37 Comments This discussion is locked.
"liaison" => the audio is wrong. We should hear : elle a de beaux Zyeux noirs
Yes I had to use the slow version to work out what she was saying, because I've never heard anyone say "de beau yeux"
But that's ok to hear beaux Zyeux, because beaux ends in consonat and yeux begins with a vowel, so when read the words are connected, and x + y sounds like z, got it? In english is the same: the audio sounds like di audio
Not understanding the "de" here. Is it de instead of des because of the adjective that follows?
Yes, the traditional rule is that des or des pommes becomes de when there is an adjective preceding the noun, HOWEVER, this is evolving out if the language in France because it doesn't make any sense. I see des jolies pommes more and more often in native writing. C'est la révolution! I don't know if it Is part of the reformed doctrinaire or just common practice.
Without the adjective it would be "des yeux noirs" but as it was explained several sentences "des" = "some" so you shouldn´t use it. The correct solution is "les yeux noirs". I am confused.
"Some" is implied in the English, so there's nothing wrong with "des" without the adjective or "de" with it. "Les" would change the sentence to "the" (since it cannot be a generalization in this sentence).
One of the other lessons was "He has blue eyes" which translated to "Il a les yeux bleus" and Des yeux wasn't accepted, Why is it here you can use de (de instead of des due to the adjective in-front of the noun).?
When talking about parts of the body and the possessor is unambiguous, you're supposed to use the definite article, e.g. «Il a les yeux bleus.» Now, I cannot explain the switch to «de» other than to presume the adjective somehow releases you from the need to use the definite article, and you fall back to the "normal" grammar. In fact, I could find no examples of «Il a les beaux yeux» on Google Ngram, but plenty of «Il a de beaux yeux.»
Doesn't "noir" mean black? Why is saying she has beautiful black eyes not allowed?
OK people. Let's put this one to bed. Does this sentence mean her eye pigmentation is black or she has a bruised eye?
- a black eye (bruised)
- two black eyes (bruised)
- black eyes (pigmentation)
In normal conversation we assume that everyone has two eyes, and that they're not injured unless otherwise stated. If "a" or "two" comes before "black eye(s)" it mean bruising because we're being specific, otherwise it means pigmentation.
- She has a beautiful black eye (irony)
- She has two beautiful black eyes (poor girl!)
- She has beautiful black eyes (a straight compliment)
It's a bit like translating "chocolat noir" as black chocolate. We don't say it in English. The word dark is used to describe both eyes and chocolate. Also, in French, noire is also used to talk about the dark, as in the night. My "she has lovely dark eyes" was thrown out into the dark, cold wilderness.
Or more confusingly, "black tea" in Mandarin is 红茶 (hóng chá) "red tea", whereas the (greenish) oolong tea is literally "black dragon tea'". Or the use of "red-hot" to describe the (physically) coldest visible color. Language is a funny mess. :-)
There is also "white hot" which is hotter than "red hot", so it follows the physical sciences. "She was in a white hot rage", so much worse than a red hot rage.
I thought it was "deux" as in "She has two beautiful black eyes" when I listened to the audio. Is there any reason that could not have been correct? "De" sounds like "deux" to me.
I get this wrong, too, but it's a matter of training the ear. "De" is a shorter sound than "deux" and there is a definite difference.
Not in this sentence because the adjective comes before the noun: "de beaux yeux".
my french teachers tell me to remember BAGOS
Beauty (not words describing the opposite, like ugly) Age (young/old) Good/bad Order (first, second, third, etc) Size (big, small, etc)
hope that helps :)
Why is "de" used? If I were to translate this from english I totally would've gotten this wrong..Can someone explain?
Quick question: In another sentence, 'I have blue eyes,' the correct French is stated as 'J'ai les yeux blues.' In the discussion for this, a native speaker commented that 'les' is just the way it's stated. Why is it not the case for this sentence?
When talking about body parts French speakers tend to use the definite article, such as in your example «j'ai les yeux bleus». But sometimes not, and it can be hard to figure out exactly when not, it depends on context within the sentence and possibly even in the sentences around it, and French speakers don't all agree on it either. Best I could determine as certain have been two different cases:
When you have, for example, mainly brown hair, but you also have some white hairs, you might say "j'ai des cheveux blancs". -- only some of them are white, so you use the partitive article.
When there is something beyond simple about the description, something unusual, something specifically pointed out. Beautiful blue eyes, or clear blue eyes, or magnificent blue eyes, those get the partitive article: «elle a de beaux yeux bleus» or «elle a des yeux bleus magnifiques».
If it helps, you could think of the times when we in English might say "she sure has some amazing blue eyes!", and there is your "some" for «des».
There's a discussion on wordreference about it (well, one of many): http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/fr-avoir-les-des-cheveux-yeux-le-un-nez-adjectif-choix-de-larticle.2710694/
How does one position multiple adjectives with respect to the that of the noun? What comes before the noun and what comes after?
It's a little complicated. In general, adjectives are placed after the noun. The same rules stand for multiple adjectives as for single ones. You have to look at each of the adjectives and decide individually where it needs to be placed.
Many exceptions are covered by the BANGS rule: adjectives come before the noun if they refer to:
Some adjectives are "fickle" -- they change meaning depending on whether you place them before or after the noun. Those you have to pretty much learn by rote because there is no convenient rule. Though there is a rule about how the meaning changes -- placement before the noun indicates figurative or subjective meaning, placement after literal or objective meaning:
The fact that you've oversteered from your original mistake and no longer accept 'she has beautiful black eyes' is pretty ridiculous.
I agree. "She has beautiful black eyes" is a sincere compliment. "She has two beautiful black eyes" is an ironic statement that means she has suffered bruising to both eyes.
« de » would normally be « des [yeux] » - "[some] [eyes]" but you're not allowed to use « des » before an adjective, it must always be « de » instead. « de beaux yeux » - "[some] beautiful eyes".
- « des yeux »
- « des yeux noirs »
- « de beaux yeux »
- « de beaux yeux noirs »
You can find your answer among the comments above: CJ.Dennis has already answered your question:
"« de » would normally be « des [yeux] » - "[some] [eyes]" but you're not allowed to use « des » before an adjective, it must always be « de » instead. « de beaux yeux » - "[some] beautiful eyes".
« des yeux » « des yeux noirs » « de beaux yeux » « de beaux yeux noirs »"
Before posting your question, you'd better read comments first!