"Is this your nice black dress?"
Translation:Est-ce ta jolie robe noire ?
Sympa and gentil primarily refer to people and mean friendly or sweet (or nice).
Sympa is also used to describe things, situations, objects and in that case, it does not really mean sympathetic but rather "cool".
When it comes to clothing, other than "sympa" (which again is a catch-all adjective you use when you don't have any other at the top of your mind), most probably a "nice dress" is "jolie" or "belle".
You're supposed to make mistakes, especially in lessons. It's about teaching you concepts and language quirks you don't already know, you're going to make mistakes. Whenever I fail a lesson, I always just tell myself it's better that I failed, because it gives me more practice so that I can master the language better.
quoting sitesurf above:
"Easy: "votre" and "vos" are possessive adjectives. Like all other adjectives, they agree with the noun they modify. therefore you use "votre" in singular and "vos" in plural. Note: unlike in English, our possessive adjectives agree with the object, not with the owner."
robe is singular, so vos wouldn't work with it. would be votre robe or vos robes, but not vos robe, right?
There is this little exception I think. I chose 'vos' as well as being correct. Like talking to a crowd. "Is that your bus outside". For me it seemed pretty logical a group of people may collectively own a single dress. Or a person who found a dress could be wandering around asking groups of people.
If you use "tu", the possessives are "ta robe (fem), ton pantalon (masc), tes chaussures (plur)
If you use the formal "vous", the possessives are "votre robe, votre pantalon, vos chaussures"
If you use the plural "vous", the possessives are "votre robe, votre pantalon, vos chaussures"
Please read the Tips & Notes in the lessons.
Also, maybe these will help you:
You have previously learned that French has regular and irregular adjectives.
Most adjectives are regular and their natural placement is after the noun they qualify.
A limited number of adjectives are placed in front of the noun, mostly because they have a subjective or relative meaning. This is explained in the links I give you here.
In a nutshell, "jolie" is irregular and placed in front of the noun and "noire" is regular and placed after the noun.
"est-ce que" is just a phrase announcing a question.
After "est-ce que", you have to ask your question, in a statement form.
In your question in a statement form, you need a subject and a verb to translate "is it" = c'est
Is it your nice black dress? = [Est-ce que] c'est ta jolie/belle robe noire ?
Your sentence is perfectly correct (except for the missing space before the '?'), but its meaning is slightly different from the original question.
The original question is asking whether this dress is the nice black one you previously mentioned.
Your question is asking whether this nice black dress belongs to you.
What you propose would back translate to "is it that your lovely black dress...?" or more simply "is your lovely black dress...?"
So something is missing: the verb
- it is your dress = c'est ta robe
- it is not your dress = ce n'est pas ta robe
- is it your dress? ="est-ce ta robe ?" (formal) or "est-ce que c'est ta robe ?" (less formal) or "c'est ta robe ?" (relaxed)
Remember that [est-ce que] is a block just meant to announce that a question follows, and that question will prompt a Yes/No answer.
why is "is this your nice black dress?" translated to "c'est votre jolie robe noire?" in one of the multiple choice given?
I thought c'est was 'this is', so isn't that really
C'est votre c'est votre jolie robe noire? = this is your black dress? vs "est-ca votre jolie robe noire?" = is this your black dress?
I know it's asking the same thing pretty much, I just want to know why it would be translated like that.
There are 3 ways to ask a question in French from the more formal to the informal, conversational spoken registers.
- formal with a Verb-Subject pronoun inversion = est-ce ta jolie robe ?
- standard French, both in writing and in speech, with "est-ce que" (lit. is it that)= est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe ?
- informal, in-speech, with a statement form and voice raising on the last syllable: c'est ta jolie robe ?
Note that "est-ça" is improper. "C'est, ce sont, est-ce, ce n'est pas, ce ne sont pas" are all fixed and the only forms of the pronoun "ce" in statements, questions and negations.
ah I understand now! Thank you. I thought "c'est" and "est-ce" were translated to specifically different words, and not just two different formalities for the same part of the phrase/question, so that makes much more sense now.
and also, thank you for pointing out the ca verse the ce. my bf took french classes in highschool in canada, and I was asking him the question I asked here in case he knew the the answer (he didn't remember) and he pronounced est-ce like "est-ca" so I keep writing it down that way without realizing it :)
Hi Sitesurf, I am confused about when "Est" can do the job of asking a question on its own, rather than needing the whole "Est-ce que..." Could "Est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe noire?" work? The answer given was "Est ce ta jolie robe noire?". I tried to find an answer by reading the comments but I'm still unsure.
"Est-ce ta jolie robe noire ?" is the more formal way of asking the question.
"Est-ce que" starts any close-ended standard question, so "Est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe noire ?" is that standard way of asking the question.
The informal way is "C'est ta jolie robe noire ?"
The main difficulty for English speakers is to understand that the standard interrogative construction has more words than the formal one. You would think that the fewer words, the better, but it is not what's happening in spoken French.
In the sentence : "Is this your nice black dress?", the word BLACK is an attributive adjective, used here with the noun DRESS . In french, the word "robe (dress)" is feminine, so the adjective must be feminine too : "une robe NOIRE". "Noir" is masculine : " Un chapeau NOIR " ( a black hat) .
In my limited experience of Duo, they usually object to changing the sentence, as you did, from a question to a statement (even though you added a question mark AND it is reasonable). Still it is not the same arrangement as their computer used. I would guess that is the problem.
For close-ended questions (answer: yes/no), there are three ways to construct your sentence:
- Formal: Est-ce ta jolie robe noire ? - with a verb-subject inversion, as in English, and a hyphen.
- Standard: Est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe noire ? - With "est-ce que" (lit. "is it that") to start your question, then the question itself in a statement form.
- Informal: C'est ta jolie robe noire ? - In the form of a statement with intonation.