"I eat the big crepes."

Translation:Je mange les grosses crêpes.

March 10, 2013

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what is wrong with 'les crêpes grands'? I though grand also meant big because it was allowed that in the last exercise?


Grammatically it should be "les grandes crêpes" because crêpes is feminine, and "grand" describes the size so it goes before the noun.

Something else to keep in mind: "grand" and "gross" both mean "big" in English, but typically "grand" means big in the sense of tall, whereas "gross" means big in the sense of wide - like tall vs. fat in describing a "big" person. Since crêpes are known for their flatness I think it might sound a bit peculiar to call them "grandes"

I have no idea if you could say "les grandes crêpes" but I suspect it would sound a bit funny.


Note that the masculine singular and plural is "gros" (one -s only).

Actually I would have translated "grandes" rather than "grosses" instinctively, because crêpes are not "grosses" (thick) but depending on the size of the pan you use, it can be more or less large/wide.

then again, it is a matter of context, since you would be right if someone was trying to compare pancakes and crêpes: "les pancakes sont de grosses crêpes" or "... des crêpes épaisses".


I'm still confused my "gros" vs "grosses", etc. Could you explain it to me?


The main difference is gender, "gros" being masculine and "grosse" being feminine. Generally, to make a word plural, add an "s". Exceptions include words already ending in "s" or "x" - you leave them alone.

Masculine: Le gros livre, les gros livres ("gros" is masculine singular and plural) Le grand prix, les grands prix

Feminine: La grosse vache, les grosses vaches ("grosse" is feminine singular, "grosses" is feminine plural) La belle voix, les belles voix


So, les crepes grandes should be allowed?


No it cannot for "grand, grande, grands and grandes" is an exception. please read below and click on the links given to know more about adjective placement.


So, les grandes crepes should be allowed?


I understood that "gros" had to do with girth or diameter of a tree or perhaps pancake or crepe, not the thickness but the diameter. Not so? I put in grandes...but I do it all with a migraine in spring especially so I just get by hoping I can keep learning in parts of my brain that are working...at the moment.
I am surprised that gros is for singular and plural. Thank you always for these gems. And for so many answers when it all seemed too much.


Translating "big crêpes" is not easy because "une crêpe", by nature, is ultra thin.

A thick crêpe would be given another adjective "une crêpe épaisse" or name because it is a substantial change in the recipe (for instance "un mate-faim").

When it comes to "une grande crêpe", this is not ideal because "grand" is mostly about length or height (which a flat, round thing does not have), but it is acceptable and accepted.

So to remain a crêpe and change in size, "une crêpe" will have a larger surface. However, it is not impossible that the crêpe maker made it "grosse", which again would make it "thick" rather than large.

Lastly, the original sentence in French has "une grosse crêpe" because the adjective taught is "gros, grosse(s)". The reason why the English sentence here does not have ""thick" is that its reverse translation (our translation conventions) must be "épais(se)" and this adjective has not been taught.


Thank you. It's interesting how you perceives crepes. I need to try your recipe one brave Sunday morning. But I perceive them as slices of a tree and and their width being the diameter. I have to say that your skill at transmitting information is truly remarkably organized and helpful,


But I thought adjectives go after the noun in French. Why is it different here?


Why is it "les" at all. What crepes? If it is just "crepes" in general or "some crepes", should it not be "des"?


"the" makes these crêpes specific in English, as in French.

A generality would read: "à l'origine, les crêpes viennent de Bretagne" = originally, crêpes come from Brittany."

And in the case of a generality, there would be no article in English.

"des" would be used if the sentence, once in singular, had "a/one", like:

  • singular: "I bought a/one crêpe/j'ai acheté une crêpe"
  • plural: "I bought crêpes/j'ai acheté des crêpes".


Is there an easy formula for remembering all the mange, manges, mangeon etc? They get me every time. Thanks


off the top of my head, correct me if I'm wrong

Mange = je/il/elle

Manges = tu

Mangeons = nous

Mangez = vous

Mangent = ils/elles


In regular "er-verbs" such as manger, parler, donner etc. the endings are e, es, e, ons, ez, ent. So your absolutely right. And it's the same for a lot of verbs that end with -er in their elementary form. You can google search for "regular verbs french" and you'll find lists of verbs where this is explained. There are also regular verbs where the elementary form ends with -ir or -re. Learning the patterns will also help when you learn other tenses, such as have done, did, will do, etc.

