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  5. "Leur robe noire est jolie."

"Leur robe noire est jolie."

Translation:Their black dress is nice.

January 2, 2013

147 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

Since we're using "Leur" I would assume we're talking about more than one person so wouldn't it make more sense if "robe" and "noire" were plural: "robes" and "Noires" translates into: "Leur robes noires est jolie"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamal73

i agree, but here it seems bunch of folks own one dress and share it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Casiquire

Or were taking about a company. "Have you been to Saks? Their black dress is nice."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmbleH

Why does Saks only have one black dress? Seems unlikely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hello Amble. This has been addressed (no pun intended) so many times. One last time: Gentlemen wear Morning Dress/Evening Dress and both are black however neither are actually dresses; they are suits. The theatre troupe (both male and female) will have a "Dress Rehearsal" which may or may not be black, but assuredly will be if they are rehearsing a funeral part of the play being performed. Their Dress, and not Their Dresses, will then be black; there being no such thing as a Dresses Rehearsal. I dress myself, I do not suit myself neither do I Jeans myself. I may Clothe myself but there's no specific time on that. To Dress myself is specific to the time when I am actually putting the clothes on. It is a thing called Language Usage, whether English, French or many others. With respect. (I don't know what nor who Saks is, by the way. ) Votre ami, JJ.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheM11Mum

@Jackjon I enjoyed your post but I have to disagree with 'dressing myself' being specific to the time I am putting on the clothes. I dress casually, for example, 'he dresses to attract attention' (with no specific time frame). I can also dress a window or a turkey, but that's another story...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2214

What this sentence represents is a common way the French express it. Example: Ils portent leur chapeau = They are wearing their hats. There is no dilemma about a number of people having one hat or dress or pair of pants that they share. We can just get used to the idea that the French way is a little different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ag3n7_z3r0

Maybe 'they' are the owners of a shop with only one black dress left?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carlide

That's a solution I hadn't thought of yet. Good thinking


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Another "take": "Their" can be singular. For example, "Whether Jane or Mary turns up, whichever one it is, I want to be certain that their black dress is nice."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

@TobyBartels. I live and learn. No, we cannot do that in French. In English we often use "Their" in place of "His/Her" to indicate a possession of a single person whose sex is unspecified but in French "Leur" indicates more than one person (or thing, dog eg.) otherwise "Son/Sa/Ses" must be used. Thank you for raising this question giving me the opportunity to clarify that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaraLily

This is correct in the case of conjoined twins.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pointthreefour

I've seen a number of people say this here. Though very often used colloquially, that's really poor grammar, no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

But can you do that in French?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coinaday

That was my parsing of the sentence too, which threw me for a loop a little bit...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Foveaux.Jake

Leur robe noire est jolie actually has two meanings. One is 'the black dress that they collectively own is nice' another is 'their black dresses (they each own one) are nice'

Leurs robes noires sont jolies would mean either 'the multiple black dresses that they collectively own are nice' or 'their black dresses (they each own more than one) are nice'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coinaday

Oh really? That's so weird to me. In English I'm pretty sure if each person owns one it would still be in the plural in that situation (Their black dresses => could mean collective ownership or they each own one) so I definitely wasn't expecting that. Thanks for the information!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itastudent

Many sisters share dresses with each other to maximize their number of clothes, which is never enough. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisBeste

Then...it is not propre....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-C202107

yeah but you shouldn't have to assume that, it should except either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Leur = their which could be either singular or plural in English. In French there is no confusion leur = their singular. Leurs = their plural.

Perhaps you were thinking of they're/ they are which is, indeed, plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

What I mean is "leur" means "their". However, what I've noticed is "leur" is used only when their are singular nouns such as: "Leur garcon est fort". In this sentence there is only one boy so you'd use Leur. On the contray, "Leurs" is used when there are plural nouns such as: "Leurs chiens est noirs"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andrelt

You mean, "leurs chiens SONT noires" The main confusion here is that you are trying to apply a verb in the wrong deflection.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

my mistake with "est" I meant to type "sont" lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/plateauangel

NOTICE that if you use plural "robes", the verb "est" should be "sont"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evan-even

They/Them/Their pronouns are commonly used to describe one person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul-LeBon

It makes sense in American English. If i was talking about a dress from Barney's NY, I might well say, their black dress...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Foveaux.Jake

