Forum Rocket French French Vocab neuf vs. neuf : purely contextual?

neuf vs. neuf : purely contextual?

VitN

VitN

Salut,

Is the distinction of the words neuf (9) and neuf(new) purely contextual?  If so consider:

Quoi de neuf ?  could it mean “what kind of nine?!” if a store keeper charges you for nine items instead of, say, eight.

Magnifique neuf.  Could it mean the Magnificent nine or a magnificent news

Merci 

Vít Novák

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour Vít,

 

Yes, this is largely contextual. To be fair, I cannot think of any circumstances in which you would be confused. I will explain the examples suggested above.

 

‘Quoi de neuf?’ can only mean ‘what’s new?' In your shopping scenario we would simply say ‘Quoi? Neuf?’

 

‘Magnifique neuf’ can only mean ‘magnificent nine’. Magnifique is an adjective, therefore it can only describe a noun. If we changed it to an adverb we get, ‘magnifiquement neuf’ - ‘magnificently new’. Magnificent news would be ‘nouvelles magnifiques’.

 

The context is given largely by the form of the word, i.e. adjective must be describing a noun, while an adverb can modify an adjective. French is still highly inflective, as is Czech with adjectives, gender etc., the difference being, the inflection in French stresses more conjugation articles, while Czech you're doing the bulk of the work through declensions. 

 

Let me know if this makes any sense.

   -   Mitchell

VitN

VitN

Salut Mitchell,

yes, it does make sense.  It has never been a problem, I just -out of blue- realized that the word neuf has two meanings. Even so that I used it in both rôles without a problem.

Merci,

Vít Novák

 

VitN

VitN

Just to reinforce the idea:

the “Châteauneuf du Pape”  means Pope's New Castle ? 

V. N.

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour Vít,

 

Yeah, this literally translates to the ‘Pope’s new castle'. 

 

   -   Mitchell

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket French trial here .