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"Is this your nice black dress?"

Translation:Est-ce ta jolie robe noire ?

March 2, 2013

137 Comments


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

hm.. when i moused over 'nice,' it gave me 'sympa' and 'gentil'. how was i supposed to know that 'jolie' and 'belle' work in this case?


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

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

why then is "belle" marked wrong and replaced with jolie? I thought "belle would work well in this context....everything else was correct, which I am happy about.


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

Belle is beautiful, jolie is pretty. Same as the distinction in English: similar but distinct usages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sophie010

How to decide the position of the adj?


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

Appreciation comes first (nice/jolie), state comes second (black/noire).


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

When I was in high school, I learned adjectives that come BEFORE the noun in a kind of rhyme. Maybe it's helpful:

Beau, bon, joli, haut, long, petit, jeune, vast, grand, vieux, mauvais, mechant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wilies.wiz

BAGS....abb for adjectives that come before noun....B-BEAUTY ie jolie, A-AGE, G-good or bad ie bons, S-SIZE ie gros


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

I actually learned it is BANGS - N = numbers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidanJean-

I was taught a French acronym, BÂTON; Beauté (beauty), Âge (age), Taille (size), bOnté (goodness), and Nombre (number)


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

vaste - with an ending -e in masculine as well


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

BANGS = Beauty, Age, Numbers, Goodness (good/bad), Size - these always go before their nouns, the rest go after.


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

BAGS comes before. Its beauty, age, goodness, and size


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

I don't like this example. If you haven't done the lessons from the beginning you have no idea what word they're looking for with 'nice'. Jolie = pretty. I chose 'bonne' and got it wrong.


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

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.


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

Oui, je suis d'accord avec vous.


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

"bonne" does not translate nice or pretty, in particular for a dress, because it is a comment on its look while "bonne" would rather be a comment on its usage (like convenient, practical).


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

or maybe quality, like well made?


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

"Jolie" or "Joli" means pretty, or attractive, like "Tu es une jolie femme", (you are a pretty woman), and "Bonne" or "Bon" means good, such as in Bonnenuit (good night).


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

Also be careful with bon/bonne as 'elle est bonne' has a complete different meaning. As in shes good in bed and like meanings


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

"C'est ton jolie..." Why is it Ta over Ton?

edit: I'm guessing because "robe" is feminine?


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

I have written "C'est ça ta jolie robe noire?" and got it wrong because of the "ça". Can anyone explain why?


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

I think that the register is wrong. The English style is standard and what you propose is relaxed/oral, ie something you would not use in writing.


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

Hmm I get it. Thanks!


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

Is every noun ending in e feminine?


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

No, "parapluie" is masculine and it drives me nuts. I think "costume" is also masculine.


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

This is a myth when it comes to nouns.

At best, it can a rule you may consider as valid for most adjectives.


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

I chose the word "vetement" instead robe, shouldn't I?


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

no, you shouldn't, "une robe" is a specific garment while "un vêtement" is generic for all clothing.


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

'Vêtement' means clothing, and 'robe' means dress.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaiulani3764

Why couldn't it be C'est vos jolie robe noire? why is only the informal ta correct when say "is this your nice black dress"?


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

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?


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

That helps a lot, thank you. Why is is correct to use "votre" and not "ta" in this sentence though? I don't understand that yet...


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

If you are talking to your niece, daughter, female colleague... ie a woman you are familiar with, you say "ta robe".

Otherwise, to a woman you don't know well, you say "votre robe"


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

Thanks Sitesurf. It's the difference between the "tu" form and the "vous" form; that makes sense, thank you! As an aside though, why does Duolingo say that "c'est votre jolie robe noire" is wrong in this exercise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MiaMaria70

That was the correct answer when I choosed it, but if you used a small c that might have been the problem.


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

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.


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

"vos" works with familiar "your", or polite "your" or plural "your" but only if the object is plural:

  • votre jolie robe noire

  • vos jolies robes noires


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suhair148036

(vos) is used here for the many (robes) but is vos means only one person has many dresses or is it many persons have many dresses?


