BECAME rich and wasn't just rich all along?


So, if you Did want to say, since he is rich, he is bad...which is a perfectly acceptable sentence, how would you say that in French?


I think it is "depuis que"'s construction, actually.


Since Duo never told us: -- Depuis means "since" or "for." It is used with a French verb in the present tense to talk about an action that began in the past and continues in the present. In English, this is indicated by the present perfect or present perfect progressive.

  • Depuis quand étudiez-vous le français ? // How long have you studied French?

  • J'étudie le français depuis 3 ans. // I've studied French for 3 years (and still do).

-- Depuis can also indicate something that was occurring in the past when it was interrupted by some other action. In French, this is stated with the imparfait plus passé composé; in English, the past perfect progressive plus simple past.

  • Depuis combien de temps dormais-tu quand je suis arrivé ? // How long had you been sleeping when I arrived?

  • Il vivait en France depuis 2 ans quand je l'ai vu. // He'd been living in France for two years when I saw him.



That explains why French friends frequently say or ask things like, "Since how long are you studying French?" or "I am studying in the USA since last year."


This is very helpful, thank you


I put 'Since he is rich, he has been bad' and that was marked as being 'wrong'.


that's incorrect English.


I got an error for "Ever since he became rich he has been bad". "Is bad" was the correction. Seemed silly to skip tense like that, to me.


The "official" solution is not even proper English. Since and for in their temporal uses necessitate the use of the present perfect. Some slack might have to be cut for our American friends here, but to disallow the correct answer seems a little extreme...


Agree...we would always say since he was rich ..or since he has been rich


I wrote "Since he was rich, he is bad" as a fixed solution and it was still considered wrong. If I start with "since he was rich," I must end it with "he's been bad" and if I start with, "since he became rich" I must pair it with "he is bad." I guess eventually this will make sense. For now to my beginner's mind, it doesn't.


And I wrote since "since he is rich, he is bad", and my correction was "been bad"!


Why is "since he became rich, he is bad" incorrect?


I did the same thing and got marked as wrong, even though the correct solution ("Since he has become rich, he is bad.") seems to read a lot worse in English.

For some reason you can't use "Since he has become rich, he is terrible." either, but "Since he has become rich, he has been terrible" is acceptable...?


I put the same thing. I don't really understand why we are wrong considering has become = became


Same would like to know the answer to this as well


+1 for not using the simple present here. It's ambiguous (suggesting the causative "since", not temporal), and stylistically un-English. "he has been bad", or "he has become bad", please.


And another thing, English is not my first language, it's my second. So I'm actually using my second language to learn a third one. So duolingo could give me a break if I make small mistakes in my English translations.


Bad as in Michael Jackson bad or "bad" as in supervillain bad?


I think supervillain bad. What kind of bad would you say Michael Jackson is?


probably "bad" like you can't compete with him "bad" and not he stole my purse "bad"


bad meaning oh-so-good.


Bad meaning you can't touch him when it comes to music.


What if I translate like this, "he has been bad since he was rich"? Is it also wrong?


He has been bad since he became rich is accepted.


Thanks for your information. :)


how can 'il est riche' mean 'since he has become rich'. 'est' is 'is' in english, no?


It does because "since" has two meanings in English, and we differentiate between the two with tense, whereas in French there are two different words "depuis" and "puisque". When the French say "depuis" with the present tense, in English we use "since" and the past tense, to indicate that it's the "since" corresponding to a change with respect to time.


Thank you. I think I get why the present tense is used in French in this sentence now. However, I'm not sure about the tenses in the English translation. Shouldn't it be "Since he's become rich, he's been bad."? Is Duo just "cutting some slack for the Americans" as Firionel said, and allowing bad grammar?


Thanks for the clear explantion and i now understand it :)


Pourquoi pas "since becoming rich, he is bad"


I think this is wrong of Duolingo - I did know the idiomatic (correct) translation but assumed Duolingo was being its normal literal self, and that since other tenses are not yet covered, I'd be dinged for using one.


