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Apparently "I love the ladies" doesn't count. We're classier than that up in here!
I think the key here is to follow the pattern of translation that website gives you... meaning that I have not encounter "femmes" translated as "ladies" - always "women".
Dames = very very formal in French, can't be interchangeable with "femmes".
If you say "une vieille femme" (an old woman), it's very pejorative, you have to say "une vieille dame" (a old lady). "Dame" is used when you want to be very formal and respectful.
"Les femmes sont belles", can't be "Les dames sont belles", because it's ridiculously formal. We can think you talk about old ladies or about medieval princesses...
But if you want to show respect, you would say "Cette dame" instead of "Cette femme", that can be a lack of respect if you talk about someone you owe respect or that can hear you.
As a rule, if I have a formal relationship with the person with who I speak, I will say to this person "Regarde la dame qui..." -Look at the lady who... , but if my speech is free, I can say "Regarde la femme qui.."
We taught children: "Dis bonjour à la dame" = Say "Bonjour" to the lady. and not "à la femme", it would be too rude.
That is a good question. This is currently what I have been told:
1. adjectives usually come AFTER the noun they are describing, except in cases of Beauty, Age, Numbers, Goodness/badness, and Size - 'BANGS'. 'BANGS' come BEFORE the noun.
The other way I have found it described is that colors, nationality and long adjectives generally come AFTER the noun they describe.
Short and frequently used adjectives come BEFORE the noun.
2. In English we usually use the adjective BEFORE the noun, that is why this is something English speakers need to be aware of.
I have a thread I have developed for Adjectives 1, which if you click on the gray writing, it will take you there. To get back here, press the return or back arrow key in your browser.
In my list for Adjectives 2 - word list ,
I am beginning to note which adjectives come before the noun.
I hope that helps :)
I'm very new to French, Reading your comment I could not help but notice that in this case the adjective (vieille) comes before the noun. Could someone help me understand the difference? Tia
I'm having a hard time hearing the difference between les and le... Is it my hearing or is there no difference in pronunciation?
For nouns in french, the always have to be preceded by an article. When you're speaking of something in general, like this sentence, you use the articles le/la/les. Another example "I like apples" - "J'aime les pommes."
I can't tell the difference between when its plural or not when it speaks :(
femme and femmes is pronounced the same, you can't hear the difference. You have to pay attention to how the article is pronounced. You can hear the difference between le (sounds like /luh/.), la, and les (sounds like /lay/). Pay attention to that and you will be able to distinguish singular from plural.
why isn't is j'aime des femmes? i thought des was used for generalizations rather than les...
Le/La/Les is used for generalizations. De/de la/des is used when referring to a quantity.
"la"/"le"/"les", the definite articles are used for generalizations in French. If you say "des" it's the same than "some" in English, it's not a generalization, it's the opposite. Avoid to use "des" after "aimer" or other appreciations verbs as a general rule, it's better.
Accepted: I like women/ I love women.
The meaning of the verb "aimer" vary in intensity wether it's "aimer" a thing or a person. For a person, it's strong (=love), for a thing, the intensity is weaker, (= to like)
I like the women should also be accepted as a acorrect answer, if not why should we use the article for?
I never hear the difference between singular and plural pronunciations! any recommedations?
"ent" is no pronounced when it's a verb ending, ex: Ils jouent -they play. "s" in never pronounced at the end of the word as a plural. Etc...
How can i tell the difference in the speaking between the singular and the plural versions? They sound the same to me! :c
The articles tell you if it's singular or plural:
luh or lah for singular (le or la) [not like the u in lung - more like the u in ugh)
La femme (lah fam), le chat (luh shah)
lay for plural (les)
Les femmes (lay fam), les chats (lay shah)
Why there is a "les" here even if the meaning is I love women. I thouhgt it would be something like "J'aime femmes" ?
It is because, I understand - that you need to add the correct preposition before the noun of "women". You have a few to choose between: le, la, les, un, une. And then there are "some" : du, de la, des ( I believe ). In french you can not just use the noun. You need to also add the correct defining "preposition".
You can NOT just say in french:
"J'aime femmes" - this is grammatically wrong in french. It is like how you hear foreigners speak other languages. This is not the way the french speak their language.
You have to say either:
"J'aime les femmes" = I like women - meaning all women.
"J'aime des femmes" = I like some women. ALL nouns in french are preceded by the correct defining preposition.
Does that make sense to you?
Je is replaced by j' when the following word begins with a vowel or 'h'... Je suis, J'aime. Just like Le, La and L'... (eg. La femme, Le garcon, L'homme, L'araignee)
It is called an elision - we do similar things in english.
ie. It is / It's ; do not / don't.
However in french - when elision happens it MUST always happen. It is not optional as it is in English. This is important for us English speakers learning French to know.
To read some more - check out :
- languageguide - it is one of my favorites - as it explains things simply and includes sound files. However you have to go down to the bottom of the web page.
Or perhaps do a google search, for say - youtube - on elision in French.
If you find any that you think were good - perhaps post their links up here :)