"This is a serious problem; let's explain it to her."

Translation:C'est un grave problème, expliquons-le-lui.

July 14, 2020

This discussion is locked.


Why is "grave" before the noun instead of after? It does not appear to be a BANGS adjective. Would probleme serieux also be correct?


I saw the above word order earlier in previous examples but just had this accepted “ c'est un problème grave; expliquons-le-lui.” Others more knowledgeable than me have written that the French have never heard of BANGS and that what decides if the adjective goes in front, or behind the noun depends on whether it is subjective (a matter of opinion) or objective (a generally accepted truth). Here “grave” (depending on the severity) could be either; so is rightly accepted on either side of the noun.


I like this answer. I also read that while the BANGS is a great guideline set up by teachers, it only references A DEFINED LIST specific(highly common adjectives). They are:grand (big, tall) petit (small) bon (good)mauvais (bad) meilleur (better) jeune (young) vieux (old) autre (other) beau (beautiful) faux (false, fake)gros (large, fat) haut (high, tall) joli (pretty) même (same) nouveau (new)!! Of course other adjectives (like propre/dernier) have interchangeable placemt and meaning usages. Propre before the noun means OWN and propre AFTER the noun means CLEAN!

  • c'est un grave / sérieux problème -> that's a subjuctive opinion
  • c'est un problème grave / sérieux -> that's a more objective statement

all these options are accepted


Excellent information! Thanks and have a LINGOT!

Here is a great list of adjectives with figurative/objective placement alternatives. https://www.thoughtco.com/fickle-french-adjectives-1368793


I rated "grave" on the bad side of the Goodness criteria, and so put it ahead of "problème." Was I right, but for the wrong reason?


When do you put the pronouns hyphenated after the verb and when do you put them before the verb?


In the imperative, you put them after the verb and hyphenate them if it's an affirmative sentence (e.g. "Give it to him" -> Donne-le-lui.)

If it is a negated imperative sentence, you put them in front of the verb and non-hyphenated, like a standard sentence (e.g. "Don't give it to him" -> Ne le lui donne pas).


You only put them after in the imperative mood only, and they are always hyphenated in this case.


Adjectives that go before nouns: BANGS + Longue + Grave


Grave isn't one of BANGS but Long(ue) seems to be about size isn't it?


Or, "c'est un grave problème on le lui expliquer"?

  • 1764

The verb needs to be conjugated to match the third person singular subject «on», which could be translated as "one", or "you" or "we". «On explique» = "we explain" or «on expliquera» = "we will explain".
Neither of these really matches the suggestion (or exhortation) of "let us explain" = «expliquons».


The voice is a irritant


Why not expliquons-la-lui?


"Le" is the COD here, "problème", which is masculine. "To her" translates as "lui".


Why is it un grave probleme and not une grave probleme ... isn't it feminine?


Hi, 'problème' is masculine.


c'est un problème serieux, l'expliquons à elle ok, so my translation was wrong. My thought was "le" could come before the verb and elide. Can someone explain why this is wrong. The word orders in this exercise have me completely confused


When you are using the IMPERATIVE.(in the affirmative).. the direct and indirect objects go AFTER the verb and a hyphen is put between them. It is somewhat confusing but inviolate.


c'est un grave problème, on explique le-lui Why is this wrong?


you are using 'on' as a subject pronoun so it reads explique as the third person singular present tense of the verb expliquer... and in that case the object pronouns (both direct and indirect) must precede the verb. You are saying "we(on) are explaining it to them) but using the wrong syntax. In the IMPERATIVE the object pronouns trail the verb with hyphens added....BUT one of the requirements for the IMPERATIVE is you drop the subject pronoun...here you added 'on',... and also change the verb from first person (let us(we)).


Merci, I have been trying different constructions on these exercises hoping to better understand. The use of "Let's (i.e. Let us) to me implies a suggestion rather than an Imperative. After I exhaust all possibilities, I'm sure this will become easier.


Cest une probleme seriuse expliquons la lui ?


probleme is masc. un/le.Also if you forgot the hyphens in the imperative may trigger error.

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