Hope that helped! :)


Well, in formal classes, you just repeat them again and again. Je mange, Tu mange, Il mange, Elle mange (there's also On mange, but don't worry about that), Nous mangeons, Vous mangez, Ils/Elles mangent. You just remember the rhythm. This goes for all verbs.


how is je manges les grandes crêpes wrong?!


je mange (no ending -s)


sorry but i don't know that much about french, so what you just said makes no sense to me.


"je manges les grandes crêpes" is wrong because the correct conjugation for "je" is "mange" (tu manges is OK).


Crêpes grosses = thick pancakes / Crêpes grandes = big pancakes


"gros" and "grand" are irregular: de grosses crêpes - de grandes crêpes


I still don't understand when to use "des" and when to use "les", could someone explain?


there are many rules you will have to know about, but in this case, it is relatively simple, since both languages match:

if the English states "the crepes", it means that they are specific (those mentioned before, for ex) and in French, for the same reason, "the" will translate to "les".


In what way is that simple? The English translation is just simply "crepes" and not "the crepes". In that case it is "crepes" in general or "some crepes". So it should be "des crepes" in French by what you just explained. I have yet to receive a clear explanation for this. Same for example with "I like chocolate". NOT "I like THE chocolate", but just simply "chocolate" generally speaking. Yet in French it is "le chocolat" as if I am saying a specific chocolate, but that just is not the case. It would be easier to acknowledge that it is just some special case you have to memorise than provide some sort of halfway insufficient explanation that does not hold true across the board.


why is it not "les gros crepes"? since crepes is masculine plural and i thought grosses is for feminine plural


Crepes is feminine


Can someone explain to please the differences between "grosses", "grandes", "larges" and "longes"?


gros, grosse, gros, grosses = volume (thick, fat, voluminous)

grand, grande, grands, grandes = height or length (une grande (high) tour, une grande (long) rivière)

large, larges = width


Very helpfull! Thanks!!


What is wrong with "les crêpes grosses"?


Adjectives of Size (petit, grand, gros) are placed before the noun.


Je suis un grand homme. Je suis un homme grand. Are both syntactically correct but have different meanings? If so, would you expound on this? Also, are there adjectives of size (perhaps mince) that don't follow this rule? And even more, if the adjective is compound, such as gros and riche, would you write c'est un homme gros et riche? (Sorry for so many questions.)


je suis un grand homme = I am a great man (quality)

je suis un homme grand = I am a tall man (height)

je suis un petit homme = I am a short/small man (height)

c'est un homme petit = he is a petty man (quality)

je suis un homme mince/maigre/élancé (regular/objective) = I am a slim/skinny/slender man

c'est un homme gros (objective) et riche = he is a fat and rich man

c'est un gros (subjective) homme riche = he is a fat (and) rich man

je suis un riche (subjective) jeune homme = I am a rich young man

je suis un jeune (age) homme riche (objective) = I am a rich young man

je suis un riche (subjective) jeune homme = I am a rich young man


Thank you very much for this. I'm wondering whether your two statements "Adjectives of Size (petit, grand, gros) are placed before the noun" and "je suis un homme grand = I am a tall man (height)" aren't contradictory. Am I misunderstanding?


the rule is: adjectives come after the noun

the exception is: a number of adjectives (BANGS) come before the noun.

the exception of the exception is that "grand" and "petit" change meanings according to their placement:

  • un grand homme = a great man
  • un homme grand = a tall man
  • un petit homme = a short/small man
  • un homme petit = a petty man (in context, it can also mean "a short/small man).


My dictionary says "crepes" is masculine


Your dictionary is correct. However, the masculine is for crepe paper; the feminine is for the pancake.


why doesn't je mange les crepes grandes work?


how to decide use of 'gross and grand'

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