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  5. "Je suis une femme."

"Je suis une femme."

Translation:I am a woman.

December 29, 2012

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In French a word means several things like suis is follow and am? I'm a little confused.

  • 1851

You are right, some words can have several meanings (ex: "je suis" can mean "I am" and "I follow").

Usually, the context helps you to know which is the meaning.


Hehe. There is a little joke in French:

《Je suis un chien mais je ne suis pas un chien》

What does it mean? ;)


oosman- My language is French, but if it's a joke I don't understand it, I see nothing funny in this, it means nothing : I am a dog but I'm not a dog???????


He's using the verb "être" and the verb "suivre".


@mitaine56 That or the other way around yes. I'm not sure how that's a joke either though.


arjofo- you're saying that he says I follow a dog but I'm not a dog? Is that it? But I still don't see where's the joke.


arjofo, maybe it doesn't sound like a joke, but it's a good exemple showing that 2 sentences written the same way may not mean the same without context


Sometimes you have "homophone" in French, but don't worry, it's not so often and it's even a fun thing because it allow you to play a little with the language... Not every word in French means several things (homophony), it's relatively scarce and French is a precise language, there's no real synonyme as in English, there is always subtile differences.


"homophones" are not simply two words with a different meaning, they are two words with a different meaning and the same pronunciation.

  • "lait" and "les"

"homographs" are two words with a different meaning and the same spelling.

  • "content" (happy) and "content" (conjugation of the verb "conter").

"homonyms" are any word either "homophones", "homographs", or both (perfect homonyms) .

  • "sol" (the musical note) and "sol" (the floor) are perfect homonyms, they have the same pronunciation, the same spelling, but a different meaning.

Finally, there is also "polysemy", which is the fact that a same word has different meanings. These are different from perfect homonyms in the sense that they share the same etymology, while homonyms do not.


Yes you're correct that can mean several different things but look at the sentence that it's saying look at the sentence structure when you look at it you know it's not going to say follow or and I you look at the sentence structure you can tell it's saying I am a woman you just look does that fit in with the sentence no you have to look at the sentence structure and how the sentence is put together if that doesn't make sense then it's the other one you know


Could femme mean lady?


yes. But lady is much more formal. A lady would be rather "une dame". The English "madam" is in reality the French "ma dame" (my lady)


"madam" and "milady" have their own translation : "madame".

"my lady" = "ma dame" or "ma femme" depending on the context.


Doesn't ma femme mean wife?


It does.

And "lady" can be used to mean "wife", in which case it would be fine to translate "lady" with "femme", but since French also uses "dame" to mean "femme", using "dame" for "lady" is usually more appropriate, the "lady/dame" association has connotations of upper class that the "woman/wife/femme" association do not have, so if you want to stay in the same register, it's probably better to keep those associations, just don't be surprised if you find that they cross-over.

"Dame/lady" can also be used for style and has some idiomatic use ("les toilettes des dames" = "the ladies' room").

Nuances can be found depending on context, but for beginners if you remember that "femme" = "wife/woman" and that "dame" = "lady", you should be ok in 99% of situations.

Just don't confuse those with "madame" = "madam" which are titles (for men it's "monsieur" = "mister").


So... Ma femme means both my lady and my wife?


madam = madame, not with a space, unless you would say elle sera ma dame d'honneur à mon mariage. (matron of honor)


Well, to mean "wife", yes it could, even though it's not really used for this purpose. For other meanings, we would use "dame".


'Suis' is only used for 'Je'? Then what verb should I put for all of the other such as 'Il' and 'Elle' things?


Être (to be) au présent de l'indicatif :

  • Je suis
  • Tu es
  • Il/Elle/On est
  • Nous sommes
  • Vous êtes
  • Ils/Elles sont


donna- for to be, you're right, only je suis. If it's about to follow, it's je suis, tu suis, il suit.


i dont understand how to differentiate using un and une,, help plis


"un" is for masculine nouns and "une" for feminine nouns.


Un is masculine Une is feminine In French there are masculine and feminine nouns

<pre> Un garson for a boy </pre>

If you use un fille it would be wrong because un is a masculine noun. If you use une garson it would be wrong because une is a feminine noun.

Hope this helps


une is usually used for words ending with an -e. un is usually used for other endings (consonants), although there are exceptions.

