"Je suis seule dans la cuisine, un chat sur les genoux."

January 2, 2013


why is it not mes genoux instead of les genoux?

January 2, 2013

Short answer.

Technically, either les or mes is correct in this sentence.


Mes is seldom used in regular conversation when referring to body parts. To prove the point that both are legal, there is another Duo exercise where mes is used in almost the exact same situation.

The above is based on Sitesurf, and other comments

My guess is that using possessive mes with body parts is seen as getting a little too personal in conversation.

February 16, 2014 "the possessive adjective is almost never used with body parts in French."

April 2, 2013

same question

February 26, 2013

also wondering

March 22, 2013

I'm not sure about the rule (or whether there is one), but I've noticed it in other instances. I don't think "mes" is necessarily wrong, but they do use "les" in such cases.

March 26, 2013

French always uses a definite article and not a possessive with body parts! Just how it works.

April 7, 2013

«I am alone in the kitchen. I am a cat and I'm on my knees»

July 23, 2013
  • 1556

Where I grew up, everyone would say "in my lap" rather than "on my lap", especially for small cuddlies like kittens and children. "On my lap" had a sense of unwelcomeness, as in "I spilled a cup of coffee on my lap". Perhaps this should be considered as an alternate? What do you think?

September 10, 2013

What the heck is this sentence supposed to mean, anyway? I tried to find it in french idioms and couldn't.

August 16, 2013

Just what it says. It could be the intro to a story, for example, "I'm alone in the kitchen with a cat on my knees, reading a book, when suddenly the doorbell rings."

August 27, 2013

Yes, thank you bronso. I figured it out after a little while. I was thinking the same as pastafarianist, above. This is the reason it didn't make sense to me. It makes perfect sense "I am alone in the kitchen with a cat in my lap."

August 27, 2013

In English, I think we'd translate this idea as "<something> on my lap" rather than "<something> on my knees." Does French not follow suit, or is this specifically an "odd plural form" exercise?

August 28, 2013
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