1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "That meat smells bad."

"That meat smells bad."

Translation:Cette viande sent mauvais.

December 23, 2012

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes and no. Yes, viande is feminine. But "sentir mauvais" or "sentir bon" is invariable (adjective used as an adverb).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bruce878691

But the sentence calls for an adjective...mauvais modifies viande, not sentir.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

No, neither in French nor in English. If the sentence were "The meat is bad", then "bad" would be an adjective. But here we have "smells bad", where "bad" is an adverb describing how the meat smells.

(Do not be mislead by the fact that the English word is "bad" rather than "badly". Not all English adverbs end in -ly).

To put the matter another way, you cannot always decide a priori that a certain word by itself is an "adverb" or an "adjective". You must look to see how the word (or phrase) functions in the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchAddict7

why not cette viande sent mal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The expression is idiomatic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchAddict7

Sorry, I don't understand... What do you mean by idiomatic?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I mean that "bon" or "mauvais" are usually adjectives, to be used with nouns, like: un bon sandwich, une mauvaise nouvelle

In this sentence, with verb "sentir", they modify a verb and are used as adverbs, i.e in an invariable form.

This is a special construction that does not apply usual rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JDThompson

Does this apply specifically to the adjectives "bon" and "mauvais," or are there other adjectives that can also function as adverbs?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markle0

Just a second..."une mauvaise nouvelle"? A new evil or an evil newness? I'm guessing it is the first, but "guessing" is the right verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coln

Nouvelle can also mean a piece of news, so "une mauvais nouvelle" would mean "a bad piece of news" or just "bad news" in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALoUSyUseRnaME

I wrote "ça" and they marked it wrong even though they taught me that "ça" was that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Let's clarify what "that" stands for and what "ça" translates.

  1. "that" can have the role of an adjective, ie, accompanied by a noun : "I see that flower", which translates in "je vois cette fleur" (singular feminine of "ce")

  2. "that" can have the role of a pronoun, ie, standing alone: "I see that", which translates in "je vois cela" or "je vois ça".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pjoden

I finally get it! Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/latenighter

Ca peux pas etre "mal", juste "mauvais'? Comme "Cette viande sent mal."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In this case it is "good" or "bad" = "la viande sent bon" or "sent mauvais"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cecilchase

Why not, "cet viande sent mauvait?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"cet" is masculine and used in front of a word starting with a vowel sound:

  • cet homme / cet arbre

"viande" is feminine and needs "cette".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snown5

why not CETTE VIANDE SE SENT MAL


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Because "meat" does not have feelings.

"se sentir bien/mal" is used for people = to feel good/bad

"sentir bon/mauvais" = to smell good/bad


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danabanov

'La viande' is feminine, so why not use 'mauvaise'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Have you read the other comments on this page? They answer your question!

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.