Can anyone French comment on this? 'une grande personne' is a person who's great, and 'une personne grande' is a person who's tall, big? Is that generally true or does 'une grande personne' mean both ways, depending on context?
Actually, that would depend on context, but this exercise is not adequate in my opinion.
Generally, "une grande personne" means "a grown-up", "an adult person".
"Je trouvais ça flatteur d'être traitée comme une grande personne" = "It was so flattering to have someone treat me like a grown-up".
Therefore, if you mean "a tall or large or great person" you will say something else, like "homme grand", "femme grande" (size) or "grand homme", "grande femme" (quality)
Thanks for your explanation. I was somewhat confused because I thought that grande followed the noun if it was referring to the size of a person.
I will throw grown up in as an answer. If it gets marked wrong I will indicate their answer is wrong and my mine is possibly correct in the feedback section placed at the bottom of error pages.
Perhaps that will generate some some scrutiny of the issue. Duolingo will repeat what looks like an error many times as part of its teaching process if it's not corrected.
How then does one say "You are a great person" (as in "grand homme" = great man)?
- tu es une personne géniale, formidable, merveilleuse, extraordinaire, sensationnelle, fabuleuse...
- tu es quelqu'un de bien, de génial, de formidable, d'extraordinaire, de sensationnel, de merveilleux, de fabuleux...
15 Nov 2014 still rejects "You are a great person" (grande used as subjective adjective before the noun). Collins says that "grande personne" is a term used by children to refer to a grown-up. www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/grownup
"tu es une grande personne" does not mean "you are a great person", so what's the problem?
What's wrong with 'adult'? I was given a 'wrong answer' for using that word in mine
I didn't understand why "tall man" would become "homme grand".
Isn't the S in BANGS for size? So the adjective must come before the noun, am I missing something?
As always with languages there are exceptions. The S in the Size part of BANGS should read .....Size (except when referring to people)
Blimey, northernguy.... here I am, months into the course and I've only just found that one out from you. A million thanks.
Anyroad, as of 16 May '14 A Great Person is accepted. ::: edit: sitesurf has just informed me that Duo's translation A great Person is wrong.
It is an "anomaly", because "un grand homme" means "a great man", so "a tall man" exceptionally translates to "un homme grand".
Yes, it does, as an adjective or a noun.
The point here is that when you speak to a child, you will preferably use "grande personne" to refer to adults, for this is what they see from their short size.
Ah, thank you! I have yet to speak to a French child, and that might be the problem! :-)
I note that You originally wrote "...to AN Italian child" which is good but it's turned out here as ".....to AN French child", which isn't good. Don't know how that happened. Spanky botty Duo?
Ah, Jackjon, the challenge of switching between the two languages is sometimes just too much for me! Thank you for catching this. Also, what's the point of being able to edit when you cannot hide your mistakes????
yes it can: "un homme grand" is a tall man, while "un grand homme" is a great man.
Hi northernguy and sitesurf. I assume you mean by "great" like famous (Jesus/Ghandi) and that "Grand" is ambiguous in the "B.A.G.S." guide where "great" (Goodness) contradicts "size" (great big) both of which would be placed before the noun according to bags. One of the bizarre thingies? Like rose.
Mixing objective and subjective adjectives in the same sentence is not always easy:
"Un grand homme, fort et de haute stature" would place your judgement in front of the noun (your opinion on the man) then what is measurable or undisputable.
= A tall and big great man
It's more like un grand homme refers to an inherent subjective quality of the man in that he is great. Un homme grand refers to an objective classification of the man in that he is tall.
Its about whether you have an old friend that you have known for a long time or a friend who has lived for many years. Subjective/figurative in front, objective/literal after the noun. Inherent quality in front of the noun, classifying type go after.
Most of the adjectives that are covered by B.A.G.S. are pretty subjective and refer to inherent qualities and therefore precede the noun. I have read that by moving an adjective from its customary placement, you can add emphasis to that adjective. Sort of make it stick out deliberately.
French is the language of exceptions and of exceptions of the exceptions...
Figurative or subjective meaning un grand homme - a great man
Literal or objective meaning un homme grand - a tall man
Wouldn't "une grande personne" fall under the BAGS rule that this adjective always goes before the object - referring to the person's size?
