about this sentence?

HajraA0Kwiziq community member

about this sentence?

"tu n'écoutes pas Alice" sounds like Alice is the one who isn't listening

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Hajra, 

I am with Alan on this one, it is always interesting when students point out these queries, that we, natives don't always see.

But it is to do with punctuation, I am afraid 

Tu n'écoutes pas Alice = You are not listening to  Alice 

 is a statement where 'tu' is the subject and 'Alice' is the direct object .


But in the following sentence -

Tu n'écoutes pas, Alice ! = You are not listening, Alice !

it would be a reprimand meaning-

'pay attention, Alice! 

Hope this helps!

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You have to get past expecting French to use prepositions in the same manner English does. In some cases the languages do use them similarly, in some they don’t. 

PS - there was nothing harsh meant in this response - apologies to Hajra if taken that way by him. Simply the observation that the absence of expected prepositions or the use of different prepositions is one of the harder things to grasp for non-native speakers.

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Hajra,

The object of the sentence is Alice and the subject is Tu (subject pronoun).

Maarten is quite right, you are not understanding the basic grammar.


AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

These comments sound a bit harsh to me. You could just have pointed out that ecouter takes a direct object and doesn't require a preposition, as in English.

Suppose you inserted a comma before "Alice", what then? Or would you always put "Alice" at the start of the sentence?

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Alan,

Yes! Cécile and you are right, I should have cut an entry-level student a bit more slack on this query.


about this sentence?

"tu n'écoutes pas Alice" sounds like Alice is the one who isn't listening

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