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  5. "Les éléphants sont gros."

"Les éléphants sont gros."

Translation:The elephants are big.

January 27, 2013

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeline05

How could I know that "gros" is the very similar in masculine singular and plural too??


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

If you haven't read it somewhere already, then you probably wouldn't know this. For future reference, there is no difference between singular and plural masculine form of adjectives when the default form of adjectives ends with S or X.


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

That ought to be fairly tricky to remember, but nonetheless, merci beaucoup ;).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nora414956

that was a hot tip!


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

C'est bien, merçi!


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

Thank you! I got it wrong twice!


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

It's interesting that in French and Spanish "les [noun]" can refer to either the general category of [noun] or a specific set of [noun].

For instance, "les enfants sont jolies" can mean either "the children are pretty" (referring to a specific set of children) or "children are pretty" (the general class of children).

I guess it's just context that determines which interpretation to take.


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

Good guess, translations from English to French do not have to be made on a word to word basis, but on a meaning basis.


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

Just, like everey language


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

Jmromer, this is an interesting observation. Does anyone know whether we could use "Des enfants sont jolies" to mean "Children are pretty"? Which is better to refer to a general group (or non-specific group) of children in French : "Les enfants sont jolies" or "Des enfants sont jolies"?


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

Les enfants is used when referring to a specific group of children. It is also used when referring to a general group of children.

Les enfants = those children right there

Des enfants = some children but not all

Les enfants = all the children in the world, all members of a community or group of children.

If you know you are referring to all the students in the class then you use les. If you don't know then you use des.

Les enfants (all the children) in that class are noisy. Des enfants (some of the children) in that class are noisy. Les enfants (just that particular group of children we talked about earlier) are noisy.

Which is better depends on context, what the speaker is trying to say.


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

Thank you very much for the detailed clarifications!


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

It's a problem for English speakers because we just drop the article any time we feel like doing so and leave it up to the reader/ listener to figure out what was meant. Because we drop the article we haven't developed an article that expresses generality.

But in French you can't just drop an article, it has to be included. Unfortunately, they didn't develop an article for generality either. They just gave le/ la/ les a dual role.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gareth321

What is the difference between grand and gros?


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

Elephants are both "grands" (tall) and "gros" (fat/heavy). But since they are tall anyway, the French usually say they are "gros" if it is about male adults, if that has any relevance, as in the case of comparison between African elephants and Asian elephants, for example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ex3mity

could it be grosses? (fpl?)


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

Yes, with "éléphantes"


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

Do most/all plural conjugations of adjectives have feminine conjugations? I could've sworn I've used the plural masculine form in a lot of situations..


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

Adjectives are not 'conjugated', verbs are.

Adjectives have masculine or feminine gender forms, as well as singular or plural forms.

In the case of "gros", the form for masculine singular and plural is the same.

In feminine: "grosse" in singular and "grosses" in plural.


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

thanx, Elephants are both "grands" (tall) and "gros" (fat/heavy)


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

I put in heavy, but it considered it wrong. I understand it is a computer that only says correct to certain definitions, but would "The elephants are heavy" be correct or incorrect?


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

Obviously it is not wrong for real life, yet the French would be "les éléphants sont lourds"


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

Now you can be obvious in french, too!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaitlin_0

Shouldnt 'gros' be plural to agree with the rest of the sentence. ? Or is it like one of those words like 'deer' in english which is the same plural and singular? i dont know if this made sense but id like some help!


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

Adjective "gros" already has an -s in singular so it does not need another one in plural:

  • un gros éléphant
  • une grosse éléphante
  • de gros éléphants
  • de grosses éléphantes

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

Doesn't gros mean huge as well?


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

Gros is basically big.

huge = énorme or immense.


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

What is the difference between grand and gros?


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

Basically, "grand" is 2-D, ie long, thin, high, large; "gros" is 3-D, ie voluminous, thick, fat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luigi2013

Can some one help me out on this?: Why when you write The Elephant in French, you write it like this: L'elephant - and when it is plural the rule doesn't apply because when you write: The elephants, you write it like this: Les elephants and not L'elephants. Thank you all.


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

Le éléphant = hard to say because one word ends in vowel and the next starts with vowel thus l'éléphant.

les éléphants = easy to say because one word ends in consonant and next starts with vowel.

The process of dropping one of the vowels and joining the two words together with an apostrophe is called elision and is used where ever the condition comes about. H is often silent in French and is considered a vowel for the purposes of elision.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Queeene12

gros is plural? what is singular?


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

According to sitesurf ^ gros is both singular AND plural... (I didn't know this myself but just pointing out the comment he [?] made.)


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

Does anyone know why huge is not an acceptable answer for gros


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

Because "huge" = énorme


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mati2065

I'm just wondering why "grosses" is incorrect here but "les grosses crepes" some examples before was ok...


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

gros is masculine singular or plural

grosse is feminine singular

grosses is feminine plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RiaMali2

how do we understand the difference between gros ,grosses and grosse. please answer thank you


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

You have already learned that French nouns can be masculine or feminine and that adjectives modifying them have to agree in gender and number:

  • gros is masculine singular or plural
  • grosse is feminine singular
  • grosses is feminine plural.

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

Why gros not grosses


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

"gros" is masculine (singular or plural)

"grosse(s)" is feminine.

un éléphant is masculine, so "l'éléphant est gros" - "les éléphants sont gros".


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

How to type a vowel with an accent mark? My phone seems to have only English keyboard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mallika758737

What about The big elephants it must be accepted


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

No, because your translation does not have a verb supposed to describe the elephants.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nevin711542

'the elephants are huge' seems acceptable since big and huge are synonyms


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

No, "big" and "huge" are not synonyms and "gros" and "énorme" are not either.


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

WE've had this before, how to use gros, grand, enorme etc etc. Can we not be more flexible?


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

Duolingo's correct solution is awkward. It should be "sont grands."


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

"Grands" would refer to their height only and the sentence has "gros" which refers to their volume.

The translation to "big" which also refers to volume is therefore correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jpappas60

I said, "The elephants are huge". Is there another word for huge?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judith-Linton

Above, it states the translation for gros is "big" HOWEVER, in the actual lesson the translation is given as "fat". This is the second translation in this lesson offering conflicting solutions, making my answer "incorrect". Will you please correct this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emilym1232

theyre big like me


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

how is it here that the elephants are "gros" but when we eat the big crepes the crepes are "grosses" ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nora414956

It has to do with masculine vs feminine

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