"He has numerous very ugly objects."

Translation:Il a de nombreux objets très laids.

November 14, 2017

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Shouldn't laid be before the noun since it is adressing beauty?


A handful of adjectives that refer to the qualities contained in BANGS (Beauty, Age, Number, Goodness, Size) are not placed before the noun.

In the category of beauty, exceptions are laid (ugly) and affreux (atrocious); in age, âgé (old); and in the category of goodness, méchant (mean).


I would say that the exceptions are the BANGS adjectives. 85% of French adjectives are placed after the noun and a number of them can change places and meanings or perspective.

A few regular adjectives about ugliness: "disgracieux, moche, horrible, hideux, repoussant, répugnant, abominable, atroce, immonde..." and beauty: "gracieux, délicieux, enchanteur, superbe, splendide, séduisant, ravissant, sublime..."


You forgot vilain! Don't ask why I remember that one so well, I don't want to relive the memories...I always tell my kids, "It's beauty that's the exception...ugly has to follow the rules."


She was talking about exceptions within the BANGS subset of adjectives, to which you have added even more examples!


If laid is a BAGS adjective, why is it not before the noun?


"Laid" is not a BAGS adjective.


Is it safe to say that the adjectives that go after the noun are the "negative" ones. Like ungly, old, mean, etc... Trying to figure out a way to remember.


No, it's not safe to say that.

Laid and moche (ugly) go after the noun, but vieux (old) goes before the noun. Méchant (mean) is a slipperier and can go either before or after. Voici le méchant garçon or c'est un garçon méchant.


vieux (old) is not necessarily a negative!


Good question Scott


Why is it "de nombreux" instead of "des nombreux"?


Afaik, if the object is preceded by an adjective, the des is written as de


to understand why it is de and not des it is because of the following two points:

Point 1
nombreux is an indefinite adjective and is placed before a noun.

Point 2
When an adjective comes before a noun, the indefinite article des is normally replaced with de


De nombreux (se) is an exceptional adjective that is always written with de...and, being a plural adjective, never takes the definite particle, hence never "des".


Why the answer could not be ...."Il a nombreux de objets trés laids." ?


The construct is "de nombreux"


Ooh a new French Mod! Isn't it more the fact that with the adjective appearing before the noun, des becomes de, rather than the construction being de nombreux? I.e des objets is modified to become de nombreux objets, oui?


Hello! Yes, you are right that "nombreux" is an adjective and thus "des" becomes de. The earlier question was about the placement of the "de" so I was simplifying it.

"de nombreux objets" de/d' + adjective + noun
"beaucoup d'objets" adverb + de/d' + noun


How is Beaucoup de an adverb? What verb is it modifying. Alot of, and numerous, are the same type of modifier. They modify nouns. So I would like to know why, if there is any particular reason, does de come before nombreux?

Thanks...native French speaker please, or a French teacher of reference. Thanks


I'm not a native French speaker but perhaps I can help while our native speaker is on vacation.
"Beaucoup" is an adverb. It is like "lots" or "a lot" in English which can be an adverb when it is modifying a verb.

I have lots/a lot of things. → J'ai beaucoup de choses. Lots is modifying have (I have lots...) while beaucoup is modifying ai.

Here is a dictionary link to beaucoup so you can see the part of speech, and to lot, definition #21 under "adverb."

Nombreux/nombreuses is an adjective, just like many or numerous are in English. They describe the noun.

She has things. → Elle a des choses.
She has many things. → Elle a de nombreuses choses.

*Remember that des becomes de in front of an adjective.

Many is describing the amount of things, just like nombreuses is describing the quantity of "choses." Here you can see that nombreux is an adjective.


Why? Please explain why isn't it nombreux de, like beaucoup de, etc. Or is this just the way it is for nombreux?


Remember that you can't place de + objets together because of the vowels.


Could you use plusieurs instead of nombreux here?


No, they don't have the same meaning. Nombreux implies "many."

plusieurs = several
nombreux = numerous or a number of


I would also be interested in the answer!


Why does there have to be "de" in the sentence? Why can't it just be " Il a nombreux objets très laids"?


Edited, mea culpa! :

Nouns require a determiner in French.

Il a un canard.
Il a des canards.
Il a de nombreux canards.

In the last sentence, des changes to de because it is placed before an adjective, in this case, "nombreux."

de + adj + noun

More on determiners in French


I don't think your explanation is correct.

nombreux is an indefinite adjective not a determiner. The indefinite adjective plusieurs is a determiner so you would say:

il a plusieurs objets laids.

