The verb changer can be transitive or intransitive.
When changer acts as an intrasitive verb it can be used in various ways. One particular way changer can be used is in the sense of ‘to exchange one item for another of the same type’. In such uses the structure is:
changer + de + noun without a determiner
Je vais me laver et changer de robe. - I'll just have a wash and change my dress.
Je vais changer de chaussures. - I'm going to change my shoes
Il a de nouveau changé de voiture - He has changed his car again.
Il faudra changer de train - We will have to change trains.
Il a changé de places - He changed places
Change de chaîne ! - Change the channel !
changer de vitesse - to change gear
Il a changé de couleur. - It changed colour.
changer de direction - to change direction
Elle ne voulait pas changer d'opinion. - She did not want to change her opinion.
changer de coiffure - to change one's hair-style
changer d'avis - change one's mind
Another use of changer when used as an intransitive verb is to mean to become different
le temps va changer - the weather is going to change
vous n'avez pas changé du tout - you haven't changed at all
Another use of changer when used as an intransitive verb is to change (trains, etc)
il faut changer à Paris - you have to change at Paris
For your convenience, I will here repeat what I said above: "These things are not necessarily correct when translated directly. Sometimes you have to take into account the conventions of speech in each language. In French, using the plural would imply the person was making a wholesale overhaul of his wardrobe. In English, at least in many places, using the plural just refers to the fact that you are changing one shirt for another. (But see other conversations on this thread - some English speakers do use the singular. <shrug>)"
Hello again Diana. Yes, Australians, New Zealanders and UK English speakers use the singular in the context '..change my shirt'. I can think of one situation where one might use the expression 'change shirts' and that is where an actor on a stage might be said to 'change shirts' in order to take on a different role. Generally though, to 'change shirts' to me, means that two people mutually exchange shirts. That is they each remove their shirts and swap. I'm taking far too long to finish my XP tonight...
No. It seems that « changer de » refers to replacement, e.g. "I'm going to change my shirt." --> « Je vais changer de chemise. » Just « changer » refers to modification, e.g. "The times are changing." --> « Les temps changent. »
That's a very subtle difference for an English speaker to notice. I can't tell the difference and every French person I've spoken to is very impressed with my accent. They say it's excellent, but that they detect a slight accent. I can pronounce the r and the u well, but the subtleties of the e's is something that I just can't seem to master.
For French people, the sound they have difficulty with in English is "oo" in words like "look" and "moon".
Oh yes. The (ze), think (sseenk). And don't forget about the "h". Many French people don't pronounce it at all, and of those who do it's often an exagerated pronunciation.
As for the flat pronunciation, that's one aspect of French that makes it easier to pronounce. Knowing which syllable to stress in English must be very difficult to learn. The verb "present" has the second syllable stressed, whereas the noun and adjective have the first syllable stressed. In the learn English Duo modules, these type of words are often mispronounced by the Duo bot.
Also in English it's not always clear how to pronounce the vowels. . "Live" has two different pronunciations depending on whether it's a verb or an adjective(or adverb). The Duo bot often confuses this one. The word "Iris" is a good example of two i's which don't have the same pronunciation.
But what's nice about learning English is that at least one doesn't have to memorize genders and the conjugations are much simpler.
@Sitesurf, regarding "desert/dessert" - that is something many Anglophones get muddled, at least when it comes to spelling. And of course, "desert" has two pronunciations of its own: The DESert is sandy, the soldier wants to deSERT his post. And the well-known but poorly understood "He got his just deSERTS" (meaning he got what he deSERVED). Judging from spelling, many people think this means something to do with pudding.
English is loaded with archaic words that only exist in very particular contexts. "Desert", meaning something deserved, has long faded from the language, except in the context of "just deserts".
What fun, eh?
I fully agree on genders and conjugations. For French people, genders are not a problem (except with rare words), because they started as babies. But conjugations are another story and too many adults still struggle with them.
I have no problem with present/present, but I still have to think before I say the English "desert" or "dessert", after so many years...
