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  5. "Your new jeans are dirty."

"Your new jeans are dirty."

Translation:Votre nouveau jean est sale.

April 4, 2013



Why is nouveau before jean and neuf after??


Any adjective that has to do with Beauty, Age, Goodness and Size goes before the noun (B.A.G.S).


I thought that how new something was didn't qualify as "age" for bags adjectives?


The more complete version of the acronym is B.A.N.G.S where N = numbers.



In French sentences most adjectives come after the noun but there are some common adjectives that come before the noun.

"BAGS" or BANGS" are ways of remembering some of the adjectives that come before the noun.

The letters stand for:-

Beauty - Age - Number - Goodness (and badness) - Size.

So adjectives relating to these tend to come before the noun.

Checkout link for more information on the position of adjectives in French.



Thank you very much. Do you know of anything other hints that may help me?


Check out the lesson tips in the website.


Nouveau is used when you're talking about something new to the speaker and not necessary brandnew. While neuf is used when you're talking about something brandnew/newly-made. Nouveau follows BANGS rule and preceded the noun while neuf doesn't follow that rule, so it follows the noun. Ref: https://www. french.about.com/od/mistakes/a/new.htm


Thank you, trung, that was a very helpful answer


I have the same question. I read the discussion here and still can't figure it out.


what is the difference between nouveau and neuf? How is nouveau wrong in this instance?


For the difference between "nouveau / nouvelle" and "neuf" see http://french.about.com/od/mistakes/a/new.htm


Doesn't neuf mean 9?


Yes, Katerina, but as a noun. As an adjective it can mean New or Unused.


This points out that neuf means unused or unchanged but they were changed, they were dirty.


Hi Tomer, so, ever heard of "shop soiled"?


that doesn't change anything they were once clean and after a period of time they became dirty


Yup. Certainly. So were they changed in the task sentence?


that's nice thanka


That WAS helpful - thank you!


If i figured it out right, i have new sock is "j'ai nouveu chaussette", i have new socks is "j'ai neuf chaussettes"


j'ai neuf chaussettes = 9 socks


Nouveau isn't wrong, unless they fixed something recently.


Can someone tell me the difference between nouveau and nouvelle?


Nouveau is used for masculine nouns, and nouvelle for feminine. LE NOUVEAU pantalon LA NOUVELLE chemise


Can someone explain why "jean est sale" and not "jean sont sale"?


"Jean" is singular in French, like "pantalon". "Le jean" means "the pair of jeans" - it's treated as one object. "Les jeans sont sales" would mean multiple pairs of jeans.


I responded: "Tes nouveaux jeans sont sales" and got it right.


It's right because the sentence in English could mean that she got multiple pairs of new jeans dirty. It's up to you how you understood it. What makes it right is that you were consistent with the plural. It would not be correct if you had said "jean sont" or "jeans est".


I said "vos nouveaux jeans sont sales" and also got it right.


It's also new but in the sense of brand new or unused. Nouveau is in the sense of newly acquired or possessed.


Jeans or jean? Where do I use Jean and where do I use Jeans?



In French "jean" means a single garment and so is treated exactly the same as any other single garment. "la robe" or "le chapeau" (hat) "le jean".

So in French if we are referring to a single pair of jeans it is "un jean" exactly as single hat is "le chapeau".

If we are referring to several pairs of jeans then it is "les jeans" .

The confusion really comes from the English not the French - in English the single garment is referred to using a plural noun "jeans".

In English garments such as pants, trousers, shorts, knickers - are all referred to using a plural noun even if it is a single item.

In French all the equivalent are referred to as singular. Really the French is more sensible.


Hah! Excellent as always. Thank you Patrick.. So clear and easily understood.


This is the first time I've seen "Neuf" used in this context. Could someone clarify how to distinguish between its use as an adjective (New) and a noun (9). For example, if someone were to say "J'ai neuf livres" - how would I know if they are saying "I have nine books" or "I have new books"? (Probably not the best example, sorry).



"J'ai neuf livres" = "I have nine books"

As an adjective "neuf" follows the noun. Also when "neuf" is used as an adjective (new) the sentence needs a determiner (eg an article).

"I have new books" = "J'ai des livres neufs"

"I have a new book" = "J'ai un livre neuf"


why does the adjective "nouveau" come before the noun?

