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  5. "Les pantalons sont vert pâle…

"Les pantalons sont vert pâle."

Translation:The pants are pale green.

March 30, 2018



Why isn't "vert" or "pâle" pluralised?


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."


Ripcurlgirl, merci, but I thought the Fench word for brown is "Marron" according to DL, so which one is more correct


Does this include changes to account for masculine or feminine nouns? For example la chausette vert pâle, or la chausette verte pâle?


I think composite color adjectives don't agree


If you mean agree with the noun, you are correct.


what about 'the trousers are light green'? I'm no fashion expert but light green and pale green are the same for me.


"Light green" → vert clair, while "pale green" → vert pâle.


light green and pale green are the same for me too... so don't worry about Duo marking it wrong... I think in France you would understand it just the same

  • 2217

We would have to say that "pale" is the best answer but if someone tells you that "pale" is not the same as "light", most people will say they are just splitting hairs.


I wonder if pale is similar to pastel? I think of pastel green as different to light green, but so much of this is local culture.


I tried “The pairs of trousers are pale green” because pantalons is given in plural, so I wanted to point out in English, that it's more than one item of garment. However it wasn't accepted. Am I right with my translation?


In this particular context, using "pairs of" isn't good idiomatic English. "The pairs of pants/trousers are pale green" just sounds wrong. OTOH (On The Other Hand), "I have several pants that are pale green" doesn't sound as natural as "I have several pairs of pants that are pale green". But then "I have some pants that are pale green" is OK, except you can't tell from that whether you're talking about one pair or two+ pairs.

It's clear from the French that we talking about more than one item of clothing, but even if it were singular, I'd have the same thing to say.


OK, I see it’s an issue with my English, not French. Would you be so kind and explain the rules when to say “pairs of” and when not? I don’t get it from your examples.


Tilo, I gave the same answer and reported it. I don't think the issue should be with the most natural way of saying something in English - "pairs of trousers" is technically correct and emphasizes the fact that "les pantalons" refers to more than one. The exercise is meant to test our comprehension of the French sentence.


Moreover, the notes explicitly say that it's INCORRECT to translate "les pantalons" as "a pair of trousers" precisely because it means more than one pair of trousers. I too entered "the pairs of trousers", specifically to differentiate it from "un pantalon", and it was marked wrong.


Le pantalon est... Ou, les pantalons sont...

J'avais pensé que c'était le premier. Aidez moi


The (pair of) pants/trousers = le pantalon

The (pairs of) pants/trousers = les pantalons

The singularity or plurality of garments is always clear in French, whereas in English, if it's not clear from context, then you may specify this information by adding “pair(s) of“. Just take care when translating, because in French you have to be specific.


I put "pairs of pants" and got it wrong. Shouldn't it be correct since it is "les" pantalon?


Ah ! "La lumière s'allume," on pourrait (pouvait? ) dire ça, peut-être? Merci !


"The pairs of trousers are pale green" was marked incorrect.


Why is slacks not accepted.

  • 2217

In general, "un pantalon" will be either "trousers" or "pants" (US). These are very general terms. "Slacks" is a specific subcategory of the genre "trousers".


Right - "slacks" are not the lower part of a "suit", which consists of a coat and pants/trousers. "slacks" are comfortable pants which are not tailor-fit.


I have not heard the word slacks in the UK, only in the US, Australia and New Zealand. In that case the word was synonymous with trousers; i.e. a pair-of-pants with a fly front and belt loops. I am guessing that pants is a more informal general term, so one could have track-suit pants but neither track-suit trousers nor tracksuit slacks would be accepted.


Presumably because slacks are a particular type of trousers?


It should be accepted - please report it.


I did report it. I hope that someone "reads" it.


There are over 1,000 new sentences and only 4 Moderators. Your report will be read however it may take time for the system (which they have no control over) to update it. Please give this post a read. Merci.



In English it's trousers


British “trousers” = American “pants”

British “pants” = American “underpants”

This course suggests American English, but accepts both.


when they're blue it's pale. but they're green it's light. Do we get a lesson in English?


Both blue and green can be light or pale, in English as well as in French. To my understanding, pale means less saturated like tending towards white. Light colours are full saturated, but tend to a neighbouring full colour or away from black (where there are dark colours).

For example take yellow. Pale yellow tends towards white. The paler it is the less distance is there to blank white. Light yellow on the other hand can be used to describe a more distance to orange. To speak in computer terms: take this RGB colour as a reference: ffdd00. It is a very light orange or dark yellow. In comparison, ffff00 can be called light yellow.

Note that the blue channel is completely zeroed. When at least one channel is 0, then the colour is not pale. Now let’s increase the blue in order to move the yellow towards white: ffffaa. This is a pale yellow.

Now for another instance take blue: 0000ff. I we add some green, we get a light blue: 00eeff. The red channel is still 0, so the colour is not pale. Now add 75% red: bfeeff. You see no channel is zero, so it is pale, in this case sky blue.

For green, light can mean farther from black. So taken 00c000 (medium green) as a reference, 00ff00 is farther from black 000000 and can therefore be called light green. Whereas pale greens take all 3 channels (get rid of zeroes): c0ffc0.

For anybody wondering what the hexadecimal numbers mean, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors


Regardless of the excellent explanation by Tilo, the bottom line is that pale is "pale," while light is "clair" (as stated by ripcurlgirl above). In a language exercise, the translation should be the correct word. The exercise is "vert pale," not "vert clair."


In correct English this should read: "The pairs-of-pants are pale green." Duo doesn't like it! Rule for Duo; keep it simple.

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