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

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"


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

Why can't it be 'C'est ta bien robe noire?'


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

"bien" is an adverb, like "well" and you would not say "it is your well dress"


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

Ohhhhh yeahhhhh, I've seen that in the comments before and had clean forgotten. I'm sorry to have taken up your time, but thank you for clearing it up for me!!


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

How can I distinguish affirmative sentence or interrogative sentence, I mean, why it is not "est-ce ta jolie robe noire?" but "C'est ta jolie robe boire?"


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

If you want to be coherent:

is this your dress? = est-ce ta robe ? (interrogative format + voice raising on last syllable)

this is your dress? = c'est ta robe ? (statement format + voice raising on last syllable)


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

I may be missing something obvious here; but does this mean that the translation of "Is this your nice black dress?" should actually be est-ce and not c'est (the multiple choice answers were all c'est.)


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

The closest tranlation of "is this your nice black dress?" is "est-ce ta jolie robe noire ?" - because it is a question, in the interrogative format.

this is your nice black dress = c'est ta jolie robe noire - these are statements.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suhair148036

why not est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe noire?


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

This translation has been accepted for over 4 years.


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

What is the difference between belle and jolie in this case? I had selected both forms as possible answers and lost a heart over it. To me they are interchangeable...


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

Belle is qualitatively superior to jolie, as beautiful vs nice.


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

'Est-ce que ceci ta jolie robe noire?' -is this incorrect?


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

you missed the verb: est-ce que ceci est ta jolie robe noire ?


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

bonne means nice as much as jolie


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

"une bonne robe" does not mean that it is "jolie" (pretty, lovely, etc.). It would rather mean that it is convenient or efficient.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scottchristo1

Why "Noire" instead of "Noir"


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

French adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they qualify:

masc sing: le chapeau est noir

fem sing: la robe est noire

masc plur: les chapeaux sont noirs

fem plur: les robes sont noires.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jack.morato

Can it also be "Est-ce que votre jolie robe noire?"


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

There is no verb in your question, as if you said "Does your nice black dress?"


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

Why didnt belle work? I said belle and it marked me wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msr_Triste64

Est-ce, Is this, yet answer begins C'est.. Je ne comprends pas


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arjun-gupta

How to put a question mark


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

I wrote belle why did it show wrong ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Read the discussion above where that question is answered many times.


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

Why jolie robe noire instead of jolie noire robe? What decides what adjectives go where?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElaineH123

Why is it that jolie is before robe and noire is after robe?


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

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.

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/grammar/adjectives_position.shtml


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElaineH123

I don't have tips and notes on my tablet version of the lesson.


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

Can you use the online course from a PC?


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

jolie is pretty. gentille is nice. I think I was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidanJean-

In this case, it is more about context. Gentille means nice, but is talking about personality, so like a nice friend. Since the sentence was about a dress, which can't have a personality, we have to use the word jolie, for nice looking (another way of saying pretty)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

I used Est-ce que ta jolie robe noire but it wanted Est-ce qui c'est... Can someone explain why it needs both please?


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

"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 ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s7zanne

Couldn't this also be used to ask if your pretty dress is black in color?


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

No, to inquire about the color of the dress:

  • is your nice dress black? = votre/ta jolie robe est-elle noire ?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alna0

Why can't i ask like this? "Cette jolie robe noire est la tienne?"


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alna0

Oh, i see, thank you so much :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valten497

Isn't a singular object owned by a single person? How can it be "votre"?


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

Reminder: "vous" can be formal singular or plural.

Besides, even if you are addressing 2 or more people with this sentence, the object can remain in singular, with the automatic meaning of "each your own".


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

Is "robe" a feminine noun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

yes, can you see the e's at the end of noire in the answer above?


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

What is the rule for using votre versus vos in this sentence? Thanks


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

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.


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

It wouldn't accept Est-ce-qu'il y a, which is technically correct, if not more advanced.


