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"Quand est-ce que vous vous promenez ?"

Translation:When are you going for a walk?

December 29, 2012



I answered: "When do you take a walk?". Should be fine, right?


I agree, your translation should be accepted (same as mine, actually).


I was marked wrong for not selecting "When are you GOING to take a walk", If I'm not wrong the translation would be "Quand est-ce que vous allez vous promener"?


There is no notion of future in "quand est-ce que vous vous promenez ?" which is inconsistent with the English translation proposed above.

If you include near future in the French sentence (at the same level as in English): "quand allez-vous vous promener ?" or "quand allez-vous aller vous promener ?".

But since the French near future uses verb "aller", it is not clear in that French question whether it is about "going for a walk" or "going to go for a walk".

The repetition of "aller/go" would be awkward in both languages, I think.

At last, our Académie would not approve of the double interrogative words at the beginning of the sentence (quand + est-ce que).



You have expressed appreciation of English language tips so I will provide one which is very small but something for you to consider.

You wrote At last, our Académie would not approve of. Assuming it was not a typo here are a couple of style elements for you to examine. You can write At least meaning, more or less, that there is the Académie to consider regardless of whatever anyone else says. Sometimes, this is written as At the very least.

Another construction available is And last, where you have made some points and want to finish with the most important one. At last sounds a little bit like ..it's about time the Académie stepped up and gave the ruling which I can now tell you about.

As I said, it was probably just a typo, but I thought I would direct you to some English language style elements derived from rhetoric. Naturally, they are highly subjective and will provide an opportunity for commenters to post that no one ever talks that way. Of course, you should look at what they have to say and form your own opinion.

For those who followed this post this far, France has an academy that is regarded as the guardian of the French language. Their job is to maintain the purity of the language and protect it's integrity as the national language of France. They are considered official in a way that has no comparable counterpart in the English language. Thus, I can say whatever I want about the practice of English and someone can respond with whatever they want. When it comes to style, there is nothing that is considered official. Dictionaries give definitions but style and usage are whatever you claim it is.

Those who disagree with my points should direct them to Sitesurf for her benefit, which she will undoubtedly appreciate, but not to me. Whatever anyone else has to say is just as true as what I have written. Of course, the reverse is also true.


1)I did not mean "at least", nor "and last... but not least". I meant to introduce a last comment (but not that it was the most important one). Should I say "finally"?

2)"La vérité n'est pas de ce monde"

3) (just to annoy you: ... protect its integrity...)

Last but not least: thank you very much for your contributions to my culture!

  1. Finally, gets it across as a wrap up comment.

  2. lol

  3. Ah yes, it's the old its trick. I know the rule well enough to really appreciate when it's pointed out that its use in my sentence contained its own error. It's a much valued comment because of its appropriateness. Thank you

  4. Just remember, I was talking about style which is very much in the eye of the beholder. There are many on this board who think I am the last person to talk to someone else about style in English composition.

Whatever contributions I make to your English are but a straw in the wind compared to your efforts on this site.


Kim, hopefully the band at least knows how to spell manual? (couldn't resist sorry :-)


Sitesurf, and Northernguy, I disagree, to some extent. I think newspapers use "style guides" for their writers. The New York Times Manuel of Style guide, and AP guide being the most prominent. Also, we use Strunk and White Elements of Style, (as in EB White of Charlotte's Web fame) as the go-to guide for punctuation, grammar, and appropriate syntax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elements_of_Style That being said, in my own writing, I have dangled participles at the end of sentences thither and yon, and tortured syntax beyond all recognition. But I can spell to beat the band. :)


Interested in your mention of the académie française - is there a style guide or reference that they provide that's available as a study guide?


Their whole site is in French (so, no offense, but you have to really be good at French to enjoy it).



The pronominal verb use of the reflexive pronoun sounds redundant to my native English ears. By this convention then, I suppose we must include the reflexive pronoun with infinitives? Is it correct then, to say, "quand est ce que vous voulez vous soûler?" Answer, "this lesson has already driven me to the bottle!"


Yes, that's correct.

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There may be some confusion on Duo's part as well. Promener as a transitive verb means "to take (out) for a walk/stroll, e.g., j'ai passé le week-end à promener un ami dans Paris = I spent the weekend showing a friend around Paris" or promener le chien = to take the dog for a walk. When used reflexively, it is more like "to go for a walk/stroll". Perhaps there was some cross-over that brought "going for a walk" and "take a walk" together into "going to take a walk", which is not correct, as Sitesurf has already pointed out. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/promener/63556


Yeah, I made the same "mistake."


But this IS Duolingo's translation, too... (see above)


Why is "vous" repeated here? I think I forgot some older lessons. I must review!


"se promener" is a pronominal verb, i.e. constructed with an object pronoun.

"je me promène" (= I walk myself!), "tu te promènes", "il/elle/on se promène", "nous nous promenons", "vous vous promenez", "ils/elles se promènent".


To be a bit more specific "se promener" is a reflexive pronomial verb so the reflexive pronouns always aligns with the subject. Like the examples Site gives above. Interestingly promener (and I guess many reflexive verbs) can be used non-reflexively targeting someone/something else such as: Elle promène le chien, "She is walking the dog".


Thank you for that concept of a "pronominal verb". This lesson also has "je me lève" which appears to work the same way: and may have more similar verb that I haven't yet met.


