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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

contradiction?

Under adjectives 1 it has this "Adjective Placement" tip:

In French, most adjectives appear after the nouns they modify. For instance, le chat noir. However, some adjectives precede the noun. You can remember these types of nouns using the mnemonic BANGS.

B is for beauty. Une belle femme — A beautiful woman

A is for age. Une jeune fille — A young girl

N is for number. Deux hommes — Two men This can also be for rank: Le premier mot — The first word

G is for good or bad. Un bon garçon — A good boy

S is for size. Un gros chat — A fat cat

All determiner adjectives (e.g. possessives, interrogatives, and demonstratives) appear before the noun, e.g. mon livre ("my book") and ce cochon ("that pig"). You will learn these later.

Okay, no problem. But today I was doing politics and I came across this:

"Le minister a fait un discours majeur ce matin"

It was easy to translate and I made no mistake writing it in English, but I noticed that the adjective (majeur) followed the noun (discours) even though it falls under the category described above which should precede the noun.

Contradiction?

April 13, 2018

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/relox84

The BANGS rule is jsut a guideline, there are numerous exceptions.
It would be more accurate to say that adjectives typically come after the noun when they are simply descriptive, and typically come before the noun when they are more subjective.

And it's le ministre, not le minister ;)

April 13, 2018

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

Ah, the so-called BANGS rule. It turns out that the categories they give you are only intended as an aid to remember the particular adjectives that can go before a noun. Any adjectives not listed, even if they fall in the categories, you can assume it goes after the noun. I mean, except numbers, those always go before.

And of course even the adjectives that can go before a noun, many can also go after a noun, with a difference of meaning. For these adjectives, the figurative meaning puts the adjective before the noun, and the literal meaning puts the adjective after.

Le pauvre garçon. The boy is unfortunate.

Le garçon pauvre. The boy has no money.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

thanks to both of you.

I've noticed that very few adjectives precede the noun in Spanish, but many in French do. Moreover, I have noticed that putting it before or after changes the meaning as jkidder points out, both in Spanish and French. jkidder gave an excellent example in French. Here's a Spanish one:

Yo he caminado a las calles estrechas de Seville. (Here, it seems that I only walk on narrow streets, but I do not mention whether wide streets are available..)

Yo he caminado a las estrechas calles de Seville. (Here, it seems all the streets are narrow, so if I'm walking on streets in Seville, then I must be walking on narrow ones because that's all they have.)

Perhaps that's the case in French as well?

e.g.,

J'ai marché dans les rues étroites de Lyon

vs

J'ai marché dans les étroites rues de Lyon


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

I do know if that distinction holds in French (I am a native English speaker), but I want to believe it does! Certainly, the latter sentence reads more poetic to me and the former more pedestrian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

came across mec louche today (not on duolingo). Seems like another one. Louche, as I read it, is shady or untrustworthy, and would therefore fall under the BANGS category (G, in particular), yet it follows the noun mec. Another contradiction. As relox pointed out, it is just a guideline, and a very loose one, as we have seen.


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

I just want to repeat what I said above. The categories of the BAGS rule are an aid to remember the specific adjectives in the list. It is not at all the case that every adjective in the categories will go before the noun.

In fact, if you search French-language resources, they will generally tell you only that "certain common, short adjectives" precede the noun, nothing about categories at all.

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