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"Ça se peut."

Translation:That can be.

5 years ago

110 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/dTos
dTos
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I BELIEVE it is an idiomatic expression. It's just one of those phrases that doesn't really directly translate well, but is used naturally by native speakers. Basically, just something you have to memorize.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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you're right.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BonBonChat
BonBonChat
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how is this used?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heschmat
heschmat
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ça peut se produire plus tôt que ce que tu penses
= it can happen sooner than you think

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageButcher

Is it ça peut se... or ça se peut...?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You may remember that some reflexive constructions actually express a passive notion.

  • "ça se peut" has "se pouvoir" meaning "can be" + done/heard/said/seen, etc. but without a verb.

  • "ça peut se faire/s'entendre/se dire/se voir, etc." means "that can be done/heard/said/seen"; it has the verb and therefore the reflexive moves to the verb.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heschmat
heschmat
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I believe the former.

se produire = to happen, to take place

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmett705338

in a casual pronunciation, would this be said more like (excuse spelling entirely):

speus prodweer plu tow kesk tu pons. ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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sapeu sprodweer plu tow kuh skuh tu pans

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeri552312

Could it just be "Ça peut se produire plus tôt que tu pense" or do you need to use "que ce que"?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krislevey
krislevey
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Could Jean-Luc Picard use this as a French equivalent of "Make it so!" ? p.s. Nice link for ca se peut > https://offqc.com/tag/ca-se-peut/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pnitish

What is its literal translation ? "That itself can"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Actually, this type of reflexive form suggests something passive, like "that can be done, happen" or the like.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JRPlanet

Would French speakers use this phrase instead of "C'est possible"? Or are they both used, just as if I were to say "It could be" and "It's possible" nearly synonymously?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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We use "ça se peut" in casual speech and "c'est possible" in writing (or in formal speech)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deeptendu
deeptendu
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How to understand ce and se while listening?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"ce" is to be found only in front of "sont" and verb "pouvoir".

  • ce sont mes ami(e)s = they are my friends
  • ce peut être pire (very formal and rare) = that can be worse - but we would rather say "cela/ça peut être pire"

As you can see, "se" can be found (rarely) in front of "pouvoir" as well, but constructions would be different:

  • cela se peut (fixed phrase) = that can be
  • il se peut que je vienne dimanche = I might come on Sunday
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"ça" is only the short, in-speech version of "cela". Note that French people tend to use little words in "a" more often than their "i" counterparts:

  • ici < là (here - there)
  • ceci < cela/ça (this - that)
  • voici < voilà (here is - there is)

"I might" means "il se peut" and you could replace it by "je pourrais" (conditional of verb "pouvoir")

"je vienne" is in subjunctive that is used automatically with "il se peut que" and a few other verbal phrases.

So, "I might come" can translate to:

  • il se peut que je vienne
  • je pourrais venir
  • je viendrai peut-être
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kosheryosher

I assume using "cela" in this construction clears any doubt of wondering whether "ca se peut" is "that" or "this"?

The last example: why cannot "je vienne" stand alone as "I might" without using "il se peut"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy

That could be, was declined. Would it have to be conditional tense

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raul_Duke

In spoken Spanish people generally use "Se puede" instead of "Es posibile" and spoken Italian people generally use "Si può" instead of "È possibile" I would suspect that the same holds true for people using "Ça se peut" instead of "C'est possible" in spoken French.

Google trends indicates that "Ça se peut" and "C'est possible" are used with equal frequency on the Internet (which is effectively a mixture of spoken and written French) http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=%C3%87a+se+peut%2CC%27est+possible#q=%C3%87a%20se%20peut%2C%20C%27est%20possiblecmpt=q

Google Ngram indicates that "C'est possible" is used far more frequently in written French than in spoken French: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=%C3%87a+se+peut%2CC%27est+possibleyear_start=1800year_end=2000corpus=19smoothing=3share=direct_url=t1%3B%2C%C3%87a%20se%20peut%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CC%27est%20possible%3B%2Cc0

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juanitotravels

In my experience of spoken Spanish (having grown up bilingual English/Spanish), "Sí se puede" by itself means "yes one can" (impersonal se), which is better translated as "yes you can".