Leur robe noire est jolie actually has two meanings. One is 'the black dress that they collectively own is nice' another is 'their black dresses (they each own one) are nice'

Leur robes noires sont jolies would mean either 'the multiple black dresses that they collectively own are nice' or 'their black dresses (they each own more than one) are nice'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomboysquirrel

Maybe a group of people made a dress together, so it's their dress.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mal_Pendragon

Sometimes you just have to switch words in french.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moyanne

Then it would be 'Leur robes noirs sont jolies'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsKiitos

How are we to differentiate when she says leur or la? I can't hear it at all. Tips appreciated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

She almost doesn't want you to know does she kylebacon? What is she saying:? LE? LEUR? LA? The sad answer is, my friend, with time and practise and familiarity. My ears begin to be tuned and I can hear Leur. But only after a few tries at it. Sorry to be such a bore my friend but that, really is how. Until then: "Le"= Luh. "La"= Lah. "Leur"= Ler. ... and that is an exaggeration. The French is far more subtle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lillian_Cai

No, it's white and gold!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/facw

when the language is unfamiluar... it's hard to hear it correctly. My advice is to listen again and again. It's part of learning speech patterns and pronouncations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maxolt

Doesn't "jolie" also mean pretty?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SiangYu

How about it also means beautiful?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

No, Siang, Joli(e)= pretty, end of. Beautiful=Bel(le) also Handsome.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pietromoleti

how am I supposed to know if it's "la" or "leur"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atomicmrpelly

"La" is a much more open sound, I think you'd be more likely to mistake "Le" for "Leur", but "Leur" is a longer sound than both. It's a subtle nuance, you just have to get used to it unfortunately!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tommboyanerrdk

This website helps you hear the pronouciations of le, la, and les. http://www.frenchtutorial.com/en/learn-french/basics/le_la_les


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/explain

why not "pretty?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

No reason why not. Both Pretty and Nice are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VexatiousVaquita

Why is the male always pronouncing /ə/ at the end of things? I thought that only happened in slow speech for emphasis? And he pronounces "est" and "et" the same, both as /ɛ/, it's quite frustrating. At normal speed it sounds like "la robe EST noire ET jolie"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheJage13

Why in this instance pretty is not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

@TheJage. Don't know. I think that either Pretty or Nice work well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CCKYfa

Jolie couldn t mean "beautiful" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joshuabert

Just a question tangentially related to this, about pronoun use. In English it is common to use "they/their" in singular to refer to someone who is transgender or of non-binary gender. is this done in french as well, or is there an alternative non-binary personal pronoun that trans* french speakers commonly use?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WendlaGoodman

I actually googled this out of curiosity at one point - according to nonbinary.org (.com? don't remember) a common one is "ille", a combination of the masc. and fem. pronouns. Might be hard to differentiate from "il" while speaking, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yeungmanyin

Why is jolie nice but not beautiful? Jolie means pretty if used to a girl and a dress can be described as beautiful n it's still not personified.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Joli/Jolie can be translated as Pretty or Nice. Beautiful=Beau/Beaux, Bel/Belle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/facw

I am having a hard time with words that like leur..... i can not get the U sound when i try to pronounce it. Any tips?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

At regular speed I can't even hear the u sound let alone pronounce it.

It sounded to me like la robe with the la being run into robe until I ran it at slow speed. Otherwise I would never have guessed it was leur.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crontakz

Use the back of your throat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/driftglass6

Make the sound 'e' and then round your lips. If that helps, try the same on 'ee' to make the 'u' in tu, and on 'a' (as in hat) to get the 'u' in un.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilvaAnajulia

Just think L...E...U...R Now say it it in a frenchy style way and then you will pronounce correctly.if you want a tip for spelling get a notebook and pen and write down the words you struggle with and then at the end you can read it repeatedly! You should soon learn the word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lunablasters

could leur be used as a gender neutral pronoun (i.e. "their black dress" could be referring to one person of indeterminate gender") in the way the same as it can be used in English? Or does leur always refer to multiple people in French?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lc_sar

Wouldn't you just use Sa/Son/Ses? Because that means his/her (NOT dependent on the gender of the person but on the "gender" of the noun). For example, I can say to a woman "Son enfant" and it means "her child" (because the word enfant is masculine) and I can say to a man "sa chienne" and it means "his female dog" (because the word chienne is feminine). So it seems to me sa/son are already gender-neutral in terms of the person you are addressing...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Oooo! This is one good question for English learners of French. I look forward to answers. Thank you schwesterspinne for asking it. English usage example: "It doesn't matter whether the one or the other turns up take their name".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CourageousHeart

