"I had my hair cut."

Translation:Je me suis fait couper les cheveux.

December 9, 2017

This discussion is locked.


I don't know how Duolingo expects us to be able to translate sentences like this when we haven't been shown similar examples before.


The exercises are not necessarily meant to be answered correctly in the first try. I believe that part of the idea is that you get it wrong, see the answer, try to understand and answer correctly next time.


In practice, this approach has served only to repeatedly reinforce a sense of doubt so that I second-guess both right and wrong answers.


why can't i say "j'ai un coupe" i know the grammar is wrong but why can't i saay coupe for haircut?


This is an example of le faire causitif.

The causative can be used reflexively (with a reflexive pronoun - se faire) to indicate that the subject has something done to himself or asks someone to do something to/for him.

Je me suis fait is the passé composé for se faire in the 1st person singular + couper (the verb "to cut" in the infinitive) + les cheveux (my hair → as with most body parts, a possessive adjective is not used).

Perhaps if you walked into a hairdresser and asked "Pourrais-je avoir une coupe, s'il vous plaît ?" it might be understood.


Thank you, it did not occur to me that the auxiliary verb for « faire » and « se faire » would be different.


Sorry but do you mean possessive adjective ?


Oops, yes - my bad! ☺ Thanks for pointing it out - I've corrected it.


How would you say: "I am having my hair cut?" (Like someone asking you on the phone what you are doing.) Can I say: "Je suis en train de me faire couper les cheveux"? Or "Je suis en train d'avoir une coupe"?


Convert se faire in the sentence from the past me suis fait to the present me fais :
"Je me fais couper les cheveux."


Merci, C'est simple. Are my 2 answers grammatically correct?


I can't say for sure as I am not a native speaker but the first might be ok, especially if there is a need to convey to the person on the phone that you are in the middle of having your hair cut and they are interrupting you. The grammar seems correct and looks good to me.

The 2nd, I'm almost certain, is technically wrong. It would convey the right meaning to a friend but, as to whether it is acceptable to say, even colloquially, I can't comment.


Merci encore, Ripcurlgirl.


De rien. Sorry I couldn't be of more help ☺


Pourquoi pas "je m'etais fait couper les cheveux"? After all, the English was presented as past tense.


The answer - Je me suis fait couper les cheveux - is given in the past tense; it utilises passé composé. Your sentence uses the pluperfect and basically translates to "I had had my hair cut".


Thanks. I forgot that reflexive verbs use etre for passe compose, so I didn't recognize it. I appreciate your setting me right.


And how would "J'ai fait me couper les cheveux" translate?


I see two problems with the sentence you are asking about.

First, the pronoun "me" is in the wrong place. It must come before the finite verb.

Second, you are trying to conjugate with "avoir". But the verb here (a reflexive verb) conjugates with "être", not with "avoir".

Make the changes I've just mentioned, and you get the correct French: "Je me suis fait ...".


Why "les cheveux" and not "mes cheveux"?


The French do not use the possessive adjective when referring to their body - this applies to all parts of a person's own body - :

Je me suis cassé le bras - "I broke my arm"
Je me suis lavé les mains - "I washed my hands"
J'ai un chat sur les genoux - "I have a cat on my lap"
J'ai quelque chose dans l'œil - "I have something in my eye" etc...

However, when speaking of someone else:
Elle a quelque chose dans son œil → "She has something in her eye".


How is this in the passive voice?


It's passive because the subject of the sentence (I) is not the author of the action (giving a haircut). The one who gave the haircut is unspoken. Thus, the sentence is passive voice.


Not quite, Bruce. Consider the following:
1. I cut my hair.
2. My hair was cut by me.

Sentence 1 is active voice, sentence 2 is the true passive voice version of sentence 1: The object (hair) has been re-presented as the subject.

In "I had my hair cut", there is, grammatically speaking, still an active subject -- namely, "I". That is not passive voice in the way grammarians use the term.

[deactivated user]

    And we learned this when?


    Consider yourself learning it now. ☺


    Hmm, Ripcurlgirl. Sounds like you are speaking reflexive now. :-)


    Why not my cheveux?


