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  5. "Je commande !"

"Je commande !"

Translation:I am in charge!

December 30, 2012

78 Comments


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

In English, we would never say "I order!" and probably never "I command!", so why are these the preferred translations? These types of word almost always require an object. An exception, which I submitted, was "I insist!". In the military, it would be "That's an order!".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert.plu

"I order" is the best translation of this sentence. Not in the sense of giving a military order, but in the sense of ordering at a restaurant. "Je commande des frites" is an acceptable response if you are wanting fries at McDonald's in France.


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

In that example " I order" would not be followed by an exclamation mark as it is here on DL.
With the exclamation at the end of the sentence we would naturally add "it" in the english construction. I think that is what causes the confusion with this sentence.


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

Then why an ! The ! implies something more foreceful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpanishDon918

Agreed- we would say "I command" or "I order", but probably just Duolingo's way of making sure we get the general meaning of verbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

That is pretty much the story, Don. In English, we don't go around saying "I command" but it was deemed a simple way to help learners remember the core idea of the verb "commander". But we must also remember that it is not always about ordering people about or being in charge, to wit, "Je commande une pizza."


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

Maybe Duo could extend the sentence to say exactly that ? It would make far more sense & would be just as memorable!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuliaHerna20

Then why not compleye the sentence with an object.


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

Translation from one language to another is often not word for word. It depends on the sentence structure of the language being translated. Google subject-verb-object and you will learn more about this. It varies among languages and sometimes even within a language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuliaHerna20

Exactly the point. No one say "I order" in English. I order an object. I order "it". That's the non word for word translation to English.


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

This is a recurring problem with Duolingo - the accepted answer translates into unintelligible English and I am none the wiser. The English translations still need to be idiomatic, or the learning opportunity is lost.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lukman.A

In French, is it polite to say like this in our daily communication? Merci beaucoup. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

The French "commander" can be used for "ordering" something in a restaurant or to place an order (je vous ai commandé une veste = I ordered a jacket for you) and it can also mean "to be in charge" or "to be in command". Much of the time, the verb is transitive (requires an object) but "je commande" is simple enough: "I am in charge". So it depends on where it is used and the context. But it is quite normal and proper in the right context.


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

Okay, I get the literal translation but what does this actually MEAN? Does it mean "I insist", as GypsyDavey suggested in the discussion, or perhaps it means "I command it!"?

Anyone got a translation of the spirit of the phrase?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

It's more like "I'm in charge." It doesn't necessarily mean it's spoken with an attitude. It's just the answer to the question "Who is in charge?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/le.capitaine

Which is why the answer given is "I am in a charge." I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Maybe duolingo changed the given answer after the row. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Sometimes English translations are put in place by native French speakers who may not be fully aware of how awkward or unnatural some sentences are in English. In time, we find them and correct them. So the Duolingo of today is not the same as the Duolingo of three years ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben475880

This is a course in French for beginners. This means that the lot is more (or should be) about grammar than anything else. Discussing the meaning of phrases or what's suspected to be a common phrase is doing step 2 or 3 before step 1. Learn the words, then the usage of them (= conjugation and declination) before starting to discuss semantics, I reckon. Viewed from that perspective one can begin to understand why ants as well as elephants eat apples and why everything is either red or black.


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

With so many questions and answers I'm coming to one of my trusted sources. I get this means "I am in charge" but why wouldn't we also say "Je suis command" When someone asks me what nationality I am I say "Je suis americenne " (misspelling that) Is the difference because one is referring to a verb and the other a noun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Hi, Tara. You are very kind. I think you already have the answer (about the verb vs. noun). Let's look at the verb "commander" by itself. It has a few different meanings, but one of them is simply "to be in command" or "to be in charge". So when one says "Je commande", it means "I am in charge". If we are thinking "I am in charge" in English and that we need to translate each and every word, we will end up with some really bad French, the kind that is met with blank stares from your listeners. So we not only have to learn how the verbs are conjugated but how it may take several words in English to say what one word means in French. I sometimes watch the Agatha Christie mysteries of the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. It's funny to see the very clever detective use French syntax when speaking English. But it also provides insight into how French is quite different in so many ways and how we have to think differently in order to speak it correctly.


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

I think this is better translated as "I order" as in "I order a meal in a restaurant."

With a lot of Duolingo sentences, I find it really helps to think in context of a picture book for small children. Visualize a picture of a small child on a high seat in a restaurant talking to the waiter. "I order!" That is, my dad doesn't have to do it for me.

"I am a bee" makes more sense this way too.

For many verbs, we're stuck with childish sentences until we have the past tense.

The alternative is rather complex sentences and situations. E.g. "When I go to a restaurant I always follow the same plan. First I take a seat. Then I ask for a beer. I read the menu. I order. And then . . ."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ana_81

That's exactly what came to my mind and I answered "I order" and it was accepted, but as it can also mean "I am in charge/command" I'm confused now :(


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

It works in English too, more or less. "Around here, I order and you obey. I order. Not you. Got it?" Different kind of novel, of course. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ana_81

Yes, I know (though I still have much to improve, English has been my second language for more than twelve years now) I was actually wondering about the true meaning of this sentence in French... "Je commande!", is that really something anyone would say when they're about to order something? Is it polite to say "I am in charge" like this? Unlike others, most of the time I can imagine lots of uses for the sentences we're given, but I need to know if what I imagine makes sense to a native speaker or not...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

I remember Alexander Haig declaring, "I'm in charge," after Reagan was shot.


