1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Yellow on blue"

"Yellow on blue"

Translation:Jaune sur bleu

February 15, 2013

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juneqian1974

So colours aren't treated as noun as such? In that, they don't need an article such as "le" or "la"?


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

If you describe the Swedish flag, you can say "a yellow cross on a blue background" or shorter, just to mention the two colors: "du jaune sur du bleu (indefinite) or "jaune sur bleu". in that respect, colors are either adjectives (first example) or nouns (two latter examples).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emily.youngblom

Since the last example that you provided represents the colors as nouns, why wouldn't we need to use any articles? I was taught that nouns are almost always accompanied by articles in French, and I'm still trying to work out what the few exceptions are. Thanks.


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

Yes, the rule is that nouns are working hand in hand with "determiners", that can be an article (definite or indefinite), a possessive or demonstrative adjective, a preposition... or nothing at all, all of them depending on context, intended meaning and sentence construction.

A few examples below (probably not exhaustive, but let's stick with "jaune" and "bleu" when they are nouns):

  • DEFINITE ARTICLE "le bleu et le jaune sont mes couleurs préférées" (generality)

  • PARTITIVE DE + DEFINITE ARTICLE "pour faire du vert, il faut du bleu et du jaune" (du = contraction of "de-le" to mean "some")

  • INDEFINITE ARTICLE "un bleu foncé et un jaune clair" (a dark blue and a light yellow)

  • POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVE "mon bleu est presque vert et mon jaune presque orange" (my blue is almost green and my yellow almost orange)

  • DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVE " ce bleu est beau mais ce jaune est affreux" (this blue is beautiful but this yellow is ugly)

  • PREPOSITION " il y a beaucoup de bleu dans ma maison, mais il n'y a pas de jaune" (there is a lot of blue in my house but there is no yellow).

  • NOTHING AT ALL "que préfères-tu: bleu ou jaune ?" (which one do you like best: blue or yellow?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emily.youngblom

So, is there a rule to know when to use le/la versus when it's okay to use nothing at all in front of the colors? Or does it just come down to memorizing the circumstances for each? Thanks!


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

Which ever way we do it, youngblome, by the looks of it we're going to have to do a helluva lot of memorising just to blurt out three short words!


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

I wrote "Jaune sur bleue" and was marked wrong why?


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

Because of your spelling......... Bleu Not Bleue


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

Please what is the femine form of blue in French?


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

Hi DonkoKwasi. I'm sorry. I did't explain fully. You are correct in that "Bleue" is feminine for the colour. It is just that Yellow is masculine and so Blue defaults to masculine in this sentence.


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

I think you mean white on gold

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