1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Les robes et la pomme sont r…

"Les robes et la pomme sont rouges."

Translation:The dresses and the apple are red.

March 30, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I really can't hear if she says "les robes" or "le robe". Frankly it sounds more like singular than plural to me.


anyway, "le robe" does not exist. Robe is a feminine word: la robe.


Yes, you can hear! Everyone can. Those having trouble with this are simply not listening in the right place!

If you're listening to the noun for the "s" sound to determine plural, then that's your mistake.

To simplify for the purpose of this thread, the "s" sound is silent in the spoken form. (Exceptions would be when followed by a word beginning with a vowel-sound where a liaison is necessary to notify the listener with a z-sound beginning the next word).

So, in French, you must listen to the article to determine plurals.

If you listen in the right place, then you will recognize it, instantly, as the recording can be clearly heard as saying "les robes" phonetically "lā rōb" hence: "The dresses."

If it were "the dress" (See, in English the article doesn't change?) then you would hear, phonetically, "la rōb" written "la robe" hence: the singular, "the dress."

It's easy really when you look in the right place.


Thank you for your explanation, but how can you tell if it's plural if the noun is masculine?


Neither noun here is masculine, do you mean in a hypothetical case? And how can one tell if anything is plural "in spoken form" then the answer is by listening for the article in this case "les" and by comprehending what the sentence is about from context. Even from context here, we know this is plural simply because of the conjunction "et" as 'this and that equals two things' and two things or more are naturally plural by definition. If your question is about how does one know the gender of the nouns from the plural article, then the answer would be - one memorizes them, as the plural article is always masculine as a courtesy to men in a mixed group, as I understand the convention came to be. Good advice is when you create flash cards, always include the gender too, so that you not only memorize the noun but it's gender from the very start. Good luck and I hope one of these answers is the one you sought.


but then there´s no ¨las¨ knowing that ¨robes¨ it´s a plural feminine word?


Nope. The plural 'the' is always les regardless of gender :)


First of all, "la" sounds like "lah", "le" sounds like "luh". It is what it would sound like if you have indigestion/ heart burn, and "les" sounds like"lay". Familiarize yourself with how these articles sound and this will help you out a lot. With that being said la robe is a feminine noun, in the plural it is les robes. As long as you remember that the singular form is la robe, then you won't have a problem figuring out that les robes is the plural. Also this site fails to tell you that in French the last consonant isn't pronounced. The only time the last consonant is pronounced is in cases such as les enfants (lez unfont) . The "s" is pronouced in this case because of pronunciation reasons. This is really good because it is very easy to tell the difference between the singular and plural of this noun. In the singular, the noun is l'enfant. The article and the noun are scrunched together. This to is mainly for pronunciation reasons. It's a mouthful to say le enfant (luh uhnfont), so instead you would say "luhnfont". Whenever there is a noun that begins with a vowel, it is scrunched with the ending of the word before it. Hope that explained a lot and it wasn't too confusing.


Thank you! That is very helpful! But another question that I have is that it seems like the final consonant has some effect on how the final vowel is pronounced. Do you know if this is the case? If so, would you be able to explain the pattern?


ending -e is only used to pronounce the preceding consonant:

  • vert [VER] - verte [VERTT]

if an -s comes after the -e-, ie for plural, it does not change:

  • vertes [VERTT]

now, if the following word starts with a vowel, then you hear a small EU sound:

  • vertes années [VER-Teu-Z-A]


So is that the same reason we have les hommes with the les = lez?

Could you also explain the logic with the masculine and feminine forms? As in when does one use masculine over feminine? Is there ANY hard and fast rule? (even one with exceptions?)


There is no absolute logic with masculine and feminine genders, unfortunately. Often, the Latin etymology explains why a word is one or the other gender. But that does not explain why the Romans actually picked masculine, feminine or neutral for their nouns.

However, there are a few trends you may memorize, like all nouns ending in -tion are feminine (no exception that I know of).

Many other 'rules' have a number of exceptions, so...

So you are left with the task to learn each noun with its own gender.


Yes, that is the same we have the tie over with les and hommes. Its a liason and allows the sentence to flow


go to Google Translate, enter "la robe, les robes", click on the loudspeaker and listen carefully (and repeatedly) until you hear it properly and are able to repeat exactly what you hear.


This is a great idea, and better yet type in "la robe, les robes, le garcon" (it will know that you meant to use the cédille). Then you'll clearly be able to clearly hear that all three definite articles are clearly different.