Not this time: une grande personne = an adult.
a tall person = une personne grande (or better: de haute taille/stature)
Oui, mais: that's a reference to a person's size, non? Unless the phrase, "une grande personne" referring to "an adult" takes precedence?
No that is not a reference to a person's size but age (adult).
And yes, indeed the "adult" meaning takes precedence.
Size when used with regard to people does not comply with the B.A.G.S convention.
Remember that B.A.G.S. is just an aid to help deal with the real criteria.
Adjectives referring to an inherent quality of the noun go in front. Being full grown is an inherent quality of an adult. Thus une grande personne, which refers to an inherent quality of being an adult, goes in front.
Adjectives that classify a noun into various categories go after the noun. When an individual or group is classified by size (or shape, color, taste, nationality, religion, social class,personality, mood....) relative to other individuals or groups, the adjective goes after. Thus une personne grande, which categorizes an individual or group as being tall, goes after.
I should add that grand can also mean great. Une grande personne could mean a great person. Great is something that would seem to be fundamental to a person so it goes in front.
So if you see grand in front in a context where it's obvious that the person is an adult, they could be trying to indicate a particular quality of the individual. Changing the position of some adjectives can significantly change their meaning. Sitesurf says about ten per cent of French adjectives can be treated this way.
Because this is not the meaning. If you want to comment on someone's size, you can say "tu es un homme grand", "tu es une femme grande", "tu es un enfant/garçon grand", "tu es une fille grande".
"une grande personne" is a grown-up, an adult.
"un grand homme" is a great man
"une grande femme" is either tall or great
"un grand enfant" is a childish adult
"un grand garçon" is a big boy (sensible boy)
"une grande fille" is a big girl (sensible girl)
I understand very well the meaning of "grown-up" and it's true that the best translation in French would be "grande personne" but it doesn't imply that it must be narrowed in the same way the other way around. "Une personne grande" is absolutely wrong, same for "un chien petit", "une maison grande" since the adjectives "grand/petit" never(!) go after a name but rather before unless there are other adjectives enumerated like in "une personne grande, forte et courageuse", but still "une grande, forte et courageuse personne" could be said as well.
The different meanings are usually clear with the context but sometimes it happens that they're not (We hate to admit it, but in every languages there are things that are still unclear even for native speakers...). P.S. please be careful for your typos : "une grande fille" and not "une grand fille", and "a big boy", not "a big goy".
Thanks for the typos.
You may not have read all the examples I gave previously, "grand" can be placed before or after a noun representing a human being, but with a different meaning.
"une personne grande" is absolutely correct and is a tall person.
And now I realise that the answer is staring me in the face, on this thread. I shouldn't do this when I'm tired. :-)
Yes, it is a particularly interesting exception., as Sitesurf has explained above.
- un grand homme = a great man
- un homme grand = a tall man
- une grande personne = a grown-up
This is making my head hurt... Is there some easy way to remember these, or do I just need to memorise them?
The "grande personne" phrase is one that you will surely remember. Just take the other exceptions as they come.
@ A_User. They've to be memorised, just like the gender of nouns and exceptions.
groans Are there any rules about this specific set of exceptions that I should learn while I'm at it?
You may try to remember that as a general rule, adjectives that have the ability to be placed before or after a noun have a more subjective meaning (and sometimes quite different) when placed before the noun. So their translation to English will also be more subjective.
Just look at "un grand homme" vs "un homme grand": the first one is "great" and the second one is "tall".
Is it true that because <sub>personne</sub> is feminen that's what makes it <sub>une</sub> even when talking about a boy??
Yes, "une personne" remains feminine even if that person is a man or boy.
Similarly, "une victime" can be a man/boy or woman/girl.
But "un témoin" is masculine, even if the witness is a woman or girl.
This is another annoying example of Duolingo choosing only one correct translation and disallowing a different CORRECT response (You are a tall person.).
You are a tall person = tu es une personne grande: in this case, you have to change the adjective's placement because "une grande personne" is fixed to mean "a grown-up".
Which I would never have known had I not had the opportunity to read this entire thread! So thank you! It may not be the easiest way of learning all these exceptions or idiosyncracies, but the discovery method tends to stay with you longer because there’s ultimately a greater depth of understanding...