1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Es-tu sûre de devoir travail…

"Es-tu sûre de devoir travailler samedi ?"

Translation:Are you sure you have to work on Saturday?

June 14, 2015


Sorted by top post


My answer was "Are you sure of having to work on Saturday", lacking enough information to attribute devoir travailler to tu. This was marked incorrect, suggesting "Are you sure YOU have to work on Saturday?" instead. So my question is, if someone comes to a group of colleagues and tells us we all must work on Saturday, how would I ask this person if they were sure about that, where "devoir travailler" applies to nous as opposed to tu?

June 14, 2015


Great question. Here's what I would say:

  • Es-tu sûr(e) que l'on doive travailler samedi ?
  • Es-tu sûr(e) que nous devions travailler samedi ?

Both of which can be translated as "Are you sure we have to work on Saturday?"

Two reasons why the subjunctive is used: the expression of doubt is in an interrogatory form, and the two clauses (main and dependent) have different subjects. I could have probably avoided the subjunctive if I used "si" instead of "que." I don't think that'll change the general idea of the question.

June 15, 2015


That makes sense, and leaves me wondering why "tu" is missing when the question is related to "your" obligation to work on Saturday. In other words, if I were to reverse-translate "Are you sure you have to work on Saturday", my sense tells me "tu" should accompany "devoir" as your responses do with nous.

June 15, 2015


Perhaps it's the English language background that gives us that sense. :) The natural construction of two clauses with the same subject is quite different in French. The general pattern is to have only one conjugated verb for one subject, so if the subject is the same for both clauses, the second verb must be in the infinitive form.

  • Je suis content que tu sois là. = I am happy that you're here.
  • Je suis content d'être là. = I'm happy that I'm here.
  • Elle veut que je parte maintenant. = She wants me to leave now.
  • Elle veut partir maintenant. = She wants to leave now.

There are a few exceptions. For example, some conjunctions require a repeated subject in the same sentence, with the aid of the subjunctive.

  • J'ai réussi à l'examen bien que je n'aie pas étudié. = I passed the test even though I didn't study.
June 16, 2015


Got it, thanks. I am a native Spanish speaker so I can relate to that. Learning French from English is probably making me overanalyze these translations without the benefit of what I already know.

June 16, 2015


je suis content d'etre la = I'm happy to be here, a fairly literal translation, seems entirely OK to my American ear.

March 11, 2018


Why "que l'on"? And not just "qu'on"?

May 9, 2017


Short answer: to make it "sound better." "Qu'on" sounds like "con" which is not a nice thing to say out loud.

Longer answer: Both are correct. There is no grammatical difference. "Que l'on" is more formal and poetic. It's the preferred written version. "Qu'on" is the more common spoken version (and should not be written, according to many pundits). Again, the latter sounds like "con" which means the "a" word in English.

May 9, 2017


@sitesurf, 1) In "Es-tu sûr(e) que nous devions travailler samedi ? " ,

isnt "devions" imparfait tense describing some situation in the past. Then why doesnt the sentence mean,"Are you sure that we HAD to work on saturday.""

2) Also, for this question,can we say,"are you sure about having to work on Saturday."

September 24, 2017


Sitesurf is not here. :) But since you replied to my comment above, I'll answer:

1.) The conjugation of "devoir" in indicative imperfect and subjunctive present (for "nous") is the same: "nous devions."

Since "es-tu sûr que" requires the subjunctive, "devions" is the subjunctive present in that example. If you wanted to express the same sentence, but with an obligation in the past ("had to"), use the subjunctive past:

  • Are you sure we had to work on Saturday? = Es-tu sûr que nous ayons dû travailler samedi ?

2.) Yes, you can. That's an accepted response here.

September 24, 2017


@georgeoftruth, so how do you know when you need the subjunctive., Is it signigied by "que" that a subjunctive is needed.

Also, can you please ask my 2nd question?

2) Also, for this question,can we say,"are you sure about having to work on Saturday."

September 24, 2017


I direct you to links with lessons about the subjunctive, including the Tips Notes on Duolingo.


Also, I already answered your second question: Yes, you can say that.

September 25, 2017


George, the sûr(e), are both options correct? Or when would you use with the e versus without? And opposed to sur, which means on, as sur la table, is that right?