We have to remember, we are learning another language and that it has its own basic set of rules just like the English language does. In doing so, it may take us a little longer, but we can do it, by our PRACTICING!!! The same if they were trying to learn our language!


I see. I will have to read about pronominal verbs (just did a google search and came up with the about.com page which seems like a good place to start : http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronominalverbs.htm).

Thank you for your helpful response! You also answered my other question :-)


It literally means 'promenading yourself' in the sense of a public exhibition and IIRC it can have that sense in French (and in the Spanish equivalent).

Perhaps Sitesurf knows if one world use se promèner for when going for a walk for exercise or powerwalk?


"se promener" is about walking slowly, quietly, to breathe some fresh air and enjoy the landscape.

"la marche" is about exercising, walking faster, in long strides or hurrying to the station to get your train and be at the office on time.


Is there any difference between promener and marcher? Should I use them in different situations?


"promener" implies walking quite slowly. Marcher can be sportive and fast.


Thanks! I had the same question.


Why is "When are you going to take a walk?" not correct?


There is no notion of "going to" here. the question is general about walking habits. the answer to that question could be: "when the weather is fine".


While I kind of agree with you, in other instances the software itself uses both interchangably, so people are justified in thinking that both tenses should be acceptable.

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"Going to take a walk" is not the same as "going for a walk". If DL used these terms interchangeably, it is wrong. See my comment below, "Just to clarify...."


It's an interesting point. I translated as "When are you going for a walk". I think the distinction is a fine one. However, I think in this case it's less to do with "going to", as in the near future, and more to do with "going for a walk" being a translation of se promener. So, je me promener can be "I am going for a walk" in the present, rather than, "je vais marcher" - I am going to walk or "quand est-ce vous allez se promener" which would be "when are you going to take a walk" (perhaps!)

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Just to clarify, se promener = to go for a walk (or) to take a walk. It is not the same as "going to" + verb. It is just "to go for a walk". The "go" is not a separate action nor does it imply the "near future". It is part of the whole sense of the pronominal verb se promener in the same way that "take" is part of the whole sense of "take a walk". It does not require any other word to say "go" or "take". I think sometimes people are confused about "take a walk" and "go for a walk" and mingle the terms together into "going to take a walk", which is not correct. If you want to say, "I am going to take a walk", it would be Je vais me promener. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/promener/63556


I was marked wrong for NOT marking "When are you going for a walk". This would be, "Quand est-ce que vous allez vous(?) promener?" No?

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When used reflexively, se promener has the meaning of "to go for a walk". It does not require "aller". http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/promener/63556


It can be complemented with aller or venir, depending on context:

  • je vais me promener (but then it is either near future or a real movement)
  • tu viens te promener avec moi? (a movement, for sure)


why would 'when will you go for a walk' not also be correct here?


Quand est-ce que vous vous promenez ? is inquiring about a habit, not a future project.


Why is 'when do you promenade?' incorrect? It's a perfectly acceptable verb in English. Or is there a different French verb that means the same as 'to promenade' in English?

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This English-side definition of "promenade" is insightful (formal, humorous). http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/english-french/promenade/604377 It would more likely be used to refer to a dance move or to the action at the end of a play where the actors come on stage to take their bows (also called "promenade"). Wordreference.com aside, the English verb "promenade" is a bit dated, according to the Cambridge Online Dictionary: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/american-english/promenade_2 Could you use it? Certainly. If you don't mind being chuckled at! ;-) Please don't shoot the messenger!


I put 'when is' and it said that's not right but 'when's' is fine


I answered: When do you take a walk ? It was OK! (Nothing problem!)


Why is 'when are you going for a walk' a fail?!


That is accepted.


So the previous comments don't really elucidate this for me: is "When are you GOING to take a walk?" acceptable?


Check this out on google translate, and I think you will find that it says, "When are you going for a walk?"

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Google Translate is not a reliable reference although you may occasionally get lucky to have a simple sentence translated perfectly.


Why is "when are you going for your walk?" incorrect?

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There is nothing in the sentence that says "your walk"; it is just "when are you going for a walk?"


Why isn't "When is it that you walk?" not acceptable???


Shouldn't "When do you walk yourself?" be right also?


No. You wouldn't say that in English, unless you meant something like "When are you, yourself, going for a walk?" but that would be a different sentence: Quand est-ce que vous, vous-même, vous promenez? Se promener is just how you say "to go for a walk" and you don't translate the se.


Why is the other vous necessary?


It's a pronomial verb, se promener (to go for a walk). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronominalverbs.htm


So can I tell someone to take a walk if i just say promenez


There's two "vous" here, is that correct?


After Sitesurf explained the difference between "promener" and "marcher", I think the word "stroll" translates to "promener" quite nicely.


I answered "When are you going for your walk." I don'really see why this wasn't accepted.


correct solution according Duolingo: "When do you all go on a walk?" I can't believe...


Why not just quand est-ce que vous promenez?


"se promener" is a reflexive verb, literally meaning: to walk oneself.

So a reflexive pronoun (object of the verb) is required: je me promène, tu te promènes, il/elle/on se promène, nous nous promenons, vous vous promenez, ils/elles se promènent.


Thank you for such a helpful reply, Sitesurf.


My answer was "What time do you take a walk?" And it was marked as incorrect, though it shouldn't be wrong, should it???


"quand/when" is more general and the answer to the question would not be the same:

  • à quelle heure te promènes-tu ? - à huit heures
  • quand te promènes-tu ? - le dimanche
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