Forum Rocket French French Grammar Lesson 3.3 Questions and Comments

Lesson 3.3 Questions and Comments

CalliW

CalliW

Salut-
I am currently on lesson 3.3, and there are some grammar occurences that have me a bit stumped. 

1. J'adore le vin rouge.
Why is 'le' necessary here? Is this just how Adorer works? When followed by a noun it must use the article?

2.  Mais je les aime tous les deux. (But I like them both)
I am assuming the first 'les' is referring to 'les deux', but why is it grammatically necessary? Also, why is 'tous' necessary? It sounds redundant. 

3. Qui vs que- for example: Justement, il y en a un qui arrive.
Based on my experience, and always looking into French grammar that is too complicated for my level, things can get confusing when it comes to qui vs que. But either way, why is 'qui' necessary here? Does qui represent 'that' or 'who' in this sentence?

4. Using 'Y'- for example: J'adorerais y aller en tramway !
Using 'en' and 'y' in sentences is messing with my mind a little. How do I know where to put 'Y'? In this particular sentence, why is 'Y' used after the first verb, but before the second? Is there a general rule on this?


This was kind of a lot, but any help is greatly appreciated!
Merci Beaucoup,
Calli 
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut CalliW !

I saw that there had been a reply to your questions last week, but this reply seems to have been deleted. I am not sure if you had a chance to read it. Can you let me know if you still need help with these questions? I will be happy to answer them if that's the case. :)

À bientôt !

Liss
CalliW

CalliW

Liss-
Salut, thanks for reaching out. Yes, it seems to have been deleted before I got the chance to thank the commenter. 
Would you mind answering my questions in your own words? It would be much appreciated.

Merci beaucoup,
Calli 
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut encore CalliW !

Of course! Please find my answers below.

1. J'adore le vin rouge.

The definite article ("the") works a bit differently in French than it does in English. French speakers use it more often than English speakers do, and it usually goes in front of a noun when you're talking about a specific thing (e.g. Le chat là-bas est noir "The cat over there is black") or when you're talking about things in a general sense (e.g. Le chat est un animal extraordinaire "The cat is an extraordinary animal").

When you talk about things that you like or love, you're normally talking about the thing as a general concept (e.g. le vin rouge = "red wine" in general), and so you'll often use the definite article with aimer "to like / to love" and adorer "to love / to adore"). 

2. Mais je les aime tous les deux.

The first les (in je les aime) means "them"; it's what's called a direct object pronoun (which can be a tricky and more advanced concept) and is used to replace something plural in a sentence. For example, let's say we were talking about a dog and a cat. If instead of saying J'aime le chat et le chien "I like the cat and the dog" we want to say "I like them," we would replace le chat et le chien "the cat and the dog" with les: Je les aime "I like them." 

Tous les deux "both" refers to the same thing that les represents, and is added on afterwards for emphasis, creating Mais je les aime tous les deux "But I like them both."

You can also say les deux for "both," but les deux and tous les deux aren't necessarily used in the same way. Here, we need the tous because we've already referred to the thing we're talking about - we said les. In general, if you're simply using "both" in a sentence without referring back to something, then you don't need the tous (e.g. Les deux sont beaux "Both of them are beautiful").

As for why you would ever say Mais je les aime tous les deux and not just J'aime les deux, the first version with the repetition has more emphasis. It's a bit like the difference between insisting "But I like them both" and simply stating "I like both of them."

3. Justement, il y en a un qui arrive.

Often, qui is translated as "who" and is used to refer to people, and que is translated as "that" and is used to refer to things; however, this isn't always the case, and it's a good idea not to get too hung up on these translations. Qui and que are both relative pronouns, and they can both be translated as "who" or "that."

A good, general rule is that if the relative pronoun comes before a verb, it should be qui (whether you're talking about a person or a thing). That's why this sentence says qui arrive and not « que arrive ».

If the relative pronoun comes before anything else, it should be que (again, whether it's a person or a thing). For example: La personne que j'ai vue hier "The person who I saw yesterday." 

There is an exception to these rules, and that's when you're talking about a person and the relative pronoun comes after a preposition: La personne avec qui je parle ne me connaît pas "The person with whom I am speaking doesn't know me." In that case, you must use qui.

But as you say, this is an advanced concept at this level! Don't worry about these little details too much at the start - you'll get there over time.

4. J'adorerais y aller en tramway !

There is a full lesson on y and en later in the course that should explain everything, but it may be a bit too advanced at this stage. For now, it may be best to simply memorize the phrases that use y and en and not worry too much about how they work.

I hope that this was helpful, and not too confusing! Do let me know if you have any  more questions on this. 

À la prochaine,

Liss
CalliW

CalliW

Liss-
Merci, beaucoup! Similar to last time, you have outdone yourself! That all makes sense.

While we're on a roll, I did have a couples more questions, if you don't mind.

Lesson 3.3- 3.3 Tu as combien de pommes dans ton sac ?
I am familiar with the term 'combien de'. But, when the object you are inquiring about is plural, does the 'de' not change to 'des'?

Lesson 3.8- En cours de mathématiques, Jean lève la main et dit : « Pourriez-vous répéter, s'il vous plaît ? In math class, John raises his hand and says, "Could you repeat that, please?"
The translation is written as 'his hand', so why does it say 'la main' and not 'sa main'?

Vieux vs. Vieil
This is not a question from this module. I was recently going over adjectives I have learned. I know that 'vieux' is used to describe a masculine noun, either singular or plural. Vieil is used before a male singular noun that starts with a vowel. What I just now considered though, is that vieux does not end in a vowel, and when both are pronounced, both 'vieux' and 'vieil' end in vowel sounds. Is 'vieil' pronounced differently when the noun after is starts with a vowel?

Once again, merci beaucoup, Liss!
-Calli 
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut Calli !

I'm glad that you found that helpful!

For your new questions:

Lesson 3.3- 3.3 Tu as combien de pommes dans ton sac ?

The de in combien de never changes its form because it is never followed by an article. This means that it is always de, and never du, de la, or des. There are a few words that are like this - for example, beaucoup de "many," trop de "too much / many," plus de "more," moins de "less / fewer," etc. 

Lesson 3.8- En cours de mathématiques, Jean lève la main et dit : « Pourriez-vous répéter, s'il vous plaît ? In math class, John raises his hand and says, "Could you repeat that, please?"

French often uses the definite article ("the") instead of a possessive (e.g. "my," "your") when talking about things that are so personal, the possession is obvious. Body parts are one of these things. You'll seldom hear French speakers specify whose hand, foot, etc. they're talking about because it should be clear. In English, of course, using the definite article instead of a possessive gives a very different impression - if we say that "John raises the hand," it sounds like the hand is detached and doesn't belong to him!

Vieux vs. Vieil

Vieil is pronounced the exact same way as vieille in most French-speaking regions (there are some places where speakers might emphasize the -lle in vieille, but for most regional accents, these words sound identical), even when it's directly followed by a word starting with a vowel. This means that you don't hear an L sound when you say vieil homme. The reason for this is just that it's a relic of an older French spelling and pronunciation system. It doesn't actually aid pronunciation at all - unlike bel and nouvel.

I hope that this helps! 

À la prochaine,

Liss
CalliW

CalliW

Liss-
Merci beaucoup! Once again, that cleared things up perfectly.

Thank you for your timely, as well as thorough responses!

-Calli 

 
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

De rien, Calli ! :) I am glad that they helped!

Liss

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