"C'est un homme mauvais."

Translation:He is a bad man.

3/6/2013, 1:13:40 AM

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DuFarge

Ok, confused. I thought BAGS. Should it not be 'C'est un mauvais homme'?

3/6/2013, 1:13:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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Very interesting. Because "mauvais" would seem to be the poster child for the whole Good/Bad BAGS rule, wouldn't it? It seems that it is an adjective that can play both ways. When an adjective has a figurative or judgmental meaning, it is placed before the noun it modifies. When it has an objective or analytical meaning, it is placed after the noun it modifies. So by placing it after the noun (homme mauvais), it's like saying "this guy really is a BAD man (by some objective standard)," it's not just my opinion of him. So the fact is that you could say it either way, "C'est un homme mauvais" or "C'est un mauvais homme". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm Incidentally, "c'est" is used (not "il est") because être is followed by a modified noun.

5/22/2015, 10:36:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/prettyevil
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So as an example:

The biker boy that all the girls' mothers warned them about, a mother would say, "C'est un mauvais homme."

But the serial killer the police are trying to catch is "Cest un homme mauvais."

Is this accurate?

2/2/2016, 4:36:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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Yes, IMO.

2/2/2016, 5:14:56 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/deeptendu
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Just curious: is the word mauvais has any link to the colour mauve by any chance?

And to quote you, "When an adjective has a figurative or judgmental meaning, it is placed before the noun it modifies. When it has an objective or analytical meaning, it is placed after the noun it modifies.", can you give 2 separate examples of those?

5/25/2015, 6:39:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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First, I doubt that "mauve" has anything to do with "mauvais". Second, as you learn more about French (and English), you will find there are layers of meaning which will become known to you. Here are two examples of how adjective position affects meaning taken from the link above. Take a look there to see more:

  • Figurative: mon ancienne école = my old (former) school
  • Literal: mon école ancienne = my old (aged) school
  • Figurative: un certain regard = a certain (type of) look
  • Literal: une victoire certaine = a certain (assured) victory
5/25/2015, 3:38:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/deeptendu
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That helps. Thanks.

5/26/2015, 11:57:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/teoinke

Why "C'est" and not "Il est"?

3/15/2014, 4:16:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/WibbleTibble

"C'est instead of il/elle est- C'est is used when the noun has an article (le, la, l', un or une) or a possessive before it. Say: C'est ma femme, not: Elle est ma femme." (explanation not written by me)

12/3/2014, 6:06:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/billy98111

What also caught me off guard was how they pronounced the "t" in C'est. Google translate does it the same way. C'est alone does not pronounce the "t" so it must be the vowel after it (un) that causes this to happen.

2/4/2014, 10:21:56 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

Yes, many last consonants are never pronounced unless the following word starts with a vowel sound (that is vowel and h muet).

3/2/2014, 5:51:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bipollack
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Some adjectives can have a slightly different meaning if placed before or after the noun. Generally, the pre-position has a more subjective sense.To say 'c'est un mauvais homme' you would mean his being 'mauvais' is an inherent quality. You could translate this as "he is an evil man".

5/6/2013, 2:09:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/nakiki01

can you translate mauvais with "mean"? A mean man?

12/15/2015, 2:31:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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It is possible that "mauvais" may be used as "mean", but more likely "nasty" when referring to a person or "vicious" when referring to an animal. If the speaker really meant that the man was mean, it would be "un homme méchant".

2/2/2016, 5:23:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HopeAndres

Why is it considered wrong when I say 'He is a evil man', with the correct of 'He is 1 evil man'?

7/25/2016, 3:55:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahSalaz7

Perhaps because "evil" begins with a vowel sound,so the article should be "an" instead of "a"

6/3/2018, 5:24:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Gordy_66

Why can't I say, "It's a bad guy." ?

1/4/2017, 2:44:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ampharos11

The word guy is an informal word can is sometimes even used for females. (ex. "Hey guys!") Also, the translation of homme is man.

11/30/2017, 9:12:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AryanDugar

Should it be this is a bad man

1/5/2017, 3:44:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/filipa.aguiar

i wrote vicious man and it was considered wrong. duolingo please

5/8/2017, 8:04:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mark958555
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OK. Why can "Sommes-nous mauvaises" only be translated by "Are we wicked?" and absolutely not by "Are we evil?", and yet "C'est un homme mauvais" can be translated by "He is an evil man" but not by "He is a wicked man"? This is pretty frustrating.

5/29/2017, 5:58:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gizmaster69

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2/27/2018, 3:44:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gizmaster69

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2/27/2018, 3:44:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gizmaster69

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2/27/2018, 3:44:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gizmaster69

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2/27/2018, 3:44:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gizmaster69

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2/27/2018, 3:45:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HaydenL14

I think Saying "He is a bad man." Is kinda useless to learn

3/14/2018, 5:37:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/kknaga

Why C'est, why not il est?

8/26/2014, 2:22:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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C'est is used instead of "il est" because the verb être is followed by a modified noun. http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm

5/22/2015, 10:38:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jenny769588

Thank you

6/30/2017, 12:43:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LinguaphileK

Why guy is not accepted here?

8/27/2015, 6:39:27 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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The word "guy" is definitely an informal word. Not every possible referent to a male is equivalent. "Un homme" = a man. "Un type" = a guy. EN "guys" (pl) can even be used informally for males or females, as in; "Hey, you guys" (Eh! vous, les mecs! to a group of males -or- Eh! vous, les filles! to a group of females). Source: Oxford French Dictionary. If you use "you guys" in a sentence, you would use "vous les gars". Once one gets past the level of what words work for others, there is the understanding that just because you might say something in English does not mean you get to translate the French word the way you want.

2/2/2016, 5:35:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Karima0404

C'est un homme mauvais This is a bad man or this man is bad why those sentences are not accepted ?

2/19/2016, 11:07:40 PM
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