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  5. "Ils travaillent."

"Ils travaillent."

Translation:They are working.

December 28, 2012



Easily mistaked for "Il travail" I think!!!!!


The singular of "ils travaillent" is "il travaille".

And yes, it is pronunced exactly the same way.


You must agree then that it doesn't really make sense to include sentences like this in the listening section :D


Sure it does. You answer either "Il travaille" or "Ils travaillent" in the listening section.


Only "Ils travaillent" works. Since making the distinction is impossible considering they are "pronunced exactly the same way" it doesn't make sense to have it at a listening exercise or if you do then mark both answers as correct.


I understand. But if you report the problem, then DL will eventually accept "Il travaille".


I listened and wrote "Il travaille," (in the singular), on 30/June/2014, and Duo accepted it.


now 9/2019 they accept "il travaille" but they say it means "they are working"


The context is that all of the lessons in the set have been plural so far, and this lesson group revolves around plurals. When in doubt, assume it's plural.

  • 149

Yes, I agree


You can't. They sound Identical . They can only be distinguished in context .


It's pronounced exactly the same way as the singular - even when you play the slower version. Surely both options should be valid....


What is the difference between "they work" and "they are working"?


In French "Ils/Elles travaillent" can mean either "they work" or "they are working".

[deactivated user]

    Several people have said that "Il travail" and "Ils travaillent" sound exactly the same, yet "Il travail" is still not accepted for the listening version. I will report it again.

    Edited to add: I tried reporting it, but the only options are: "The audio does not sound correct", "The French sentence is unnatural or has an error", and "The correct solution is unnatural or has an error". None of those really covers this situation.


    "Il travaille" is the correct conjugation in singular.


    I've been doing the skills in order, and reading all the 'light bulb icon' tips before beginning exercises, but don't recall anything about 'ent' (at the end when plural 'ils' precedes it). Did I miss something? Sometimes they just introduce things out of the blue and perhaps they're teaching that way.


    Conjugating verbs in French is much more complex than conjugating verbs in English.

    Check this out


    If you want more information, then all you have to do is Google "How to conjugate French verbs"

    Anyway, I gave you a link for conjugating regular verbs that end in "er"

    And here's a site that shows you how to conjugate French verbs.

    This is the link for how to conjugate the French verb "travailler"


    You will note that for present tense, it is as follows:

    je travaille

    tu travailles

    il/elle travaille

    nous travaillons

    vous travaillez

    ils/elles travaillent


    Also.......Good Lord that's complicated (went the links)! Who am I to question a language but surely they could have vastly simplified this. It's almost like complexity for the sake of complexity.


    Thanks - saved. But if duoLingo is teaching us how to speak French and are seemingly explaining what we need for upcoming exercises, shouldn't they be teaching this at least for the verbs they're using in that skill's exercises? I can't complain since it's free but still I get surprised by 'WTH is this?' moments. I don't mind being stumped by something I was taught and I forgot, but I can't know from birth that 'ent' conjugates that verb without being taught first. Now I am thanks to you but that's duoLingo's 'job' and maybe they should provide such tables at the outset. Thanks again.


    Travailler should've been introduced earlier, yet I can't remember which lesson.


    Actually before someone else potentially points it out, destroying my entire argument about duoLingo not teaching something before their exercises, it's very possible this conjugation was taught in one of the previous 6 or 7 skills. I'll go check. I've been learning 1 skill/day (time consuming enough and once did 2 skills in a day before realizing 1 is already a lot) so it's information overload. I could easily have forgot.


    Yes, learning a foreign language is complex. Therefore, it is also complex to attempt to teach a foreign language.

    People who don't speak English as a native language also scratch their heads as concerns many aspects of English (And don't forget that English from the United States is different from the English from the United Kingdom, Australia etc...

    So welcome to the long and complex journey of language.


    Thanks! And yes I recently read that it's harder to learn English (from French) than vice versa......that was surprising given the feminine/masculine and conjugation things. But both were among the easiest to learn compared to say Mandarin and other languages.


    Can you click on the verb "travaillent" which should appear in blue at the top of the page?


