"Ils lisent la lettre."

Translation:They are reading the letter.

December 26, 2012

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


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".


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


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


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)


thank you Kailin, you explanation help me a lot.


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.


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


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.


Now it makes sense, merci ;)


I agree, been having such problems with that


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?)


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.


Singular- Il Plural-Ils


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


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.


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


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?


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"?


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.


Why is the read a letter wrong?


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


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


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


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)


No arguments I got that one correct.


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


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.


How do you pronounce lisent and lettre?


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


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


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


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


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.

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