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"A man without body hair is like a garden without flowers."

Translation:Un homme sans poils, c'est comme un jardin sans fleurs.

March 16, 2018



Est-ce-qu'on peut aussi ecrire: "Un homme sans des poils, c'est comme un jardin sans des fleurs"?


The preposition sans takes the place of an article here and des is the plural version of the articles un / une.

Btw, as you are on the French for English speakers forum, you should write your questions in English, not French. ☺

P.S. De plus, j'aime un homme qui est sans poils sur la poitrine, comme mon mari !


Tx for your response. Is the comment about what language to write in your personal opinion, or a rule (I don't recall seeing one)? I have seen questions and comments quite often in both languages and have like many others, I'm sure, been fine with them. The point of course being to learn.


I have seen Sitesurf (a mod here) ask people continually to write in English in this forum as many beginning learners come here in search of answers and they need to be able to understand what is being written so, I guess, I was just passing on the message. Some of the posts that are written in French are done by posters whose mother tongue is French. ☺


A hairless chest? Wouldn't that require shaving? I think I'll pass on that... but whatever floats your boat kiddo. :-)

  • 2243

Why the "c'est" instead of just "est"?

In the beginning, the subject appears to be "un homme", but then this little "c''" gets involved, apparently taking over the subject.

I've seen this often, but couldn't figure out when to use it and when not. Can someone shed some light please? As always, thanks in advance!



A preceding subject that contains multiple words (un homme sans poils) is often repeated with a grammatical pronoun, "c'/ce," in this case. This is a very common way of phrasing a sentence in French. Here the ce isn't strictly necessary, but it is a way of emphasizing or stressing the subject. For this sentence you could also write: "un homme sans poils est comme..." However, you will hear the repetition all the time in spoken French and see it often in written French as well.

In French you will also find "tonic" pronouns that can also be used to put emphasis on the subject.
Moi, je n'aime pas ce film ! → I don't like that film!
Il est super, lui. → He's great.

Occasionally you must use c'/ce. Ex. Aujourd'hui, c'est lundi. In English "today" can be a subject, but in French "aujourd'hui" is an adverb and needs c'.


Terrific explanation (as usual). Cheers Tex! ☺


This sort of emphasis can be used in English too (it's just not all that common)!

e.g. Me, I don't like that film.

He is great, him.


Yes, occasionally English speakers also add an extra pronoun for emphasis. More often though, the intonation of the voice is used to stress certain words. French speakers do not stress words as in English. The words in French elide and form liaisons (run into each other). This gives French its "musicality" but it also makes it harder for anglophones new to the language to differentiate between the individual words when hearing it initially. Instead, francophones rely on "tonic" pronouns and the repetition of key words to provide additional emphasis.


The French don't say this, do they? Is this a saying?


I don't think so. At least it's the first time I've ever heard about this. But there are many proverbs that get lost over time or are only used in some parts of a country.


Can someone please explain why poils has to be plural here for all a man's body hair whereas for the coat of an animal it is singular poil?


I assume it's because we are referring to the hairS on a man's body but considering the coat of animal as one thing as a whole?!


Why is this even a question? There must be other situations where one can use "polis."


Can you translate this sentence without "c'est"? Un homme sans poils est comme un jardin sans fleurs.

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