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  5. Ma propre femme est seule ! (…


Ma propre femme est seule ! (How many possible translations?)

Duolingo says that the correct translation is: My own wife is lonely (alone).

Can't it be:

My clean wife is lonely (alone). or My clean woman is lonely (alone).

And also, Can we use "honest" and "decent" for the translation of "propre" in this context?

How many possible translations are there?

July 2, 2012



Propre is one of a small number of adjectives which can be placed either before or after the noun, and the position changes its meaning. Ma propre femme = my own wife, ma femme propre = my clean wife. I believe the honest/decent translations would be synonyms for clean, therefore propre would come after the noun.


I may not agree with that. Here by no means 'propre' can be translated by 'clean'. My own wife is the only possible translation, for the sake of mere common sense. In the given sentence: 'ma propre femme', should you translate by 'my clean wife/woman' would suggest you also have a dirty wife/woman... Therefore 'mon/ma/mes' followed by 'propre/s' always translates in 'own'


In some contextes, I would have translated it as "Even my wife is lonely". But without contexte, it's clearly "My own wife is lonely". milneyj's explanation is completely right.


Sitesurf is right !


Careful guys, Sitesurf is right in this case but you can also translate it as well as clean.

The big difference is where "propre" is placed in the sentence (before of after the noun) "Mes voitures propres" my clean cars " Mes propres voitures" my own cars

Native speaker ;)


I found a detailed table describing the various meanings of "propre" according to the context,, this is the link http://en.pons.eu/french-english/propre

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