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  5. "Il appartient à mon oncle."

"Il appartient à mon oncle."

Translation:It belongs to my uncle.

December 30, 2012



can I pronounce 't' in appartient, please?


No! The "liaison" is forbidden after a verb, except in some cases for the verbs "être" and "avoir". If you feel like reading about that in French: http://www.lepointdufle.net/ressources_fle/liaisons_obligatoires_liaisons_interdites.htm#.VASoM_l5OSo


thanks so much @super-moi, it's a brilliant link and with a printable version!


It's a complicated topic: in the ones that you just posted there are couple that I would tend to do spontaneously, other ones that sound VERY old-school. In any case, what they imply is that all of these are allowed, but not compulsory, and the latter ones are very uncommon and sound particularly high register.

  • 1984

Thanks, I see... the examples given such as "il faut passer‿à table" and "ils arriveront‿à midi" are very similar in form to the sentence given here - "il appartient à mon oncle."

So does this mean you feasibly could say "Il appartient‿à mon oncle" as a liaison facultative, but it would sound unusually old school/high register?

And would there be any difference with "Ils appartiennent‿à mon oncle"? (I heard it is possible to liaison after the 3rd person plural vowel, but it sounds very high register?)


Why is it not "ce appartient à mon oncle"? To me that would be more logical since 'il' can be confused with 'him'.


But it would not be confused by a francophone. English speakers learning French may be stuck on seeing "il" as "he" but it is just as common to use it as a pronoun for a masculine-gender noun. Besides which, "ce" does not translate to "it" and using that here is not correct. I suspect that thinking in English may incorrectly steer us toward trying to choose a gender-neutral pronoun but that is not the French way. When you know what "it" represents, simply choose the appropriate pronoun, i.e., "il" or "elle".


You would then say "ça/cela appartient à mon oncle", "ça" being more common. "Ce" is a demonstrative adjective that you generally use with another noun e.g. "Ce livre appartient à mon oncle".


I understand that they mean 'it' in thus context, but how would I say it if I meant 'he', since il can be used for both?


Even though you can use "my uncle", he does not belong to you.

In this sentence "il" can only represent a subject likely to belong to someone, so not a human being.


One can easily imagine a spoiled reality TV brat using it to explain a member of her uncle's staff (for example) to her "peeps".


Appartient isn't plural???


Got that wrong for that too but no , appartient is used for 3rd male person singular - in plural it becomes appartiennent


Great to know this. Thanks.


Okay so, I've been confused about this for a while, "il" means "he" but sometimes it is translated as "it" why is this?


Because there are 2 pronouns in French and 3 in English, and they do not map.

"il" is "he" or "it", when "it" refers to a masculine noun (animal, thing...)

"elle" is "she" or "it", when "it" refers to a feminine noun (animal, thing...)


Pingu632 - this is not wrong because of grammar, but because of context. In English (post slavery) one would never say "he belongs to my uncle" because that implies ownership rather than relationship. If one is referring to an object, one would always say "it belongs to my uncle;" if one is referring to a person, one implies relationship by saying "he is my uncle's"- this would be seen as short for "he is my uncle's son." Even in the case of an animal, where both ownership and a gender-specific pronoun may be used, one would generally say "it belongs to my uncle"- following up with "she's a lovely canary" or something else to clarify.


"Il" here means "it" instead of "he". It's that simple.


I was just marked wrong for "it's owned by my uncle." Surely that should be accepted!


This is a passive construction and the French verb is active.


Il est possédé par mon oncle.


Appartient itself, going by duo's drop down menu, seems to mean belongs to. Then why we need another à?


Good question. I've learned that some verbs in French always have 'a' (excuse the lack of a `) and others have 'de' and some, like penser can use either or (I think) none. So I looked it up and found this:


intransitive verb

Verb Table [objet] appartenir à qn to belong to sb

[personne] to belong to, to be a member of

impersonal verb

Verb Table il lui appartient de it is up to him to

⇒ Il appartient à chacun d'assumer ses responsabilités. It is up to each individual to take on his or her responsibilities.


Why in this sentence: "My sister Resembles my mother" is not put TO and in this other sentence "He belongs to my uncle" TO is necessary . Someone can help me ? Thank you


ressembler à quelqu'un = to resemble someone

appartenir à quelqu'un = to belong to someone

Prepositions (or lack thereof) are unique to each verb.


Why is à in there when the word appartient stands for belongs to?


"to belong to" means and translates to "appartenir à".

Prepositions have to be learned together with each verb.


Why is it Il instead of ce?


"il" is a personal pronoun which primarily translates translate to "he" or "it".

"ce" as a pronoun is only used with the verb être in "c'est" or "ce sont".

In front of another verb, demonstrative pronouns are: "ceci" = this or "cela/ça" = that.


First the unknown quantity is introduced using 'Ce':

C'est mon chien. This is my dog.

Then, the known quantity "le chien" is referenced using "Il":

Il appartient à mon oncle. He belongs to my uncle.


I'm a little confused about why it can't be plural here? Ils appartient a mon uncle? They belong to my uncle? I have read through the comments and find only one reference to this issues of plural ownership which makes absolutely no sense. Thank you for putting up with my ignorance. Merci!


Appartenir in present: j'appartiens, tu appartiens, il/elle/on appartient, nous appartenons, vous appartenez, ils/elles appartiennent


And if you are referring to the type-what-you-hear exercise, then appartient and appartiennent are pronounced differently and you would also hear the "z" liaison on ils.


If "appartient" translates into "belong to", why is "à" necessary?


Because the verb "appartenir" requires it.


It = Il

belongs = appartient

to = à

my uncle = mon oncle


to possess = posséder to own = posséder

belongs to s.o. = appartenir

In English possession is NOT THE SAME as ownership. In English ownership does not connote immediate possession. In English possession does not connote ownership.

In English "belongs to" is equivalent to "owned by s.o."

Thus, "It belongs to ..." could as easily be "Il posséde ..." as "Il appartient ..." to an English-speaking person using French.


"Il est possédé par mon oncle." is grammatically correct.

But you were right the first time: possession is NOT THE SAME as ownership.


Why is it singular (il), not plural (ils)? I thought the verb used the third person plural ending? In that case "They belong to my uncle." would be correct


Il appartient à...

Ils appartiennent à...

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