1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Vous êtes importants."

"Vous êtes importants."

Translation:You are important.

December 29, 2012

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon26025

"vous" can be singular or plural, so either answer should be correct. If not please clarify why. Thanks


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

If you read what I posted before, there are 6 possible translations for "you are important": singular or plural, masculine or singular. tu es important, tu es importante, vous êtes important, vous êtes importante, vous êtes importants, vous êtes importantes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sylvietr

This is correct, with the caveat that some people may get this question with the audio where you have to transcribe, in which case it can only be "Vous êtes importants," and "Vous êtes important".


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

You are right, some of us actually got the French first.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KirbyGod

"you" is also singular or plural in English. regarding you as a person or you [all] as a group


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

They are homophones and Duo was supposed to apply their special filter to accept the singular version as a correct transcript of the audio. Apparently, it's still not working, so I disabled the audio exercise (again).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FerEtayoRguez

This is not only an issue with the audio, but with the multiple choice too. I was asked to decide between "Vous êtes importants/important" and only the first one was marked correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dankbaguette

Vous êtes gentil. Vous êtes intelligent. Vous êtes important. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerekSimms

....which is what we ought to say to ourselves every morning...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VictoriaYi2

Lol... Vous êtes raison


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cobiko

Vous "est" gentil. Vous "est" intelligent... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/countvlad

I thought there is no elision between 'êtes' and ïmportant'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeChatParle

After the verb Etre, you only create a liaison if you want to sound formal. This would be if you're speaking at a gala, reading poetry, etc.

Here are some links on

Forbidden liaisons: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-f.htm

Required liaisons: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-r.htm

Optional liaisons: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-o.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ksorgenfrie

I thought the same; I was taught that way, at least.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeChatParle

It's an optional liaison


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BaconPancakes

There shouldn't be, Duolingo messed up...


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

There is a liaison between "êtes" and "important(s)" that you can hear in the audio.

It is optional but most welcome for a nice flow of words:

http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-o.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

Their liaison doesn't quite sound right to my ear, but, yes, there should be one. It should, I think, be something like eht zum-por-tahn, whereas in Duo it sounds like eht uh-zum-por-tahn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbrown93

I typed in "You all are important" for a translation of "Vous êtes importants" and it was wrong. I thought you could translate it both ways?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Some posters on this board explain vous as meaning (singular) you or (plural) you all.

That is not correct

You don't translate vous/ you (plural) as you all any more than you write you all when using you (plural) in English. Some American regional dialects will occasionally add all to finish you (plural) but that is not required in English nor is the practice widespread.

Using you all to illustrate the meaning of vous (plural) simply misleads French students.

Vous is translated as either you (singular) or as you (plural). That's it. No other words are needed in English or French.

Edit: I should add that there are circumstances, in English, where you all is used to indicate unanimity such as ... you all agreed to this, now you are complaining.... Other occasions where you all might be used, is to emphasize the size of a crowd....look at you all, its amazing!... Another example is when it is used to address a single person who is seen as representative of a group or community... Will you all be staying overnight or just some of you? ....

In these instances, all is used as a stand alone word employed to make a point. It is not an extension of you intended as just another way of indicating plurality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toririt

I'd still think that "you all" should work? It's something understood by all English-speakers, even if it isn't widely used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2030

You certainly can say "you all" in English, but that does not translate to "vous"; it translates to "vous tous". The French "vous" will always be translated as "you" and it may be either singular or plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcailMc

Why was my answer "they are important" wrong? I thought "vous" could be a plural you meaning "they".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

No, vous is the plural you (as well as the formal singular you).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Ils or Elles are 'they'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phoenix_Bond

Ils means they, as in everyone, and Elles means they as in only females


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pabeaufait

This issue has been hanging fire for two years. When is Duolingo going to come to grips with "vous" as a singular as well as plural pronoun?


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

They are homophones and Duo was supposed to apply their special filter to accept the singular version as a correct transcript of the audio. Apparently, it's still not working, so I disabled the audio exercise (again).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/creepy_owlet

It's not only about audio. I got "Vous etes ..." and choice between important and importants, of which important was called wrong..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pabeaufait

Sitesurf, thank you for an explanation of how a special filter is supposed to work. It would be wonderful to get another shout out here when it is working.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mike000schwartz

Just a small "anecdote" :

I tried using "You all are important." (...which is sometimes regarded as a dialectical variant of "American English" usage, [popular at least in informal usage, and] often associated with the [old] "South" ... that is, associated with those states of the US which were once part of the so-called "Confederate States of America").

I did that because, in English, "You" is ambiguous in number ... it is spelled and pronounced the same for both singular and plural.

I thought that (perhaps) using "You all" instead, would ... help avoid a situation in which the sentence would "lose a lot (or, at least, lose something) in translation" ... because, in French, "Vous" is unambiguously plural (and so is "êtes").

Perhaps it is "needless to say", but ... this was rejected in a nanosecond by the trusty duolingo robot. It insisted that the [correct] English translation must be (something more like) "You are important.", ... complete with the ambiguity about "singular vs. plural".

Perhaps the lesson (for me at least), is: << "don't try to be a wise guy" >>. Just stick to the "tried and true", and if a given sentence must "lose something in translation", then just accept that it is a loss that may be 100% necessary, so . . . do not "lose any sleep" over that loss.

Just an "anecdote".

Mike Schwartz


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

A reminder, Mike: "vous" is not only plural, when addressed to 2 or more people, but also the formal singular, addressed to one person you do not know well or owe respect to.

In this regard, "vous" is as ambiguous as "you".

Yet, since French adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun or pronoun they qualify, 6 reverse translations are possible in French for "you are important" :

  • tu es important
  • tu es importante
  • vous êtes important
  • vous êtes importante
  • vous êtes importants
  • vous êtes importantes.

In writing, they are all different; in speech, you would hear the differences between "tu" and "vous" and between the masculine and the feminine variants, yet not their respective plural versions, since the ending -s is mute.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/septiros

Is "Vous" an informal form too in French? Or only to refer plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2030

To clarify: "vous" may be singular, in which case it is the formal/polite form. "Vous" may also be plural in which case the level of familiarity is not relevant. The singular "tu" is always informal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Vous is either informal or formal plural or formal singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V.A.Z4French

I put "you are of importance" I thought it was the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NuriAndree

comment "importants" plural when the sentence refers to vous etes (for a formal address to one person?)


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

Remeber: "vous" is also used as a plural "you", when you address 2 or more people. Hence the plural.


[deactivated user]

    Thanks, duolingo. You're important too. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RooArtiste

    Why can’t it be Vous est...?


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

    For the same reason you can't say "you is": the conjugation is not right.

    Please learn the conjugation of the verb être in present: je suis, tu es, il/elle/on est, nous sommes, vous êtes, ils/elles sont.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woobeeton

    Thanks duo! you are too.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MARILYN809884

    Im still confused...why does the singular use importants with the s ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelLan780021

    I just wanted to say that what I learned is that this is really not a correct translation. I mean I guess important could mean what it means in English, but usually in French when you say you are important, what that really means is you are important to me, as in I care about you, and it doesn't really mean the same thing that it does in English. At least this is what I was taught..


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

    The translation is correct. Someone important is someone who matters, not only to me as a person but to the society or organisation they live or work in. "An important man/Un homme important" is someone who has influence and power, and usually a high position.

    Which does not prevent "tu es important pour moi" to mean that you are playing a major role in my life.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.