"Cette viande sent mauvais."

Translation:That meat smells bad.

January 1, 2013

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Huh? 'Mauvais' belongs to the meat, so it should be 'mauvaise' , right?


Here "mauvais" is used as an adverb attached to verb "sentir", so invariable.


Really helpful comments on this Sitesurf. For people who want more information on French adjectives used as adverbs you can follow this link: http://french.about.com/cs/grammar/a/adjectivesasadv.htm

<pre>There are a number of French adjectives which are often used as adverbs (that is, they modify verbs rather than nouns), and when used in this way, "adverbial adjectives" are invariable. </pre>

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"Invariable" doesn't mean much to me in English or French! Does that mean it will always be the masculine version when used as an adverb?


"Invariable" means: which does not vary/change, so no gender or number mark ever.


Yes, always masculine and singular.


I thought it was: "cette viande semble mauvaise".
More than anything the pronunciation has to be improved. You're teaching people to say it wrong!!!


In feminine, "mauvaise(s)" ends with a Z sound, whereas in masculine, the end sound is "è".


Je suis d'accord mais néanmoins, les mots sont généralement très difficiles à entendre


Even "that meat smells bad" is beautiful in French.


can the French ear hear the difference between "sent" and "sont"?


in French, you have 4 basic nasal sounds: an, in, un, on. If you learn French early enough, you quickly get accustomed to differences between them. If you learn French later, you will need to train your ear longer and harder to do so.

Try Google translate with small words like: "on prend un bain" (ON-AN-UN-IN)


"on prend un bain"

i think, this is a very good example for 4 different nasal sounds


What about "En"? Doesn't it have a nasal sound?


"en" and "an" have the same sound, as well as "em-" or "am-" when followed by a B or a P.


Yes, and so can many other language speakers as well . Try saying : sa,se,si,so, su ", in French and see if you notice a difference.


I had the same problem - but "sont" would not go with singular "viande"...


Wouldn't terrible be translated as "terrible", rather than mauvais meaning both terrible and bad?


No, it can't, because while adjective "mauvais" can be used as an adverb, unfortunately it is not the case for "terrible". The only way to use adverb "terriblement" is to use it with adjective mauvais : "cette viande sent terriblement mauvais (smells terribly bad).


Personally it does seem to me that "terrible" might not be the best translation and that "bad" would be better. I would think "Cette viande est très mauvais" would be closer to the translation "That meat smells terrible".

Edit: Fixed missing work, misspelling, and wrong way accent, thanks Sitesurf


"cette viande sent très mauvais" (viande with an a, très with a grave accent, verb " est".

Edit: "cette viande est très mauvais" does not work either: with verb être "mauvais" is an adjective that has to agree with "viande", ie "mauvaise". And the meaning is different: it means that the meat has a very bad taste (not smell).


Am I the only one that keeps putting sont instead of sent for the audio transcription? (I know it is grammatically incorrect)


I guess that the French sentir is similar to the English smell in both contexts: (with the smeller as the subject) "I smell the rose" and (with the smellee as the subject) "The rose smells good." I wonder how many other languages have this construction.


Probably many, German too


Sounded to me like cettes viandes sont mauvais


the plural of "cette" is "ces".

"viandes" is feminine plural => "mauvaises", fem plur.


Thanks. "Sent" sounds to me like "sont" though.


The sound is good. See comments above for the difficulty to hear sounds on UN en


I had a very difficult time distinguishing between "sent" and "sont" ... that threw me off because I know that cette is singular and sont would mean the noun was plural. My brain took me down the wrong track - a cautionary tale for those of us learning a second language!


Yes, nasal sounds are tough. Maybe you can train your hear with real human voices on forvo.com or acapala-group.com.

Try this series (always the same consonant sound at the beginning will make it easier): gens (an) - geint (in) - jonc (on) - jeun (un)


Thanks. I'll check them out.


Can this be translated, "That meat feels bad"? It's possible that you'd want to say that in real life, but Duo doesn't accept it.


No, "cette viande sent mauvais" is only what you sense with your nose.


I don't quite understand the meaning of mauvais here. Does the meat smell unappealing, i.e., it is not your favorite type of meat or food, or does it smell as if it has spoiled/gone bad?


This just means that the meat has a bad odor (rotten meat).


The sentence should be The meat smells badly. If you are using mauvais as an adverb not an adjective. Instead of mauvais can mal be used.


Actually, "The meat smells badly" is poor grammar.

The sentence, "The meat smells bad", is describing a state of being, not an action. "Smells" in this sentence is a linking verb, not an action verb. "Bad" is the adjective that describes the meat. For example, in the sentence "The meat is bad", "is" is a linking verb. You wouldn't say "The meat is badly".


Agree. I think we are mistaken that mauvais is an adverb in this sentence. It is an adjective describing the smell of a thing; it is not modifying how the meat is exercising its sense of smell. An adverb describes the action. An adjective describes the noun. In the same way, "You smell good (adj)" means something completely different from "You smell well (adv)." The former indicating that you are exuding a pleasant aroma which I like. The latter meaning that you have a heightened sense of smell enabling you to detect a slight odor of something.


Yes, good example. So "The meat smells badly" would mean that the meat has a diminished sense of smell.


No, you can't use "mal", only "mauvais", contrary: cette viande sent bon.


The Oxford English Dictionary gives several example of "bad" and "terrible" being used as adverbs, but notes that current usage as such is chiefly American.


What gets me is Duo's terrible inconsistency. They now want both terrible and bad when usually they insist on a literal translation without connotations.


According to the THREE French/English dictionaries that I own - the word "terrible" is affreuse/affreux.!!!!! NOT mauvais. Without proper explanations - this sort of thing goes from irritating to downright maddening. Am getting very close to ditching this programme and returning to the BBC French website ... that my French friends recommended.


I don't understand what your problem is.

If you looked up in 3 dictionaries, you have probably understood that "terrible" = affreux/affreuse is an adjective, to modify a noun.

If you also checked "mauvais", you probably noticed that it can be an adverb, like here, to modify a verb.

The use of extra resources, like other specialized websites (for grammar, syntax, etc.) and dictionaries is obviously necessary if you seriously want to learn any new language.


For the life of me I could not hear the "v" in viande. It sounded to me like "zhande." Must be my ancient ears


Obviously time for a shower.


That cousin smells bad


Why is "this meat smells bad" wrong? Duo tells me i have to say "that meat". I thought cette gave me both options .


The only explanation I can give is that it is one of Duo's false errors. Of course "this" and "that" are alternatively accepted, as usual.


Why is "sente" wrong if meat is feminine?


Sentir is the verb here. Verbs are not gendered.


Adjectives match the gender and number of the noun that they are modifying. Verbs have a set pattern of conjugation depending on whether the speaker (1st person), the person who is being spoken to (2nd person) or the person being spoken about (3rd person) is doing the action. So “meat” is 3rd person singular and takes “sent”. There are plural forms, but gender does not affect the conjugation. So you could look at the present tense in the following verb conjugation chart. You can enter any French verb here.


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