I tend to agree. I often lose a heart for not knowing whether to be be literal or not. But then, there are times when I am pleasantly surprised to see my translation accepted when I rather expected it to be rejected. Ho hum. See also my comment above in reply to marcsfutur. Having said that, just over a month ago I had to translate "He is my cousin" and was presented with three options to choose all correct translations. I chose "C'est mon cousin" as the only correct translation, and was dinged for not also choosing "C'est ma cousine." I submitted this as an error, but apart from an acknowledgment of my submission have heard nothing further. My conclusion is that even a native French speaker would get some of this stuff wrong.


i NEVER hear anything after the acknowledgementof my submission, i think the acknowledgement is an auto-reply


Is the "que" needed after depuis? My french teacher accepts only "depuis"


It depends on the sentence I think... not sure if I speak French correctly though...

Depuis longtemps is valid, I believe, as is the sentence we are talking about.


Que is needed. It is a very common mistake in French leaving out the que e.g. je pense que... Or je crois que...


Would "Puisque il est riche, il est mauvais" translate to "Since/Because he is rich, he is bad." Puisque is causal, right!?


I wrote: "Since he's been rich, he's bad" and it was concidered mistaken. The correct answer was: "Since he has become rich, he's bad". And frankly there are many times I have come across situations like this one. I mean come on!


Agreed. It can be frustrating, but I usually try not to stress about the loss of one heart. As long as I get to the end of the lesson without having to start over I am good.


oh this gets frustrating, i realise within English that you can say something so many ways with the same meaning, but if you add an extra word here or phrase it a tiny bit different it doesn't accept your answer, it's getting a little frustrating now as i completely understand it but i lose a heart.


Agreed. It can be frustrating, but I usually try not to stress about the loss of one heart. As long as I get to the end of the lesson without having to start over I am good.


haha, oh yes. Thankyou, I was a little frustrated at the time :(


French and English use different verbal tenses to express the same idea . That's all.


The answer given, "Since he was rich, he has been bad" is terrible English. "Since he became rich, he has been bad" is more correct but is marked wrong.


Absolutely! And it would be nice if Duolingo were to change that.


I agree. grammatically correct would be to say "' Since he became rich he has been bad/mean "


Could it be "Since he was rich, he has been bad?"? What's wrong with this translation?


The French sentence says that he is definitely still bad. Your English sentence sentence says only that he was bad. It can be assumed that you mean he is still bad but it does not actually say it, unlike the French version.

As lemmingofdestiny noted above, the French depuis carries a different expectation about tense than the English use of since.


Surely Raymond7's sentence is present perfect continuous (so ongoing) and correct? I don't see anything wrong with it, it's the natural translation. The only thing that's wrong is that the software can't compute this as the translation from a French construction that does not exist in English.


Augh. This depuis que is doing my head in. I put "Since he has been rich, he is bad", which is bad english, but i was marked wrong. However "Since he has become rich, he is bad" is correct?


Why not 'Since he's been rich, he was bad'?


since he became rich he is bad was my answer. why is this incorrect?


It is not incorrect. There are simply limitations on how many possible alternative translations can be shown for any given phrase. When this occurs I just smile and move on to the next question


I am going to try and not let this one confuse me too much but I also don't want to miss anything important that is only demonstrated/discussed in this exercise. FYI I apologize if this question has already been answered. Anyways if I wanted to say "since he is rich, he is bad." in French then I would not use depuis and instead use "Parce qu'il est riche, il est mauvais" right? Merci pour tes questions aussi mes amis ils aident moi beaucoup!


The overall sense of the phrase is neither to say that he is bad because he is rich nor vice versa. After all, simply having money does not make me either good or bad. What I get out of it is that he became bad after he became rich. If you say "Parce qu'il est riche, il est mauvais" you mean that there is a correlation between his wealth and his goodness (or badness) as parce que translates as because. Depuis que translates as since. But that word has two meanings in English, one is a sense of time (since that time ...) while the other has the same meaning as because (since you are so tall ...). We already know the latter meaning is incorrect, so it must mean that since he became rich he has become bad.

