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"Les chemises propres des enfants"

Translation:The children's clean shirts

February 10, 2013



The clean children's shirts is equally legitimate, it seems to me.


No it is not, because you have switched the adjective from "shirts" to "children".

in this story, the shirts are clean and we don't know about the children:

  • the clean children's shirts = les chemises des enfants propres
  • the children's clean shirts = les chemises propres des enfants.


'Children's shirts' is a thing, a common phrase where 'children's describes what kind of... or it indicates which shirts.

The clean [children's shirts.] as opposed to...
The [clean children's] shirts.

The difference is sometimes heard in the way it is spoken.

I still don't know if it is, or is not, an equivalent translation.


In that case, "children's" is an adjective and must be separated from the foregoing adjective, "clean" with a comma, viz The clean, children's shirts


I agree with the other users. "Children's shirts" should be a correct answer, it is a compound noun. Like, in a store, there are "adult shirts" and "children's shirts" for sale. Clean still describes the shirts, not the children.


That's just an inherent ambiguity of the English language. It's not clear whether the adjective describes the children or the children's shirts. See also purple people eater.


Is there a way to say 'the clean, children's shirts' ? You can't put propres in front of chemises because the word meaning will change to 'own'?


Propre means own also... I should have gotten that correct...


"the children's own shirts" would correspond to "les propres chemises des enfants".


So when 'propres' appears before a noun it means 'own', and when it appears after a noun, it means 'clean' given the noun is plural?


Yes, and it also works in singular:

  • ma propre chemise - ma chemise propre
  • mon propre chapeau - mon chapeau propre


I thought this was a sentence and was thinking of a verb form about ownership or belonging. But it was simply the word clean. Because this is an adjective exercise......of course.


So did I, and the drop-down suggestions said 'neat' too. Why is it marked wrong then


I wrote "the clean children's shirts" While it was registered wrong, I'm curious if my answer would still be right technically?


FIrst propre is 'own' then it's 'clean'. No consistency! No explanation.


Aren't there a few words in your native language with several meanings?

  • une chemise propre = a clean shirt: placement after the noun
  • ma propre chemise = my own shirt: placement before the noun.

The placement rule is consistent with the meaning.

Besides, the explanation of this case has been available above on this very thread for over a year.


So "kids's" is a no-no.


May I know when des is used as a partitive noun (for quantifying e.g. J'ai des legumes) or when it is to indicate possession (as a contraction of de les which is "of the" e.g. Les chiennes des garcons)? Is it purely based out of context?

Thanks in advance!


"des" is the indefinite article that English does not have.

It is the plural of "un" or "une" and it means "more than one".

You have to use it when the noun is countable and when the singular noun would have "a/an".

In this sentence "des" is a contracted definite article, contracted from the preposition "de" + the plural definite article "les".

"Les chemises des enfants" stands for "les chemises de+les enfants" = of the children


it would help to have some prior advice about propre having two definitions i.e. meaning both 'own' and 'clean'. I wonder how one would say e.g. I am wearing my own clean shirt?


The method consists in showing examples and letting you find out about its specifics.

  • "clean" = propre, regular adjective, to be placed after the noun
  • "own" = propre, irregular adjective, to be placed before the noun

"Je porte ma propre (own) chemise propre (clean).


the childrens clean shirts???? .....children is already plural why add the s ??


Please read the word again: "children's" has an apostrophe before the S because it is a possessive case.

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