  1. Placement after the noun

Most descriptive adjectives are placed after the noun they modify. These normally have an analytical meaning, in that they classify the noun into a certain category. These types of adjectives include shape, color, taste, nationality, religion, social class, and other adjectives that describe things like personality and mood.

une table ronde - round table un livre noir - black book du thé sucré - sweet tea une femme américaine - American woman

In addition, present participles and past participles used as adjectives are always placed after the noun.

une histoire intéressante - interesting story un débat passionné - lively debate

  1. Placement before the noun

Certain adjectives are placed before the noun, some which you can memorize with the acronym "BAGS":

Beauty Age Good and bad Size (except for grand with people - see 3, below)

These descriptors - and a few others - are considered inherent qualities of the noun:

une jolie fille - pretty girl un jeune homme - young man une nouvelle maison - new house un bon enfant - good child

  1. Placement depends on meaning

Some adjectives have both a figurative and an analytic (literal) sense and can thus be placed on either side of the noun. When the adjective is figurative, it goes before the noun, and when it's analytic, it goes after the noun.

Figurative: mes vertes années my green (fruitful) years Literal: des légumes verts green vegetables

Figurative: un certain regard a certain (type of) look Literal: une victoire certaine a certain (assured) victory


good explanation


very well explained, thanks!


Oh dear, ferynn. I understand most of your excellent post. However I struggle with the Participle. Please will you lead me through your example "Une histoire interessante"... "An interesting story" and explain why the word "Interesting" is a present participle and not just an adjective. Many thanks.


Any English word ending in "-ing" is a present participle. More precisely this could be a present participle verb (She is falling) or a participial adjective (a falling star). In French these words end in "-ant/-ante"


Thank you. Well helpful.


Remember the rule for order of adjectives: BANGS. (these come before the noun) B - beauty/ugly A - age N - number G - good/bag S - size This helped me a lot! I hope it helps you.


In another solution: As the frase says "Your new jeans are dirty" it can't be translated as "Ton nouveau jean est sale"


actually, I put in the answer "votre jean neuf est sale" and an alternate correct answer was given by Duolingo as "Ton nouveau jean est sale" I don't understand why "neuf" goes after and "nouveau" goes before


Why is it singular in french when it could mean plural in English?


If 'jean' is considered singular, then why is 'ton' one of the accepted answers? I thought 'ton' was for a plural 'your'?


Tes is a singular "your" and a plural object. e.g: Your coats. Ton is a singular "your" and a masculine singular object. Ta is a singular "your" and a feminine singular object.

You use "votre" and "vos" in formal settings or when the possessor is plural. Votre for a singular object. e.g: Your hat. Vos for a plural object. e.g.: Your hats.


Thanks for clear explanation :)


tes nouveaux jeans sont sales, est ton nouveau jean est sale. both work, yes? translating such a sentence from english. Yet, now I figure, how many new pairs of jeans can you have and dirty all at one time. I forgot logic, mon mal (incorrect, yet I like it).


Jean is a singular noun in french, so tes nouveaux jeans sont sales is referring to multiple pairs of jeans. In this case, we're only talking about one pair of jeans.


Actually, in this case, it's ambiguous in English. The only reason to assume one pair is that it's unlikely. But this isn't an exercise in probability. That's why both versions of the translation are acceptable.


Heumwil443.... "How many new pairs of jeans can you have and dirty all at one time?" Well how many mothers have asked just THAT of their sons/daughters when they've returned home for the home visit after a few weeks at Uni???


You pay more for ruined jeans.... Maybe this is the next step.


God help Oxfam then!


Oxfam can sell their dirty, used jeans back to the western world at a higher price and make profit.


Why can't it be 'jeans neuf', only 'nouveau jeans'??


I used 'jean neuf' and it was accepted. :)


'Neuf' was okay, but 'jeans' should have been 'jean'.


Both would be incorrect because it's jeans neufs and nouveaux jeans (or jean neuf and nouveau jean).


If jeans is singular in French why is the plural of nouveauX and saleS correct and the singulars incorrect?


'Jeans' isn't singular in French; 'jean' is. So you could say Votre nouveau jean est sale or Vos nouveaux jeans sont sales.


I said, "Votre jean nouveau est sale." I got marked wrong. I'm really confused by this one. It says I could say, "Ton nouveau jean est sale," or, "Votre jean neuf est sale." Neuf wasn't one of the possibilities provided. While I know the list isn't comprehensive, and is frequently misleading out of context, it's frustrating to spend so much time trying to figure it out and still get it wrong (twice!). Any suggestions?


'Nouveau' always comes before and 'neuf' after then noun it's modifying.


Why doesn't 'jean' require an article or a...whatever grammatical category du and des fall under? Socks = des chaussettes. Wine = du vin. Etc. Why not jean? Thanks!


It does. Un jean. Some jeans might be des jeans. (Don't quote me on that one).


Thank you koshermal. I know it takes an article when unmodified. I'm just confused about this instance. My understanding is that "Red socks" would be something like "Des chaussettes rouges." My guess is "New socks" would be "Des nouvelles chaussettes." So I was wondering why is it not "Du nouveau jean" or "Des nouveaux jeans."

