"Ne touche pas le rideau avec tes mains sales."

Translation:Don't touch the curtain with your dirty hands.

July 21, 2020

This discussion is locked.


I'd have expected les (not tes) mains sales.


Me too. It's surprising. When LES and when TES?


Read sth like this from another thread - the owner of the hands are not yet mentioned so it's normal for 'tes' to be used here.


So, the questions raised so far all concern the choice between tes and les, and I don't think they have been answered yet, at least not convincingly.

  1. Is tes appropriate here because, as gdobei points out, the owner of the hands are not (explicitly) mentioned previously in the sentence?
  2. Despite 1above, tu (2.SG) can be said to be the "covert" subject of this imperative sentence. Does this make les a viable alternative?
  3. Is the definite article (le/la/les) used for "inalienable possessions" like body parts only when it's in the direct or indirect object position? I (try to) understand that tes is chosen here because (avec) tes mains sales is not a direct or indirect object of the verb.

Thank you.


Please explain why the possessive "tes" is used. I thought the possessive is not used with body parts, or did I get that wrong ?


Well, certainly considering that saying "ne touche pas" would make clear that the dirty hands belong to "tu".


Sounds like my mum when I have just finished washing my hands!


Mouillées peut-être, mais toujours sales après les avoir lavées ?

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