On the last sentence of your comment, since you are addressing more than one person it is appropriate to use the plural form and refer to vos questions rather than tes questions. You will also eventually learn the correct phrase of ils m'aident rather than ils aident moi.


He was has always been 'il etait' as far as I'm concerned !


True but in this context one can't make a word-for-word translation. It would not make sense in English to say, for example, "I am unhappy since Tuesday" or (explaining your unhappiness), "Since Tuesday I am waiting for my heating to be repaired". In both cases English requires the use of the past tense while in French the present would be used "I have been unhappy...".

Incidentally, this is an area which often trips otherwise fluent speakers of English as an Additional Language and it is not uncommon to hear "I am unhappy since Tuesday" or similar as they fall into the same trap of literal translation.


If the above is the translation then I've been taught that it should be. Depuis qu'il est devenu riche, il est mauvais. What is going on?


If you read the full thread you will see this has been discussed previously. For what it is worth, if I were translating from English to French to express this idea I would do so exactly as you suggest, and I have no doubt the sentence would be understood by a native French speaker. The problem here is that we are translating from French, so we have to get the sense correct before we can render it into English. It is one of those phrases you cannot, unfortunately, translate word for word. See Preste's comment below, and that of Paul Morris above in reply to Linnou.


From my French class, I remember that you must write in the present tense when using "depuis", even though it doesn't make sense in English.

In fact, quite often the French use the present tense when they mean the past. I often hear well spoken French people say in English things like: "Since when do you live here?" because that's how they would say it in French (in the present tense ).


I read all the comments below but no one really addressed Istrieb's question (which is also my question) so I will ask it another way.

If Duo Lingo does not provide us with grammar rules, are we meant always to guess? And if we get too many wrong we redo the whole set of questions. Is that their methodology of learning? That seems too for tedious me. Does someone have another way of getting new grammar correct? Are we meant to jump to another French Grammar course to learn the rules?


Well, yes, that does appear to be the methodology. But to be fair that is also the methodolgy of most language learning programs, and in my experience Duolingo doesn't often get it wrong. Most of the time when I get an answer wrong it is because I have misheard or misread the prompt - or my phone has auto-corrected to something I did not type. For this situation there seems to be an assumption that the translation needs to be as literal as possible by using the present tense, which would only be correct in the Latin based languages such as Spanish and French - as in this example. Paul Morris gives an excellent explanation if you scroll up in the conversation.

The mistake that upset me the most was when I was required to translate "Il est mon cousin" and I translated it as "He is my cousin." According to Duolingo my answer was wrong because I did not also include "She is my cousin." I did report the error, but in four months all I have had is a single email acknowledging my email.


I think you may have misunderstood me. I was not complaining about getting things wrong, I was just asking if DLs methodology is to guess first in order to discover the right answer. I find this tedious because I would like to know the right way before I get a whole of wrong ways in my brain.

So I was wondering how other people figured out the grammar rules, eg: when is it "du/de la" versus only "de" (but I've already guessed this one correctly - after negatives and quantities it's just "de").


That's kind of the idea. If you start by learning the rules formally you will struggle to become fluent, because you will always be busy processing rules instead of just understanding "naturally" like a native speaker would. It can be tedious.


Yes, there was a partial misunderstanding, but phenompbg expressed it very well - better than me.


I really hate this section of the french


Why is "since he became rich, he is bad" wrong?


There is some very good explanation in a few comments below. So, I think that the DL translation above is wrong. I think it should be: "He has been bad since he became rich." Am I right?


You are absolutely correct, Evzam.


Thanks for your answer.


