1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Ma grand-mère est douce."

"Ma grand-mère est douce."

Translation:My grandmother is sweet.

January 5, 2013

27 Comments


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

Am i the only one hear a "ME grand-mère..." in the fast version? i can hear the "mA" in the slow one, so it might just be me.


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

This new male speaker has a speech impediment. He butchers many French words: his vowels are sloppy and inconsistent and he adds extra -uhs after the ends of some words. Don't feel bad you can't always understand him and certainly don't imitate him. The female speaker has a standard French accent - imitate her


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicola526448

I don't think it's a speech impediment, it's just that he pronounces French in the style that is common in the south of France. Or so I've been assured by many native speakers. It's probably not a bad thing to be exposed to more than one dialect even if it makes it harder at first.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gmart6

It's always the female speaker that yields these issues, not the male, as it is in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Also hearing mes grand-mères in the fast audio. The slow audio, however, is correct, using ma grand-mère.

Reported 17 Sep 2018


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

Why is "My grandmother is nice." wrong? I thought "gentle" and "nice" are interchangeable in this context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

douce = "sweet, soft, fresh", which may or may not be "nice". They can overlap, perhaps, but are also quite distinct from gentile = "nice, kind". It's not redundant to say elle est gentile et douce


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

Does kind not work here? Not sure if I should report it as a mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sotnosen93

I think that would be closer to "gentille".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George418878

I put soft and duo said: "Her skin may be soft, but grandmother is sweet." omg


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George418878

I tried putting "my grandmother is smooth" and they just marked it wrong without comment...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Both of those need more in English to be clear about what you mean. "sweet" stands alone as a descriptor of personality.


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

Why is grand-mere not grande-mere, since it's feminine? (I suppose it's just one of those exceptions we need to learn and accept. But is there a a grammatical guideline that helps explain it?)


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

Good/interesting question. See the discussion here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1509815 As for the grammatical guideline, it seems to me that grand-somethings (grand-place, grand-messe, grand-chose, grand-voile, grand-croix) always use the masculine "grand" form, regardless of the grammatical gender of the following word. This includes the plural forms (grands-mères, etc.)


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

Not sure as I am a native (and we usually don't "learn" that kind of "rules"), but I'd say that it's because they're fixed expressions and, most of all, the word "grand" here has not its proper, original meaning (my "grand-mère" can be shorter than I, for instance). This can be found in other compound nouns with the adjective "grand" that does not take the feminine:

  • la Grand-Place (de Bruxelles, my hometown) = the main square in the city. In Spanish, it is "la Plaza Mayor": you can see that "grand" here is not about the size but about the fact that it is the "central, major" square of the city. But maybe other squares are bigger.

  • la grand-route = the main road.

  • grand-chose: very commonly used, e.g. "Il n'y a pas grand-chose à faire" = "There is not much to do" / "C'est pas grand-chose" = "It's no big deal".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

It's the same with demi-[relative] - both grand-[person/thing] & demi-[person/thing] are being treated as a single unit, so only the ending of the whole unit changes. Different from "grandson, etc." where petit is treated as an adjective attached to the person being described, and changes with the person: "Petit-fils, petite-fille, petit-enfant, petits-enfants*. I don't know why, but that's just the way it is.


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

Does anyone know of a region in the French speaking world where "douce-uh" would be correct pronunciation? It certainly isn't in Paris or Montreal - I've been there and never heard this pronunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B.D.R.

What's wrong with "My grandmother is mild"?


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

Because sweet doesn't mean mild. Mild us even tempered, easy going and relaxed. Sweet is loving, gushy, emotional, care taking, kind


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maizel4

How would you make a distinction between soft and sweet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CherylFont1

When used to describe a person it means sweet, a sweet gentle temperament. Douce means smooth when is is describing things like clothes, music, hair, skin, and voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Contest. An animal's fur isn't going to be sweet, it's going to be soft. If there's ambiguity, you have to use more words or different wording to make your meaning clear. It's not like these exercises a limiting in what you can do in the real world.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charles383046

Why not "my grandmother is smooth"!?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roody-Roo

Most grandmothers are not smooth. They're wrinkled. :)


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

Whatever the first word the woman's voice speaks is, it is certainly not recognizable as 'ma.' btw, does anything we say on here ever actually cause DL to FIX something? I don't think I've ever seen it happen.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.