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

"est-ce qu'il y a / is there" is a question about the existence (or not) of something in a specific place.

the question here "is this/est-ce" is pointing to a specific object and inquires about the owner of the "nice black dress".

so your proposal cannot be correct.


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

Why Est-ce que is not correct?


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

"Est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe noire ?" is a less formal alternative to the best translation provided by Duo.


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

so "Est-ce que ta jolie robe noire ?" is not correct correct gramer? Thanks sitesurf!


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiki906676

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.


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiki906676

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 :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akram314257

Noire/noir what is the different p.s I voted for most of you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

"noire" is feminine and matches "la robe" aslo feminine. "noir" is for masculine nouns.


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

I think "nice" is too vague here. I got incorrect for also checking "bonne robe noir", which I know is "good black dress" but like - how am I supposed to know good and nice aren't synonyms in French?


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

"Une bonne robe" is not an aesthetic comment. Une bonne robe is convenient, robust, comfortable, but it can be ugly.


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

That's good to know and I think the problem is that Duolingo can't teach me that nuance when it tells me I'm wrong. Since that's not a problem that can be fixed I think I would have ammended the question to "pretty black dress".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miss872264

Es ce ta jolie robe noire it's incoorect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

es-ce. Its inverted because its a question and so needs a hyphen


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

"es" is the conjugation for "tu".

With "ce" as a subject, the conjugation is "est": Est-ce ta jolie robe noire ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Thanks Sitesurf, I love your clarity. IT helps me a lot.


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

Where is "que c'est"? "Est-ce que c'est ta ..."


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

"Est-ce que c'est ta/votre jolie robe noire" are accepted translations, as well as "est-ce ta/votre..." and "c'est ta/votre...".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marii.Mulann

Can someone explain


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

Explain what? Have you read the whole thread? Are you sure your question has not been answered in the past 5 years?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

Explain what?


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

I said belle and I got it wrong welp guess ill die


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Papy240067

What's the difference between "jolie" and "belle" ?


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

"Belle" describes a higher degree of beauty than "jolie" (pretty/lovely).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheAncient1

belle should count too, imo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ella16847

I used 'belle' in place of jolie, could someone please explain how this is incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muzorewi1984

What's wrong with Est-elle ta jolie robe noire ?


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

"Il/elle est" change to c'est when followed by a modified noun.

"robe" is modified by "ta".

"Est-elle" must therefore change to "est-ce"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

dear Duo computer!!!!! for your computer brain:....... please extend your vocabulary of "nice" in French....... jolie is not the only possible solution.


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

How to invert using "ceci"? « Est-ceci ta jolie robe noire » is not accepted.


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

In inversions, you will use "ce" and not "ceci/cela"= Est-ce ?

If you want to develop your question, you can use "Est-ce que ceci est ta jolie robe noire ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steph24305

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.


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

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/create4me

I wrote belle but it wasn't accepted?


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

What's the differencd between noir and noire?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Papy240067

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) .


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

I answered "C'est ta sympa robe noire ?" and got wrong. What's the difference between "sympa" and "jolie"? Is it different by context or what?


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

"Sympa" is regular and you have to place it after the color adjective: c'est ta robe noire sympa ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karuna8063

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CthulhuKitten519

Why isnt it "est-ce QUE"


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

"Is this your nice black dress?" can use "est-ce que", but you need to translate "is": "Est-ce que c'est/ceci est ta jolie robe noire ?"


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

Why not, "est-elle ta jolie robe noire ?", ?


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

belle is (feminine) beautiful and jolie is (feminine) pretty, and nice can be either!


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

Why is it not "est-ce que ta jolie robe noire?"


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

Either you choose the formal "est-ce ta jolie robe noire ?" or the standard "est-ce que c'est ta jolie robe noire ?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashlee162108

Can someone explain the ruless for structuring sentences, or provide a good resource for learning this?


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

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.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashlee162108

Thank you very much! I appreciate your helpful response.

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