"This man has hair on his chest."

Translation:Cet homme a du poil sur la poitrine.

March 29, 2018

48 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SquirlRat

Why is 'Cet homme a des poils sur la poitrine.' not accepted here when 'Elle avait des poils sur les bras' is the preferred translation for 'She had hair on her arms'?


[deactivated user]

    Native French speaker here, there is absolutely no problem with your version.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hojohanson

    I had the same question so I asked this over on another discussion and the reply was that they are interchangeable. Doesn't explain why des poils is not accepted so hopefully, we get more clarification or a fix. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27811359


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EspressoKitty

    Could someone translate this more literally?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoire77

    Doesn't mean his chest "sa poitrine"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/glaceon953

    You are right to point out that ''sa poitrine'' means literally his chest, but this is one of those instances in which French and English express the same idea differently, in French you don't use possessives like his or her if the context is rather obvious, an example is: ''he has a tattoo in his arm'', in French this would be said as: ''il a un tatouage sur le bras" it is understood by context that it is his arm and not someone else's. I hope this clarifies some things, have a nice one!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sussyseas

    Cet homme a des poils sur sa poitrine.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    Ask yourself: can he have hair on somebody else's chest?

    In this case, since the chest's owner is obvious, you have to replace the possessive by a definite article: sur la poitrine


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminOgunsade

    Really laughing out loud here on reading Sitesurf's comment.

    Of course, he can! Lolzzzz.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhuvr

    I'm having a difficulty figuring out why we need both de and le (= du) in the, " ... a du poil sur la... " part. If correctly answered using, "des poils" for instance, there is no definite article involved. Hence my confusion to think, "... a de poil sur la... " (omitting the latent "le" in "du") makes sense -- or even could be correct. Any clarification, please?? Many thanks! (28 June, 2020)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    Remember earlier lessons where you learned that uncountable nouns need a partitive article when the meaning is "some" (an unknown amount of a mass thing): "Il a du pain/Je bois du vin"...

    "Poil" can be used as a countable or uncountable noun.

    • (some) hair = du poil (partitive article)
    • hairs = des poils (plural idefinite article)

    [deactivated user]

      Like SquirlRat and iroced, I'm looking for an answer to why one example uses "des poils" and the other "du poil". Does "du poil" refer to a coat or a general mat of hair, and "des poils" to a few scattered hairs -- in which case it would not really describe the hair on a woman's arm...? Some help here, please!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      Both "du poil" and "des poils" are accepted, but the rest of the sentence has to be correct as well.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MiladWaleed

      does "un poil" means only ONE piece of hair ?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      Yes, "un poil" (body) or "un cheveu" (skull) or "un cil" (= eyelash) is one piece of hair.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/remi.lebocey

      I was born and raised in France. We rather say "des poils". For few: "quelques poils" "Du poil" is not commonly used. It sounds quite simian. Or it d be slightly childish or comical. "Avoir du poil au menton" ... you could see that in a child book.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grossegoo

      google translate even disagrees with duolingo


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      It's a good sign that Duo should be right and GT wrong.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

      Uhh.. yeah.. you might not want to treat Google translate as the Gospel truth.. I'd trust Duo over GT..

      (just a 2nd opinion)
      :-)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonBlissett

      Why is a la poitrine unacceptable ?Doesn't that mean on the chest ?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      "Sur la poitrine" is better.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/engfast3

      I wrote 'sur sa poitrine'. How does a French native speaker react if they hear 'sur sa poitrine' v 'sur la poitrine'. ? Is it a wince, i.e. 'ouch, that's not right' or is 'sur sa poitrine' actually forgiveable?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      It sounds like a sentence said by a young child. It is forgivable indeed if you are a child or a foreigner, not if you are a French adult. Ask yourself: "Could he have hair on someone else's chest?" If the answer is "Not really", then go for the definite article "sur la poitrine".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

      kinda depends on the circumstances, Sitesurf (light humour) :-)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/engfast3

      Thanks Sitesurf!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XgwJ4UVx

      First, Duo should be consistent - either use the person pronoun with body parts or an article. In some sentences they require one and in others they want the other. One or the other but not both.

      Second, are you saying that the French don't know that all hair is the same? Fur and hair are different at least in dogs.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexMcMorran

      So, lets say this man is lying tangled in the sheets in the afterglow, with his lover's head lying on his chest. Could I then say "Cet homme a des cheveux sur la poitrine"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonBlissett

      The supposition is very delicately put. It would be quite a challenge to translate the supposition into French !


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      Here is the supposition in French: Disons que cet homme est allongé, enchevêtré dans les draps aux petites lueurs du jour, la tête de son amant/amante reposant sur sa poitrine.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonBlissett

      Thank you Sitesurf, your translation appears to be equally elegant and includes some new vocabulary.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminOgunsade

      Just exactly what I noted. We need more advanced vocabulary in our lessons Prof.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminOgunsade

      Please kindly help us add more of these advanced learner verbs in our lessons. I'm an intermediate user and I really need to summount this part of my learning curve.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      It's coming! New lessons are added little by little. Watch your "tree" and you'll soon see new branches.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chriswalli8

      Will the new material be obvious to those of us who have completed the tree?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      It shouldn't. The new units will deepen and extend your vocabulary and grammar.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rambaud12

      why does "Cet a homme a des poils sur le torse" is not accepted ? In french it is more idiomatic to use "torse" for men and "poitrine" for women


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      It is not because of "torse", which is accepted, but for "cet a homme" instead of "cet homme".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

      ha, I was about to respond with the same answer, you beat me to it, Sitesurf, but I am encouraged as I realize I am learning...and thanks again for all of your help for each of us, along the path..


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlErb

      Poil is a new word for me. I went to google translate to try to find its meaning. Does poil in this sentence refer to pubic hair in general? Google gave me "poils pubiens" for pubic hair and "les poils du torse" for chest hair.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marguerite496140

      Cet homme a des cheveux sur la poitrine. Why can't that be accepted?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iroced

      Cet homme a des poils sur les poitrine est correct!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

      "Les poitrine" cannot be correct, because "poitrine" is in the singular: la poitrine.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardSpe847262

      Isn't "Cet homme a une poitrine poilue" a possible translation?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SBBMichele

      It says "HIS chest" so why is the translation "LA poitrine"? That would assume the english is THE chest.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

      Because the word "poitrine* has a feminine designation.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

      La poitrine, and never Le poitrine.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/La_Mariette

      With body parts, apparently, the definite article is used, even for possession.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonBlissett

      This is because when it obvious from the context who the body part belongs to , the French consider it unnecessary to use a possessive pronoun.

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