Not explained in lesson?

LizC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Not explained in lesson?

This lesson doesn’t explain why sont isn’t necessary in the sentence: Ils brûlent tous. They ARE burning all the books. I got this wrong with no explanation as to why. Help? Thanks. 

Asked 2 years ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Liz

Ils brûlent tous -They are burning all (of them).  This is the present tense of "brûler" - to burn and can be translated as:

They burn, they are burning, they do burn. Unlike English, French does not have a present continuous tense and the simple present tense conveys the notion of "they are burning" i.e "Ils brûlent". The "sont" that you refer can be thought of as being contained in the verb form.

To explicitly convey the notion of continuity French can use the phrase "être en train de" - to be in the process of, Thus, "ils sont en train de brûler tous" - They are in the process of (are) burning all (of them).

Hope this helps,

Tom

CécileKwiziq team member

Just to add to Tom's excellent answer I would say that,

Ils brûlent tous ( speaking about 'les livres') would be -

They are all burning 

Ils sont tous en train de brûler = They are all (in the process of) burning 

Hope this helps!

LizC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks for your explanations; very helpful!

OlabisiKwiziq community member
Jeff NEAR comprend pas

Not explained in lesson?

This lesson doesn’t explain why sont isn’t necessary in the sentence: Ils brûlent tous. They ARE burning all the books. I got this wrong with no explanation as to why. Help? Thanks. 

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