How to find the difference when she is saying the plural of the word robe or the singular of the word robe:

  • Le = masculine

  • La = feminine

The word "robe" is a feminine word, so that means if you were to say the dress in French it would be "la robe" not "le robe". Yes, when she says "les" it does sound like "le" but it does not sound like "la". Therefore she is saying "les robes" (not "le robe") because it is not possible that the word robe can be masculine.


I simply cannot hear the plurality of the subject. Even listening slowly and carefully, I cannot hear it.


Don't you hear the difference of vowel sounds between "les" (pommes) and "la" (robe)? LEH vs LA?


because it is wrong. Doesnt matter if its a feminine word or not. Its a basic lesson we are not suppose to know if its masculine or feminine. They really need to fix the plurality of the sounds. I´ve done a lot of the Spanish lessons but French is just a pain! Have to restart every time because of the poor dictate


why the word red needs to put plural. i dont get it


In French, adjectives, like personal pronouns, agree in gender and number with objects they refer to. So one red apple + one red apple = 2 red apples but une pomme rouge + une pomme rouge = 2 pommes rougeS


I never know when to add an s at the ends of words :/


The general form of plural for nouns and adjectives is the addition of an -s at the end. Of course there are a number of exceptions:

  • un ours gris - des ours gris (nothing changes because the -s is already there in singular)
  • une ourse grise - d es ourses grises (+ -e for feminine + -s for plural).

A number of words finishing in -ou take an -x in plural:

  • bijou (jewel), caillou (stone), chou (cabbage), genou (knee), hibou (owl), joujou (toy), pou (lice).

All words finishing in -eau take an -x in plural:

  • un château, des châteaux (castle), un gâteau, des gâteaux (cake)

More here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/nouns_5.htm


Regarding nouns listed above (bijou,...) that finish in -ou, do they form a complete list of exceptions of that kind in French? In other words, does any other noun ending in -ou, which is not listed above, necesserily take -s/-es in plural form, or maybe there are still other nouns ending in -ou that are not listed above, but which also form plural with -x? Thanks for an answer in advance.


Yes, the 7 nouns in -ou listed above are the only ones with plural in -x. All others get an -s in plural.


cant tell if it is saying la robe or les robes... how are we supposed to know?!?



Go to Google/Translate, type down: "la, les" on the French side and click on the loudspeaker, again, again, again, repeat with the voice, again, again, again, listen to your own voice marking the difference, again, again, again. Then redo your lesson with "la robe/les robes" and check whether you have made any progress. Then come back and tell me...


I also haver aproblem with RED being plural ,how can that be??


if you are alone, you say "I/je"; if you are together with a buddy, you say "we/nous". if there is one apple, you say "it/elle"; if there are several objects (apples, dresses...), you will say "they/ils/elles".

In French, adjectives, like personal pronouns, agree in gender and number with objects they refer to.

So one red apple + one red apple = 2 red apples but une pomme rouge + une pomme rouge = 2 pommes rougeS


So just for my own clarification, it isn't JUST because we had multiple dresses in the statement, right? So would this be correct as well:

La robe et la pomme sont rouges?


one dress + one apple still make a plural subject.


That I understand; what was not clear is that "le robe" and "les robes" like many other plural nouns and adjectives sound like they are in the singular. I have figured out on my own that regardless how they say, we have to pay attention to the verb form. That would be the indicator that it is "les robes" instead of "le robe." Thanks anyway! This is fun!


again: le robe does not work, robe is feminine: LA robe.


Is is the audio which makes it so hard to catch the 's', or is it really that difficult to differentiate in French?


-s endings of plural words are mute, unless there is a good reason for a liaison with the next word (starting with a vowel or a non-aspired H). Therefore, only context will help you differentiate singular and plurals, for example: if the verb is conjugated in plural, the subject is plural as well (article + noun + adjective).


I do not understand why red has to be plural


i have the most problems with sound files. how can i train my ear to hear french better?


go to Google Translate, enter "la robe, les robes", click on the loudspeaker and listen carefully (and repeatedly) until you hear it properly and are able to repeat exactly what you hear.


Why say "rouges?" Red isn't the plural, it's the colour. It just seems pointless to me


"rouge" is an adjective, like "red".

In English, adjectives are invariable.

In French, they are not, they have to agree with the noun they modify, i.e they take the feminine mark if the noun is feminine and the plural mark if the noun is plural.

In the case of "rouge", it is easier because "rouge" is the form for feminine and masculine, singular nouns:

-un stylo rouge et vert, une pomme rouge et verte.

In plural, "rouge" takes the usual -s ending:

-des stylos rouges et verts, des pommes rouges et vertes

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.