"That is possible" is "(eso) es posible" (in Spanish pronouns are usually omitted and used mainly for emphasis) or " (eso) puede ser" -- literally, "it (that) can be".

Is there a similar idiom or impersonal construction in French using "peut" for "yes one can"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/graysfarmer

On peut I think

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zoemarie91
zoemarie91
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For similar reasons I answered this with 'Yes you can' and it was deemed incorrect

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveT
DaveT
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I translated it as "That's doable" and got the green light.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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that's doable = c'est faisable (same structure, same meaning)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zurodz
zurodz
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I believe the closest translation would be "that can be done"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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that can be done = cela/ça peut se faire.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaleyEP

ok if it is then why do we think of teachers or someone trying to decide if you broke a rule when we hear it?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thezrail

what would be the word to word translation then ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Because "can" is not a verb that can have a reflexive pronoun, you cannot translate "se peut" to anything acceptable in English.

Otherwise "se" can mean "himself, herself, itself, oneself".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shoraite1143

It can be directly translated to Portuguese: Isso se pode/isso pode-se

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MAKOMIKOLAKO

What's the difference between "ce" and "se" in French?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Looking at the numerous comments about "ça se peut", I suggest to consider another French expression "peut-être" using the same verb, with the same exact meaning and which translates perfectly in English: "maybe" or "perhaps". So, to translate "ça se peut", I believe that Duo should accept the latter as well.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/twhelan
twhelan
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peut-etre is far more common in the canadian french I've seen

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bdoing
bdoing
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Yeah, this is what we were taught growing up in Ontario.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877
Jeffrey855877
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AHA! peut-être - that's the phrase I recall from high school French 50 years ago. Ça se peut is new to me, but then my 4 years of high-school French were very strict as far as colloquialisms went, and any relaxed form of the language was frowned upon. I don't recall the new phrase from any of the 19th century French novels I read, either. But that was 50 years ago.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchwol

Is there a reason that "that could be" is incorrect? I thought it was interchangeable with "that can be". Thank you in advance my muse.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The reason is that "could be" is in the conditional mood and "peut" is in the indicative mood.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/klc_artist2003

Can someone explain this translation? I don't understand the 'se' in this sentence.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raul_Duke

Functionally the "se" in "se peut" and the "on" in "on peut" are roughly equivalent to the "one" in the English "one can". These constructions can be useful because they allow one to talk about an action without attributing it to any person or persons in particular. In English the "one" construction is only really used in very formal language, in French it is used far more widely.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemmingofdestiny

The logic I see in it is that "se" is reflexive, so literally it means "That can [verb?] itself." or "That is able to [verb?] itself." The reason I put [verb?], is that there is a feeling that the verb pertaining to what can be done is absent, but the reflexive pronoun leads back to the subject of the sentence, so we're left with the sense that the thing that "can be done" (as you might say in English) is the subject of the sentence itself. That is to say, the subject itself is the thing possible, i.e. "That can be" or "That's possible".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stick.to.it

I think this expression might be equivalent to the US English expression "Could be."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pingu632

I agree with dTos and Sitesurf. It doesn't translate directly. My teachers used it to mean "It's possible" I'm not sure if this site acknowledges that as a translation.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

I wrote "that is possible" and it accepted that.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TharwaniPratham

When i mouse over the words it translates as 'that be possible'. Pirate speak eh?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/felicis
felicis
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In English, I believe we would say "That could be.", while the 'correct' answer is 'That can be.', I cannot think of ever hearing that spoken (though 'That can be done' or 'that can happen' and the like are OK...)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erikrichert
erikrichert
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I would agree. "That could be" while not a literal translation seems like a better idiomatic translation to me.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CWKCA
CWKCA
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Agreed. An English speaker usually would not say "that can be".

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pabrown1975

I thought it sounded like "Sa ce peut," which doesn't really translate to anything, either, except maybe "His that can." "Ça se peut" is just another saying you have to take as is, I guess.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WeekzGod
WeekzGod
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They dont' say this in Switzerland...and that god for that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Smilez-Inga

Isn't "that could be possible" the same thing? I'm confused

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KarolinaMorris

I've never used the word doable before, and I haven't heard anyone to use it. It is doable.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pjbf1979
pjbf1979
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It's definitely used. I use it myself. It may be regional

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kylaryn
Kylaryn
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You hear it a lot in business circles. I think "that works" is a pretty good translation, too.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mandarama

it's totally doable / yes, that's doable - are colloquial expressions in the UK

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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= c'est (tout à fait) faisable

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraUnscripted

Could this phrase ever use sa instead of she?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindalvasampaio

Don't get this at all. Once you use Ce as correct, then, Se is also correct...can both CE and SE be used with the same meanning?I'd like to have some explanation on this, Please!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

Ce means this/that. Se means herself/himself/oneself/each other.

