"Elle a une robe noire."

Translation:She has a black dress.

December 23, 2012

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Am I correct in assuming descriptive words (i.e colours) come last in sentence structure?

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In French, most adjectives are placed after the noun.

Certain adjectives are placed before the noun, some which you can memorize with the acronym "BANGS":

  • Beauty - Age - Numbers - Good and bad - Size (except for grand with people)

These descriptors - and a few others - are considered inherent qualities of the noun:

  • For example "une jolie fille" for "a pretty girl".


What about rank? I've been taught "BRAGS"

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You are right, adjectives of rank are placed before the adjectives.

  • ex: You have to say "Le premier jour de ma vie" ("The first day of my life"), and not "le jour premier"

Since these adjectives are called "numeral" adjectives, they are included in the category "Numbers" in my comment above.


BRAGS ... interesting.

Here is a reference... not that you need it... for others that come by. Like me :)



As a native of south Louisiana, I began learning French very very young (however, it's a bizarre almost useless dialect), but I have never seen that acronym for remembering adjective placement exceptions! I'm in college and I help friends with their French work. I wrote this down to share with them!

Merci beaucoup! :)


Don't say that to anyone from Quebec Canada, they actually have language police who impose fines on businesses who write only in English or if they write in both languages the English must be much smaller than the French. However, they can write their business information in French only and that is OK. They have voted on separating from the rest of Canada solely because they want Quebec to be a separate French country. I can't even imagine their reaction to someone saying that it is a bizarre almost useless dialect, you would probably have to run for your life, LOL.


Maybe she means that the version of French she speaks is an almost useless dialect? Because it would not be understood by actual French people? (There are people in the USA who speak "German" and no German person would understand them.)


Yes, i think your right!


Ok ok ok. We have language police: Office de la Langue Française (OLF) They are not police! French must be predominant, English signage must not be greater than 40%. Business do get fined and it's all very silly - an attempt to preserve the French language run amok and comoletely out of hand. Canada is bilingual - officially, but Quebec is uni-lingual...see Bill 101 for more info. Referendum after referendum, the separatists lose because it doesnt make sense. The generation of young people generally converse in multiple languages because we recognize the value of being fluent in multiple languages, that and we are a population of immigrants coexisting in a cultural mosaic - generally with no tensions present. And we have a great health care system.
English students have the upper hand because French is taught at 50% in our public schools - our English students are bi-lingual; tgye French less so.


"last in sentence structure" might not be the best way to look at it. They generally come directly after the word they modify. Where we would say a "black dress" in English, they say a "dress black", but it might not always be the last word of the sentence.


why does the noire have an e on the end at the end of sentences but not in other cases?

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In French, adjectives agree with numbers (singular/plural) and gender (masculine/feminine).

So you have to say:

  • "Un chat noir" = a black (male) cat.
  • "Une robe noire" = a black dress.
  • "Des chats noirs" = black (male) cats.
  • "Des robes noires" = black dresses.


Could someone explain me the difference between "Elle y a une robe" and "Elle a une robe"

Whats the meaning of this single y in french? Thank you


Generally when you see y you can assume it refers to something that is absent in the sentence but is known or understood by both the speaker and the listener. One thing that makes it difficult for English speakers is that often the absent item referred to would not be referenced by them since it is obvious to everyone in the conversation.

EG: the verb aller/to go needs at least some hint of a destination even if it is just ..somewhere. Not I'm going ...but instead it's ....I'm going (somewhere).

Are you going to the bank tomorrow? No, I'm going today. The French answer would be J'y vais aujourd'hui because it has to have a destination .... No, I'm going there today.

English speakers don't mention there because it's obvious from the conversation. French speakers know what y means because it's obvious from the conversation.

Y can sometimes fulfill that function. There are rules that apply as to when to use y rather than something like en.


Thanks for the explanation! But my mother language is Portuguese, now that you explained it makes total sense! I'm trying to learn French by myself and some questions are difficult to find on google. Thank you!



Great. That's what the comments are for. Once you start using Y in the lessons pretty soon it presents no difficulty at all.

Je vais à la banque = J'y vais. (Y goes in front of the verb)

I am going to the bank = I am going there.

You could use là for there but if you do you are saying that you are going specifically to the bank rather than I'm going downtown and will be near the bank and should be able to stop by but not with enough time to fill out a mortgage application.

Là refers to what you are going to do. Y refers only to something previously discussed or understood.

J'ai beaucoup de livres. = J'en ai beaucoup. (en goes in front of the verb)

I have lots of books = I have lots of them.

Both Y and En are serving as placeholders for something absent. Duo will gradually introduce constructions which require choosing whether to use Y or En for that purpose, in future lessons.

  • 2131

"dark" as a noun means "le noir"

  • ex: "to see in the dark" = "voir dans le noir"

"dark" as an adjective means generally means "sombre" or "foncé":

  • ex: "It is dark outside" = "Il fait sombre dehors"
  • ex: "It is a dark dress" = "C'est une robe de couleur sombre" or "C'est une robe foncée"

That is why "dark" is not accepted here as a translation for "noire".

FYI: In some cases, the adjective "dark" means "noir" means:

  • ex: "dark chocolate" = "chocolat noir"


why did "elle a" became she has while some sentences using "__ a" translates to ___ have ? I don't understand. Please help


sample "mon pantalon a une poche" translates to "my pants have a pocket"



As Remy points out the problem is with the English not the French. The literal translation of mon pantalon a une poche is my pant has a pocket. English speakers arbitrarily change it to my pants have a pocket simply because we think it sounds better that way.

Originally, pants were two separate leggings and were referred to in plural form. When they were joined together to form one unit, the French referred to them in the singular because that is what they were, a single item. English speakers continue to refer to them as plural just because that's how they have always done it.

The French form is consistent, the English is not.

  • 2131

That is because in French we say "un pantalon" (singular - literally: "a pant"), which translates in English to "pants" (plural).

Since the verb has to agree with the subject:

  • "Mon pantalon a une poche" (3rd person singular) translates to "My pants have a pocket".


What is the difference between 'noir' and 'noire'? Somebody, please...


<< noir >> is the masculine form, while << noire >> is the feminine. An adjective has to match the gender of the noun it modifies, hence a masculine and feminine form. Or so I've been told :)


I always thought it was weird how the adjective cam after but my dad taught me BAGS beauty age goodness size


Why is noir noire in this sentence?


Because "la robe" is feminine and "la robe" is what is black, so it's "une robe noire". The adjective follows the gender of the nown it describes.


It told me "she wears a black dress" which is certainly wrong. Should it not be "she HAS a black dress"??


"She has a black dress" is the default answer. In the context of clothing, the verb "avoir" may be used to mean "to have on", i.e., to wear. So while you may not have seen it very much, it is quite normal to say something like "elle a des gants blancs" (she has on white gloves -or- she is wearing white gloves).


is 'rouge' masc or fem ?


The French word "rouge" is invariable in regard to gender. It can be used to modify either masculine or feminine nouns, e.g., le livre est rouge (or) la pomme est rouge.


That's French for you.


i put she 'has a black dress' and it was report as wrong Why


Stupid Auto correct changed it to she HAD a black dress.


I just pressed the button where it tells me to speak then, it says it's wrong and goes on to the next QUESTION !!! I think it's BroKEn.

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