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

"L' orange" or "Le orange"?

Hi everyone!

I'm having a really tough time figuring out why use the phrase "L' orange" when we could be using the phrase "Le orange". After lots of contemplating and tedious work on this topic, I finally need help.

Your help is more than appreciated, and thank you so much for helping me out! :^)

June 16, 2017

19 Comments


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

L'orange = fruit / color

Le orange = to refer to an orange thing (masculine)

  • Quel bonbon veux-tu ? demanda le vendeur.

  • Le orange, répondit l'enfant.

The fact is Le orange is a mistake... but unfortunatelly you can heard it

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcD50

Indeed. A correct answer would be 'l'orange' but colloquially, most people will say 'le orange'.

  • Le vert, le rouge, le orange... Tu veux lequel ?
June 16, 2017

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

Wait why "Le" and not La?

June 17, 2017

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

La = fruit

Le = color

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcD50

Yes, but in the examples we have given, the colours are actually adjectives (the noun is only implied), so they can also be feminine:

  • La verte, la rouge, la orange... Tu veux laquelle ?

In your example, Kangourex, the implied noun is 'bonbon', which is masculine. So the meaning is: 'le (bonbon) orange'.

In my last example, the implied noun is unknown but we know it is feminine, thanks to 'la' and 'laquelle'.

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jarvis755634

le feu passe à l'orange mais feu l'orange est passée ;)

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcD50

Haha, très drôle, Jarvis. :) Il faudrait écrire "feue l'orange", cependant.

PS : Après vérification (http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/feue), je constate que non. On écrit "ma feue mère" mais "feu ma mère".

June 17, 2017

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

I don't get it. Feu l'orange? The late orange?

The fire turns orange but the late orange has passed?

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jarvis755634

the fire turns orange and the dead orange is rotten...

June 17, 2017

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

Ahh. I kinda thought that.

June 17, 2017

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

When a noun begins with a vowel, le or la becomes l'.

June 16, 2017

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

not only a vowel, It could be an H followed by a vowel too.

June 16, 2017

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

An "h" isn't always pronounced the same as it is in English; it sometimes does have a vowel sound. In *le hazard', the "h" isn't mute.

June 16, 2017

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

La orange* Not le.

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimX29

Yes, I agree. According to http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/orange, the fruit orange is feminine, so it would be la + orange to make l'orange (the l' is used for words that end in a vowel (plus the silent letter H), since o is a vowel, it would be l'orange)

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paralars1

It really warms my heart to see so many people come together to explain what a vowel sound is.

June 16, 2017

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

When you have a word that starts with a vowel or an h, and you have to put it a "le" before it, then you have to abreviate it in this way: L'

June 16, 2017

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

Just to add, the H need to be a mute H we say LE Haricot (not mute) but L'Hôpital (mute)

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcD50

Yes, this is extremely important. In French, an h can be either 'aspiré' (aspirated) or 'muet' (mute). Actually, even the so-called aspirated h is generally mute. Sometimes, there can be a slight glottal stop, though.

So the main difference is that the mute h is totally ignored, as if it did not exist at all (it is only kept for etymological reasons, like many other letters that seem totally useless to most students but have their importance).

  • Before the mute h: elision and liaison (as if there was no h).
  • Before the aspirated h: no elision and no liaison.

There are MANY words for which you need to know if the h is aspirated or not, and in general any mistake will make you pass for an idiot (only if you are a native French speaker, of course, because mistakes by foreigners will be found cute). For instance, pronouncing 'les haricots' with a liaison (lézariko) will make some people cringe, and saying 'le hôpital' will make you sound like a cretin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirated_h

June 16, 2017
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