Does the quiz question "Do you have a child? -No, I don't have a child" need the English translation altered?

DavidA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Does the quiz question "Do you have a child? -No, I don't have a child" need the English translation altered?

The quiz question

9Tu as un enfant? -Non, je n'ai pas ________ enfant.Do you have a child? -No, I don't have a child.

which leads to this lesson is ambiguous in my opinion. I selected Non, je n'ai pas un enfant purely because I would have expected the english for je n'ai pas un enfant to be I don't have children instead of no, I don't have a child. They have slightly different meanings and I believe my answer to be more accurate. I stand to be corrected on that though?

Asked 7 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

David, the English translation of 'je n'ai pas un enfant" would be "I don't have one child" (see the note pasted below from the lesson on 'une/une' as emphasisers of "one" in negative sentences, with verbs other than être/verbs of state). 

This would be an ambiguous statement in either language, as it could mean none or more than one without context. French tends to avoid ambiguous constructions, by and large. 

EXCEPTION: 

When you want to emphasise the meaning of ONE (un/une) - not just a/an - as in He doesn't have ONE car, but TWO, you will keep un/une in the negative sentence - but here it doesn't mean no/any:

Ils n'ont pas une maison, mais deux !They don't have ONE house, but TWO!
JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Bonjour David,

Unfortunately is not always possible to be able to map directly from one language to another.

"Indefinite articles un and une become de or d' (in front of a vowel or mute h) after a negative expression (ne...pas / ne...jamais / ne...plus ... etc.) in order to express no / any."

The above is a direct paste from the lesson and you will see here that "un and une" become "de or d' after a negative" which is directly the point that you are querying.

It can be very tricky - I know, but you are studying the French language and this is how the grammar of the French language works.

I hope this helps to explain.

Bonne continuation.

Jim

Does the quiz question "Do you have a child? -No, I don't have a child" need the English translation altered?

The quiz question

9Tu as un enfant? -Non, je n'ai pas ________ enfant.Do you have a child? -No, I don't have a child.

which leads to this lesson is ambiguous in my opinion. I selected Non, je n'ai pas un enfant purely because I would have expected the english for je n'ai pas un enfant to be I don't have children instead of no, I don't have a child. They have slightly different meanings and I believe my answer to be more accurate. I stand to be corrected on that though?

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