1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "You are a nice boy."

"You are a nice boy."

Translation:Tu es un gentil garçon.

January 21, 2013

19 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Why "un gentil garcon" and not "un garcon gentil"? Can someone explain the subtleties of ordering adjectives and nouns in a sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
  • 1398

In French, most adjectives are placed after the noun.

Certain adjectives are placed before the noun, some which you can memorize with the acronym "BANGS":

Beauty - Age - Numbers - Good and bad - Size (except for grand with people)

These descriptors - and a few others - are considered inherent qualities of the noun: For example "un gentil garçon" for "a nice boy"

Please also have a look at the following link: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm


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

However, my answer of "un garçon sympa" was accepted, what is the difference between "Garçon sympa" and "gentil garçon"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
  • 1398

"sympa" is an exception.

You must say "Un garçon sympa" (not: "un sympa garçon")


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

So normally the adjective comes after the noun. BANGS is the exception. "Sympa" is the exception to the exception. Got it!


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

Would you say "vous" to a boy?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
  • 1398

"Un garçon" is not only for "young" boys. You can also say call a young man "un garçon", hence, you can say "tu" (informal) or "vows" (formal), depending on how familiar you are with this person.


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

I see, thank you for your response.


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

Bear in mind also the possibility that if the person speaking was younger, or in a position of dereference to the 'young boy', they would indeed use vous.


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

Is "Tu est un garcon gentil" wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
  • 1398

Yes, because it has to be "tu es". Please have a look at my comment above.


[deactivated user]

    my answer "tu es un garçon gentil" was marked correct. i'm not sure if it's a bug.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
    • 1398

    It's not a bug: "gentil" is among the adjectives that are usually placed before the noun, but that also can be placed after the noun.


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

    Why do you need the article un''? I thought with être, it is omitted, as inJe suis professeur'' not ``Je suis un professeur.''


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
    • 1398

    You have to put an article before most nouns.

    The article is only omitted before occupation nouns (e.g. "professeur" -> "Je suis professeur"), or before adjectives (e.g. "débutant" -> "Je suis débutant").


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Courtney92

    Okay, so I understand why it would be un gentil garcon instead of un garcon gentil using BANGS (I'm assuming gentil falls under "good?") But if that is so, why is "Tu es un garcon sympa" accepted? Is sympa not the same type of describing word as gentil, or is this just an exception to the rule?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
    • 1398

    "sympa" is an adjective that comes from "sympathique".

    "Sympathique" has 4 syllables when it is written (sym-pa-thi-que), even though when you say it, it sounds like it has 3 syllables (sym-pa-thique).

    In French, the adjectives that have more than 3 syllables are placed after the noun.

    Since "sympa" comes from "sympathique", it is placed after the noun.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.A.Burnside

    Holy cow, that is a difficult convention. Thank you.


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

    Remy, that is really helpful to know. Thanks!

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.