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"Ses grandes poches"

Translation:His big pockets

January 6, 2013

59 Comments


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

I heard "C'est grande poche" but that can't be as it is lacking the article (+ noun/adjective order is reversed): "C'est une poche grande"


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

Me, too. Tant pis. Burned by the grammar of what I typed/heard: "c'est grande poche." That sounds just like the correct answer, "Ses grandes poches," but I, too, failed to note that my sentence lacked a necessary une or la.


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

A little late, but just saying that adjectives like grand/e come before the noun because these are one of the exceptions to the standard order. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Adjectives-1 The notes on the bottom of this page should help more :)


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

Does the pronunciation of 'Ce' and 'Ses' sound the same ?


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

I think that "c'est", "ces" and "ses" are all pronounced the same, but "ce" is pronounced differently.


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

No. The 'e' in 'ce' sounds like the one in 'je'. It's rounded. In 'ses', 'ces' and 'les', however, the 'e' isn't rounded. 'Ses' and 'ces' sound the same, btw


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

There are at least 6 spellings for that pronunciation.

Though S's can change to sound like Z's in certain circumstances


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyIs2Kool

C'est and ses sound very similar. How do you tell which one is which?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjw3000

I don't think you can tell the difference.. It seems as the top commenters (now) that it would have an "un, une, la or le" if it were supposed to be "C'est (une) grande poche.."


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

Why isn't "their" accepted? I don't know the gender of the person.


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

Good question, from perspective that colloquial English speakers often use "their" as a gender-avoidance alternative to "his" or "her." If I had to guess, Duolingo wants to make sure that we know the difference between the singular and plural possessives. So you should be glad to know that you could translate as "his big pockets" or as "her big pockets," and both would be equally correct. While my guess is that Duolingo only wants "their big pockets" in response to "leurs grandes poches."


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

Why is "his big bags" not accepted?


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

Because "poche" means "pocket". Only in some parts of France do some people use "poche" to refer to a paper or plastic bag.


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

well why does duolingo have it as a translation if you check what the (new to me) word means...


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

I have heard "poche" used to mean a paper and plastic bag in Quebec also.


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

Why was marked wrong because I used 'their' rather than his/her for 'ses'?


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

ses = his; leur = their


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

mn but I meant in the sense of a singular gender neutral pronoun.

For example: 'Doctor, the patient is waiting outside' 'Well let them in'

still singular, but just without gender


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2270

That is an accepted use of the so-called singular "they". But there is no reason to apply it here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T.A.R.D.I.S.girl

See, here's what I understand..... on another comment, I saw that someone had asked what the difference was between 'grande' and 'grosse' and someone else had answered that 'grande means 'long' , so, does that mean that this person's pocket is long? or could they have used the word 'grosses' instead????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2270

There are several words in French which are translated as "big" but they carry different connotations:

  • grand(e) : "big" or "tall" (in reference to a person). It can also mean great or grand in an appropriate context and can change meaning when placed before or after the noun it modifies.
  • large : "big" in the sense of wide or broad; it is not used to describe a person
  • gros(se) : means big or large (in volume), broad, fat

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

I put his big bags? Is that correct?


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

"une poche" is a plastic or paper bag in the south of France. Others use "un sachet" or "un sac (en papier/plastic".


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

How can it be known if "see grandees poches" means "his big pockets" or "her big pockets"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2270

You don't know: it can be his/her/its.


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

from context. otherwise you would not know, and both should be correct.


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

In any other cases before I used to know how to distinguish the plural from singular in speaking. But in this case I don't bloody know how to know (in speaking) is it: "her/his big pocket", or "her/his big pockets". Anyone to explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2270

In French, the possessive adjective takes the form (agrees with) the gender and number of the thing possessed, not the thing/person possessing, i.e., sa grande poche = his/her/its big pocket. Ses grandes poches = his/her/its big pockets.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tuta..._

Ses grandes poches : His big pockets , ,,, Her pockets are big ? ? !! why not this one/translation,,, am i missing something ? Thank you :) <3


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2270

From the plural "ses grandes poches", you cannot know the gender of the thing possessing those big pockets without context (which we don't have here). So it could be either "his big pockets" or "her big pockets". But not "his/her pockets are big. That is a different expression. Ses poches sont grandes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tuta..._

Thank You very much :) ^^ , Mel Merci :) ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol134398

It's difficult hearing if it's the singular or plural.....


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

the singular would be SA grande poche


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

could you translate this as his/her deep pockets. in english there is an idiom to have deep pockets is to a have a lot of money but also willing to spend it when necessary, rather than a miser keeping hold of it all.


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

deep = profond(e)(s).

to have deep pockets = avoir les poches profondes.


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

Are you saying that "avoir les poches profondes" is a French idiom meaning the same thing as the American idiom, "he has deep pockets" or are you just giving us a literal translation?


