"His shoes are brown."
Translation:Ses chaussures sont marron.
A number of color adjectives are invariable, because they are also names of real things. Ex: "marron" is "chestnut".
Please read this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_inv.htm
an exception to an exception :-) Thank you for this explanation- I had totally forgotten about it.
I worked with a brilliant French man who told me that the French "rule" is (sorry I can't say this in French): There are seven exceptions to every rule. Including this one.
......talk about nuances! I responded plural and feminine and got it wrong.
This is wonderful--so many colors! However, I don't believe I've ever seen "an auburn". I'll need to check the etymology on that one.
Ben, merde... so if I had gone with "bruns" instead of changing it to "marrons" I would have gotten it right? Well shucks. I guess then I wouldn't have learned this about the "invariable adjectives" though...
Yes, but my French-English dictionary includes a feminine spelling, "marronne"...
In French, possessive adjectives agree with the object, not with the owner.
so, "son" is used when the object is masculine, singular : son chapeau (= his/her hat)
"sa" when it is feminine, singular : sa chaussure (= his/her shoe)
"ses" when it is masculine or femine, plural: ses chaussettes (fem) (= his/her socks)
If the noun is plural, i.e. shoes, should not the adjective also be plural, as it describes the shoes?
A number of color adjectives are invariable, because they are also names of real things. Ex: "marron" is "chestnut". Please read this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_inv.htm
Question: Wouldn't a person reading it think it's saying chestnut instead of brown? Like for example:
"Les chattes marron"
"The chestnut female cats" (?)
For a cat, you would probably not use "marron" but "brun/e".
However, many colors are also names of real things and there is generally no confusion, because when used as colors they have the status of adjectives and when used as nouns they have a determiner (article, possessive, demonstrative).
Why is Ses chaussures sont marron correct and Ses souliers sont marron incorrect?
I get confused as when to use ses, or son/sa. I know to use Son when there is a masculine article and sa when its feminine, I know ses is plural, but I always get tripped up. Any easy way to remember? Or just hours of struggling? lol
This is grammatically good, but "souliers" is an old-fashioned word that you may only find in old stories.
Soulier is used far more often in Québec than chaussure. In fact, if you say chaussure you will be corrected to say soulier instead. Québec retains a lot of older words in current vocabulary.
Since its "Ses" and not "Sa", By what mean can I understand its "his shoes" and not "their shoes" ?
"son, sa, ses" are the possessive adjectives for "il, elle". These possessives agree with the object owned:
son pantalon (masc sing)
sa jupe (fem sing)
ses chaussures (plural)
What Sitesurf said, plus "their shoes" would be "leurs chaussures."
If you use 'ses chaussures'...how will you know if it is his shoes or her shoes?
Perhaps it is the French Canadian influence but isn't Brown, Brun not Marron? That is unless you were describing the colour chestnut. Also in Canada you would use Souliers and not chaussures.
In France, mostly hair color is referred to as "brun/brune" or "châtain" for brown.
Otherwise, unless it is a precise shade of brown (brun-roux, brun-gris...), we say "marron", including eye color: "il a les yeux marron"