Why can't I say, 'Since he became rich he has been bad'?


this sounds far better than the recommended answer, and conveys the intended meaning, so I'd say it ought to be accepted! :)


I was wondering why "Since that he is rich" is incorrect?


grammatically this doesn't make sense. In English we only say "since." We do use "since that" sometimes, but it has a different meaning, in this sense "that" is used as a pronoun, much like "ca" and not "que"


"Depuis qu'il est riche..."...should translate to ."since he is rich...".....as far as I have learnt......how does "WAS" come into picture all of a sudden...


I now approach every verbal prompt with trepidation. I cannot understand vital words. For example, 'riche' in the last sentence sounded like 'pwish'. I'm making mistakes everytime a verbal comes up. The robot doesn't speak clearly.


I agree. I think that there's too much compression on the voice. It would be nice if they offered a high quality version.


I don't understand why it's not correct to say: "Depuis qu'il est RICH, il est mauvais", instead of RICHE????


Because the word is spelled riche for both masculine and feminine.


I wrote "he became" wasn't excepted


As with all translations there are many ways to say the same thing. Unfortunately it is not a precise science, as all of the earlier comments demonstrate. And for a free program I think duolingo does an amazing job overall.


Why 'he has been rich' is wrong? Is there any huge difference between has been and has become?


I don't get one thing, shouldn't it be " Since he is rich, he is bad" rather than "Since he has become rich, he is bad.". Could someone help?


This has been covered several times in this thread. The simple explanation is that he is not bad because he is rich, but he became bad after becoming rich.


Why is "since he is rich, he is bad" not acceptable? or does depuis make is past tense no matter what


This is definitely a difficult concept. Earlier in this thread Paul Morris put it very well, I am quoting him here: "True but in this context one can't make a word-for-word translation. It would not make sense in English to say, for example, "I am unhappy since Tuesday" or (explaining your unhappiness), "Since Tuesday I am waiting for my heating to be repaired". In both cases English requires the use of the past tense while in French the present would be used "I have been unhappy...".

Incidentally, this is an area which often trips otherwise fluent speakers of English as an Additional Language and it is not uncommon to hear "I am unhappy since Tuesday" or similar as they fall into the same trap of literal translation."


Ohh it makes sense when you look at it that way merci je comprend maintenant :)


well, I guess I missed the lesson on past pluperfect, because, since he has become rich...... really duo lingo? really?? I'm calling bs on this one.


Duo likes to throw new things at us when we least expect it.
This isn't the pluperfect, though.
On this thread, there are excellent explanations from jackswigget, renewtheruins & lemmingofdestiny (among others).
I learn quite a bit from these threads. :-)


I just accidentally did this exercise in English for the recording instead of French and it said I was right! I wasn't even using the right language!


I just accidentally did this exercise in English for the recording instead of French and it said I was right! I wasn't even using the right language!


I translated this with 'since he became rich, he is bad' and they marked it incorrect, for me 'became rich' and 'has become rich', mean the same thing, but has become just sounds heavier - maybe I should be taking Duolingo English!


Is there a reason that "been rich" was rejected, while "become rich" is accepted"?


well, although 'to become' is devenir, and a more literal translation of the sentence would be 'been rich' as you correctly pointed out, the English sentence would be wrong. "Since he has been rich" sounds extremely awkward to English speakers.


i stil dont understand this


Why is "ever since he became rich, he has been sick" marked wrong? I thought mauvais also applied to a person feeling physically unwell, as in - ill.


Perhaps because the word for 'sick' is 'malade' ?


Oh, that's right, I confused the two. Thanks!


I think I get it now, after the word "Depuis" you don't have to put any of the other verbs in the past tense. Even if the English translations are in past tense. I think I get it.

That why when the sentence in English said, "I have been pretty since I have been blond"...it corrected me saying, "j'ai été joli depuis que je suis blond" and not "j'ai été joli depuis que j'ai été blond"

I think I got it people! ☺


Duolingo has a glitch ! I need to flag this!

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