For some reason Duolingo provides access to the Tips and Notes only on its Web platform, and not on either the Android or iOS app. On the Web platform, even on a phone, a particular lesson would show a lightbulb icon, if it offers some Tips and Notes for the lesson's topics.
They do, but some of them have a different meaning depending on their placement:
- un jeune homme = a young man (18-30)
- un homme jeune = a man who seems young in the context, for instance: "le nouveau président de la république française est un homme jeune" - he is 39, a young age for a president.
I didnt get this. The S in BANGS is for size, which means "grand" must be placed before "homme" to indicate the idea of big size. However, in the example that you gave, "un homme grand = a tall man" , "grand" follows "homme".
Also," un jeune homme = a young man (18-30)". The Tips and notes for adjectives say that an adjective before the noun has a figurative meaning. so, here jeune is before homme,"but,a young man (18-30)" is not figurative. It is a literal meaning. You literally mean here that the man is young.
@sitesurf, I am sorry there is some misunderstanding here. I know grand corresponds to the S in BANGS, and jeune corresponds to the A in BANGS.
My question is something else.
According to BANGS, "grand" must be placed before "homme" to indicate the idea of big size. However, in the example that you gave, "un homme grand = a tall man" , "grand" follows "homme".
Secondly, in the example that you gave ," un jeune homme = a young man (18-30)". But, The Tips and notes for adjectives say that an adjective before the noun has a figurative meaning. so, here jeune is before homme,"but,a young man (18-30)" is not figurative. It is a literal meaning. You literally mean here that the man is young.
The rules are:
1) French adjectives, including objective adjectives are placed after the noun - example: color adjectives.
2) A group of adjectives are placed before the noun, including:
BANGS - une belle plage (nice), une jeune personne (young), un deuxième verre (second), une grande maison (large), une gentille dame (kind), un petit chien (small/little).
Some adjectives that are usually placed after the noun can be placed before the noun with a change in meaning - un homme pauvre (without financial resources) vs un pauvre homme (miserable/pitiful)
There are exceptions to the above rules.
- un grand homme (a great man) vs un homme grand (a tall man)
- une grande femme or une femme grande (a tall woman) vs une femme brillante/remarquable (a great woman).
I think the best explanation I've seen is that if the adjective comes before the noun, it means something literal. So 'le jeune homme' means a man who is young, while 'le homme jenue' is more figurative, as in, he is young for his position. So if you were discussing French President Macron and you said 'Il est un jeune homme,' you'd be saying he's literally a young man. But if you said of him, 'Il est un homme jeune,' you'd be saying that he was young to be holding the office of president.
85% of French adjectives are placed after the noun.
Some of them can have 2 placements: before the noun with a subjective meaning and after the noun with an objective meaning.
Adjectives describing beauty, age, numbers, goodness/badness and size (BANGS) are irregular and placed before the noun, with a few exceptions you will learn here. The example of President Macron being "un homme jeune", that I explained above on this thread, is one of these exceptions.
Thank you, Sitesurf, for being so patient with us on this tricky topic.
May I check something with you? I am thinking that there is a difference between "les robes longues" (from another exercise) and "les longues robes". Perhaps when the adjective goes before the noun, it is a subjective size attribute, and when the order is reversed, the phrase refers to dresses of a certain type -- perhaps evening gowns. Is there indeed such a distinction? I hope I didn't get them backwards.
"long, longue, longs, longues" is one of these adjectives that are usually placed before the noun but that you can place after the noun with a slight change in meaning.
So, "une longue robe" is a dress you judge as long with your own criteria (a long dress), just as "un long moment", "de longs trains", "de longues jambes" (legs)...
Clothes or clothing parts use the adjective as factual, because they are terms used by the whole textile industry: des manches longues, un pantalon long, une robe longue.
I guess I was on the right track. Thanks for clearing up my doubts, Sitesurf. To understand just what the French clothing industry means by "les robes longues", I looked it up at Amazon.fr. I see that whether casual or formal, these are full-length dresses -- down to the ankle, (and "les robes de soirée" constitute a sub-category of "les robes longues").
Quoted from the link above, Usually, figurative meanings will precede the noun, while literal meanings will follow the noun.
un pauvre homme — a pitiful man un homme pauvre — a poor man un certain nombre — a certain (particular) number une victoire certaine — a certain (guaranteed) victory ma propre voiture — my own car ma voiture propre — my clean car un cher ami — a dear friend une montre chère — an expensive watch
The subject of liaisons is rather involved. There are required liaisons, forbidden liaisons, and optional liaisons. Here's a link to get you started. http://french.about.com/od/accents/fl/Learn-Proper-French-Pronunciation-Liaisons.htm
a few questions before this it asked for the translation of "Les grandes robes des femmes" I put " the large dresses of some women" this answer was wrong , it wanted " the large dresses of the women" with this question I put " the young men are wring the letters" it said no, it wanted " the young men are writing some letters" HOW can I win ???????????????????