In this case se is part of an expression that doesn't easily translate word by word.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saysome41

I don't really get how this one works as the structure of the sentence seems strange to me, more like "this can itself" but definitely not "this can be done" or something

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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This is an idiomatic expression using a fake reflexive that actually has a passive sense:

  • ça se peut = lit. that can be = maybe
  • ça se voit = lit. that can be seen = it shows
  • ça se fait = lit. that can be done/made = it's done / it applies
  • ça se dit = lit. that can be said = as we say / that is called / that means
  • ça se mange = lit. that can be eaten = it is edible
  • ça s'achète = lit. that can be bought = it is available / you can buy it
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandyfrench1
Sandyfrench1
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How do you pronounce “ça se” in street French?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Sass

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/honeyflower

What's the difference between "That can be" and "That could be"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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In conditional : ça se pourrait

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MAKOMIKOLAKO

What's the difference between "ce" and "se" in French?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"ce" is a demonstrative pronoun or adjective.

  • C'est mon chien (pronoun)
  • Ce sont ses parents (pronoun)
  • Ce chien est rapide (adjective)

"se" is a reflexive pronoun.

  • Il/elle/on se lave = he/she/it washes (himself/herself/itself)
  • Ils/elles se souviennent = they remember (themselves)
1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/metastaseis

Does "ça arrive" mean the same thing?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Not quite, but I assume that in some context, both "that can be" and "that happens" would be fairly close.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/djvjgrrl

when i see se before a verb i automatically assume it is reflexive and so i'm really stuck on this. i can learn this exception, but i'm curious if any native speaking french out there can tell me if ca se (verb) is used like this in any other examples.

also, would the passe compose of this be c'est se peut? i've been living in france for almost 3 years and don't think i've ever heard this (but it's entirely possible i have and didn't know it).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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ceci/cela/ça se + verb is extremely frequent in French and there are countless examples:

  • ça se dit, ça se fait, ça se comprend, ça se voit, ça se sait, ça se peut, ça se mange, ça se boit...

This fake reflexive formula has actually a passive meaning, like "that is being said".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/djvjgrrl

merci beaucoup, i think these small word combinations are the source of my ongoing nonexistent oral comprehension problem :)

because i cling desperately to direct translations, will you tell me if these are correct? if so i will memorize and practice saying them so that i can recognize them better in daily life.

ça se dit = it is being said (or is it that "it can be said")? ca se fait = it is being done/made ca se comprend - it is in general understood ca se voit = it is being seen ca se sait = it is generally known ca se peut = it is generally possible ca se mange = it is being eaten (up?) ca se boit = it is being drunk ca se rêve = it is being dreamed about (in general)

also, and last question on this for now i promise, what is the difference in meaning between on le dit and ca se dit?

thanks again

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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ça se dit = it is being said, or it can be said, or people say it, or I've heard it

on le dit = people say it/ I've heard it (but no guarantee that it is true)

ça se fait = it is being done/made; it can be done/made, people do/make it

ça se comprend = I/you/we can understand that

ça se voit = I/you/we can see it; it shows

ça se sait = it is generally known; people end up knowing about it

ça se peut = it is possible; this is a valid hypothesis; maybe/perhaps

ça se mange = it is edible; it's good (understatement);
ça se mange avec du pain = to be eaten with bread

ça se boit = it is drinkable; it's good (understatement);
ça se boit avec des glaçons = to be drunk on ice

ça se sent = I/you/we can smell it or ... feel it

ça se rêve: not used

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KimSCasey

you had me till the last one, Sitesurf. 'Ça se sent' can mean BOTH " smell it" and "not used"??