And the Duo bot makes lots of mistakes in French with liaisons in particular and with some words like "chemise" or "grise" (although I reported it many times) that she pronounces chemiss and griss.
The English have a problem with diphthongs. I am a Scot, and when I say foot, my 'oo' is akin to a long version of the o sound in 'who, whereas when English people say it, it sounds like 'fut' . At school in England our French teacher required us to bring a mirros to class so that pupils could learn to make the correct shapes with their mouths to form French pronunciation. I'm told I have an excellent accent, but the downside is the moment I say something French speakers rattle back to me so fast I can't make it out. practice, I'm sure, will fix that. And this excellent course. @Sitesurf I've been watching some very good French TV on Netflix and Amazon, Call My Agent ( Dix Pour Cent) and Le Bureau des Legendes particularly, and of course Engrenages which is on BBC. They're all subtitiled but I'm hearing and understanding more and more of the dialogue. Is there anywhere on the Duolingo site to reccomend these resources?
It is not only more likely to be used, it is the way to say it.
In a listening exercise, you should focus on the determiner and its sound:
"des" sounds like "day" and "de" sounds like "duh".
If you can hear the difference between "they" and "the", you should be able to hear the vowel sound difference between "des" and "de" because it is the same.
These things are not necessarily correct when translated directly. Sometimes you have to take into account the conventions of speech in each language. In French, using the plural would imply the person was making a wholesale overhaul of his wardrobe. In English, at least in many places, using the plural just refers to the fact that you are changing one shirt for another. (But see other conversations on this thread - some English speakers do use the singular. <shrug>)
I am sorry but IMO just because people have heard a statement said often does not make it right. "I am going to change shirt" is not correct. I have combed through American and British dictionaries and not one example gives "change + singular noun" without adding something like "...for another". If talking about swapping things, it is always "change + plural noun".
These claims that "shirt" is OK would be equivalent to saying "I am going to lay down to rest" is OK because it is common. Wrong! "I am going to lie down to rest" is the grammatically correct sentence. "Lay" is the past tense of the word "lie" which means to position oneself in a horizontal position.
I lie down today. (Present)
I lay down yesterday. (Past tense)
I have lain down just a few minutes ago. (Past participle)
I am wondering if that may be because that sentence could be referring to changing the shirt that is not on you but perhaps on a mannequin:
je vais changer la chemise (du mannequin)
It seems as if the phrase changer de chemise/vêtements is understood to mean "to change shirts/clothes" that one is wearing.
Je vais changer d'une chemise does not mean anything.
"Je vais changer une chemise" would mean "I am going to change one shirt" as if one from the pile had a manufacturing defect.
If you "change shirts", you consider the one you leave and the one you put on. In French only one is considered: "je vais changer de chemise" is fixed.
Of course if the thing you want to change comes in several items, you will use a plural noun: "je vais changer de chaussettes".
"Change to/into shirt" doesn't make sense to me. It sounds like someone transformed from being human into a shirt. And even if you wanted to say someone went from wearing a sweater to wearing a shirt, you would say "change into a shirt”.
In any case, the French sentence is all about taking one shirt off and putting on another which in English we grammatically refer to as "changing shirts".
Whenever you don't understand something, rather than rush to post what makes it clear you do not understand, take a moment to read the discussion to see if your confusion has not already been addressed. You would then not add clutter that does not really help anyone. Please help to keep the discussions informative, useful and not cluttered with echoes that just make it hard for people to find answers they need.
Oh OK, gotcha. My guess would be je veux changer la chemise.
And yes, I was addressing you. You can tell this because my response is indented under yours. If you hit "Reply" under a post you want to comment on, it indents your comment so it is clear what you are replying to.
You need not just focus on individual words but you must obey grammar rules in either language. If you take time to read the discussion, you would understand the reason plural is used in the English translation but not in French.
It is just like un pantalon is called "trousers" or "pants" in English. And des fruits can be either "fruits" or just "fruit".
So you must not learn language as if it were Mathematics whereby you expect everything to match exactly. You need to be open to discover differences between the languages.
Another example j'ai faim is "I am hungry". See what I mean?