"Which one is red, which one is white?"
Translation:Laquelle est rouge, laquelle est blanche ?
For my exercise, I had to check off all possible answers. I was given "Lequel est rouge, lequel est blanc" and "laquelle... lequel". I picked only the one with both masculine, my reason being that "which ones" would refer to the same 'ones', whatever they are, and they can't change grammatical gender in one sentence. Is Duolingo missing something here, or am I?
You must have overlooked a word other than "lequel", because the correct answer is indeed the one with both objects being masculine, as it's shown above. Strictly speaking, it wouldn't be incorrect to use one object feminine and one object masculine (or even both feminine), as we don't have any context, we don't know exactly what question we're asking.
I know "lequel... lequel" is correct; that was never the issue. It's how you can refer to the same things as both "laquelle" and "lequel". I am very confident that I didn't overlook anything.
I suppose you could be talking about different "ones". Maybe, which dress and which pants. Laquelle (quelle robe) est rouge, lequel (quel pantalon) est blanc? Does that make sense? Maybe I got tripped up in punctuation, because I'd have those as fully separate sentences.
Duo can't choose "correctly" in these cases, because there's no correct answer, it can't know if you were trying to use "lequel" instead of "laquelle" or if you were trying to use "blanc" instead of "blanche", it has to decide arbitrarily which one will be displayed as an error.
A solution could be to display all possible correct answers, but apparently the devs don't think it's a good idea, maybe because they don't want to overwhelm learners, given that many sentences have several different translations. I don't know.
I think. You might be missing something there or possibly mem like you i checked the possibilities but settled for one gender "laquelle". However it is possible that "la quelle est rouge=feminine for the first part of the sentence; and the second part, "lequel est blanc". But I decided on trying to quess dl reaction to my combined gender and settled for the feminine only version. Help!
Well I don't see things this way. For me a pronoun is used accordingly to the gender of the noun he's replacing, but it doesn't give pronouns a gender.
For example if you use "Un de ces chiens est à moi." "lequel ?", we know that "chien" is masculine, so we use "lequel", there is no reason to say that "lequel" has the masculine gender. It's just a replacement for a masculine noun.
At least that's how I see pronouns, but maybe it's not true according to the "Académie Française".
For sure pronouns replace nouns and take their gender and number.
Still, in general, pronouns are said to have a gender (and a number), be them personal (il/elle), possessive (le mien, la mienne), demonstrative (celui, celle)... just a convention.
for learners interested in lequel, laquelle, etc... http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/lequel.htm
Theoretically, you could show two piles of things, one pile of masculine things and one pile of feminine things and ask: laquelle est rouge, lequel est blanc ?
"rouge" and "blanc" are adjectives which agree with the noun/pronoun they modify.
so if you associate "lequel" with "blanc", the adjective remains masculine; if you use "laquelle", "blanc" has to become "blanche" in feminine.
All colors are masculine in French, including red and white.
"Le blanc, le rouge."
In this sentence, we're not talking about colors, but colored objects, so "rouge" and "blanc" are not nouns, but adjectives.
As English doesn't have gender for nouns, the French sentence could be describing either:
- two objects using masculine nouns
- the first object using a feminine noun, the second object using a masculine noun
- the first object using a masculine noun, the second object using a feminine noun
- two objects using feminine nouns
As a result, we have four possible translations, all equally acceptable:
- "Lequel est rouge, lequel est blanc."
- "Laquelle est rouge, lequel est blanc."
- "Lequel est rouge, laquelle est blanche."
- "Laquelle est rouge, laquelle est blanche."
Note that "blanc" changes to "blanche" if the described noun is feminine, while "rouge" stays unchanged.