Examples for 'une':

une fillE une femmE une tablE une gommE


polskana une manifestation, une excursion, une malédiction, une transaction, une bénédiction, une exception, une photo, and many more who don't finish with E


Why isn't the last s in 'suis' pronounced 'z' seeing as the next word starts with a vowel?


This liaison is not mandatory. There are mandatory liaisons, forbidden liaisons and optional liaisons, this one is optional.


Why can't it be translated I follow a woman? suis is follow right?


You're actually correct, the first person singular of the verbs "être" and "suivre" are the same : "je suis".

So "I follow a woman." or "I'm following a woman." are correct translations.

By the way, can you solve this riddle ?

"Je suis ce que je suis, mais je ne suis pas ce que je suis, car si j'étais ce que je suis, je ne serais pas ce que je suis. Qui suis-je ?"

Hint : The answer is always with you.

  • 1851

"suis" has two possible meanings: either "am" (verb "être") or "follow" (verb "suivre"). When you hover over the word "suis", you have access to a list of hints. If you open the conjugation table, you get the conjugations for both verbs. On the top of the window, you just have to click on the verb that you want (see: "Verb: suivre/être").


How do you pronounce 4'' femme'' I hear it as 'famna'


This audio is good enough :


These are recordings from native speakers :



shrikrishna- FEMme= FAMiliar. + euh!


A woman and a women only have one difference which is e and a then why did i get wrong


Because the one letter leniency does not work if your typo is an existing word.

The one letter leniency is to prevent typos due to a lack of attention, not to prevent typos due to a lack of knowledge. So if you use "women" instead of "woman", Duolingo will assume that you do not know the difference between plural and singular.

If you had entered "womon" instead of "woman", it would have been accepted, assuming it was your only typo in your answer, because "womon" is not an existing word, which means that Duolingo will assume that it was an error of inattention and not a lack of knowledge in the language.


alfi- because woman is singular and women is plural


How do you differentiate between wife & woman? Like if you wanted to say: I am a woman and I am a wife. I get that they use the same words but how would a French person say it to clarify what they're trying to communicate?


For your specific example, we would say something like "Je suis une femme et je suis mariée.".

Often the context is more than enough to determine which one we mean anyway, often even the simple possessive is enough: "ma femme" for example.


rwhitney- meaning wife, one never say je suis une femme, but je suis la femme de ( Paul) / I'm Paul's wife.


Then whats the French for "I am a girl"??


Je suis une fille.


In this phrase une femme...Why is it pronounced un-e instead of just une? I haven't heard it like that in school.


I don't hear a stress on the "e" in "une" in this sentence, but it's not that much of a problem even if it was stressed a bit.

Here are examples from native speakers:


You can hear that some of those stress their "e" more than others, it's not really an issue. Some accents stress some syllables more than others.


Why do you pronounce the e in une when saying "une femme" but not when saying "une fille"?


gwum- e is pronounced in both


What does gomme mean


mey- it could be gomme à mâcher/chewing gum or une gomme à effacer/an eraser


Is it just me, or does femme sound like homme when the person says it.


they said fem and then fa how am i going to know


aniya- native here, it's fam. Same sound as farm, without the R


What is the point of typing phrases in English? This is a French course, isn't it? There is too many exercises with too much emphasis on English and I think it shouldn't be that way.


david- how could Duo know if you understand the french sentence that you have to translate, if you don't translate it?


Just by tapping on words, it's quicker than typing the whole phrase. There should be more French phrase typing instead, and there is none.


Why can't we use female instead of woman. They both mean same


kumkum- no female is a gender, woman is a person


UH why are fille femme and homme so close it messes me up all the time


the pronunciation its awful


I disagree. The voice doesn't make the liaison, sure, but neither do many native French speakers.

Of course I'm not talking about ALL liaisons. Some of them make the sentence feel weird if they are dropped. I suppose the best is to learn to do all mandatory and optional liaisons, since if you speak frequently French with natives, you'll quickly learn which ones can be dropped (or you'll drop them unconsciously). The inconvenient of that method is that you risk trying to do forbidden liaisons by doing that.

In this sentence, the liaison can be dropped without problem, the liaison is optional.


when I type "I am a women" its says I wrong


because women is plural, it's a woman


femme is not wife, it means woman


"femme" can mean both "wife" and "woman".


whats the point of un and une there just the same in english


Well that's why it's called French, and not English. If you don't accept that different languages have different rules you'll have difficulties learning a new one.

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