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"Elle combat les hommes mauvais."

Translation:She fights against the bad men.

March 14, 2013

49 Comments


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

B.A.G.S. is a convention (not rule) that helps memorize the procedure for placing most adjectives with respect to the noun they modify.

B.A.G.S. = Beauty, Age, Goodness (or badness), Size. BAGS conforming adjectives generally go in front of the noun.

Subjective/ figurative adjectives precede the noun. eg: Who was the mauvais homme that left the window open?

Objective/ literal adjectives follow the noun. eg: The government has issued a million dollar reward for the capture, dead or alive, of that homme mauvais.

As you can see moving an adjective to the front or rear of a noun can change your emphasis and intended meaning. When you get to the point where you have to fight against bad men, hommes mauvais is probably the most appropriate usage.

To make it easier to rapidly classify subjective/ figurative adjectives, use BAGS. Most BAGS are subjective/ figurative by nature. However adjectives are subjective by definition so it's not a hard and fast rule. There are exceptions.


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

What exactly makes mauvais objective or subjective in the above examples?


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

Ralvinski

It's position in the sentence which is determined by the writer/speaker's intent, with those adjectives which could be used either way.


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

No I mean in terms of meaning.. how does "mauvais homme" differ from "homme mauvais"?


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

Northernguy's examples are perfectly relevant:

  • "C'est un mauvais orateur": you make that judgement, others may not agree
  • "Hitler était un homme mauvais": there is a global agreement supporting this judgement.

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

Mmmm, it's still iffy to me, because, like northernguy hinted at, objective and subjective is murky territory, and flipping them round would still be grammatically correct, yes? So, for the sake of argument, you could say "c'est un orateur mauvais" because YOU feel that this is ('objectively') true, so you could put it in front to add more gravitas...? Don't suppose there is an English equivalent to help elucidate.


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

Sitesurf would be a better a person to answer but I would say if you were making a subjective judgement such as ..he is a bad speaker...you place mauvais in front of the noun. If you were making an objective statement such as .....Hitler was a bad person... you would place mauvais after the noun. Adjectives by definition are subjective so there is always the possibility of disagreement about when and where to place some adjectives.

If you are fighting some men you could reasonably classify them as objectively bad men (from your perspective). If you saw some men fighting you might say rather subjectively that they were bad men even though objectively some might actually be good men otherwise.

Sitesurf says only about ten percent of adjectives can be placed in either position.


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

I know right? I want to meet this girl.


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

It's sort of an English idiom, but why not "she fights the bad guys"?


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

You are right, "bad guys" is a very convenient expression that we would simply replace by "les méchants" (adjective used as a noun).


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

"Bad guys" is rejected... Not cool.


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

Is there not a plural for mauvais?


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

The plural for mauvais is mauvais. The feminine form, mauvaise, has the plural mauvaises.


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

Adjectives that end in S are invariable for plural.

The feminine form of mauvais ends in E so it is variable for plural.

mauvais....mauvais

mauvaise....mauvaises.


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

Why is mauvais after the noun here? Isn't it part of the "G" in BAGS?

And an earlier sentence in this lesson used "mauvais garcon".


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

you can use both, same meaning.


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

Why did they add "against"? It isn't in the definition. However they accepted my answer without it also.


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

I suppose combattre=to fight/to fight against which means both versions are correct.


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

Hi Aasa! They apparently do accept both....it is just that I would think "contre" would be included as "against" but it isn't.


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

It is a mnemonic to help English speakers. In French, some adjectives appear before the noun, some after. Somebody share the link to this page on another question about adjectives, which is why I know about it. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

Here, mauvais seems to be breaking this rule.


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

taken from Duolingo Adjectives 1

In French, most adjectives appear after the nouns they modify. For instance, le chat noir. However, some adjectives precede the noun. You can remember these types of nouns using the mnemonic BANGS. •B is for beauty. Une belle femme — A beautiful woman •A is for age. Une jeune fille — A young girl •N is for number. Deux hommes — Two men•This can also be for rank: Le premier mot — The first word

•G is for good or bad. Un bon garçon — A good boy •S is for size. Un gros chat — A fat cat

All determiner adjectives (e.g. possessives, interrogatives, and demonstratives) appear before the noun, e.g. mon livre ("my book") and ce cochon ("that pig"). You will learn these later.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bio-x

what's wrong with "she fights off the bad men"?


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

To fight and to fight off is not exactly the same. She fights the men means they have a somewhat equal match but she fights off the men means she makes them run, disappear, by fighting them. But I do not know how to express that difference in French.


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

One of the options was 'she fights against the bad guys' that seems a decent enough translation. Not so obviously wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sunchild81

What is the more acceptable answer here? - She fights against the bad men. (more specific) or -She fights against bad men. (more general 'bad men') Thanx in advance!


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

The' which is with article would be more appropriate since it is happening on the current time.


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

What's the infinitive of the verb "combat" here?


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

Combattre

You might find this link helpful.

http://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com


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

Thanks, good site. Do you know why the translation added "against" when there is no "contre"?


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

do you think bad guys could fit here? instead of men?


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

bad guys: les voyous, les mauvais garçons, les méchants, les sales types...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

Ah, "les voyous", that takes me back. I have heard this used countless times.


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

how can you tell its plural? sounded pretty much the same to me.


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

les hommes vs l'homme

LEH-Z-OM vs LOM


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

How can you tell it's not "elles combattent.." Wouldn't this sound the same as "Elle combat"?


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

Last syllable: BA (singular combat) vs BAT (plural combattent)


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

Merci beaucoup Sitesurf! I appreciate your help :-)


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

I TRULY RESPECT THIS LADY.


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

Neither "with" or "against" are in this sentence. Confusing!


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

"combattre" means "fight with" (Latin "com" means with)


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

That's great and all, but in another sentence it wouldn't allow me to translate "combatter contre" as just fight. I decided against reporting that but now I wish I had.


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

You needn't report it: the infinitive is "combattre".


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

Why can't you say guys instead of men.


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

le type, le mec = guy

homme = man


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

merci, northernguy!


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

Is that right? " elle combat contre les hommes mauvais "

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