"I have a pale blue shirt."

Translation:J'ai une chemise bleu pâle.

March 28, 2018

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Why "bleu" (masculine) when chemise is feminine?


When you use more than one adjective to designate a single color (like "light blue," "dark green," "pale pink" etc.), neither of the adjectives changes according to the noun it modifies. For example:

"Il a les yeux bleu clair et les cheveux brun foncé."
"He has light blue eyes and dark brown hair."


This is absolutely fantastic to know! All my years studying French since I was 12 years old and I never knew this! or ran across the situation. Thank you.


both of your examples are using a plural: blue eyes, brown hair. What about a singular item as in the original question: A shirt


Why bleu pale not pale bleu?


It is constructed with the colour first then the shade or type second.

bleu marine → "navy blue"
bleu pâle → "pale blue"
bleu foncé → "dark blue"
bleu clair → "light blue"
bleu ciel → "sky blue"
bleu roi → "royal blue"

etc, etc ....


You're amazing. You not only know this stuff so well, but you explain it so clearly. Thanks!


Fascinating! Thank you so much!


Is this just relevant to colours? If we say, "blue shirt", the word 'blue' is an adjective. If we say, "pale blue shirt", because 'pale' qualifies the adjective, 'blue', it is an adverb. The general rule in French is adverbs are placed in front of the adjective they qualify, e.g. "je suis très heureux”, where ‘très’ is the adverb.


No, an adverb is a word that describes a verb. In the sentence, "He goes quickly.", "quickly" is an adverb. Whether it's "blue" or "pale blue," the word "blue," or "bleu" in French, is describing the shirt, which is the noun.


I have noticed my error. I wrote blue is an adverb; whereas, I meant to write the word pale.

Adverbs do not only qualify verbs. They qualify other words, too. They can qualify adjectives and even other adverbs.



An adverb is not limited to being a modifier of a verb. An adjective that modifies another adjective becomes an adverb.

The distinction is important in many languages. In English, it means that you don't place a comma between them if you want the adjective to modify another adjective. If you do place a comma you are choosing to shift the meaning because the adjectives no longer modify each other.

A bright blue car without the comma is a car that is blue but the shade of the blue is regarded as bright. Bright is an adverb.

A bright, blue car with the comma is a car that is bright. The comma means that bright does not apply to blue but the car instead. Bright remains an adjective modifying the noun car. Perhaps it is in a bright light compared to other surrounding cars. It is also blue.

Marko246521 amended his comment to indicate that he meant that pale was an adverb in the sentence quoted. His original comment made it seem like he was saying blue was an adverb. Pale is an adverb as he states. (English speakers should beware the casual use of pronouns. You know which word is being replaced but it is not always apparent to the reader/listener.)

It is common in some languages for adverbs that are actually adjectives modifying other adjectives to sometimes conform to rules applied to adverbs and sometimes behave as adjectives. Since adverb/adjectives that qualify colors are a method of classifying the color, they follow the word they modify, in French.


could it be because pale is describing blue so the order will be bleu pâle


I'm sure someone explained that "pale" indicates a faded color and "clair" indicates an actual light blue color. So why is this answer pale and not clair (can't do accents on this keyboard)?


Is pâle possibly a bit like what we'd call 'pastel'?


Why can't I say: J'ai une chemise bleu


Because there are many shades of every colour and the new duolingo tree is trying to introduce them to learners.
bleu marine (navy blue) is a much different colour than bleu pâle (pale blue).


Am I correct in saying "pale" is an adjective of "blue," hence the reason is goes after "blue?"




You are correct except that technically, adjectives which modify other adjectives are described as adverbs. But your point is valid. Pale qualifies the color so it goes after the adjective.


What is the difference between "light" (clair) and "pale" (pale) to the French in this context?


Word order so annoying

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