"Ils lisent la lettre."

Translation:They are reading the letter.

December 26, 2012



There is no way to know whether "he" is plural or singular.

December 26, 2012


There is a way to tell, but it's subtle.

The singular, "il lit", sounds like "il lee".

The plural, "ils lisent", sounds like "il leese".

December 31, 2012


This helps a lot, but I still mess up from not being able to hear the lady clearly. Thank you, though!

March 11, 2013


Thanks. Now if the first letter of the next word is a vowel... sigh.

January 7, 2013


KaitlinMS said:

The singular, "il lit", sounds like "il lee".

The plural, "ils lisent", sounds like "il leese".

Well if the first letter of the next word is a vowel, you pronounce the 's' in 'ils' For example: "Ils ecrivent une lettre", sounds like "il suh-criv" (or ils ecriv)

April 24, 2013


thank you Kailin, you explanation help me a lot.

October 15, 2015


Thanks! I see, you can get it from the ending in third person plural, because one pronounces the 's' in 'lisent'. Has nothing to do with the pronoun in this case.

January 14, 2013


So, I don't pronounce the 'ent' at the end?

September 10, 2014


Often consonants will only be pronounced if they have a vowel following them. This is why "lis" is pronounced "lee" and "lisent" is pronounced "leese". There are exceptions but you will be more often correct if you drop the consonants at the end of words.

June 4, 2015


Now it makes sense, merci ;)

June 5, 2015



February 19, 2018


I agree, been having such problems with that

December 27, 2012


I got that it was supposed to be "Ils lisent" based on her emphasis of the conjugation of the verb "lire", which sounded like "leeze." That emphasized "S" indicated the tense of the verb, which was to be the hint for the pronoun.

What I DIDN'T get, however, was the article in front of "lettre," which sounded and continues to sound like "les" not "la". It totally sounds like she's saying "lay", which would indicate the plural "les" to me. Le sigh (or should I say les sighs?)

October 11, 2013


I could not discern whether the audio was "la" lettre or "les" lettres. I listened a few times, and it was challenging for me to hear the article before the noun.

August 7, 2018


Singular- Il Plural-Ils

December 13, 2014


with this auto voice it is hard to tell "lis" from "lisent" or "mange" from "mangent"

January 3, 2013


There's actually no difference between the pronunciation of "mange" and "mangent". In a conversation, you can only tell from the context of the rest of the sentence.

Google Translate is a pretty good place to listen to pronunciations: http://translate.google.com/#en/fr/He%20eats.%0AThey%20are%20eating.

January 3, 2013


Forvo is better, because on Google, they're bots, on Forvo they're human beings.

April 4, 2014


I agree with the OP - from this audio snippet, how are we supposed to guess that this is plural? Is there some subtlety of the pronunciation that gives it away?

December 31, 2012


For the translation "Ils lisent la lettre" why can't I substitute "Ils" for "Elles" since both are plural? Wouldn't it be the same if I typed in "Elles lisent la lettre"?

April 24, 2013


That's a good question. In this case we could probably substitute "ils" for "elles", but I guess that's just not what Duolingo is looking for here.

In case you didn't know, "ils" is used for both a group of men and a mixed group of men and women. "Elles" is only used for a group of women.

April 24, 2013


Why is the read a letter wrong?

March 22, 2018


I typed "They read a letter" but the correct answer was "They are reading a letter". I thought both can be right.

May 17, 2018


How do you know if it should be Elles or Ils - Ils was used with la lettre and Elles was used with une lettre

June 4, 2018


how to tell the difference between "lls lisent" and "Il lis"?

December 16, 2014


il lis is pronounced il li

ils lisent is prnounced il liz

(the is here are long - what English speakers tend to transcribe as ee)

March 7, 2015


No arguments I got that one correct.

October 26, 2015


How do i know if an object is feminine or masculine?

November 8, 2015


You learn that as part of learning each noun, le for male, la for female. For example: La voiture is car, le arbre is tree. Also, some nouns can be masculine or feminine: le chat is a male cat, la chatte is a female cat. The male/female choice is not always intuitive, not always based on the nature of the noun. Hope this helps.

November 8, 2015


How do you pronounce lisent and lettre?

December 4, 2017



March 14, 2018


When im correct it says im not ..so frustrating ..as i keep getting the same question

April 25, 2018


would it maybe be a good idea to add some grammar concepts in with the translation questions, like maybe make some grammar questions too Mainly for: -Irregular verbs -Infinite verbs -le, la, les l' -un, une

June 21, 2018


Guys what is the difference between "Elles" and "Ils"?

August 27, 2018


It would be great to have a verb table somewhere in easy access!

September 19, 2018


I donot understand why in this lettre is preceded by "la" while I find the word lettre is masculine. Can any body help me to understand.

October 26, 2018
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