"The woman has a new pair of jeans."

Translation:La femme a un nouveau jean.

April 6, 2018

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I have zero clue which word to use for "new"...neuf, neuve, nouvelle, nouveau. Duolingo give no real hint as to how to handle that and the french speakers that I know say they are nearly interchangeable.



"New" has 2 sets of translations in French and clearly separate meanings:

A new pair of jeans:

  • Un jean neuf = brand new, never worn

  • Un nouveau jean = new to me/you/her, can be second-hand

"Neuf, neuve, neufs, neuves" are objective and placed after the noun.

"Nouveau, nouvel, nouvelle, nouveaux, nouvelles" are subjective and placed before the noun.


Great explanation, thank you!


And what is the difference between objective and subjective adjectives. When should each of the be used please?


Objective means "based on facts, generally recognized as true": "un jean neuf" was never worn, it just gets out of the factory, it is brand new.

Subjective means "based on opinions/perceptions, relative": "un nouveau jean" has been worn at least once, it was recently bought, when you bought it, it was new or second-hand.

Not all adjectives can be used subjectively (before the noun) or objectively (after the noun), but some have a subjective meaning anyway (BANGS) and others an objective meaning anyway (colors).

  • Un petit morceau de gâteau (subjective): what seems "small" too some may be "big" for others.
  • J'ai un pantalon jaune (objective): "yellow" is "yellow" even if there are various shades of yellow.
  • Dans un récent article (subjective), il a dit...: I don't have the date but it was published what seems to me "not long ago".
  • Dans un article récent (objective), il a dit...: I'll give you the date it was published if you ask me.

Some adjectives can change meaning when they are placed before or after a noun:

  • Le pauvre homme (subjective) a perdu son portefeuille: I pity him because he has lost his wallet.
  • Les hommes pauvres (objective) ne peuvent se faire soigner: They cannot afford to seek care.


why "la femme a une nouvelle paire de jean" wasn't accepted ?


"Jeans", "pants", "trousers", "shorts" and "pajamas" are plural nouns in English.

In French "one pair" of any of them is "un jean, un pantalon, un short, un pyjama".

For several pairs, you get "des jeans, des pantalons, des shorts, des pyjamas".


I entered: la femme a un jean The correct answer is displayed as: La femme a un jean 9 What is 9?


A stupid mistake: 9 is the number "neuf" and it is also the masculine singular adjective "neuf" meaning "brand new".


I want to understand the meaning of the numeral placed at the end of this sentence because I got the same answer


Isn't also correct to use the adjective after the noun in this case?


No, it is not. Either the pair of jeans is new to the woman (but only recent or she might have bought it second hand) and you have to use "un nouveau jean", or the pair of jeans is brand new (never worn) and you need "un jean neuf".


Should "...un nouveau jeans" (with an 's') also be accepted. Eg

Le jeans homme est intemporel et indémodable. Brice

On the cited page, and on others, I see both singular forms (with and without 's') being used. Take, for instance this page, where the headline has one form, but a similar sentence, in the main article, uses the other:

Porter un jean bleu est maintenant interdit à la pétanque

Interdiction de porter un jeans à la pétanque?

DL rejected the "jeans" version.


"Un jean" is the proper form for the singular noun. Using "un jeans" is an improper "americanism".



I was thinking "jean" was probably preferable.

Larousse does say, in the "Difficultés" section of the entry:

On dit, on écrit, un jean ou un jeans (= un pantalon), au singulier.

But recommends "jean" for the singular, "jeans" for the plural (with the 's' not being pronounced).

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