I'm wondering if there is anyway to tell the difference between him hiding his own shirt and him hiding someone else's shirt.
For example, if I was talking about a friend of my hiding his dirty shirt I would say "Il cache sa chemise sale". However, if I wanted to say that he was hiding his girlfriend's shirt would I not also say "il cache sa chemise sale"? Is there anyway to be unambiguous here or is it purely based on context?
Also, of course, if you wanted to clarify that he is hiding his OWN shirt as opposed to his brother's (or his sister's) shirt you would insert the word "own": "He is hiding his own dirty shirt" = "Il cache sa propre chemise sale". It's kind of a funny example, because "propre" before the noun means "own" but after the noun means "clean".
Same as in english: "he is hiding his dirty shirt" could mean both that he is hiding his own dirty shirt or that he is hiding one of his friend's shirt.
In this sentence, the person doing the hiding is in the third person singular (il/elle), so if he owns the shirt then the possesive pronoun should also be in the third person singular (son/sa). Now if the owner of the shirt were to be one of his friends, this friend would also be in the third person singular and thus use the same possesive pronoun. The only way to differentiate would be to specify whose shirt is it.
However, if the person doing the hiding was in the third person and the owner of the shirt was in any other grammatical person, then the sentence itself would differentiate that he is hiding someone else's shirt. Examples of this are the following: "il cache ma chemise", "il cache ta chemise", "il cache leur chemise" and so on...
I tend to really suck at explaining myself, but I hope this helps.
Serdna29, just want to point out that regardless of whether it is "il" or "elle" who own the "chemise" the possessive pronoun in this casw will be "sa" because "chemise" is feminine. You probably already know this but just mentioning it in case someone else thinks (son/sa) depend on the the subject that possesses whatever is being discussed.
Are you sure about that? After all, sa chemise already means "her or his shirt" which shows possession so I don't know how you can then add à elle which also shows possession.
"He hides her shirt" and "he hides his shirt" are both il cache sa chemise. If you need clarification and missed the beginning of the conversation to know whose shirt was hidden, then I believe you would have to ask à qui appartient la chemise ? Or la chemise, c'est à lui ou elle ?
@ Kenneqwynr. Well I've just checked in my Collins Robert (Eng-Fr pp1242) and the very first translation for Conceal is "Cacher" . I then looked up Hide (on pp 1510) and the very first translation is "Cacher". So you were correct and Duo should accept conceal(s)(ing) but not concealed (past tense).
Why is it in this case the order "chemise sale" vs "sale chemise" and with the a different question previously about a pretty skirt, I got it wrong when putting the adjective after: "jupe jolie". They said that was wrong and needed to be "jolie jupe". Direct object and adjective rules please?
Usually it is the BAGS adjectives that come before the noun; that is, adjectives that describe Beauty, Age, Good or Bad, Size. However, the position of the adjective can depend on the meaning intended (whether it is fact or figurative/personal opinion). More info about that here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm
There might be an exception to the BAGS rule with "a good man", un homme bon because IIRC "bon homme" sounds like bonhomme which I believe means "a little man".
Most adjectives go after the noun but the acronym BAGS can help you know some of those that go before the noun. Those are adjectives that talk about Beauty (une belle fille), Age (un jeune homme), Good (or bad) (une bonne journeé) and Size (une petite chambre).
You can read more about this here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm