It demonstrates how the verb "montre" can be used in French which may require different words in English based on the context. So while one may "show a cow", you "point to a fly". More clearly, you may say "il montre une vache du doigt" = he points at the cow.
[Edit: When saying "point at", one would use "montrer du doigt". The notion of montrer as "point out" means "to show", not to "point at".]
@thezrail You need to read George's comment again. "to point at" is « montrer du doigt » ("to point with the finger").
Imagine you're driving though the countryside with your young son in the back. Suddenly he says "Look! There's a cow in that field!". He is pointing out a cow. If he is using his finger, he is also pointing at a cow.
It's like at a fair, you show livestock. You are judged and often the animal is bought from you.
Hi Andrealphus. In England until last century, cattle, sheep, pigs, even ducks and geese were "Driven" to the London markets from as far north as Scotland. Sometimes Angus cattle were swum across both the Tyne and the Clyde, over a half mile. Nearly 1K. Then walked to London. Blacksmiths would shoe not just horses, but all of those I have mentioned. The geese and ducks had leather "shoes" clipped to their webs. On that long road there were Inns which would have fields upon which the drover's herds could be stabled and fed, fattened a-while before continuing on along the "Greenway". Some of our English roads yet carry the torch of that heritage in their very wide verges upon which the driven animals would graze. On approach to one of those inns a drover would select the most emaciated animal to "show" the innkeeper so that the herd could be given preference over a healthier-looking representative. The drover who secured the fields paid a premium price of course which was paired against the price gained for the herd at market, usually at Caledonian Road north of Kings Cross. There is a syncton: "That is a Cock and Bull story". This comes from a Buckinghamshire town; Stony Stratford England where there are two inns, the Cock and the Bull. As the drovers approached the hamlet runners would be sent out to meet them. Each would declare that there is no field available at the other inn's stable in order to get the trade. A lie. This is a "Cock and Bull" story. So "Showing a cow" was very regular for our drovers to gain their verity. Hey, its Fayre. I think that is not Fair of me. Still, in this thread I have paid my Fare. Cordial, mon ami.
From my rural USA point of view this was extremely informative! Thank you!
You are most welcome sir. There is a book: "The Drovers" but I forget the author and the publisher. My very young years were spent growing upon a new estate of housing which cut in half a farmer's cattle run from his stock field to the milking parlour. We would be playing football in the street when a herd of cattle would walk their serene walk right through our football match! Upon their return they were so happy that their udders were light and empty that at times they would almost skip! See a cow smile. I dont remember who scored in the football match but I have never forgotten those animals.
This is a very refreshing story! I often worried that Europe was like New York in the sense that so many kids has never seen a cow. It breaks my heart when I am working in the kitchen and children ask me where chicken comes from.
Well this is another of those "Is it Plural Is it Singular" questions which follow an audio task. I answered in the plural: "Ils montrent une vache" I would appreciate any tips to show me how to distinguish plural from singular in this Audio task. Maybe I made a written mistake. I'd love to know. Thanks.
If it was a plural in this case you would hear the 't' in 'montrent' due to the liaison between that word and 'une'. The pronunciation on Google translate confirms this. For this sentence since we can't hear the 't' being pronounced at the beginning of the 'une' we know that the verb must be 'montre' and the expression is, therefore, singular.
Yes Robert, this is a clue which does work with gootrans but with Duo's voicebot it aint necessarily so. I was looking for another way to distinguish whilst compensating for duo's indistinguishable (at times) audio. Thank you for your time, your comment is well worth noting for more clear audio than duo's bot often provides. Clegula and I were talking specifically about duo's bot, not general spoken French.
"Montrer" can take quite a range of meanings in the sense of "to show", "to display" (in the sense of "exhibit"), "to point out", "to indicate", "to demonstrate" and more. The best word in English will depend on the context which may be harder for some to decipher when the sentence is about a cow. But "Elle montre sa nouvelle jupe" is a perfectly appropriate use of this verb.
Well, go to any country where cattle is sold at auction and you'll see why, YoFace. They show them. Plus, don't try to use a language learning course as a French phrase book to use on your holiday in France, mate. We are here to learn structure, gender, verb conjugation and idioms. End of. On this course Turtles eat pasta, we are a whale then a fly, my wife cooks although I always did the cooking for my wife and later my partners (women). Lastly, on a language learning site the word "Gonna" is out of order. We never Ever use it here in the UK. It is "Going To." Happy now?
I had the same question! If it is suggested in the hover dictionary, it should be accepted as a correct response (if only applicable in limited context then it should be noted).
I've seen several cases where this has occurred. For instance 'Les premiers hommes'... I tried to call them 'cheap' (or cheapest, rather) :x
Well God Bless the quirks of language Jonathan. "Ill" can in context mean "It." Simply put, I think you'll find that It Shows A Cow=Ca Montre Une Vache. Do be aware that Duo is a computer programme and has its little flaws (this translates to A ses petits defauts; no ca, cet, cette nor Ills there.) Never a straightforward job.
Thanks. I'm aware that Duolingo is an app with flaws, but in other lessons translating "il + [verbe]" can be translated as either "he + [verbs]" or "it + [verbs]". Which led me to wonder whether there's something specific about this sentence that specifically binds it to "He shows..." Any native speakers who know whether there's a grammatical rule in play here?