Maybe it would be like, a store's dress?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomboysquirrel

Or maybe a group of people made a dress together, so it's their dress :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CourageousHeart

Hey, that is a good point! I didn't even think about that...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chirrup

To the people wondering whether 'dress' should be plural due to the presence of 'their', I took the sentence to be like when you might look at a dress in a shop and say 'their dress is nice'. Or if you were referring to a dress made by a specific brand, you'd say 'their dress is nice'. I could be wrong. But that's how I interpeted it. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mecauley

It could also mean "their" as in a company. Example: "I liked the prada fashion show. Their black dress is nice."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gustafl

"Their black dresses are pretty" is marked correct for this sentence, and is probably the most likely interpretation. The lesson is that whenever you encounter a sentence where multiple people appear to share something which is not normally shared, it just means you have one something for each person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kevinobrien1000

I put in beautiful,how is it different?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluerivergum

There is a specific French word for beautiful, belle (fem.), beau/bel (masc.) http://french.lovetoknow.com/How_Do_You_Say_Beautiful_in_French


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CariCam

Can "jolie" also mean "beautiful"? DL didn't accept beautiful for Jolie


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

No, "jolie" does not mean "beautiful".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthCacere1

Jolie isn't supposed to be a sinom for lovely and pretty ? Why Duolingo keeps saying I'm wrong ? Lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexanderW830376

Jolie pretty vs cute they seem to mix it up and always take my answer as wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Translator9

Wouldn't their dress is black and nice work as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

Not really, because the wording is different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/huskyjoe

Oh! this language hurts my head! Noir - noire (and all the other gender related spellings). Black is black, it doesn't have a gender!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hi Huskyjoe. I understand your frustration. Thing is, all Romanic languages apply gender Willy Nilly to everything. Just have to memorised.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joche5263

Im thinking of Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/persiantrash

Jolie is beautiful not nice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

That is incorrect Tokyo: Joli (describing a masculine noun)=Pretty or Nice. Jolie (describing a feminine noun)=Pretty or Nice. Beau, Beaux, Bel and Belle=Beautiful or Handsome.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BezJones

Is "leur robe" "their dress" and "leurs robes" "their dresses"? If so, are they not pronounced the same? If they are pronounced the same, how would I be able to tell what is being said just from speech (not seeing it written)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hi Bez Leur Robe EST. (Their dress IS) Leurs Robes SONT (Their dresses ARE)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NormanSG

Does anyone else have problèmes when pronouncing "leurs", "leur".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Farnaz437269

Why " their black dress is beautiful" is not correct? I thought jolie meant beautiful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

No, Farna, Joli(e)=Pretty or nice. Beau(x)=beautiful/Handsome


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam364

So since Robe=Dress in french how would you say robe in french. Like a bathrobe or something like that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

HiLiam, bathrobe=peignoir de bain. I think it can also be Sortie de bain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam364

Oh ok thanks for the help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SavyraMeye

Gotta love French. That sounds so glamorous...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilvaAnajulia

Hello, do u believe i actually missed the word noir whil translating it into english!!! Gosh i never thought i would forget the word black


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spaceman771

Dresses, skirts, hats, and newspapers.. Things i never need to talk about....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lauren807986

How is 'their dress is black and pretty' wrong?? It means the same.....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

It is wrong because you have changed the original word order.

Their dress is black and pretty - Leur robe est noire et jolie

Their black dress is pretty - Leur robe noire est jolie (the one Duolingo wants)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/naia921103

No one will give you a lingot!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Wanna bet on that, Naia? Suspend your belief. Lingots for you...............


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessica189393

I keep hearing "The Black Dress is pretty" > "Their" .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilyLock7

What does leur mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hi Emily. Depending on context, Leur means Their or Them. In plural Their or They can back-translate (as our wonderful Sitesurf likes to say) to ils. This means of course that if the noun is plural Leur becomes Leurs to reflect the plural object noun. (Did you catch that?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilyLock7

Its really hard to tell she says "leur" rather than "le"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sawwah96

Why can I not translate "jolie" as "beautiful" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

"Jolie" does not mean "beautiful". "Belle" is "beautiful".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anaelle388758

It's not french, we should say "Leurs robes noires sont jolies", "leur" in the singular doesn't exist in the sentence, it doesn't make sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xelia5

"Robe" is singular, which means you must use the singular possessive adjective.