    Yes I could click (or maybe hover?) over the verb "travaillent" but I try not to do that as I think of it as 'cheating'. It's testing your knowledge after all, but yes that's a way of knowing what it means, i.e. even if it's a new word not explicitly taught earlier. In this case I knew what it meant due to the 'travaill....' portion. But when 'ent' suddenly started showing up to go with ils/elles I thought maybe I missed something (OR they just intruduce stuff that way).


    Okay I just clicked on the verb up above (and assume the same thing would happen if I clicked on it during the lesson itself that motivated my comment) and see a ton of conjugation information. Thanks. I'll try that during future lessons with respect to verb conjugation at least. But I still expect to read about things before being tested on them vs having to click on the words (since I see these exercises as tests so don't like to 'cheat'). I knew about hovering to see definitions, only because I stumbled upon it while moving my cursor around to answer questions, but didn't know you could achieve anything by clicking on them. Good to know.



    Sont refers to 'are', so will i be wrong if i translate the above as - Ils sont travaillent. Please explain


    "Are working" is a continuous present tense. This construct does not exist in French, so you have to use the simple present and context would tell which meaning it is.

    They are working = ils/elles travaillent


    Can the translation be "they work" instead of "they are working"?


    what is the difference between ils and elles


    Ils(refers to they for men), elles (refers to they for women)


    If you click the 'light bulb' icon at the beginning it is explained.


    Wouldn't it be "ils sont travaillent" instead? I thought "ils travaillent" translated as "they work" not "they are working"


    "Il sont travaillent" has two conjugated verbs in a row, as in "they are work", which cannot work in either language.

    "Are working" is a continuous present verbal form, which does not exist in French.

    This is why "they are working" and "they work" both translate to "ils/elles travaillent"


    So helpful, merci !


    So, "they" is masculine, "Ils"? What if they are women? Would it be "Elles travaillent"?


    "They" can tranlate to "ils" or a group of masculine people, animal or things or a mix of masculine or feminine people, animals or things; or "elles" for a group of feminine people, animals or things.


    I wrote "il travaille" and Duo wrote "you are correct. Meaning: they are working". What's with that?


    The original sentence was "ils travaillent". In the listening exercise, you could not know it was, because "il travaille" in the singular sounds the same. Apparently, for a change, the system cleared your answer but specified the original is in the plural and means "they are working".


    See that's how they should always do it to avoid confusion and 100's of discussion questions (that are usually all the same). They should mention context in brackets for each exercise or at least explain it when the answer comes up as you stated they did here. Better for everyone including those trying to answer the same question over and over again AND for DuoLingo as a whole since discussion forums could focus on other questions where people are trying to understand something. In these cases they KNOW what's right and are just irritated that they were unfairly marked wrong given they couldn't know.


    Mentioning context in brackets for every sentence would need an army, which Duolingo does not have.


    To do it now it would but when developing the questions in the first place it would have been nice to take a few keystrokes more for '(formal)' after already typing out the rest of it. True, now there is so much content that to go back and do it everywhere there's ambiguity would be a monumental task. However, if they do monitor these forums they could do it as they're brought to their attention (as opposed to searching them out by going through 100% of the content).


    They don't monitor the forums. Mods like me do and report the most crucial mistakes and issues, which sometimes get fixed. The homophone issue was ignored when the first beta courses were made and it was seven years ago, with no change in the architecture or algorithm so far.


    I understand they updated the 'tree' lately but maybe that's a different thing than you're talking about. Regardless, as a whole and considering it's free, Duolingo is awesome and I'm very happy with it. Most complaints are probably a bit nitpicky and is just people venting the frustration of learning a new tricky language. That is they're more upset with the language itself than with DuoLingo who's trying to teach it as well as they can. I'm sure thankful for it that's for sure, since Babbel and others can get expensive after awhile.


    I found this listening activity interesting, it makes you think deeper about pronunciation even without context and reinforces you previous learning... :)


    Wouldn't "They work" work?


    i guess not. im still trying to figure out why 'they work' was marked wrong for me.


    Why no "sont" here? I thought it would be Ils sont travailles ??


    I can't tell the difference between he is working and they are working


    i dont understand the differences about pronounciations between plural and singular verbs


    Sounds exactly like "Il travaille" :o


    Travaillent is ate working

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