Why isn't it "Elle aime les courtes jupes" since the adjective before the noun indicates size?
Adjectives that describe an inherent quality of the noun go before. Those that classify the noun go after. As judooochp says, in this example short skirts refers to a style or classification of skirts rather than one skirt that seems surprisingly short.
Hi, Northernguy. Please, have a look at this link:
According to this link, "court" goes before the noun (at the bottom of this site it gets explicitly mentioned).
This adjective is not like "dernier", for example, which can go either before or after a noun, and have different meanings accordingly. It is an adjective like "petit", "jeune", "nouveau", and similar ones (about 20 of them in total), which are exceptions and all go before the noun (only those ones listed are so-called BANGS exceptions, other adjectives that could be in these categories do not go before the noun - they are not considered as exceptions).
You are correct about what the link says but it doesn't seem to conform to common usage.
Yahoo provides 770,000 examples of jupes courtes. As far as I could see all those examples that I looked at seemed to have something to do with classifying skirts into a style known as short. They were almost all fashion related uses.
I didn't look too far but I didn't see any uses of jupes courtes where courtes was referring to the inherent characteristic of some skirts which is they are short. Eg: short skirts attract men's attention because they reveal so much leg. Using the logic applied to other adjectives that example would place it in front.
Wordreference. com offers:
La mode est aux jupes courtes =The fashion is for short skirts at the moment
I believe Wordreference uses courtes in this way in this example because style considerations are classifying skirts with the word courtes. Hence it is placed after the noun. It is common to do the same thing with adjectives in English. It is routine to classify clothes as size tall or size two etc.
As I said, the link you provided confirms what you say about court/e/s preceding the noun but every French language retailer places it after. While not explicitly saying so, your link indicates that court/e/s must go in front. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of examples where it does not.
I think the reason that you're confused is that "aimer" is a conceptual verb which introduces a generality.
- She has short skirts. = Elle a des jupes courtes.
- She has some short skirts = Elle a des jupes courtes.
- She has the short skirts = Elle a les jupes courtes.
- She likes short skirts = Elle aime les jupes courtes.
- She likes some short skirts = Elle aime certaines jupes courtes.
- She likes the short skirts = Elle aime les jupes courtes
In other words, when you say, "She has short skirts", you mean that she has "some" short skirts (des). When you say, "She likes short skirts", you mean that she likes all short skirts in general (les)
Des in this context would be translated as some, grammatically correct but not what the sentence says either in English or French.
I can't always hear the difference between the plural and the singular... Is that fair, or is just that my ears aren't sensitive enough to pick it out?
If you focus on the article you can usually hear the singular/plural distinction quite clearly. If you hear les then you know that the noun and its adjectives will be plural no matter what they sound like. If you hear le then you know its going to be singular.
Go to Google Translate and run le/la/les, du/de etc through ti until you hear the difference easily.
The singular and the plural forms of the words are often pronounced the same way. It is the articles and pronouns that most clearly tell if it is singular or plural.
I have a grammar question why is it Elle aime les jupes courtes???/ why can't it be Elle'aime les jupes courtes? shouldn't there be an (') if we have a vowel and then another vowel? why this rule doesn't apply here?
Because the final e in elle is not pronounced. It is the meeting of vowel sounds (pronounced vowels at the end and words beginning with vowel sounds, that is vowels and h muet), not written vowels, that often brings such contractions.
Why not "she likes narrow skirts" ? Narrow was one of the translations i was given, and it didn't suggest "short" only "shorts" which i presumed wasn't relevant here
Rude replies aside, I was wondering the same thing. I don't understand why Jack says to disregard the drop-downs. If there are mistakes in the translations, we find them, confirm them here, and report them. It's how we all help make duolingo a better system.
OK All. We all have our moods and I'd then, 4 months ago, just gone through loads of posts complaining about using a drop down option and being marked incorrect because of that. I had been in the course some 26 months and met many a drop down which was evidently out of context. Thing is, it is never obvious in one discussion thread what has been posted in another. If all my posts, and others', could be linked and referenced, each and every post would make far more sense. I make no excuses for warning that the drop downs can be misleading out of context. I do apologise for the extreme nature of the post. I thank you, RageHole for bringing this past to my attention. I don't have the skill to find and go over my past posts. Your post is mature and very well founded. JJ.
Ignoring the drop downs is an effective strategy. Unfortunately, it is a time consuming approach. Taking the road less traveled can work and it seems to be the case for you.
The drop downs are not intended to give the correct answer. They are supposed be alternative translations of the example provided. It is the students job to figure out which alternative works for the question posed. Sometimes, all the drop downs provided do equally well. Sometimes, none of them really map to an English equivalent.
The more frustrating the search for the correct interpretation, the stronger the imprint on the memory circuits. Research indicates that you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your correct answers. Like you, I am surprised at complaints that the correct answer is not always included right above the question.
Personally, I always use online dictionaries rather than the drop downs, and many times they too offer the incorrect definition for the context I'm dealing with.
Because you need to know which translation is the correct one to use in a particular context. There are no "narrow skirts." Just, what?
Miniskirt is a particular type of short skirt. Very short and usually form fitting, designed to be provocative.
Short skirt could easily include a skirt that finishes just above the knee and is designed to be as modest as possible. You might not consider such a skirt to fall into what you mean by short skirt but others may well consider that kind of skirt to be short.
As Jackjon points out above. Both French and English have words to identify a particular type of short skirt. In English, it is miniskirt. The Duo example did not include the French equivalent.
If, Maize you mean to write I Like Girls Who Wear Short Skirts, then yes, it is correct.