"The colors of the American flag are red, white and blue."

Translation:Les couleurs du drapeau américain sont rouge, blanc et bleu.

February 29, 2016

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maeve1956

Couleurs is feminine, so why aren't the colors in the feminine form?

July 18, 2016

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

I’m having a go at answering the two main queries above, namely of appropriate gender of the individual colours or why only the singular versions of the individual colours are used.

First, singular or plural? Pretty straightforward, I think. If somebody asks what the colours of your own flag would be, you would list the single individual colours, which are nouns. That is what the question is asking. Even if the colours of many different flags were red, white and blue (in whatever pattern) the individual colours would still be red, white and blue. They would not a number of reds, whites and blues. In logical terms, it's because red, white and blue are not adjectives. They are attributes of something. Put a notional 'a'in front of them and it makes it a little clearer. The colours of the American flag are 'a' red, 'a' white, and 'a' blue .

If, however, those flags had different shades of red, white and blue one could then use the plural of the colours which, presumably, would then need further explanation and clarification. The gender would remain masculine, for reasons explained below.

Hands up, I too thought the noun 'couleur' is feminine so determined the gender of the specific colours described. After thinking about it - having already got it wrong, of course - they are masculine because the American flag - ‘le drapeau’ - is the object of which the individual colours are attributes.

What is ‘colour’, after all? It is not a physical object itself so cannot be modified by a specific colour noun being used as an adjective. It is an attribute of an object which can be described. If somebody asked you 'What colour is your ball?', and the ball was red, you would answer either 'it is red', 'the ball is red in colour' or 'it is a red ball'. Even to answer 'the ball is a red colour' would be grammatically incorrect (‘the ball is the colour red’ would be correct) but at least would point to the ball as being what we are talking about, not the noun 'colour'.

This is because we cannot ask 'what colour is that?' without a physical context. It can only be a particular colour of a dot, square, animate or inanimate object and so the genders of the individual colours always take their gender from the name of the two or three dimensional object to which it applies.

Assuming I’m correct (not my usual assumption, I assure you), somebody needs to give a technical grammatical explanation for accuracy and succinctness. Where are you, Sitesurf? We need you!

September 19, 2018

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

is "de la drapeau" not right also?

February 29, 2016

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

"le couleurs du drapeau américain…" why "du" not "de"

May 7, 2016

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

In order to use de+nom you have to use an article (le, la, les, un...) but "de le" doesn't exist and it's "du" instead.

June 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/May679056

I have asked before but did not get an answer, sometimes the adjective comes before the noun and sometimes after, how can differentiate this. Also since colors are plural why we didn't put the plural for rouge, blanc et bleu

August 21, 2017

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

Since couleurs is plural and the verb is plural, why are red, white, and blue singular?

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonSnipe1

because drapeau (flag) is singuler and rouge, blanc et bleu. describe the flag not the couleurs

November 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hector290697

Aussi le drapeau français a les meme coulers.

Was my sentence correct? Any feedback, please. :)

May 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BEAN905550

This should be incorrect. The colors are plural and should be in the plural form. The correct sentence should be "Les couleurs du drapeau américain sont rouges, blancs et bleus."

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chillwinds7

Can someone please explain why "americaine " was rejected.

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Satoshi897124

This cannot be right. "Les couleurs" is plural so all these adjectives should be plural too.

August 20, 2018

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

If it were "des drapeaux" the adjectives would be in the plural form, I think, this is just my observation....

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antariksh.gosain

Same goes for the french flag

January 28, 2019

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

the colour is red...red is NOT a noun. It is adjectival This applies to the colours here Ridiculous

February 14, 2019

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

I just consulted with my colleague who is a native French speaker. He saw the duo's standard answer and said it is correct as per his native language.

Why? How do we understand it? He told me to try this way that "les couleurs" is an attribute of "drapeau", and the words in "rouge, blanc, bleu" are all NOUNs. The trick is at the subject.

Anyway, we need help from you, @Sitesurf!

October 22, 2018
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