FR: Je dois préparer quelque chose à manger ?

bamberella

New Member
English
Bonjour à tous!

I use Duolingo a lot and I know that can have its mistakes, so there was one sentence in particular that I hoped a native French speaker could clarify. I didn't see anything relevant on these boards or Duolingo's boards. Here is the sentence:
"Je dois preparer quelque chose à manger?"

The translation suggested that "Should I prepare something to eat?" was the correct interpretation. I was confused because as a native English speaker, this sentence does not imply 'should'. I would have read this as "Am I preparing something to eat?" I understand how 'should' could be implied by the context, but I wanted to know if this is actually a correct interpretation and if it is, how common of an occurrence it is in French.

Merci d'avance!
 
  • Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    "Am I preparing something to eat?" would have been "Je prépare quelque chose à manger ?"

    Here the use of the verb devoir (je dois) denotes some kind of duty about it, or at least a response to a (possibly implicit or anticipated) request from other people.
    This is why it was translated by "Should I...?"
     
    Last edited:

    bamberella

    New Member
    English
    Merci pour votre réponse, Yendred!

    Ï wrote the sentence I thought it should have been accidentally, there was no "dois". So this probably seemed like a silly question, sorry for the confusion. The actual sentence was "Je prepare quelque chose à manger?" I'm also getting sentences like "Vous m'aidez à cuisiner?" that are translating to "Can you help me cook?"

    Is it common to have an implied "should" or "can" like this?
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    English and French just have different ways to ask questions:
    Tu m'aides ? / Can you help me?
    Je fais à manger ? / Should I make sth to eat?
    Tu viens avec moi ? / Would you come with me?


    But the intended meaning is the same in both languages, it's always a request from someone to someone else.
     
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