However, as nombreux is not a determiner the plural noun objets needs a determiner, in this case an indefinite article, and when an adjective comes before a noun, the indefinite article des is normally replaced with de. Therefore you say

il a de nombreux objets très laids


Ah! That's what's been confusing me. To me, "a few", "some", "several" and "numerous" are all the same thing (to differing degree).


Your sentence lacks a determiner. Nouns almost always need a determiner (le, de, mon, un, etc.).

Without the adjective it would be "des objets"


The English phrase seems very akward. He has numerous objects that are very ugly seems a lot more proper


It is correct but yes, a little awkward in English. The idea is to teach the French sentence structure and make it clear how to rewrite that same sentence in reverse.

He has numerous objects that are very ugly = Il a de nombreux objets qui sont très laids.

You could also write: He has many very ugly objects.


I'm struggling a little to frame this.

The way I learnt French in school, left me thinking of this sentence structure (Il a des objets très laids) as meaning "there are ugly objects, of which he has some".

The confusion arises because to me it looks like nombreux is applying to all the objects rather than specifically to the ones that he has.

In English, "numerous" replaces "some" in the sentence i.e. He has some very ugly objects becomes He has numerous…

Please help me correct my misapprehension :o)



il a = he has
il y a = there are

In the sentence il a des objets très laids, you'd translate it as "he has very ugly objets". Des just means more than one and doesn't necessarily translate as "some".

When nombreux is added, it is an adjective describing objets. Des (unspecified number that is more than one) becomes de in front of an adjective.
de nombreux objets = many/numerous objects


Beaucoup and Nombreaux are roughly synonomous, at least in meaning, though apparently not used in a similar manner. if one were to use "beaucoup", it would be before the "de" - "il a beaucoup d'objects...". But here, the adjective is before the article - "il a de nombreaux..." Am I missing the simple reason?


Well, they are two different parts of speech: beaucoup is an adverb and nombreux is an adjective. In French, that is simply how the structure works: beaucoup de/d'... and de nombreux...
The "de" before nombreux is not plural because when you have adj + noun, des becomes de.


Thanks. That's HUGE. In English they're both adjectives, at least according to my old and venerable American Hetritage disctionary. In French, though, "beaucoup" is an adverb. So, maybe we should consider that it doesn't mean "many", which modifies the following noun, but rather, perhaps, something akin to "abundantly", which would modify the preceding verb: "He abundantly has very ugly objects." OK, that's not good, but, somehow the idea that "beaucoup" is an adverb needs emphasizing.


Many and numerous are adjectives in English, just like "nombreux" is in French. Perhaps it will help to equate "beaucoup" with "lots" which are both adverbs.

Il a beaucoup de choses. → He has lots of things.
Il a de nombreuses choses. → He has numerous things. (Remember that indefinite article "des" becomes "de" in front of a plural adjective. English doesn't have this article, of course.)


Si j'ai de nombreux objets, pourquoi n'en ai-je pas plusieurs objets?


plusieurs = several

nombreux = numerous

you can say 'multiple' instead of 'plusieurs' https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/french-english/multiple


Why affreaux and not laid?


Laid is also correct


Seriously? I use beaucoup and it says use numbreux. So i do and it says to use beaucoup. Get your software right.


What did you type? Could it be the construct of your sentence?
If you typed "il a de ... " the corrected response will be "nombreux" since "il a de nombreux..." is the right form.
If you typed "il a ...(without de immediately following)" the corrected response will be "il a beaucoup d'...."

The "de" precedes "nombreux" and follows "beaucoup"
de nombreux
beaucoup de/d'


Il a beaucoup de choses tres laid ? Would that be an OK translation here ? (yes, with accent on the e in tres)


"Choses" is feminine so the adjective needs to agree with it: il a beaucoup de choses très laides.


pourquoi pas "moche" au lieu de "laid" "?


"moches" is also correct.


why is 'plusieurs ' not acceptable? I know it means 'several', but there is hardly an iota of difference between 'several' and 'numerous' in everyday language.


No they are not the same in either language. You can check the dictionary if you don't accept explanations already given here.


can't you say "il a beaucoup d'objets tres laids"


Absolutely. Remember the accent: très laids.


Yes...and they want you to learn the construction "de nombreux..."


nah, it worked.


This sounds strange in English. I would translate it as "he has many things that are very ugly. "

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