    In French, body parts do not take the possessive adjective hence "les cheveux". Please read through the thread - it is fully explained in previous posts.


    The french sentence structure of such a kind seems to be too complicated for me. May I simplify it by saying "J'ai ma coupe de cheveux" ?


    No, it may be simpler for you but it is incorrect French.

    Couper and faire are used as reflexive verbs here because the hair that has been cut is yours and you instigated the cutting.

    Je me suis fait couper les cheveux implies that you had someone (like a hairdresser) cut your hair.

    If you cut it yourself, you still require the reflexive form:

    Je me suis coupé les cheveux. - "I cut my hair"

    Just as j'ai lavé mes mains is incorrect; you must say
    je me suis lavé les mains - "I washed my hands".

    This applies to all parts of a person's own body - French does not use the possessive adjective:
    Je me suis cassé le bras - "I broke my arm" etc...

    However, if you cut another person's hair, the reflexive verb is not used and a possessive adjective is used.

    Ex: J'ai coupé ses cheveux - "I cut his/her/its hair"

    This is also the case with possessions that are not a part of your body:

    Je me suis lavé les mains vs J'ai lavé ma voiture

    I hope that helps.


    That was very good. Still difficult but at least we know how things are. Thank you for your excellent presentation of this matter


    I'm glad it was helpful. ☺


    Literally transulated is " I myself cut my hair" when I did not do it myself

    • 1894

    As @Ripcurlgirl mentions above, "Je me suis coupé les cheveux" means I did it myself. Adding in the "fait" ("Je me suis fait couper les cheveux") means I had someone else do it.


    Hello. Could you also say, Je me suis laisse (accent) couper les cheveux?


    In English, consider the difference between:
    I cut my hair
    I had my hair cut
    I let my hair be cut

    I suspect that your suggested sentence with "laissé" would translate the third of the sentences above. Anyone?


    Thank you. Makes sense.


    What is the (possibly a connotation) difference between "Je me suis fait couper les cheveux" and "J'ai coupé mes cheveux"?


    The same as between "I had my hair cut" and "I cut my hair".


    May I know whether "je me suis coupé les cheveux" is wrong ? ( with "se couper") Is it give another meaning?


    We are given the English sentence first. It is "I had my hair cut". That implies that you had someone else do the cutting.

    If you yourself had done the cutting, the English would be "I cut my hair".

    The French sentence you propose, "Je me suis coupé les cheveux", is a translation of "I cut my hair", so it is not the right choice for translating "I had my hair cut".

    Instead, you want "Je me suis fait couper les cheveux".


    Thank you very much ! I got it ! :-)


    "Je me suis couper mes cheveux" why is it wrong? Like i cut my hair by myself, because without contest I can't know who is cutting the hair


    First, you want to say "les" here, not "mes": Je me suis couper les cheveux".

    Second, your sentence means "I cut my hair". But the English sentence we are given is "I had my hair cut". So you must say "Je me suis fait couper les cheveux".

    You do not need any more context than the English sentence that DL gives you. You do not need to know the name of the person who is cutting your hair. All you need to know is that someone other than yourself is cutting your hair, and that much is made clear by the English sentence "I had my hair cut" = "I caused my hair to be cut".

    (Do not confuse the English "I had my hair cut" with the English "I had cut my hair". The latter is a past perfect construction that means that I myself cut my hair, but before some other event. For example, "I had cut my hair before I realized my boyfriend likes it long".)


    "Je me suis coupé les cheveux" = I (have) cut my hair.


    j'ai coupé mes cheveux! why is this translation wrong?


    Are you having trouble reading the comments on this page? They explain why your sentence is wrong. For example, see the earlier comment from me directly above your post.

    In a nutshell, your sentence means "I cut my hair". But what is needed is "I had my hair cut".


    Thank you for clarification! :)


    ❤❤❤! I said je viens de me couper les cheveux. THAT SHOULD BE ACCEPTED


    Your French sentence means something like "I just cut my hair". In other words, it suggests that you cut your own hair, rather than that you had someone else cut it for you.

    In contrast, the English that DL gives us here, "I had my hair cut", implies that someone else did the cutting.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.