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

I don't understand why people are so incensed about the phrases. They are meant to teach simple grammatical constructions. It's not a travel phrase-book. Similar nonsense is taught in almost any first semester language course.


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

Would demand work as a translation of commander?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Not at all, "commander" has to do with "to order" or "to be in charge", which is rather different than EN "demand". Even the French "demander" does not mean "demand" but "ask". http://www.wordreference.com/fren/commander


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youssefema10

What does the phrase l am in charge mean ? It dont make sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

It means that you are the person who is responsible. Your duty is to lead, direct, guide, and give orders to tell people who work for you what to do. If things go well, you will be recognized for doing a good job. If things do not go well, you will be held responsible and may take the blame for the failure.


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

OK, I've read the posts below. At a restaurant one "orders" from the menu. This is how it is used in France or other Francophone regions. It is for this commonplace situation that one learns "commander" and its conjugations. Vous etes pret a commander, monsieur? Sorry, no accents available here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HowardReed1

What is wrong with, 'I lead'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

You might use "diriger" for "direct" or "lead" but it is not a synonym for "commander".


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

Why not J'commande ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

You can only contract "Je + verb" when the verb begins with a vowel or a mute "H". E.g., J'écris.


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

Correction: I answered "I order" and was corrected to "I order!"


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

Is 'je commande' also 'I ask' in english?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

No. "Je demande" is "I ask" (and not rudely, like "I demand").


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

imho i think "i rule" is the best translate


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

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

I am Brazilian, but I like to study French from English to practice quick change from one language to another. In my opinion the sense of command in French can be translated as "to be in charge". Am I wrong ? So, "I'm in charge!" was my translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

...which is the preferred answer.


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

I think much better translation would be "That's an order" or "It's an order".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Only at the end of a confrontation would this little sentence carry any weight as "That's an order". So context will help to interpret it. But there's no need to take it to such an extreme. For example, there is nothing out-of-line about someone saying "I'm in charge" when they are in fact in charge.


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

How do you tell the difference between 'I order' and 'Im in charge' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Only context will help you decide which is better. If you knew the conversation that went on before this, it would be very clear, I'm sure. For this little sentence, either one is perfectly normal.


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

I'm not sure why the schwa at the end of the pronounced word in the audio is there... can someone explain? I mean there is nothing starting with a consonant said after, that would make it necessary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

In some French dialects, there is still a final schwa sound pronounced at the end of words ending in an unnaccented E. You'll still here it in French music and poetry from all over, but only in a few places in regular speech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuliaHerna20

I translated it to "I command it!", which I think has a parallel in French adding "du/des" in cases where English doesn't require an article. For instance, Duolingo wouldn't give me credit if I said "Je mange oignons" because that would be a word for word translation from English.


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

I think it could be I command


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Grammar and dictionaries don't tell us everything but if you use "command", it needs to include an object. What do you command? An army? Respect? E.g., Sa conduite commande le respect (His/her conduct commands respect).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CR71889

i wrote "im in charge" and it said that i was wrong coz i missed apostophe


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

That's rough. English does not have any mandatory contractions (as French does), but if you choose to contract words in English, you must remember to include the apostrophe.


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

why is not " Je commands" like how you would do other verbs? is this verb irregular-like?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

Nope! In fact, it is the verbs that are irregular that conjugate with that ending. This one is an entirely regular -ER verb, which has the following endings in the present tense:

je: -e

tu: -es

il: -e

nous: -ons

vous: -ez

ils: ent


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

why is "I lead" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

That is a bit ambiguous in English. The expression in French means "I am in charge".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cat-Dancing

I'll order a taxi - Je vais commander un taxi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/passionfruit12

In high school, my French teacher said je commande means "I ask".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2032

Don't confuse with "demander" (to ask). "Commander" means "to order" among a few other things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jpappas60

I put, "I order you" to have the sentence make more sense in English, but that was not accepted.


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

Commande? Commander? Which is right?


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

It's not just "I order", you could put "I'm in charge", which sounds a LOT better.. I suggest using that instead..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LindsayMar595679

The correct solution is counted wrong!!1


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piotr842670

how is 'i am ordering ' wrong?


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

In English, We would say something more like "I Demand!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alansonia6

I am giving the correct answer but it won't accept it so I can't move on! Enjoying coarse!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KashifKhan362068

We are trying to learn French and there are many words which can sound or spelled same as in any language but have different meaning in French.


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

is any body else getting a stupid glitch on this one where it's making you put exactly what it says and still not letting you pass?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amma61491

i literally wrote 'i order' and it marked it as wrong x_x didn't realize i needed the exclamation point...when were these marked required? for all the other sentences I don't even both typing question marks and it takes it just fine...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony570519

I am still not getting the voice sound in these type of questions, how can I get it fixed please ,,,, anyone know?

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