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Choice of tense

patrick r.C1Kwiziq community member

Choice of tense

Please can somebody explain why "we will be there in 2 minutes" is translated using the present tense ?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Patrick, 

These fill-in-the-blanks exercises are very limited and do not allow for free speech. 

It actually gave a hint of " conjugate être in le présent " so the only answer which will be accepted will be -

"on est là dans deux minutes."

If you want to test your French you could try out-

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/learn/writing

Bonne Continuation !

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Patrick,

It is quite normal to use the present in this situation   --> "On arrive dans deux minutes"

To express "we will be there in 2 minutes"

You haven't made reference to the lesson or quiz that is the source of your query.

Bonne journée

Jim

patrick r.C1Kwiziq community member

Thank you for your reply.   However, I am afraid it does not answer the question I was trying to ask.  I think "arriver" can be translate as "am going to arrive," and hence it would be quite logical for it to be used in the present tense.     But should "we will be there in 2 minutes" be better translated as "nous y serons dans deux minutes" or "nous sommes là dans deux minutes" or either ?

You are quite right I did not give the ref of the quiz that gave rise to my question, which is: https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/my-languages/french/tests/take/3957672

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Salut de nouveau Patrick,

Thanks for the link to the exercise that you are querying.

The first point that comes to mind is that the exercise is to do with être in the present.

So "nous y serons dans deux minutes" cannot be valid. "On est là dans deux minutes" is correct (I have just carried out the test myself)

Knowing now that the immediate above is correct, we can take it that "Nous sommes là dans deux minutes" would also be correct.

Hope this helps move things on for you?  If not, then let's see what a staff expert can offer.

Bonne journée

Jim

patrick r.C1Kwiziq community member

Thanks for your reply Jim, yes you are right that the exercise specifies "on..." , but I am afraid I still do not understand what would be wrong with using the future tense (ie "on sera là dans 2 minutes).  If somebody could explain why that does not work, I would be very grateful.

patrick r.C1Kwiziq community member

Hello Cécile, thank you for your reply, but I am afraid that I am still unclear about the answer.  Regardless of that particular quiz, is "on sera là dans 2 minutes" correct French or should one say "on est là dans 2 minutes" ?  I hope you do not think I am being difficult, it seems such a simple question I was hoping that the answer would be simple too.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi patrick, 

I probably didn't explain clearly enough.

This particular exercise was to test 'être in le présent' and so 'sera' ( futur) wouln't be accepted. Hence the hint.

It is not that it is wrong,  in another context it would be fine.

Hope this  helps!

Choice of tense

Please can somebody explain why "we will be there in 2 minutes" is translated using the present tense ?

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