EN: the girl who was feeding the ducks

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by 33ZoZo, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. 33ZoZo Senior Member

    Bonjour, j'aimerais dire "I was the only one in the park, except for the girl feeding the ducks." Je ne sais pas si je devrais dire "J'étais la seule personne dans le parc, sauf la fille qui était nourri les canards." Où peut-être, je peux dire "J'étais la seule personne dans le parc sauf la fille de nourrir les canards."

    Merci d'avance pour votre aide.
  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    I'm afraid neither of those work. :)

    If you write la fille de nourrir les canards, that's "the girl to feed the ducks." You're right that we often translate -ING words with the infinitive in French... but that's particularly true when the -ING word is acting as a noun.

    You're closer to the right track with your other idea... but the tense is a problem. Just as "she is feeding" is the English present continuous, the tense "she was feeding" is called the past continuous. Neither of these English tenses are translated with être as a helping verb in French (doing so is a classic English-speaker's mistake!). So definitely not la fille qui était nourri (which would be something like "the girl who was fed" if the agreement was right).

    Instead, just ask yourself what French past tense is suitable for descriptions and setting the scene. ;)
  3. 33ZoZo Senior Member

    "la fille qui nourrissait les canards." ??
  4. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Much better. :thumbsup:

    As mentioned here, you can also translate this kind of "to feed" with donner à manger à. :)
  5. snarkhunter

    snarkhunter Senior Member

    France, Région parisienne
    French - France
    If the duck-feeding girl was just a visitor, then I believe she was only throwing some breadcrumbs to the ducks, not actually feeding them as a professional would have done.

    If so, then "(jetait / donnait) (du pain / des miettes de pain / des morceaux de pain) aux canards" would also be suitable here.
  6. Nino83 Senior Member

    Est-ce que on peut écrire: la fille nourrissant les canards ou la fille donnant à manger aux canards?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  7. 33ZoZo Senior Member

    Merci à tous pour les options. I like your suggestion Nino83, it uses the least amount of words and seems more descriptive driven than action driven. However, your question mark suggests that you're not sure if it is correct. Can anyone verify the correctness of Nino's suggestion?

    Merci d'avance
  8. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member

    Sure, it's correct :thumbsup:

    Just like the girl who was feeding... = the girl feeding...
  9. 33ZoZo Senior Member

    Merci Oddania for your confirmation. I'm going to go with "la fille nourrissant les canards".
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  10. Nino83 Senior Member

    You're welcome.
    It would be useful to know how to recognise when an ing form is a present participle or when it is a gerund, because English present participle (except for progressive tenses) can be translated with French present participle, in place of subordinate clauses (relative, as in this case, causal, temporal, and so on).

    Take a look here for some example http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2625132
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014

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