"J'ai une paire de chaussettes très fines."

Translation:I have a pair of very thin socks.

December 27, 2015

45 Comments

Sorted by top post

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

why "i have one pair of very thin socks" is wrong?

March 7, 2016

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

It shouldn't be. Report it. You could say it in English with no fear of being misunderstood.

July 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex.Essilfie

Similarly, what is your opinion about "I have a very thin pair of socks"?

Though English is my first language, I find "pair of" nouns rather confusing to construct with adjectives.

September 7, 2016

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

We could use that and be understood in English, but it isn't technically correct. "Very thin" is modifying "pair" and not "socks" in that sentence.

September 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Zachary, there is a difference between what a person could have said or might have said in a particular situation, and what they actually do say.

In other words, an English speaker might say "I have a fine pair of socks" or, in the same situation, they might say "I have a pair of fine socks." These two statements are "situationally equivalent" in the sense that either could be said to make the same point.

But that does not change the fact that the two statements are different -- in particular, grammatically different when made in French and a grammatical form of the adjective must be chosen.

It is clear from the French we are given here what was actually said and what the correct translation therefore is. This is not a question of being "pedantic", it is a question of translating what is actually in front of us.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StuartFras5

Yes, and both the pair and the socks are very thin, because they're the same item!

June 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZacharyFis13

Its only incorrect at the most pedantic level. Because we don't expect to find socks in anything but a pair it is obvious the modifier applies to a "pair of socks" not just the "pair". Compare this to the way an English speaker could say "I have a very thin bundle of socks," where we would be led to assume the bundle is thin, but we can simultaneously say "I have a very thin pair of jeans," where it is obvious the speaker is not referring to a set of jeans. If the English speaker were to say "I have a pair of thin jeans," we would be led to assume they actually have a matching set of thin jeans, not that a single pair of pants was in fact thin. So while this might confound a precise evaluation of grammar, because usage is important in the development of language the "pair of..." construction should be regarded as correct.

October 31, 2017

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

Well we are supposed to be talking about French here, not English. For speaking English, the question is mostly academic. But for French, a distinction must be made because the adjective has to agree with the correct noun. As you can see, as we are being told, the proper noun for agreement is plural, not singular. So it must be chaussettes not paire.

January 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth870279

Shouldn't we say fine (not fines) as it modifies une pair which is not plural?

February 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

No, "fines" here does not modify "paire". It modifies "chaussettes". It's the same with the English. We are speaking here of "a pair of fine socks", not of "a fine pair of socks". (And here French "fine" means "thin", not "high-quality".)

June 14, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Très fines is absolutely not modifying une paire in this sentence.

    June 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/to-mor

    I thought about this too. I think both should be correct as the adjective could qualify either of the nouns, however we tend to attribute agreement of number and gender to the adjective closest to a noun,

    February 12, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

    No, there is only one correct solution. It is quite clear from the French that "fines" modifies "chaussettes", not "paire". See my comment above.

    June 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoyceGee1

    Just what I thought.

    April 12, 2019

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

    Just a comment: I know you are technically correct but "a very thin pair of socks" is in common usage.

    November 26, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      I'm not going to post URLs because it could be construed as advertising, but I'll make my point with a bunch of quotes anyway:

      "At HJ Hall we produce a huge variety of socks; the sort of fine socks beloved of city gents...."

      "Ideal for both smart and casual attire, these Green Multi Stripe Fine Socks from the sock master MrD London are almost guaranteed to make your working day a bit brighter."

      "3 pack fine socks, plain and patterned at our Online Shop!"

      "Ravelry: Fine and Dandy Socks pattern by Jessica Gore."

      I mean, the sentence you were asked to translate might not even be referring to thin socks. Many adjectives have multiple meanings and this one is applied to socks all the time in both English and French - sometimes in relation to the material thickness, sometimes in relation to the way they look.

      June 22, 2018

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

      Can fine be used also in the English sense of being very good?

      April 8, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex.Essilfie

      Yes, definitely. One of the many entries for fine in Wiktionary states:

      (heading) Of subjective quality.

      • Of superior quality.
        The tree frog that they encountered was truly a fine specimen.
        Only a really fine wine could fully complement Lucía's hand-made pasta.‎
      April 9, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      Alex, your examples show how the English word "fine" is used, not how the French word is used.

      May 20, 2019

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

      Ah, hoisehold items - my weak spot. I gotta start speaking in French at home!

      December 27, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steven229159

      Well then ... good for you. Or not if you don't like thin socks ...

      April 7, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nozz44

      How would one write in French " I have a very fine pair of socks"?. Fine meaning good quality or finely woven. Anyone.. please. Thankyou.

      August 24, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaKapsule44

      Normally, we can agreed with paire or chaussettes therefore fine can be with or without s**.

      September 18, 2017

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

      Why is "I have a pair of very thin stockings" incorrect?

      November 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/to-mor

      chaussettes are socks. Stockings- les bas.

      November 12, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janjan994008

      Why doesnt "i have a very thin pair of socks" work?

      November 13, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      It is quite clear from the French that "fines" modifies "chaussettes", not "paire". (See my comment above.) Therefore the English must be "I have a pair of very thin socks".

      January 10, 2019

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

      I heard "I have a father of very thin socks" and was confused ...

      January 6, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetBerry2

      Isnt very thin acting as an adjective or descriptive therefore should be accepted as a very thin/fine as in quality pair of socks

      January 10, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetBerry2

      A pair of very thin socks / or a very thin pair of socks Pair of socks being the object

      January 10, 2018

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

      Why not "I have a very thin pair of socks"?

      February 9, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      It is quite clear from the French that "fines" modifies "chaussettes", not "paire". (See my comment above.) Therefore the English must be "I have a pair of very thin socks".

      January 10, 2019

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

      What about "I have a very thin pair of socks?"

      February 17, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      It is quite clear from the French that "fines" modifies "chaussettes", not "paire". (See my comment above.) Therefore the English must be "I have a pair of very thin socks".

      January 10, 2019

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

      What's wrong with "I have a pair of very thin socks"?

      February 22, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      Nothing is wrong with your proposed sentence. In fact, that is the DL translation used here.

      April 12, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob864206

      why not 'des chaussettes'?

      April 16, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      That would be wrong. You want to say "pair of socks", not "pair of the socks".

      January 10, 2019

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

      I'm assuming fines means not thick as opposed to refined?

      February 1, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      Correct.

      April 12, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoanSmith0

      Why not "des chaussettes" des is the plural of "de" and chaussettes is plural. So does "de" belong to "une paire" and not chaussettes?

      April 15, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      paire de chausettes = pair of shoes
      paire des chausettes = pair of the shoes

      Joan, your assertion that "des is the plural of de" is not really correct.

      The use of the two words is more complicated than that. Each word has its own uses and functions.

      You are correct that des is used with plural nouns. But de is used both with singular and plural nouns.

      Furthermore,des does not mean just of. It sometimes means some (i.e., plural indefinite article), and so on. Best to have another look.

      April 15, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoanSmith0

      merci

      April 15, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronald660216

      I agree. I said "fine" because it seemed to me that it modified "paire", not "chaussettes." I'm really tired of being told that my answers are not correct on this program! I taught French for over thirty years and usually know what I'm talking about!

      May 20, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

      Here, however, we are given the French first, and it is clear that "fineS" is a plural form of the adjective, and therefore must modify the plural noun "chausettes", not the singular noun "paire".

      May 20, 2019
      Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.