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  5. "C'est une belle robe."

"C'est une belle robe."

Translation:This is a beautiful dress.

April 19, 2014



I put my answer as "It is a nice dress" and it was marked wrong. The mean of 'belle/beau' is beautiful, handsome, nice. So why did I get it wrong?

  • 2346

When it comes to adjectives of beauty, there is a substantial continuum of descriptors, many of which will be strongly affected in speech by one's tone of voice. From "nice" (ho-hum) to "Nice!! (wow!)". Then you have: charming, pretty, lovely, beautiful, gorgeous. I would suggest that the thing to take away from this particular lesson is that "beau/belle" is at the higher end of the scale and use a comparatively higher end word in English to translate it; one that does not rely on an emphatic voice to convey the meaning.


Oh dear! I wrote 'lovely' but the correct answer is given as 'nice'!


Thank you! Your explanations are comprehensive and most helpful. They address the root misunderstanding and not the acute individual ignorance so common in these comments. Your patience is commendable and inspiring!


Nice is jolie in french.

C'est une jolie robe.


Sorry Duo! I agree with you (all) as our translation comes natural and it is another correct answer. Also, "it is a nice dress" sounds better than "cute", to me anyway. Thanks

[deactivated user]

    Because if you would like to say that in French, you should say "Elle est une belle robe". Please don't forget that "it" is a pronoun equal to "il/elle" in French, depending on the gender of the word which the pronoun refers to it.


    Why not "It is a pretty dress"?


    Pretty is joli or jolie, depending on the gender. Belle or beau means beautiful, which is a more intense or vibrant word. In this case, Beautiful is the correct translation.


    I'm also wondering why pretty was not accepted here. It feels like a semantic swamp, since English is not my native language. I suppose, I don't really understand or know all the nuances between beatufull, pretty, nice, good looking etc. and then the same applies to French (which I used to know and am now relearning). Trying to figure out why one word can be used as a translation but not another is really frustrating, especially since I occasionally do have to run things through my native language. So I'd really appreciate it if someone would clarify this for me and for all the others too.


    as in another post above, belle= beautiful whereas joli= pretty.

    In English, "beautiful" is a more intense word, whereas "pretty" is more casual and not as intense. beautiful is not equivalent to pretty. beautiful = very very pretty. I think that is why joli is not accepted here. it does not have the same connotation as belle.


    Well, my French-English dictionary does not really agree with you. Under "pretty" you will find the translations "joli", "beau", and "belle". And under "belle" you will find "pretty". So "pretty" should be accepted.


    Just by the way, I am a native English speaker and as for the other words you mentioned... ~"good-looking" is used to connote a physical beauty or sexiness. you wouldn't use it to describe a piece of clothing. ~"nice" is a pretty casual word (you wouldn't say, "your wedding dress is nice and gorgeous." "gorgeous" is very intense, so pairing it with "nice" doesn't make sense)


    Thank you very much :) This really helps!


    I am French and I also said a pretty dress. Believe me when I say my family would understand and accept that sentence as correct. Merci Beaucoup

    • 2346

    You are French but speaking about how you would translate it into English. The point is only this, that one may certainly say "that's a pretty dress". It is natural and grammatically correct. There are many positive statements that one may use to describe the dress but in the process of learning the language, there is a need to understand that you don't just pick a word from a list of similar words and assume it is the best answer. Is it close? Yes, it is. But if it didn't matter, Duo would just teach you one word "belle" and it would serve for all the positive remarks you want to make. The rest of the story is that there are many terms with some subtle shades of meaning.


    I have some French friends, and one tells me that pretty is a close secondary translation of belle and can be used. And, having checked myself, it seems that belle and pretty do seem to crop up 'holding hands' in a few Eng - Fre dictionaries. I may, of course be asking in the wrong places. Duolingo is a fine language-learning tool though.


    My answer was correct, but I'm still unsure as to when an adjective precedes its noun versus when the adjective comes after its noun. What is the grammatical rule for this?


    Most adjectives follow the noun in French. Those that always precede it are those denoting beauty, age, number, goodness and size ("BANGS"). There are also some adjectives that swing both ways, and mean different things depending on whether they precede or follow the noun (e.g. brave, grand, ancien, ...)


    Thank you for that rule. I put robe belle instead of belle robe.


    The hint for "belle" also says "good", but it's not accepted as a correct answer.

    • 2346

    If you're talking about some vegetables on market day, perhaps. But when talking about a "belle robe", it's a beautiful dress.


    shouldn't "that is a gorgeous dress" be acceptable?

    • 2346

    When referring to clothing, "gorgeous" would be "magnifique" or "somptueux". http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/anglais-francais/gorgeous/584099


    I had "it's a pretty dress". It was reported wrong... belle can't mean pretty?

    • 2346

    Sometimes it may be used that way but the back-translation may suffer. Pretty = joli(e). Beautiful = beau/belle/bel.


    I believe belle and beau mean the same thing and has to do with gender


    feminine - belle masculine - beau plural - beaux


    would that be correct " C'est une beau robe " ?

    • 2346

    Because "robe" is a feminine gender noun and requires the feminine form of the adjective (belle).


    Why isn't "That is a beautiful dress!" correct?


    is 'belle' for objects and 'joli' for people? or is there another subtle difference between them?


    belle - beautiful, joli - pretty


    i can't believe them i mean, i wrote beutiful by accident instead of beautiful and they marked it wrong they should've marked it yes and say i mistakenly wrote beutiful instead of the term ' beautiful'!


    "C'est", "ce", "cette" sounds similiar


    I chose "fine" as one of the suggested options and it was marked incorrect?? Fine could reflect the way the dress is beautifully made.


    belle is also mean beautiful,fine and great. If we write fine or great in beautiful the answer should accept.


    I'm pretty sure it's me but she nails me every time I do this particular sentence - and that's because I'm used to hearing "c'est" pronounced "say" and when I hear her say "set" ... which she clearly does....I think "cette"....say what?

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