"Vous pouvez manger seul ?"

Translation:You can eat alone?

December 29, 2012

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/pmass

Why not "seuls", since "Vous" can be both formal and plural?

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta

seconded

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Please read the answers already given on this thread.

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta

I think the question is, why do we lose a heart for using seuls ?

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

As I said before on this thread, there are 18 possible translations for "can you eat alone?". Duolingo has probably not anticipated so many variants!

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TemocEht

And why not " you may eat alone?"

March 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Can" or "may" translate "pouvoir", depending on context.

The inversion of Verb and Subject is the specific form of a question: can/may you eat alone?

What I see at the top of this page is a mix where the French version is casual "vous pouvez... ?" (Subject-Verb) whereas the English version is standard "can you...?" (Verb-Subject).

However, in French, you still have 3 ways of asking a question: formal - standard - casual:

  • Pouvez-vous manger seul ?
  • Est-ce que vous pouvez manger seul ?
  • Vous pouvez manger seul ?

In addition, "can you eat alone" can be translated either with the familiar "tu", or the polite singular "vous" or the plural "vous", and all three alternatives can be feminine or masculine:

  • Peux-tu manger seul ?
  • Peux-tu manger seule ?
  • Pouvez-vous manger seul ?
  • Pouvez-vous manger seule ?
  • Pouvez-vous manger seuls ?
  • Pouvez-vous manger seules ?

To sum it up, there are 18 ways of translating "can you eat alone?"...

April 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyndiluwho

So you're saying that seul can't be plural unless it's in an inversion sentence? If not, you haven't really explained why it can't be vous poulez manger seuls.

October 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

No, that is not what I explained. The first part is about the 3 possible constructions of a question which all apply to the second part variants of gender and number.

That is why I said that there are 18 possible combinations.

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyndiluwho

I really am not trying to be difficult, but I still don't understand why the word "seul" in this case cannot be plural. Duo marked it wrong when I used "seuls" and insists that it must be singular and I'd like to know if there is a reason for that. Is it because, as you said previous, that the sentence is fine but Duo didn't anticipate that we'd translate it different ways?

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kimsim7

What you can do if you disagree with Duo marking an answer wrong is click on the red flag in the banner that tells you if you're wrong or right and click "My answer should have been accepted." I don't think you get your heart back, but it helps Duolingo function better.

January 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

There may be a bug somewhere, depending on which exercise you had to do: write what you hear or translate or MCQ? Do you remember the context of this refusal?

October 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyndiluwho

I had to translate from the robovoice. It said "vous pouvez manger seul" and I typed seuls and it marked it wrong and said it should be singular.

October 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Alright, I know now what the issue is: as you have noticed "seul, seule, seuls, seules" are homophones (same pronunciation).

Duo is currently working on a better way to filter homophones and accept variants, even if the original, written sentence used for dictation was not identical.

So, in the meantime, you have to memorize the gender and number of the "original, written" sentence so that you can write it down correctly when you get it in dictation.

October 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyndiluwho

Ok, so what if it is the first time it came up in that particular lesson? Once I lose a heart, I usually start over if it is in the beginning of the lesson.

October 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/excellence2018

Noted

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LukasM1

That's a nice thing to ask

April 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kadara_gata

unfortunately no; I need somebody to pre-chew my food for me.

October 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/um6661138

awe- ur a widdle baby bird. : )

January 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/almostcin

is there any difference in pronunciation between seul and seuls (considering that it is the last word spoken)?

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Plural -s endings are pronounced only when a liaison is needed.

So, "seuls" at the end of a sentences sounds like "seul".

If someone says "ses seuls amis", you should hear SEUL-Z-AMI

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kuchesezik

"Seules" also returned that my answer is incorrect.

February 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sandra.Jacobsen

is it possible to say "could you eat alone?"

February 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"could" is either preterit or conditional:

could you eat alone? = pouviez-vous / avez-vous pu or pourriez-vous manger seul ?

February 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BonBonChat

Does it mean " Can you eat alone? " or what?

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Yes, exactly. Very often, in speech, the French ask questions as if they were statements, only raising their voice on the last syllable so that it "sounds" as a question.

January 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nouran9

Why not (seuls) as it can refer to they too,, not only the formal (you).

February 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

please read above

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/constancelu

what's meaning of the "manger"? why not use mangez?

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"manger" is the infinitive, non conjugated form or the verb.

"mangez" is used only with "vous" (polite singular or plural) in indicative present.

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/constancelu

got it thanks!

March 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBareBears

This is what I learned in French class: all verbs ending in "-er" mean, "to..." For example, "manger" would be "to eat". So wouldn't this sentence be translated as, "You can to eat alone"? I'm confused on this.

November 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

No, because after "can" (+ may, must, should, shall, will, would...) the English verb is used without "to".

November 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Zapolleus

This is not a question...

July 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/blunket

Yes it is. It's asking if they can eat alone. How's that not a question?

February 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RinoSrbin

looking forward

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/korry_

Why not sel as salt? it sounds the same

February 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

No, "seul" and "sel" don't sound the same.

seul = [suhl]

sel = [sel]

February 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michelicopter

Can anyone explain why "Can you eat alone?" is accepted as correct but "May you eat alone?" is not? I appreciate it is an odd way to say it in English but 'pouvez' could be translated as 'may' as well as 'can', I thought

January 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kateruno4ka

why not - Can you eat by yourselves- if vous is plural?

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"seul" is masculine singular, so it is necessarily "by yourself".

"by yourselves" = seuls or seules

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jim949319

"vous pouvez manger seule" is marked wrong. Pourquoi?

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Homophones need a special treatment and this one has not been treated yet. In the meantime, I will disable the "type what you hear" exercise.

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/gaiagoddess

"Seule" should be accepted.

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/noriutobuleti1

I understand that 'Very often, in speech, the French ask questions as if they were statements, only raising their voice on the last syllable so that it "sounds" as a question.' but isn't it a speech from the street? Isn't it correct to say 'Can you eat alone?' in English? I don't mind learning slang, down to earth expressions, etc, I just want to know what is what.

January 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Asking questions as if they were statements is not slang, just informal in spoken French. In writing, you should use "Est-ce que vous mangez seul(e)(s) ?", which is standard French. "Can you eat alone?" is the standard way of asking questions in English and it is accepted. However, "You can eat alone?" is possible, as an expression of surprise or disbelief.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/excellence2018

Noted

March 23, 2019
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