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

I gave you the literal translation that some French people speaking English use with the same meaning. But I am not sure that French people who don't speak English may immediately understand it.

We usually describe people with deep pockets as "il est riche comme Crésus", "il est plein aux as", "il a les moyens", "il a de la thune", "il est blindé"...


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

Merci pour la clarification.


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

So when do you use son or ses? I see they both translate to his/her


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

"son, sa and ses" are possessive adjectives. Like all adjectives, they agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.

his/her/its pocket = sa poche: "une poche" is feminine

his/her/its coat = son manteau: "un manteau" is masculine

his/her/its gloves and socks = ses gants (masculine plural) et ses chaussettes (feminine plural)


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

so ses is unisex, or does it belong to woman, or only men ???


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

"ses" is common to masculine and feminine nouns.


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

I used 'Their', the system corrected me as 'Her' and here I see 'His' and when I click on 'Ses' I get 'Her, His, Its'. WHICH? How do we know which to use, please, if the gender of the object is unrelated to the gender of its owner?


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

"son, sa, ses" is the translation for "his" or "her" or "its". So you can't know the nature or gender of the owner.

"son" is used of the possession is masculine and singular, "sa" if it is feminine and singular and "ses" if it is plural. "son" is also used if the possession is feminine and starts with a vowel sound, to avoid the vowel sound conflict.

Translating "son, sa or ses" to "their" is not an option here, since all sentences have to translate both ways and "their" would back translate to "leur, leurs".


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

In English, "their" can also be used when referring to a singular person whose gender is either not known or not important. This sentence is, in fact, a sentence fragment and so there's no way of knowing who or what it is referring to. If it were referring to "Someone who has their hands in their big pockets" then those "their"s would not (I don't think) translate to "leur" because the antecedent was a singular person and not multiple people.

In cases like this where no antecedent is present singular "their" should be accepted.


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

This is exactly the reason why we don't accept "their" as a translation for "son, sa, ses". As soon as possible, you have to "think French", then you won't be tempted to translate from English to French, which is a recipe for errors.


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

So then do you agree that it is a possible translation but that Duolingo just doesn't accept it?

This is a sentence (fragment) that's being translated from French to English and not the other way around but even in that case "their big pockets" could (I think) translate to either "leurs grandes poches" or "ses grandes poches" because there would be no indication of whether "their" was referring to a person or to people.

I don't see what "thinking in French" has to do with anything here. If thinking in French is the goal (and I agree that it should be) then there should be fewer sentence fragments like this one and more complete/complicated sentences which demonstrate more of the language.

This sentence fragment is just confusing, especially when proper English translations are dismissed as "not French enough" (or whatever).


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

"Son, sa and ses" are a clear indication that the owner is a single person, animal or thing.

The English "their" is possible in context, for instance when you use "anyone" or "someone" as a subject, like "someone has money in their big pockets".

Otherwise, there is nothing preventing you from translating "son, sa, ses" to "his, her, its".


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

Would "Ses grandes poches." be a correct response to:

"Où est-ce que cette personne a son argent?"

Or is there something wrong with this?


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

This is correct, yet I would add "dans" before the answer "ses grandes poches".


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

I thought that He has big pockets would make sense/be similar to his big pockets. is it just me?


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

the French version is a fragment and you translated it to a sentence:

he has big pockets = il a de grandes poches (with a verb)

his/her/its big pockets = ses grandes poches (no verb)


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

What about "ces poches?" That is what I thought it was. Isn't that a possible correct usage?


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

"Ses" (his/her/its) and "ces" (these/those) are homophones, so without context and in dictation, you cannot know which it is.

The system cannot accept a sentence which is not listed as a correct translation for the original written sentence. To have homophones accepted, we need to report them to the developers who then apply a specific filter to the dictation exercise and in the meantime, we disable the "type what you hear" exercise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JCL817

Why is this "His big pockets"? Wouldn't that be "Ses grands pochs". Isn't "Her big pockets": "Ses grandes poches"? How would I say "Her big pockets"


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

"Une poche" is a feminine noun, whatever happens, and all determiners and adjectives related to this noun have to agree in feminine: "une/la/sa/cette grande poche".

"Ses" translates to "his, her or its" when the object possessed is in plural, masculine or feminine.

Therefore "ses grandes poches" can translate to "his/her/its big pockets". All three versions are accepted.


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

"Ses" can also mean "It's" for this sentence, but not according to duo. Come on Duo, be consistent with probable answers please.


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

No, sorry, "ses" never means "it's" because "it's" is the contraction of "it is".

The possessive "its" is accepted as a translation for "ses" in this sentence.


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

It's the possessive "Its" that I meant to comment about but have mispelled it. Bad grammer habits are hard to break. Thanks for your rapid response.

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