1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Vos mères sont âgées."

"Vos mères sont âgées."

Translation:Your mothers are old.

February 5, 2013

33 Comments


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

Isn't it rude a little bit?


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

Not the least, if it is true.

note that "âgé/âgée" is already a more polite adjective than "vieux/vieille".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KATEJ15

There seems to be no other word meaning 'elderly'. But there must be some softer expressions. Is Retraité(e) used much?


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

As nouns, we use "les personnes âgées, les séniors, les anciens/anciennes".

Les retraité(e)s implies that they are considered as ex-workers, which may not be the point of the statement made here.

As an adjective, "âgées" is perfect here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alleigh25

Âgée would basically be aged, right? That's a somewhat old-fashioned word in English, but not typically an offensive one, and it's similar grammatically.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally410

Coming back to this, I think the point is the English phrase given would very often seem offensive to English speakers. I guess we just do not like being that blunt. But context is all.


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

We need some good euphemisms/synonyms right about now. "Elder, older adult, senior citizen, retiree, a senior" all have their place.

More familiarly one can say "geezer, old-man, old fart, gaffer, pops, grandpa, oldster ". Don't use these if you learning English unless you are very sure of your skills, or know the person well and can joke with them.

Just don't call me a "golden-ager" you might get some abuse hurled your way. Yuck!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N-i-k

English absorbed French vocabulary therefore we have far more descriptive words to choose from.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

In English it is Very rude, true or not. Use 'elderly', in real life or someone's son will end up beating the living snot out of you. It probably has an entirely different connotation in French; Sitesurf would know best. Don't ever get caught saying that in the U.S. about Anyone's mom- trust me on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2224

Perhaps you have applied the meaning of the sentence to a specific example in your own mind. If your mother is 45 and someone calls her "old", you may be a little offended by that, depending on who says it and what the context is. However, if your mother is 94, and someone says she is old, it is not rude--it is just stating a fact which is obvious to everyone.


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

When I was learning German in high-school, my teacher would often use "y'all" for the second-person plural pronoun, so that's what I think of when I think of "vous." Now, living here in the South, it'd be perfectly normal to hear "Y'all's mothers are old." Just saying. :) If we wanted to be a bit more kindly we'd say "elderly" instead of "old."


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

"vous" is not always plural though, it is more of a general "you" for anything that isn't addressing a single familiar individual with "tu"


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

What's the difference between agee, ancien, and vieux?


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

âgé, âgée, âgés, âgées = old/aged when it comes to people (elderly): more polite than "vieux".

vieux, vieil, vieille, vieux, vieilles = old

ancien, ancienne, anciens, anciennes = old when it comes to things (for instance, antiques)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

Am I correct that « ancien(ne)(s) » means "former" when placed before the noun and "old"/"ancient" when placed after the noun? Do « âgé(e)(s) » and « vieux/vieil(le(s)) » have different meanings depending on placement too?


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

Sorry for the oversight.

  • un ancien collègue = a former colleague
  • les anciens élèves = former students
  • un vieil ami = an old friend
  • les anciens/les anciennes/les séniors (as a noun) = the elderly

I checked on variants with ancien before/after the noun and got various translations I am not 100% sure of:

  • un vieux manoir = an old manor
  • un manoir ancien = an old/ancient manor
  • un ancien manoir = a former/an ancient manor

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

It is often considered rude, at least in many places in the u.s. to call somebody old. The proper polite translation, would be -your mothers are elderly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jesada.t

Is the pronunciation for the words "mères" and "maires" identical? Although on second thought, talking about the age of multiple mayors sounds quite strange ...


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

Yes, "mère", "maire" and "mer" are homophones.


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

Is it totally wrong to translate it to - your mothers are of age? To me it seems very polite. Please take in mind - english is not my mother tongue.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

Duolingo isn't asking you to make the sentence polite, just to translate it. "of age" means "Old enough to be considered an adult" (older than about 18 in many modern societies), so it's also changing the meaning. If I say "My mother is old", I'm not being rude, I'm simply stating a fact.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whatever578

What's the grammar rule for this?


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

"vos" is the plural possessive matching the pronoun "vous", which as you know, can be singular and formal or plural.

"votre" in singular and "vos" in plural are adjectives agreeing with the noun they modify, and in this case the thing owned: "votre mère" = your mother and "vos mères" = your mothers.

In an extreme case, this "vos mères" could be said to one person you address formally and who could have 2 mothers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/felix102035

I am glad that no one is commenting on the fact that it is your mothers


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

There have been a number of more or less relevant comments, but everyone should remember that "vos" matches the plural "vous", and therefore, if you address 2 or more people, you will say "vos mères".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/felix102035

but it says vos méreS whichis plural of mother


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

Again, when you speak to 2 or more people, and use a possessive:

  • John and Mary, I like your car = John et Mary, j'aime votre voiture - they have one car which they share

  • John, Mary and Peter, your mothers are old = John, Mary and Peter, vos mères sont âgées - one mother per person, so 3 mothers in total.


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

Cela fait reference a deux personnes?


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

Statistiquement, oui, "vous" s'adresse à deux personnes ou plus, et on se réfère à la mère de chacune de ces personnes.

Toutefois, il est possible de parler à une seule personne que l'on vouvoie et qui s'avère avoir 2 mères (ou plus ?).


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

what was presented to me was the engish statement,'your mothers are elderly". On checking i was told that the correct solution was, "your mothers are old". I really didn't understand what i was supposed to do with that statemnet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2224

You don't have to do anything with it. Duo is simply giving you another correct translation.

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