"Yellow on blue"
Translation:Jaune sur bleu
So colours aren't treated as noun as such? In that, they don't need an article such as "le" or "la"?
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).
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.
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?)
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!
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!
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.