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  5. "C'est aussi la plus ancienne…

"C'est aussi la plus ancienne."

Translation:It is also the oldest one.

March 27, 2013



So how would one say older, rather than oldest? All I thought plus implied was just more of something, not the most of something.


plus ancienne = older

la plus ancienne = the oldest

The definite article makes it more extreme.


What about saying 'the older one'?


In English we make a distinction - if there are 3 or more persons/items being compared, then one is "the oldest" (or "cutest" or "meanest" or whatever). If there are only two, then one is "the older" (etc.)

The French don't make this distinction. If one is older than any other(s), then she is "the oldest".


Diana, to add to your comment:

A comparative compares a person or thing with another person or thing. A superlative compares a person or thing with the whole group of which that person or thing is a member:

When there are just two members in a group, traditionally, we use the comparative. However, in informal situations people often use the superlative:


Who is younger, Zsuzsanna or Louise ? (traditional usage)

Danny and Hank are both tall, but Hank is the tallest. (more informal)


Merci Renclair x 1000. Nice and simple knowing that la amps it up from older to oldest.


Why not "she's also the oldest"?


Sitesurf has informed us that one would not use "ancien/ne" to refer to people, although I don't think DL is au courant with that.

  • 1962

What about if we refer for example to a female turtle or another long living animal (with a known sex to be able to call her a "she") - would "ancienne" be used is such a meaning?


So this could refer to a house, for instance, but not to my aunt?


Because "ancienne" ("ancien") is an adjective, and for an adjective describing a person you need to use "il/elle est". See http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm


Actually, in french we don't make the distinction between something having a recognized sex like a person (or maybe an animal) and something that hasn't a sex. It depends on the genre of the noun. So c' is correct for both it and she. For example: "cette paire de chaussures est ma favorite. C'est aussi la plus ancienne."


I can't imagine when anyone would use this sentence. Is this slang, or perhaps a specific French idiom?


I would say neither of those, since listen to a lot of french news/TV shows and I've heard this in use before. Here is an example: La bière est la boisson la plus consommée dans le monde après le thé. C'est aussi la plus ancienne, puisque les sumériens l'ont inventée il y a 10000 ans.


Ah, that makes sense. Thank you very much.


Another way to use this would be in a more literal way: "Jody is this [elephant] herd's matriarch, and its oldest female. Dina, from the Barombi herd, is also the oldest one, but it is actually her younger sister that is the matriarch".

[deactivated user]

    If it can be la plus ancienne, why not also le plus ancien? Marked wrong...


    It is also accepted for a translation exercise.


    The S in "plus" is read just because it makes a liaison, right?


    That's correct and with liason the "s" sounds like a "z".


    How do you know it is feminine?


    2019-03-22 As Vereschagin stated in a comment (currently) above, you know by the presence of the article la, rather than le. The difference can be heard as well as seen.


    'It is also the more ancient one.' Why would this be a wrong translation, for comparing the age of two pyramids, for example? ..

    EDIT: Duo now accepts : 'It is also the more ancient one.' [6 June 2014]..

    EDIT 02: Despite a note from Thankwee on behalf of the Duo team that it now accepts 'It is also the more ancient one', this translation was again marked wrong on 19 Jan. 2015. (This time round the word 'more' was crossed out.) Reported again.


    Standard English does not normally use "more" with adjectives in this way. The expression "la plus ancienne" = the oldest (one), not "the more old/ancient one".


    "It's also the more ancient" is one of the correct solutions but that's not proper English is it?


    It is, actually. If we were speaking of only two things, you couldn't have "the most ancient", but one could be "the more ancient". It's probably a little old-fashioned, but I wouldn't say it was wrong.


    You are correct


    I'm rather put out that 'eldest' wasn't accepted.


    "Eldest" refers to people and because this is referring to something other than a person "eldest" is not accepted.


    "eldest" is a different word in both english and french. The french version would be "aîné", as in "leur fils aîné".


    SO how would you say 'older' again?


    I think: (a) "This is older." = C'est plus ancienne, (b) "This is the older house" = C'est la maison plus ancienne, (c) "This is the oldest house" = C'est la maison la plus ancienne.


    I said "it is also more ancient" and it was not accepted...maybe I don't understand "plus" very well. I thought plus implied "greater than, but in this situation it is the most. Help!


    You are correct in your understanding of plus. The problem is you didn't consider the presence of la in this example.

    une bonne pomme = a good apple

    la bonne pomme = the right apple.

    What is the difference? Because of all the good apples that are available, one of them is the good one. Not a good one but the good one. The most good of all the good apples. The right/correct apple if you are choosing a good apple.

    In this Duo example here, we have the same thing. Not just a more ancient something but the more ancient something. If you are looking to choose from more ancient somethings, this is the one. The most ancient of all the more ancient somethings.


    can someone explain when I'd use vieux/âgé/ancien? if I'm talking about cheese, which is it?


    But isn't 'c'est' masculine?


    It is masculine by default, but it is not only masculine. I.e., it doesn't mean that it cannot be followed by feminine adjectives.


    Just a reminder for everyone: pay CLOSE attention to the article


    I am often confused by how many words are extremely similar and therefore find it difficult to figure out which word should be used here. Why is it ancienne and not ancien?


    La ancienne (feminine) Le ancien (masculine)


    I thought this was the case but I had a question earlier that said Ellen est... And it told me ancienne was wrong


    I'm going to go out on a bit of limb here. I think "ancien/ancienne" is best applied to objects. "Vieux/vieil" would be more appropriate for individuals.


    OK thank you! :) I'm still a little confused because the sentence is c'est so since there is no explicit gender I used the masculine


    If you were providing a French translation from English you could equally have replied "C'est aussi le plus ancien."

    The suggested correct answer uses "C'est … la" so it uses the feminine form: ancienne.


    But "Ce" is third person masculine, so have to use "le plus ancien" because ancien is masculine form. Why isnt it so?


    It's true that "c'est" by default would be masculine, but it is not only masculine. I.e., if there is nothing else after it that changes that notion, it would be considered masculine. In this exercise, the "it" referred to by "ce" is a feminine noun.


    What's the difference between the above sentence and this one: "Elle est bien plus ancienne." It is much more ancient. Why one sentence uses the demonstrative adjective while the other doesn't?

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