March 11, 2018


The adjective "sûr" or "sûre" refers to the subject "tu," so the choice depends on the gender of whoever you're talking to.

The circumflex accent on U distinguishes "sûr" from the preposition "sur" as in "sur la table."

March 11, 2018


I got this as an exercise in transcribing audio, and it failed me for writing "sûr” rather than "sûre".

July 6, 2015


Me too.

August 3, 2015


me as well. But I believe it is correct, going by the first example in this discussion which alludes to sûr coming with or without the e depending on the gender of the subject it is agreeing with.

July 10, 2017


Why is the 'de' necessary?

November 27, 2015


why not "a"

December 21, 2016


Can anyone explain how "de" in this sentence works? I know it translates to "to", but how and when do you use this word in other sentences? It can also be replaced sometimes with "à" which also translates to "to". How do I know when to use these? And which one to use?

Been figure this out forever!


February 6, 2017


Some verbs take 'de' and some take 'à'. I don't think there's a real explanation for that. You just need to learn the verb with the right preposition.

This verb takes 'de'. https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%AAtre_s%C3%BBr

July 25, 2018


"Are you sure to have to work saturday" is considered invalid, but we have an infinitive "de devoir travailler" -> "to have to work".

June 14, 2015


I used : Are you sure to have to work on Saturday, which was also not accepted. This is testing our English rather than our understanding of French.

January 13, 2019


How come "Are you sure that you have to work on Saturday?" was not marked correct?

October 4, 2015


I wrote the literal trans "ARE YOU SURE OF HAVING TO WORK ON SAT" which was marked correct.

February 29, 2016


I wrote "You are sure you have to work on Saturday?" and it was marked wrong and I don't know why, can anyone explain??

April 29, 2016


I wrote "Are you sure about needing to work Saturday" and it was marked incorrect and the correct answer shown was "Are you sure about having to work Saturday"

May 18, 2016


I am wondering why it is incorrect to translate the line as "are you sure of needing to work on Saturday" instead of "are you sure of having to work on Saturday." To me these are indistinguishable.

January 22, 2018


It's accepted now. Thanks.

January 23, 2018


I was wondering as well why de is necessary before the infinitive, and Just an observation, we can just put the day of the week without any prepositions? Ex saturday vs on saturday.

June 10, 2016


"Are you sure to work on Saturday" I think the meaning is the same.Then why to use extra word ?

October 2, 2016


Are you sure "to" work on Saturday is wrong because you need to justify why you used to. you have to sounds better. You could use your way, but it is pretty informal.

October 8, 2016


I would have said "es-tu sur que tu devoir travailler samedi?" Is this incorrect?

December 1, 2016


This is tricky, I wrote, are you sure to work on Saturday ? Isn't the way we speak ?

December 20, 2016


There is no indication of obligation in your suggestion. That is, you didn't translate "devoir."

December 20, 2016


I was marked wrong with "are you certain about having to work on saturday", with the suggested correct solution as "are you sure about having to work on Saturday". sûre can mean both sure and certain. I've reported it.

February 4, 2018


Do you have to. .....why is that not enough?

February 28, 2018


I understand the de after the adjective but why two infinitives right next to eachother. I thought you cant do that !?

March 30, 2018


You can have as many infinitives as you want together. For example, "J'aime pouvoir aller promener mon chien" (I like being able to go walk my dog.)

If the verbs require a link between each other, (à or de) then you must add it.

March 30, 2018


Giorgio, thank you for the link relating to French subjunctives

May 16, 2018


"Are you sure you will have to work on Saturday?" was wrong.

March 5, 2019


Is the expression "être sur" also correct if followed by a "que" instead of "de"? Example: Es-tu sûre que tu dois/doives (I am not sure about the tense here) travailler samedi? I think that the construction with "de" is more usual when who expects and who performs the action are the same person?

July 5, 2019


I have to work on Saturday would be "Je dois travailler le samedi ?". What is it about this sentence that makes the "le" unnecessary?

July 12, 2019


"samedi" without a definite article refers to the next Saturday or the last one (which one of them is easily inferred from context).

July 12, 2019


Thanks. I got it mixed up with Spanish. Google translate has "I work on Saturday" as "Je travaille le samedi". That means I work (on) Saturdays, no?

July 13, 2019


That's right!

July 13, 2019


Summadi? Bad pronunciation

September 21, 2019
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.