"Elle combat les hommes mauvais."

Translation:She fights against the bad men.

March 14, 2013

49 Comments


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

June 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ralvinski

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

July 21, 2014

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

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ralvinski

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

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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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.
July 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 22, 2014

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

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/graceswim
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You go gurl.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Casiquire
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I know right? I want to meet this girl.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/claytonwalker

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

May 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You are right, "bad guys" is a very convenient expression that we would simply replace by "les méchants" (adjective used as a noun).

May 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/xoxua
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"Bad guys" is rejected... Not cool.

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/salfordphil

Is there not a plural for mauvais?

August 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lpacker
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The plural for mauvais is mauvais. The feminine form, mauvaise, has the plural mauvaises.

August 18, 2013

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

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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".

March 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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you can use both, same meaning.

March 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wildengel

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

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

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

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Laetitia_Lalila

What is BAGS? :)

March 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

March 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Laetitia_Lalila

Great! Thanks!

September 25, 2014

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

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

May 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleSize

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

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

December 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianJosh
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The' which is with article would be more appropriate since it is happening on the current time.

April 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Liquid_Ninja

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

December 27, 2013

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

You might find this link helpful.

http://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wildengel

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

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rogruman
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do you think bad guys could fit here? instead of men?

January 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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bad guys: les voyous, les mauvais garçons, les méchants, les sales types...

January 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/flint72
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Ah, "les voyous", that takes me back. I have heard this used countless times.

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OriDattner

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

February 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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les hommes vs l'homme

LEH-Z-OM vs LOM

February 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rnolds

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

February 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Last syllable: BA (singular combat) vs BAT (plural combattent)

February 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rnolds

Merci beaucoup Sitesurf! I appreciate your help :-)

February 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

I TRULY RESPECT THIS LADY.

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarahschatje

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

July 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"combattre" means "fight with" (Latin "com" means with)

July 13, 2013

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

May 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You needn't report it: the infinitive is "combattre".

May 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Gypsyvee
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Why can't you say guys instead of men.

August 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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le type, le mec = guy

homme = man

August 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Gypsyvee
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merci, northernguy!

August 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mahdi_b

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

January 17, 2015
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