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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A mistake of mine: "ça se rêve" is something we would not say.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy

Ça se rêve (not used) sums up the knot I have tied in my poor brain (pun, this is like a bad dream). I would really appreciate your help. I started off with Ça se peut plus tôt (then que needs to go in once or twice?) que ce que vous pensez. Is que ce que correct? Is it common? It really has not helped that my device, set for the English and French alphabets, keeps auto correcting to Spanish. Darkened room, anyone?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"...que ce que" is something you can use:

With a comparative construction:

  • J'ai plus d'amis que ce que tu penses (I have more friends than what you think)

With a restrictive construction (ne... que):

  • Je ne te dis que ce que je sais (I am telling you but/only what I know).

However:

  • "sooner than you think" = "plus tôt que tu ne le penses".

Remember that "what" translates to "ce qui" (subject) or "ce que" (object) outside of interrogative constructions.

  • That's what I say = C'est ce que je dis
  • That's what is written = C'est ce qui est écrit.
3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy

Thank you so very much for your explanation. I had stumbled across 'plus tôt que tu ne le penses', on my 'que ce que' quest. Just for now, do you say this in a more flowing way, in everyday life, please. Que ce que can be surprisingly tricky for English speakers, within a lengthy sentence. However, understanding what I am saying has made a vast difference! Many thanks.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/littleowlalexa

Sure it can!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tibaltmarkov
Tibaltmarkov
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In Spanish we can form the passive with the reflexive pronoun "se", is this the same in French or is this something else?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeZhiXin1987

I'm assuming you could also say "ça ne se peut pas" for the negative of this sentence? Or not as popular?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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It's fine, but less usual than "ce n'est pas possible".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeZhiXin1987

Makes sense, thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristineP381505

It is FEASIBLE (able to be done) deemed incorrect. It is DOABLE - correct answer. Can anyone tell me the difference?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Both would be "c'est faisable" or "cela peut se faire", ie with verb "faire".

In this sentence, we have no context to interpret it as "doable/feasible".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna235055

Is this ok to use in an essay?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MAJNOONAH-FLEUR

How to use this please?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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When "maybe" or "perhaps" are given as a single word answer to a question.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jntownsend22

Can this also mean "I guess so" per chance?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheOlive2

I think 'that works' is a pretty good translation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doctordonna31

i said "it is doable" i didn't think it'd be accepted 0o0

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Does this mean the same thing as peut-être or nah

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RachelPun
RachelPun
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Can this possibly be translated as "it will do" or "it can do"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JHN3218
JHN3218
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or "that'll do"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pam_T
Pam_T
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Why isn't "That depends" acceptable? It means the same in English as "can be." and is more likely to be used.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michelle79278

would an equivalent be "that works"?

ie. "movie is Saturday at 2, that OK?" "that works"

"Le film est samedi à 2, n'est-ce pas?" "ça se peut"

or would that be wrong?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eshajori

Why isn't "That could be" accepted?

From everything I've heard, that has contextually the same meaning and is actually used in English, unlike "That can be".

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duaunena

Should this specific sentance not be in a "phrase" category?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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If we had put all phrases in the phrase category, we would have needed a 100-lesson unit. Unfortunately, we can't just add a bubble to every phrase saying "beware, this is a phrase!".

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

I'm struggling to get through this and some other earlier exercises as often the audio is silent when it says "Type what you hear" - do you have any suggestions how I can overcome this audio issue ?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy

Try reloading the app. Your work will be fine, you just sign in again. That fixed this issue for me. If you are on the website, try going into settings on your device to check your permissions. If you try playing a purchased music track, you can work out what is going on. Is it one site, or a few, occasional or happens for a while, then goes. Oddly, GENTLY tapping your device speaker with your finger, a few times, can fix problems.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

Thanks a lot KJ - I'll give this a try and let you know how I get on.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99
mammad99
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it is possible est accepté June 13, 2018 and is the first thing that comes to mind.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda4406

"that might be" or "may be" is not acceptable as a translantion?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99
mammad99
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that might be = ça se pourrait // may be = peut-être :=)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DiBrown1

why are there so many American flags shown? I thought Americans spoke English - shouldn't they therefore show the English flag? i might add, I am Australian but I would of course show the English flag when showing languages I speak

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Belasil

i do not agree.. i answered This we can

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mandarama

in English we don't have the construction 'this we can', although you might find someone saying 'This, we can do' for dramatic effect.

3 years ago