1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Il a une belle voix."

"Il a une belle voix."

Translation:He has a beautiful voice.

March 5, 2014



Why not ' a good voice'

  • 2030

"Une belle voix" = a beautiful voice.


I believe that would be 'une bonne voix'


"He has a pretty voice" is no different than, "He has a beautiful voice".


A vote is a voice, fair enough! Thank you, French

  • 2030

Context has a significant influence on how you interpret something. It's true that "voix" can be used in the sense of "vote", but one does not have a beautiful vote, but a beautiful voice. So "vote" does not work here.

  • 1417

For the "type what you hear" exercise, I put "Il a une belle voie". I admit the given answer is much more likely, but is "voie" actually wrong?

  • 2030

It demonstrates just how much even a little bit of context will help us understand what is being said. So in this way, we are focusing on what a likely expression would be. Duolingo is not going to deliberately trip you on the exercises.


Funny, but I was just now studying the difference between "voix" and "voie" because they both sound the same. When the sentence has to do with listening to a song or speaking, for example, you use "voix" and when the sentence is about a path, the way, then you use "voie." I'm sure you already know that (but for the newbies who don't). To me, they both sound exactly the same!


Not clear on why this is belle and not beau? Please.


jonjon, 'voix' is feminine so must be 'belle' (the feminine version of the adjective), beau would be if the noun were masculine. The adjective agrees with the noun. Maybe you were thinking it should be 'beau' because sentence speaks of 'he'--- hope this helps


pourquoi "he is a lovely voice" est incorrecte alors que he's a lovely voice est correcte


because 'he's' in this sentence is basically 'he has' and not 'he is'. that's why it's better to avoid the contraction

  • 2030

It is actually due to an error that has been programmed into the system which sees "he is" and "he has" both contracted to "he's" and now it cannot tell the difference. In correct English, one never contracts "he has" to "he's" when it means "possess"--only when it is used as an auxiliary verb in a compound verb tense. For this reason, BrE uses the expression "he's got" (he has got) but some people drop "got" and leave only "he's". In an effort to be inclusive, Duo accepts the (incorrect) contraction but it causes a great deal of consternation and aggravation.


Technically, you can shorten "he has" to "he's" in this sentence. It would sound odd in American English and a bit pompous in English English, but it's not incorrect. Think of the phrase "He's lost his way" or "He's gone." Both are contractions of "he has" which can be used in other sentences. It's just rarely done because it hits the ear strangely.

  • 2030

If you read the thread on this topic, you will see that we are well aware of that. "Has" may be contracted when it is used as an auxiliary verb. That is not a problem, regardless of how someone thinks it sounds. The problem is using a contraction of "has" when it means "to possess", e.g.,

  • He's a new car
  • He's a strawberry
  • He's a big package of cookies
  • etc.

Such use may be acceptable in a local vernacular but they do not hold up to scrutiny for several reasons. 1) Instructors of British English (where this is sometimes used) agree that it is not correct.

Grammar instruction for British English: The verb "have" is often contracted in English, but when have is used for possession you cannot use a contraction, you should use "have got" instead (or simply avoid the contraction). For example:

  • I've a pen, He's a pen. <=These are incorrect.

2) The contraction « 's » used without a past participle will be interpreted as "is" or even as an indicator of possession, depending on the context.


Any hints on when to use « beau » and when to use « joli » ? I realise that « beau » would describe the appearance of a person, « Il est beau. » "He is handsome." « Elle est belle. » "She is pretty."

But « Cette salade est jolie. » "That salad is pretty."

It seems every time I use « joli » IRL it is « beau » and vice-versa.


As a french guy I would say that we both use them equally. For example if a girl is pretty you could say " Elle est jolie " ou " Elle est belle " equally. Same as you could say " She is beautiful " or " She is pretty " in English.


Except that in English "beautiful" is much stronger than "pretty". They're not interchangeable.

Which made me wonder at the translation here. In America (I can't vouch for British usage) if you like a singer you're much more likely to say that he has a "good voice" than a "beautiful voice", unless the singer is truly of professional quality.


"Elle est belle" translates to she is beautiful. Now, if one was describing a masculine noun, when is "bel" instead of "beau" used?

  • 2030

"Bel" is used before a masculine noun that begins with a vowel (or a vowel sound), e.g., un bel esprit.


I do agree that beautiful is stronger than pretty, and pretty is stronger than cute.


Could I not say he has a 'handsome' voice? Or does French have a word for that?

  • 2030

It is not natural English to describe a voice as "handsome".


Problems with the microphone on this one


Is voix the same in singular as well as plural?


Yes it is used in singular and in plural. La voix. Les voix.

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