"Elles peuvent être rouges, orange, blanches, jaunes et bleues."

Translation:They can be red, orange, white, yellow and blue.

12/20/2012, 6:47:00 PM

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AnneChristina

why are all the colours except orange in the plural??

8/5/2013, 8:19:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/yekrats

Read the rest of the comments.

Below, user Shizukani says...

'Some colors, like "orange" and "marron," are invariable, which means they don't change form according to the subject. See http://french.about.com/library/begin/bl_colors.htm for more information.'

8/5/2013, 12:36:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/golicar
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Thanks for clarifying that. Every day that passes this language feels more and more insane...

11/21/2017, 4:30:48 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/greatlanguages
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Marron, orange, bleu clair, bleu fonce (with an accent) seem to be the only colors on this list that do not change when they are modifying a plural noun.

Anyone know of any other exceptions?

3/26/2014, 12:54:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/nedeto

The ones you list are the ones that are used most frequently but as it turns out there are lots of others (mostly adjectives derived from nouns, such as animals, flowers, fruits, gems, and metals). I found a list here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_inv.htm

5/20/2014, 12:19:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/KatieSexton

In French the colours have to agree with the subject (elles), which in this case is plural, whereas in English you can use the same descriptions for both singular and plural subjects. e.g. the red dress, the red dresses vs la robe rouge, les robes rouges

12/22/2012, 8:24:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/saktinu

Any advice on how to distinguish if the whole subject is plural or singular in this sentence?

7/18/2013, 3:30:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/rikaroo

PLURAL: Elles peuvent [ɛl pœv]—EL PEUV with a definite V sound.

SINGULAR: Elle peut [ɛl pø]—EL PEU without a consonant sound at the end

7/25/2013, 6:21:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/saktinu

Ha! Got it, ma'am, thanks a bunch.

7/26/2013, 5:44:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/rikaroo

You're welcome!

7/26/2013, 5:44:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/sara29261

Why cant it be "they COULD be red, orange...etc"?

7/10/2015, 9:33:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HowardWigg

WHAT DOES THIS SENTENCE MEAN????? They can be all these colors at the same time? Why would anyone say that? I'm going to Memrise.

4/20/2018, 10:10:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ZeeKay11
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I don't know what "they" is, but it can mean a couple of things. They can be sick, they can be chameleons, they can have powers that let them color-shift or they can be universal indicators. A creative sentence, I believe.

8/8/2018, 10:49:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/CSA_GW
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There can be a case of a woman doing her shopping. She finds a design of dresses, and ask for the available colors of the dresses. Then the answer could be the one we are learning.

6/26/2018, 2:20:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/karlgw
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well this came to my mind: they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered, and he names himself 'Saruman of Many Colours' - Fellowship of the Ring on Sauruman ;-)

9/28/2018, 9:45:12 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/jicadi

Why are the colors plural in the question and singular in the answer? No explanation given.

12/20/2012, 6:47:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/rikaroo

It depends on context. This sentence made me think of a department store...say the "elles" refers to a pair of shoes. The shoes can be red, orange, white, or yellow. It's not natural in English to say "the shoes can be reds, oranges, whites, or yellows."

7/25/2013, 6:22:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/karlgw
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and in French also it's apparently not natural (or correct) to say 'oranges'

9/28/2018, 9:38:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/eitan.B

I find using this rule helps me pronounce verbs-pronounce everything but the last sound. Hence, voulons=voulon, peuvent=peuv, vais=vai, dites=dit, voulez=voule, etc.

3/29/2014, 7:58:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Amphibian
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Inb4 'You have strengthened colours!'

6/9/2014, 3:03:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/MathewMervue

Anyone else get this as a microphone question and find it impossible to get past? Found myself repeating it again and again to no avail.

7/15/2014, 5:15:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/pfoot

Yes i agree

9/11/2014, 9:19:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/GoldElectron2

its saying peuftet instead of peuvant

3/9/2017, 8:09:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CellelSaltrin

I got this wrong by pluralizing the colours (as in they can be various shades of red, orange, ect) and got marked wrong because the colours here are plural to match 'elles'. How then would you say this to indicate they could be various shades instead of just one tone of red, yellow, etc?

2/3/2019, 9:03:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RRoberta

Hi, unfortunately the solution provided here is wrong: "orange" is feminine singular, but the subject here is plural. The correct answer should be: "Elles peuvent être rouges, oranges, blanches, jaunes et bleues". (orange with final s too).

1/24/2013, 8:28:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Shizukani

No, it's correct. Some colors, like "orange" and "marron," are invariable, which means they don't change form according to the subject.

See http://french.about.com/library/begin/bl_colors.htm for more information.

2/3/2013, 3:38:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/kathydeg

confusing that 'rose' does change form isn't it, where the guidance says colours that come from a noun don't change...

6/24/2013, 8:35:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/yekrats

Wow, thanks!

7/6/2013, 2:34:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/BLPK
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a very weird rule that I remembered, too late though, lost my heart

11/15/2013, 11:35:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/H.E.P.
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Thanks

9/17/2017, 7:19:13 PM
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