Although after typing all that I realize the 'article' I am looking for is probably replaced/assumed/subsumed by the possessive pronoun. Is that correct?

Thus "Your new socks" would be Vos nouvelles chaussettes. NOT Vos des nouvelles chaussettes?


Yes, that's correct. It is implied in the use of a possessive determiner.


Because there is a possessive adjective (also known as a possessive determiner), which already implies a definite article. My jeans = the jeans that belong to me.


neuf means unused and could be used as a synonym for nouveau


why is this wrong? Votre nouvelle jeans es sale


a) nouvelle is the feminine and jean is masculine and b) es is the wrong conjugation.


jean = a pair of jeans (the French have "a jean", not a pair!); est = is (es = are, as in "you are"): Votre nouveau jean est sale


But to be clear though, es wouldn't be correct even if this were plural jeans. Es is the form for informal 2nd-person singular, not 3rd-person plural, which would be sont. Vos nouveaux jeans sont sales.


How do I know when to put 'du' before a noun?


"du" is the contraction of "de le"

So once you know where you would put "de le" you will know when to use "du". Now the trick is to know when you have to use "de le" :-)


I know its the contraction for de le, I was actually asking how do I know when to use it. There was another question where du jeans was used, but here it's not. This has occured for other words too, so I was just wondering how I could tell when to use du (or de la).


It's not used here because it's not "le jean" the jeans / the idea of jeans / all of the jeans, it's "votre (nouveau) jean" ( your (new) jeans ). In french a generic noun will almost always have an article ( le, la, une, mon, ta, votre, ... ) a major exception is adverbs of quantity which has it's own set of rules.



I don't understand why "Ton nouveau jean est sale" (familiar second person) is correct while "Votre nouveau jean est sale" (formal second person) is incorrect. (And I never ran across "neuf" in the lessons, but that's beside my point.)


"Votre nouveau jean est sale" is correct - if you were marked incorrect you must have made a mistake in typing.


I typed ton nouveau jean est sale and it was right, but I still don't understand why not ta nouveau jean est sale?


Because (le) jean = masculine therefore ton and nouveau. Has it been robe = feminine you would have used ta nouvelle robe to match the article and the adjective to the gender of the noun. Never every 'ta nouveau' since you are mixing genders.


Thank you!!! :-)


What is the difference between "nouveau" and "neufs"?


Go to http//french about.com/od/mistakes/a/new.htm. All is explained there.


Why isn't it "Ton nouveau jean est sal" Why "sale?" Isn't that feminine?


There is no « sal »; the masculine and feminine are both « sale ».


When is votre used? I wrote "votre jeans neufs sont sales" and got it wrong with the votre underlined.


Hi Notsonewbie. Don't know why Votre was underlined. Jeans in French is in singular form "Jean" so no "S" on the end of "Jean", that's what I would (and did) draw your attention to; however my thought is that because this is a programmed course, not every miniscule possibility has been addressed, therefore by putting the "S" on the end of "Jeans" the programme may well have required VOS not VOTRE, but for me, in this task, the correction it gave you was inappropriate. I'm not a professor of French and there may be a more academic reason. At least I've addressed that Votre is used to modify a singular noun and Vos is used to modify a plural noun, even when a singular in English can be both, as in fish, rice etc. Isn't language such Fun? :)


thanks that was helpful! have a lingo :)


your new jeans are dirty..... using are means plural not singular, so why we use the singular jean instead of plural?


Hiya May. This has been more-or-less addressed here already but I'll go through it for one last time. Both English and French have singular words which double up as plural as noted above and elsewhere here. In French Pants, Trousers and Jeans are all singular. I think it is because originally Pantalon was to cover only one leg at a time and thence became a "quirk" in the language. So, in French, Pantalon is singular but in translation to English becomes plural. Hence Est (Is) is used. There is a plural though, when their is more than one single "pair" of pantalon/jean; then, and only then is the article plural (Les/Des/Vos/Tes with "S" added to Pantalon(s). I hope this helps.


Why was this wrong? Votre nouveau jeans sont sale


Hiya Jokerrmir. It is Votre (Te) NEAUVAUX jeans sont SALES


Suggested answer given was: "Ton jean 9 est sale."


jeans reste jeans en Anglais ou en français. Tes nouveau jeans sont sale Vos nouveau jeans sont sale Mes nouveau jeans sont sale


I had the right answer but did a check and there was no hint of “est” only “sont” so I changed it. Silly me!


Why isn't 'votre nouvel jean est sale' right?


Why is "are" translated as "est."

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