"My skirts are grey." Another correct translation: "My skirts are gray." =/
Yes, alovett1, Grey= UK English whilst Gray=American. (They spell Gray phonetically but totally cockup with Aluminium) :)
shouldn't the "s" in "grises" should be pronounced as a "z" instead of an "s"?
Definitely! vowel + S + vowel = "S" pronounced "Z". Sure, as usual in French, there are exceptions, as "bisexuel" which is pronounced [biSSexu-el], but here it's because it comes from "bi" (2) and "sexuel". But no doubt about this case, feminine "grey" is pronounced "griZ" (written "grise(s)" of course).
there again! two questions ago it was wrong to put an -s/-es at the end of "marron", in the same context as here why is that so?
I could be wrong but I believe it is because the color marron is taken from a real life object (a chestnut) and therefore is an exception to the rule about maintaining agreement with the rest of the sentence.
Grise as far as I know is not taken from a real life object and thus is subject to all the normal rules.
For inexplicable reasons, most colours are "invariable" and so are not pluralized.
"French color adjectives derived from nouns, such as animals, flowers, fruits, gems, and metals, are usually invariable:" - http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_inv.htm
This is what I learned in French class: marron is the color brown. Marron is for sing. mas., sing. fem., and plural tense. It never changes. It is a unique adjective. :]
My point exactly: I already was declared mistaken for putting "marrons", so what is it with plural forms and colours?
Same. I put 'marrons' because since the article was plural, I thought so was the adjective.
It's annoying that it says it's wrong to write "grey", instead of "gray". Ah well :)
Here: (Mes jupes sont grises) grises is in plural. But in another case: Mes chaussures sont marron (marrons is wrong) why?
The answer to your question is immediately above your post.
So are you saying that certain colours indefinitely appear in their plural form? Is there a rule or general guideline to help us learners?
Not a perfect rule, but a rule of thumb is if French has a object noun that uses the same word, e.g. marron (chestnut). There are exceptions to this exception, e.g. rose(s).
Yes, I get it. So 'Orange' is another example, although as you pointed out 'Rose' is not the indefinite form. I found a long list of colours in their plural and indefinate form here - http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_inv.htm.
The French word for Orange is 'Orange'. The French word for white is 'Blanc'. The plural masculine of white is 'blancs', following the normal structure. But the plural masculine of orange is still 'orange'. In fact all the conjugations of orange will be 'orange'. It is in a group of colours that will always be in the indefinite form - no matter if male or female, singular or plural - because its name derives from the same French word for an animal, metal, fruit, jem or flower. E.g. Cerise is the French word for "Cherry" and also for the colour "cherry red". Whilst some are more obvious, as a learner like yourself, you'll just have to learn them as you come across them.
Is there a way to turn off these questions where you have to type out what they person says? I find them very hard to understand, unhelpful, and way too strict on spelling when I just want to learn basic speaking comprehension
Well, what is the purpose of this type of question? It is to understand the audible differences. I'm particularly good at writing comprehension, but quite weak on audible comprehension as it takes me a long time to process the sounds. That is exactly the point of this exercise. If you cannot either get the subtle differences between similar spoken words, or work out the conjugation from the context, then you're not truly learning the language in my opinion. To answer your specific question, I don't know if there is such an option on the PC version, but you can skip the question. However, if its difficult to understand - assuming its not wrong or incorrectly pronounced, which you can report to Duolingo - its an opportunity to learn.
I find the actual recording to be poor and difficult to understand. And it is so strict on spelling that most of the time I will get what they are saying but not spell it correctly and have the question marked wrong. Spelling comes with time, and I don't find this system helps me learn at all.
"...I will get what they are saying but not spell it correctly and have the question marked wrong"
But are you learning anything? Duo is not about "levelling up". That is an incentive to learn. If there is a problem with the audio, use the function on the page to report it or on the left <--
Re spelling, you are after all using a website where the main interface is to type. The premise of Duolingo is to teach the language using the website as a medium. If you want to concentrate on oral learning only then take a class.
If you want to get the best out of Duo, then perhaps treat each exercise like a lesson. When we have a real lesson we carry a dictionary for reference and a grammar book. You can use Google Translate as your online interactive dictionary during an exercise and this forum for grammar explanations. When you put it all together you should get a lot more from the site.
With this question, "Mes jupes sont grises." , the program suggests that 'grises' means exciting which is incorrect ........ why
It's telling you that a word spelled g-r-i-s can be "(you) are exhilarating." That's because there is a verb, griser, that conjugates to grises. But that's a different word than the adjective gris/grise. Duo shows you some of what something can mean as shown; it's not necessarily appropriate for the sentence, and could be the definition of a homograph, as in this case.
thanks 'neverfox', that explains it,..... OMG, and they call english difficult
In plural or preceding a vowel. Nutherwise "Il est gris" sounds much like Gree (with the "gr" sounding like grand-dad gargling in the morning.)
If that bothers you, you're in for a bad time when you start talking about showers in French.
Not certain to whom your post is addressed neverfox. Whatever, for me nothing has been a bother for nearly 70 years and I eagerly await a French shower. I follow your posts with great interest, you always place another colour to any explanation. You are refreshing.