I like my car. I like theirs too.

Paul

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

5 replies

I like my car. I like theirs too.

This is a question of when does something become plural. In the question of how do we translate "I like my car. I like theirs too." or "J'aime ma voiture. J'aime ________ aussi." My car is definitely singular, however, why is the answer "la leur" when we are talking about comparing more than one car, maybe. The sentence alone doesn't say how many are in "THEIR" group, we could be talking about a couple, or a much larger group, it's not clear in the context.

This question relates to:
French lesson "Le nôtre, le vôtre, le leur, etc = Ours, yours, theirs (possessive pronouns)"

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Bonjour Paul, For the purposes of this lesson, plural refers to the owners. The size of the group only matters if it's singular (one - see below) or plural (more than one). When it's more than one, you need le/la/les leur/s. La leur means "theirs" as in "belonging to them, and the pronoun is singular because there's only one car. If there were several cars, you'd say "les leurs." Compare this to "I like his [car]" - J'aime la sienne, "I like his [cars]" - J'aime les siennes. Does that make sense?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

You are correct, Paul, in that the French sentence allows for one or many cars to be liked. Correspondingly, the two possibilities in French are: J'aim la leure aussi. -- I like theirs, too. J'aime les leures aussi. -- I like their cars, too. I guess in English one would add the word "cars" to make it clear one is referring to more than one car and distinguish it from the first possibility. (Just as an aside: their is always more than one PERSON in the group, since "their" is 3rd person plural. The question is about how many cars belong to that group.) -- Chris (not a native speaker9.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Sorry, I just cross-posted with Laura -- Chris.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Zut! And I committed some typos, too!!!! J'aime la leur. J'aime les leurs. -- Chris.

Paul

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Thanks for the reply Chris, I suppose I'm being a bit pedantic, but it wasn't clear at first how may "cars" there were. I could imagine a couple owning one car, or say for contrast I'm at a car show and comparing my car with the wider group of many cars. Paul

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
3427questions7185answers135,572users
How has your day been?