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  5. "Sa poche est grande."

"Sa poche est grande."

Translation:Her pocket is big.

January 28, 2013



This is a note to myself more than a comment. It may be useful to others too.

"His" and "her" don't translate well into French. While in English these terms denote the gender of the person one is referring to, in French these terms denote the gender of the objects, which can be confusing when translating between the two languages. Instead know this:

For ownership (in English, "my", "your", "that person's") there are the following three words: mon (my), ton (your), son (that person's). These three words are applied to objects, and so the gender of these words must match the object. When feminine, the "on" changes to "a", and when the object is plural the "on" changes to "es". Please please pleeease, future me, do not mistake these for the gender of the person.


I've been making this mistake too.

I was translating "Sa poche" as "Her pocket" and getting it marked correctly, then assuming "Sa" was "Her" and "Son" was "His".

His pocket would still be "Sa poche", but this isn't obvious here.

I think this is where imagery would help define the context so we could recognise the gender of the person we're referring to doesn't affect the Sa/Son but the object.

I know this is a rule we learn and understand (now I do) but maybe this would help?


You may also read the Tips & Notes in the lesson before starting the exercises.


The tips and notes are not available in the android version. Only the PC version (though I don't know about the iPhone or Mac version). Can these not be added to the Android app?


So why can't it be His pocket is big?


That's helpful, thanks.


I clicked on word 'poche', the translation can be 'bag'. but when I replace it with bag, there was wrong. Why?


Very late, but I think sac would be a closer translation to bag.


When I heard this verbally, I heard "Ca poche est grande" as in "This pocket is big." How can I tell when it's "Sa" vs. "ca" being said and used?


ça is the informal version of "cela" demonstrative pronoun.

In front of a noun, the demonstrative word must be an adjective.

the demonstrative adjectives are:

  • ce (masc sing) : ce chien (his dog)
  • cet (ditto but in front of a word starting with a vowel or a non aspirate H): cet homme (this man)
  • cette (fem sing) = cette poche est grande (this pocket)
  • ces (masc of fem plural) = ces enfants (these children)

Therefore if you hear "sa" before a feminine noun, it has to be a possessive = his or her pocket


why is 'ce chien' 'his dog' but 'cet homme' is 'this man'?


"Ce chien" = this/that dog (demonstrative)

"Cet homme" = this/that man (demonstrative)

"His dog" = son chien (possessive)


Why isn't "his/her pocket is big" correct?


The computer-checker does not recognize "his/her" as a correct answer since we wrote "his pocket" and "her pocket" separately on the list of accepted translations.


Just to say that, in the S of France, the word poche is used for a bag, (sac)


however it can't be translated into 'his sack is big'


you can do his or her. either way, youll get it right


Is 'grande' a more appropriate adjective for describing pockets than 'grosse'?


"Sa poche est grosse" would be a matter of volume (with something rather big inside).


So there is no way to differentiate between his or her for 'sa' and 'son'?


No, except context, since in French possessive adjectives agree with the thing possessed and not with the owner.


THEIR (his or hers) pocket is big. Sa/son applies to the noun, not the subject.


their pocket = leur poche (plural owners)


Yes, when I used "THEIR" in my previous comment, it was because in English you can use that as his or hers when you don't know the person's gender.


I know, but we don't do that in French, so just remember you have to be as precise as possible with possessives and pronouns.


sa poche: her pocket. How to say: his pocket? son poche? but poche is femine noun.


Sa poche = his or her pocket. Sa poche says nothing about the gender of the owner of the pocket. Using sa indicates only that the noun it modifies is feminine. The gender of anything else related to sa poche is determined from the context or is unknowable.


her pocket = sa poche

his pocket = sa poche


So : His pocket is big. would be accepted. Right?



It may help you to think of words like son and sa etc. as a signal. Rather than think of them as sort of confusing the issue about the gender of the owner of the pocket, reverse it. They are sometimes the only clearly distinguished information in a sentence. Be glad they are there to make it very clear about the number and gender of the noun they are attached to.

Can't tell from looking at or listening to it whether poche is singular and feminine? No need to. Your friend sa is there to tell you that it is singular and feminine and so must be any other modifiers that are attached to it like verte, grande, belle, whatever.

As to the gender and number of who or what owns the pocket or is owned by the pocket, that is a completely separate issue and the cause of many other discussions.


yes, "sa poche" can be "his", "her" and even "its" (speaking of a jacket, for ex).


Vous avez / Tu as une grande patience.

Vous avez / Tu as beaucoup de patience.

Vous êtes / Tu es très patient(e)


Duolingo doesn't accept "It's pocket is big".


The possessive for "it" is "its".

"It's" is the contraction of "it is", so it can't be correct.

[deactivated user]

    I used pouch instead of pocket, which is apparently a translation of poche, but it was rejected. Why?


    "une poche" with the meaning of "a pouch" is regional (for example in the area of Lyon).

    In Paris, "a pouch" is "une pochette" or "un sachet" or "un petit sac".


    Why is "large" marked wrong?


    "Large" in French means more of a "wide" or "broad" If you wrote "large" while translating it into English, it's perfectly acceptable.

    • "Sa poche est large" = "His/her pocket is wide"
    • "Sa poche est grande" = "His/her pocket is big (or "large")"


    What is defference son and sa


    "Son" is used before a masculine noun or a feminine noun or adjective starting with a vowel sound.

    • son (beau) chien (masc) = his/her/its (beautiful) dog
    • son eau (fem) = his/her/its water

    "Sa" is used before a feminine noun or adjective starting with a consonant sound.

    • sa femme (fem) = his/her wife
    • sa bonne idea (fem) = his/her/its good idea


    I answered correct. My answer was led by GRANDE, thinking if its his, than it would be GRAND. Was I wrong with idea?


    The answer is just above your post. "Son, sa, ses" are the French possessive adjectives for 3rd person singular. Just like any other adjectives, they agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. As a consequence, "une poche" being feminine, "sa poche" means either "his pocket" or "her pocket" or "its pocket".


    This would CLEARLY be referring to a man's pocket, as women's pockets are always tiny! haha


    Probably, yes, but the point of this lesson was to learn "sa/son/ses" and that they could be either "his" or "her."

    Because there is no context, we pretty much get to choose what "sa" means in this context.


    Can "it's pocket" be accepted?


    No because it is grammatically wrong: "It's" is the contraction of "it is"; the possessive is "its".

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