I have been told that this sentence can be interpreted two ways. One, multiple people sharing ownership of one dress (for example, if several people made a ball gown), and two, multiple people with one dress each.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yusuf_gamer87

Ther was no "is" so i got it wrong Y NO "IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youssefakr2

"Leur noir robe est joule" It will be more accurate


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Definitely not Youssefakr. Follow the "B,A,N,G,S," Guide.... Read through the threads and you'll find it all explained, many times over.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thia809695

Please what is leur


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xelia5

Their, but only as an adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ApalaBhatt

But est means and. Why is there no and in the answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hi Apala. Est=is. Et=and


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariamGirg2

I wrote beautiful instead of nice but it said it's incorrect !!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Mariam beautiful=Belle, Joli(e)=Pretty and in rare context=nice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

So have a sleep then, Ccosmos. Sweet dreams mate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthewina

Is "The dress is black and PRETTY" not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Li_id

I said "their black dress is beautiful." And it's wrong. So does jolie not mean pretty or beautiful?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hi Li_id. Joli(e)=Pretty/Nice. Beautiful=Bel, Belle, Beaux.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/folter1081

Shouldn't it be dresses and not dress?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

No, Emily and hello. No, because there is Dress Code for the many, there is Dress Rehearsal for the many, there is They're all in Party Dress for the many, there is They dress prettily for the many and if they are all in uniform then Their Dress Is Pretty is OK grammar, even they are men.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/natamatrix

Why word pretty was not accepted? Corrected for "nice"? In English it is possible to say "pretty dress"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hiya Natamatrix. We English, and I suspect that the American programmers just don't call a black dress "Pretty." We call it either a "Nice Black Dress" or a "Nice Black Number." Depending on its cut, we may call it a "Sexy Black Dress" but that matters very much on the company we're in. I don't Know why a black dress is never called "Pretty", other than it's just one of those traditions of the evolution of language usage. Any other colour or pattern of short-cut dress may be called pretty but long-cut (full-cut/full-length gowns) are neither a dress nor ever called pretty. They are Beautiful or Graceful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rose107429

Guys i wrote their black dress is small and it denyed why did that happen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hiya again Mitiam. (We must stop meeting like this, people will talk.) Small=Petit(e) and Joli(e)=Pretty/Nice. Hope this clarifies and answers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/naovmi

The grammar of this sentence is not correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

For what reason, Naovmi? "Evening dress" (which includes men's attire.) "Dress rehearsal" (Which includes men's attire.) "Formal dress." (Which includes men's attire.) All plural, all correct grammar. So, when they are all together in a bunch they are wearing their dress. Please do correct me if you feel that I am mistaken. With respect. (Lingot to highlight our exchange.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daemxn

How do you differentiate "Leur robe noire est jolie" from "Le robe noire est jolie"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hiya Daemon. Firstly it is not Le Robe. It is La Robe. 2) Leur=Their and La=The. Please be aware that in given context Ills+Elles may also translate to They're which on audio sounds just like Their..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuneMorgan

In English a dress would only be owned by one person unless the owners were desperately poor. It's very rare to say 'their dress'. We would say 'her dress'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackjon

Hiya June. With respect I disagree with your statement; at the last stages of rehearsals in a play/pantomime they hold a Dress Rehearsal and they wear their Dress, both men and women. There may be many males, yet wear morning or evening Dress. Especially where there is a dance troupe wearing the same Dress it certainly will referred to as Their Dress, not Their Dresses. Dress, for multiple people is indeed commonly used. Ask any ballet choreographer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMasab1

It's the same as how "my family" is singular, it implies a group of people but it's still singular, only thing that changes it to plural is whether or not the noun after it is plural for example,"my family's farm is red vs my family's cars ARE red"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mithril10

Ok so why is "pretty" not an acceptable translation of jolie ? They specify "nice" as the required English equivalent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amanda39912

Their dress is black and lovely is incorrect? Someone please explain why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qiset1
  • 1057

when do we use joli vs gentil?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xbareuok

Jolie is not recognized as "lovely." It expects me to enter "nice"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xbareuok

Duolingo does not accept "lovely" as a translation for "Jolie"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/albox01

What's wrong with pretty ?

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