Articles for body parts

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Bails86, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Bails86 Member

    English, US
    I know that you usually use a definite article when talking about someone's body parts, but aren't there certain situations when you can use a possessive article? Or am I wrong? Thanks for your help!
  2. Nil-the-Frogg

    Nil-the-Frogg Senior Member

    Français (France)
    Possessive can be used without problem. For instance:

    your shoulder = ton / votre épaule.
  3. Milou Senior Member

    Brisbane - Australie
    French - France
    I am not sure to understand your question but in French you can use:
    "son bras", "ma jambe", "vos orteils" ...

    Dans une phrase on dira:
    "il s'est fait mal au bras"
    mais "Son bras lui fait mal"

    "J'ai toujours les mains froides"
    "Mes mains sont toujours froides"

    Si le sujet de la phrase est une partie du corps, alors tu peux mettre un article possesif (mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, mes, tes, ses...).
    Si le sujet de la phrase est une personne et que le membre apparetient à cette personne, un article definit suffit.
  4. Bails86 Member

    English, US
    Thanks for your help so far, but I'm still a little confused. For example, in this sentence
    Sa barbe dissimule ___ visage anguleux et ___ joues creuses
    Could I use 'son' and 'ses'? Why/why not? thanks again!
  5. Milou Senior Member

    Brisbane - Australie
    French - France
    You have to think about which is the subject of your sentence, what are the adjectives....
    Here the subject is "barbe", is it true ? That is why you have the adjectif possessif "sa". The verb is "dissimule"
    Then "visage anguleux" and "joues creuses" are adjectifs in your sentence. So no need to say again that they are refering to him because they are not the subject of the sentence.
    Do you understand ?
  6. Bails86 Member

    English, US
    That makes sense, thank you for explaining it so clearly!

Share This Page