"La largeur est de vingt centimètres, c'est étroit."
Translation:The width is twenty centimeters; that's narrow.
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Shouldn't the masculine "étroit" at the end of the sentence actually be the feminine "étroite"? It's describing 'largeur' which is back at the beginning of the sentence, I understand that. But does that matter in French? "Largeur" is feminine.
Standalone adjectives after "c'est" are always masculine.
I have huge difficulties in parsing the sounds of spoken French. In this sentence I heard "..c'est étroit.." as "..c'était trois..". ( it makes some sense, as in, the width is 20 cm, it used to be 3 ) And that's in a single sentence, spoken relatively slowly. Studying grammar, vocabulary, idiomatic constructions etc is all very fine but I can't seem to make my brain understand even simple things like this. any suggestions?
It's true, they both sound exactly the same. I struggle with the same problem - the slightest doubt or hesitation and I've lost the thread. It's easier in a one-to-one conversation because you have a measure of control but listening to a speech is so much more difficult. I've asked the same question a dozen times and unfortunately they keep using the c word at me - context! I have read that understanding any spoken language is about anticipating what might come next - so here I (still) am trying to learn all the possible permutations. It's the small words that get me when the French is going past me at a million miles an hour in a thick regional accent - was that un/une/en/on/an? By the time I've figured it out, everyone has gone home and is tucked up in bed! I am told 'cela viendra' so I will either succeed or die (of old age) trying! :)
Graham and Jeff. Yes! I feel your pain, because it is my problem too. Context is very hard to build up if every other word could be any one of four or five similar-sounding ones.
Actually they do not sound the same. You should train your ear to French sounds.
C'est étroit: ['sɛte,tʀwa]
C'était trois: [se'tɛ,tʀwa]
They differ for one phoneme (like bed and bad) and the position of the main tonic accent.
It is true though that sometimes the speech engines are not that good at rendering the sentences.
I wonder if it would be c'était de trois ? Since all other units of measurement are preceded by de. But then it might sound like Duo was talking about the roof of a doll house.
"The width is twenty centimetres, it is narrow." was accepted. Perhaps they didn't like your abbreviation, but it is correct.
This could be about measuring clothes so "tight" should be accepted for étroit" https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/%C3%A9troit We might also use "tight" if we are trying to fit something in to a narrow gap.