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"Ma chemise a différentes couleurs."

Translation:My shirt has various colors.

March 28, 2013

71 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wiredg2

what? it is impossible to detect the difference between singular and plural. So I of course guessed "ma chemise a différente couleur" and got it WRONG!


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

in this sentence "different colors" means "various colors", so it needs a plural.

if you want to use singular in real life, you will say: ma chemise a une couleur différente (= different from that of my pants, for example)


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

I love your answers man... Always looking for what YOU said when I’m at all confused...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/puppy7989

me too - sitesurf is amazingly succinct and incredibly patient.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MARILYN809884

I need to be this patient with myself. Heehee


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RakeshSing237024

I heard that Sitesurf is a lady. Obviously, no way for us to tell so a lot of us have been making this mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jude484365

But why is there no article?


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

Jude, see ThanKwee's answer to radoskan's question below...


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

Why does it lack the articles "des" or "de"? After all, it's normal plural, isn't it...? ;_;


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

When "différents/différentes" is placed before the noun, it means "various". "Various" is an indefinite adjective and is therefore a determiner, much like words such as "plusieurs" and "certains/certaines".

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_indefinite.htm

French indefinite adjectives, sometimes called affirmative indefinite adjectives, are used to modify nouns in an unspecific sense.

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/determiners.htm

The grammatical term "determiner" refers to a word, either an article or a certain type of adjective, which simultaneously introduces and modifies a noun


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

what is difference between "differentes couleurs" and "couleurs differentes"?


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

"différentes couleurs" would be "various colors", like many colors.

"couleurs différentes" would be "different colors", implying different from... my pants (for example)


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

I knew it would mark it wrong, but it doesn't like "varicolored" apparently. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetBerry2

Or multicoloured


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

I just had to google that, Sean. You learn something new each day... :-)


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

Or even brindle. Words. Don't you just love 'em?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanda655505

Yes, Sean, thank you for pied. I love it! Brindle is a good word too, but I don't think it applies in this exercise.


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

Why "differente couleur" is not accepted as "differentes couleurs"? It is pronounced identically, so it is impossible to distinguish those variants.


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

The singular of the given sentence would be: ma chemise a une couleur différente (note that the adjective has to come after the noun in that case).

Then the meaning would be "a color different from that of my pants/my tie/my sweater..."


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

Hm, indeed, you are right. Always underestimating articles as my native language does not have any.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erick.canizalez

Just a simple question: why "différentes" (feminin), and not masculin? are the colors a feminine word in french?


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

Yes, une couleur is a feminine noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam520742

Well that answered my query too. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alice795902

It should allow 'is' as well as 'has' different colours as 'is' would be more idiomatic English


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

Why not 'My shirt IS different colours' ? I'm not a native french speaker, so if someone could explain it would be helpful :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrsCarolyn1

No-one says has different colours - it should be "my shirt is of different colours"


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

why doesn't it accept blouse?


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

blouse = un chemisier (women's shirts)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marylynch17

why is it 'has' rather than 'is'? I know the french say a shirt has colours but we (in England) would definitely say 'My shirt is different colours'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanda655505

Marylynch, we are known to say it both ways, has or is, in American English. We also say multi-colored, various colors, a variety of colors, all kinds of colors, different colors, etc., whatever. The person on the other end knows that it's not one color,and probably more than two.


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

Really? Wow! That "is" sounds very strange to my (South African) ears!


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

Why not many colors


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

many = beaucoup


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

Is the "T" sound the only indication that it is plural? Is it the colours that are plural - a red, white, and blue shirt?


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

No, the T sound indicates that it is followed by an -e, which is the feminine mark.

The plural mark is -s and it remains mute.

  • un ton différent, des tons différents [diferɑ̃]
  • une couleur différente / des couleurs différentes [diferɑ̃T]

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

How can you tell by listening that the colors are plural. differente couleur? differentes couleurs?


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

Singular: ma chemise a une couleur différente.


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

It's difficult when you can't HEAR the difference between singular and plural. I took it to mean "My dress is a different color".


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

The singular would be: ma chemise a une couleur différente.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sheilah786457

Why is BLOUSE marked wrong?


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

blouse = un chemisier


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Twizzle20

how the heck are we supposed to hear the 's' in these plurals? ridiculous


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

"MA chemise A" is quite different in singular vs the plural "MES chemises ONT"

"differentes couleurs" is in plural, otherwise you would have "UNE couleur différente".


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

Why doesn't differente take its gender from couleur?


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

But it does. Une couleur --> des couleurs ---> différentes couleurs


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

Why shouldn't it be "Ma chemise a des différentes couleurs" instead. Why is there no article?


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

It has something to do with the fact that "différentes" in front of the noun means "various".


[deactivated user]

    "Ma shirt" dont work


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

    No, this doesn't work, because "ma" is not an English word: "My shirt has various colors" is correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanda655505

    "Ma" is what my children call me, and what I called my mother, and American English. Just a little joke Sitesurf.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanda655505

    That's in American English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnitaVandi2

    I thought it was : Ma chemise a DES différentes couleurs. No ?


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

    This is not very grammatical, nor everyday, but WHAT??????


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jason361853

    Is it correct that it would be "une différente couleur" if it was referring to just one?


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

    That would be "une couleur différente". The reason that "différentes" is in front of the noun in the original sentence, is because here it means "several/various" - i.e. "different" in that sense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5clothilde7

    DO we use the verb "have" in this sense in English? Or do we rather describe what the shirt 'is' - variegated/colorful/'many-colored'..?


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

    Either is fine, but "multi-colored" is probably the most natural way of saying it.

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