FR: vert vif - accord

Riverby

Senior Member
NZ English
A native speaker of French told me that B is correct, contrary to my expectation:

A. L'herbe est verte vive.
B. L'herbe est vert vif.

Googling on "l'herbe est verte" and "l'herbe est vert" brings many examples of both. Is there a rule here?
 
  • Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Compound colors never agree. So the native speaker was right: only B is correct.

    A. L'herbe est verte vive. :cross:
    B. L'herbe est vert vif. :tick: (= l'herbe est d'un vert vif)
     

    lucylinguist

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Is the following sentence possible?
    L'herbe est de couleur verte vive.

    I have found the following thread:
    FR: crayon de couleur vert/verte
    which confirms that a masculine object ("un crayon") can be "de couleur vert" or "de couleur verte", with a slight difference in meaning (the lead inside versus the wood outside), although it sounds more natural for "vert" to agree with the masculine subject "crayon" rather than the feminine word "couleur". But they don't discuss the possibility of adding "vif/vive", which I suppose must agree with "vert"/"verte"?

    So this would give:
    Le crayon est de couleur vert vif. (= la mine)
    Le crayon est de couleur verte vive. (= le bois externe)

    EDIT : Oops, I meant to write :
    "Un crayon de couleur vert vif" (= la mine)
    "Un crayon de couleur verte vive" (= le bois externe)
     
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    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    Non. A mon avis : pas d'accord à partir du moment où vous rajoutez un adjectif à l'adjectif de couleur. Mais c'est une affaire compliquée ;-)
    "Ces robes sont bleues" mais : "Ces robes sont bleu pâle".
     

    lucylinguist

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Ah, thank you - and in the meantime I have remembered why I was looking up the subject in the first place!
    In a text I'm writing, I had put: "des fleurs de couleur rose vive",
    but a French friend corrected it to "des fleurs de couleur rose vif".

    He attributed it to the fact that colours which are the names of fruit or flowers (orange, marron, rose) are invariable (no feminine form).
    But your comment shows that no matter what the colour (bleu, vert...), they will all be invariable in this usage.
    Very interesting!
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    And very complicated ;-) "rose", "écarlate", "fauve", "incarnat", "mauve", "pourpre" are not necessarily invariable in number.
    "Elles ont de belles robes roses" mais : "elles ont de belles robes rose vif" ou "elles ont de belles robes vieux rose"
    "Ils ont de belles chemises vertes" mais : "ils ont de belles chemises vert pomme"
     

    jekoh

    Senior Member
    Fr - Fr
    FR: crayon de couleur vert/verte
    which confirms that a masculine object ("un crayon") can be "de couleur vert" or "de couleur verte", with a slight difference in meaning (the lead inside versus the wood outside), although it sounds more natural for "vert" to agree with the masculine subject "crayon" rather than the feminine word "couleur".
    No, the thread you link to does not say that "un crayon" can be "de couleur vert". :cross:

    "Un crayon de couleur vert" :tick: refers to an object called "un crayon de couleur" (and that object is green); you could say "Le crayon de couleur est vert".
     

    lucylinguist

    Senior Member
    English - England
    @jekoh

    OK thanks, I think I see! Let me try that again:

    un crayon de couleur vert
    un crayon de couleur vert vif
    un crayon de couleur verte
    un crayon de couleur vert vif
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    When talking about a crayon vert, it is necessarily a colored pencil – just like a green pencil is a colored pencil in English. There is therefore no reason to add de couleur because it is indeed implicit.

    When talking about colored pencils, we always refer to the color of the lead if just saying un crayon vert. If you want to talk about the color of the body of the pencil, you must clearly mention it.
     

    Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Yes, but...
    Dans la mesure où il est assez peu courant pour moi d'utiliser un crayon à mine verte, en dehors du dessin, et contrairement aux crayons à mine noire, rouge ou bleue, je dois dire que "crayon vert" pourrait évoquer pour moi un crayon à papier à mine noire mais à corps vert.
    https://cdn2.dumyah.com/image/cache/data/2020/07/1595145012475210174-800x800.jpeg
    - Donne-moi le crayon vert, là, dans le pot. Je viens de le tailler.
     
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