"Elle a une robe noire."

Translation:She has a black dress.

December 23, 2012

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sianamber

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

January 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 988

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".
February 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/anchpop

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

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 988

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.

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/nadgerz

BRAGS ... interesting.

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

http://www.ielanguages.com/french3.html

May 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CariGeorge

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! :)

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sharonlari1

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.

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/udo.kupfer

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.)

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Brigida461678

Yes, i think your right!

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chuck175596

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.

February 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gabewithafender

"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.

February 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/robertare

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

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 988

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.
June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/galickgun

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

August 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

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.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/galickgun

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!

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

galickgun

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.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/carolxmiranda

Why is "dark" wrong?

September 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 988

"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"
September 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Miggy_Tolentz

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

November 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Miggy_Tolentz

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

November 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Miggy_Tolentz

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.

November 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 988

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".
November 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Feeniqs

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

September 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jbigelow84

<< 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 :)

September 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sophia.d.101

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

September 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AjayNander

Why is noir noire in this sentence?

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/udo.kupfer

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.

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/leelo771126

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

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

"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).

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BernardAtv

is 'rouge' masc or fem ?

June 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
  • 1655

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.

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BlaackRock

That's French for you.

October 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidBrown64

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

December 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/---Vegan---

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

February 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CrystalSan309369

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.

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WesNordic

so true

March 14, 2019
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