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FR: Elle est jolie avec des/les/ses yeux verts

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Pasiphae II, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Pasiphae II

    Pasiphae II Junior Member

    USA
    English
    Hello, everybody!

    I'm wanting to know if it is "les" (or des) yeux verts et "les" (or des) cheveux courts. It's part of a description I'm writing. The context is the following: ...mais elle est aussi jolie, avec les yeux verts et les cheveux courts et chic. I've searched in grammar books, but with no success so far. My problem is with "avec". In other words, if I were to say instead, "elle a les yeux verts...elle a les cheveux courts", I'm sure that the definite article would be correct in that case, but I want to use "avec" and am not sure if the article should be definite or indefinite after "avec".

    I would appreciate any help in clearing up my confusion. Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  2. pointvirgule

    pointvirgule Senior Member

    Mtl, QC
    Français
    Welcome to WR, Pasiphae II. :)
    With avec, I would use possessives: elle est aussi jolie, avec ses yeux verts et ses cheveux courts.
     
  3. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Bonjour,
    Il faut dire «elle est jolie, avec les yeux verts».

    («Avec SES yeux verts» est une phrase correcte aussi, mais elle répond un peu à côté de la question, je trouve. La question demande de choisir entre «les» et «des».)
     
  4. Pasiphae II

    Pasiphae II Junior Member

    USA
    English
    Merci beaucoup, Fred_C! :)

    J'étais si confuse.
     
  5. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    I hope I won't add to the confusion, because the indefinite article is definitely possible as well…

    Note that all three phrases mean more or less the same thing, but there is however a slight nuance that might be subjective:

    Elle est aussi jolie, avec des yeux verts et des cheveux courts. → She is pretty. She has green eyes and short hair.
    Elle est aussi jolie, avec les yeux verts et les cheveux courts. → She is pretty with green eyes and short hair. OR She is pretty when she has green eyes and short hair.
    Elle est aussi jolie, avec ses yeux verts et ses cheveux courts. → Her green eyes and short hair make her look pretty.

    By the way, what did you mean by aussi? Did you mean "too" or "so"?
     
  6. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    I see…

    There is a (quite) big linguistical difference between the two.
    The latter sentence is more common, its meaning is attributive : the phrase “avec les yeux verts et les cheveux courts” works like an attribute (un épithète) of the subject.
    The meaning in the former sentence is predicative. The phrase “avec des yeux verts et des cheveux courts” works like two predicates for the subject (des attributs), and the number of predicates sums up to three(The third one is “jolie”). The meaning of the whole sentence is : “she is pretty, green-eyed and short-haired”. (describing the subject in three different manners)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  7. Pasiphae II

    Pasiphae II Junior Member

    USA
    English
    Thank you very much. I just now saw your post. Sorry, I overlooked it before. You know, I'm beginning to like "ses" better and better. :)

    Thank you. I think I'm now on the right post...Yes, I think I am liking the sound of "ses" here instead of "les". I agree with you.

    I meant "too". Thanks so much for the details. I think I meant "les".

    Thank you all. These varied and detailed explanations are more than I could have hoped for.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  8. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Montréal
    Français, Québec ♀
    En fait, Pasiphae a demandé ce qui était préférable... et la réponse de pointvirgule c'est: ni l'un ni l'autre. ;)

    Je pense aussi que « ses » convient nettement mieux dans ce contexte, après « avec ». :)
     
  9. Pasiphae II

    Pasiphae II Junior Member

    USA
    English
    Merci bien, Nicomon.
     

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