Well you are 90% there. Many learners have difficulty because they don't realise that "des" can sometimes be translated as "some" and in other cases as "of the" but it can never be translated as "some of the".
The sentence "les hommes écrivent des lettres" means that the men are writing letters - but how many letters - we don't know but we do know that it is more than one - so they are writing some letters. In English "some" is optional in this type of sentence so:-
"Les hommes écrivent des lettres" can translate as either:-
"The men are writing some letters" or
"The men are writing letters"
So when is "des" translated as "of the"? This is when we are talking about possessions.
"Des" is a contraction of "de+les"
So "les robes des femmes" = "the dresses of the women" = "the women's dresses".
So once we realise it is either "some" or "of the" we can try both in the English sentence and see which fits.
"The dresses some women" doesn't work so it must be " of the"
"The men write of the letters" doesn't work so it must be "some".
Liaison is optional after plural nouns.
There isn't a present progressive tense in French, so "Les jeunes hommes écrivent des lettres" can be translated as either "The young men write (some) letters" or " The young men are writing (some) letters." If you want to insist on the present progressive in French, you could say "Les jeunes hommes sont en train d'écrire des lettres"
If you are going to learn the language, you will need to understand how to conjugate verbs, both in French and in English. You will learn many verb tenses before you finish the French course. Here's a link to get you started: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/Introduction-To-French-Verbs.htm
Here's a link that may help you. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/de-vs-du-de-la-des_2.htm
Well sometimes "des" means "some" as in "Je vois des femmes" = "I see (some) women". Here it's the plural form of "un/une". We don't have a plural form for "a/an" in English, so we either omit the article altogether or translate it as "some".
But it can also mean "of the" because "de+les" = des.
beaucoup des recommandations = many of the recommendations
Does that make any sense?
I write; You write; He writes; She writes; we write; they write. Since 'young men' would be replaced by 'they' if moving to a pronoun if you were going to say "The young men write some letters" (instead of are writing which works too) you need write since that's the way it conjugates in English.
That would be because all the 's' letters in this phrase are silent. Not pronounced as what you would recognise as an 's' sound. homme and hommes are identical, as are lettre and lettres, the trick isn't to listen to them but to the verbs and articles 'les' is the plural 'the' and sounds like 'lay'
'le' is the singular masculine 'the' and sounds more like 'luh'. And you can tell it's plural also because it's écrivent, the last three letters of which (I'm sorry) are also silent, but the singular would just be écrit so wouldn't have the 'v' sound.
When the mis-spelling does not result in an actual word it is usually a lot more forgiving. But it is important that you know that the adjective is modified with the noun, so it will mark you as incorrect. Perhaps you should slow down and check your spelling. Even with your posts in the comments.
The problem is that generally in French, as with most languages, you know what you're talking about, so the singular/plural decision is obvious from the prior context. Failing that, you have to listen for the adjectives before (or more commonly after) the nouns. Part of the joy of duolingo is learning to hear the difference, the way a native speaker would say it. In this case, the articles to listen for are "les" (pronounced 'lay'), and "des" (pronounced 'day'), versus the singular "le" (pronounced roughly 'ler') and "de," (pronounced again roughly, "dur."). Learning to distinguish the subtle (to English speaking ears, but obvious to French ears) difference is one of the benefits of duolingo's use of native speakers.
I can tell you that after my high-school French, my accent was 'plus terrible.' But when I was recently in France, I had two French people tell me that my accent was excellent. So listen carefully to how the French native speakers pronounce words. My favorite phrase in French was "plus lentment, s'il vous plait." If you can just get them to slow down, it becomes much clearer.
Hope this helps.
Sitesurf explained this up above. Did you read the comments?
This is what Sitesurf said:
Put the sentence in singular and you'll know:
singular: UNE lettre = A/ONE letter
plural: DES lettres = (more than one) letters
singular: LA lettre = THE letter
plural: LES lettres = THE letters
And there are invariable adjectives as well, ones which don't change whether they're put after a masculine or feminine noun, and often whether singular or plural https://www.thoughtco.com/invariable-french-adjectives-1368796