"Your new jeans are dirty."
Translation:Votre nouveau jean est sale.
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.
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
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.
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"
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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? :)
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.