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  5. "Elles peuvent être rouges, o…

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

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

December 20, 2012



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


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.'


Thanks for clarifying that. Every day that passes this language feels more and more insane...


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?


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


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


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


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


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


You're welcome!


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


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."


and in French also it's apparently not natural (or correct) to say 'oranges'


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


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.


Inb4 'You have strengthened colours!'


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.


its saying peuftet instead of peuvant


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?

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