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I am starting with the most basic of French and this is one of the exercise questions in my book.

"L'arbre est plus grand que la fleur"

A direct translation on Google tells me that "The shaft is greater than the flower."

Does l'arbre in this case refer to 'tree' and does the sentence mean that the tree is grander (visual) or bigger (physical) than the flower?

I don't know if my question is weird or silly but I really do appreciate your help!

Edit: I could and should have phrased my question better. And used a real dictionary.

My response to a helpful user, that might shed light on my confusion when trying to understand the sentence in question:

"Thank you for pointing out - I will ask better questions in future. :) Just to clarify a little, on hindsight since "grand" means 'magnificent' or 'important' in English, I perhaps convoluted my understanding of the simple sentence. I was wondering if there was a deeper meaning to the sentence to native speakers. i.e. The flower although beautiful, is not at magnificent as the tree that gives it life. Thanks once again.

closed as off-topic by Stéphane Gimenez May 3 '16 at 19:15

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Please look up the meaning of words or expressions in a dictionary first. If you did so and found nothing satisfactory, mention that in your question. Do give context for where you heard or saw the word." – Stéphane Gimenez
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Google translation is not good. Use a dictionary. arbre grand. – Laure May 3 '16 at 18:41
  • I tried to google translate it, and the result was "The tree is larger than the flower", which is way better than the translation you obtained. Does Google translate translates differently depending on the country you're in? – Thomas Francois May 3 '16 at 18:51
  • @krabcakes Welcome to Stack Exchange! Your question here basically falls short because you didn't really look these words up in decent dictionaries. Google Translate is notoriously unreliable, unfortunately. If you use a dictionary, the sentence is easy to translate to "The tree is bigger (plus grand = "more big" = bigger) than the flower." Try to look things up before asking here; you'll get a better response. – temporary_user_name May 3 '16 at 19:58
  • In French, the word SHAFT like for a machine, is arbre! – Lambie May 3 '16 at 20:05
  • @Aerovistae Thank you for pointing out - I will ask better questions in future. :) Just to clarify a little, on hindsight since "grand" means 'magnificent' or 'important' in English, I perhaps convoluted my understanding of the simple sentence. I was wondering if there was a deeper meaning to the sentence to native speakers. i.e. The flower although beautiful, is not at magnificent as the tree that gives it life. Thanks once again. – krabcakes May 3 '16 at 22:35
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This is to my knowledge an incorrect translation. Google Translate is highly unreliable.

The correct translation is: "The tree is taller than the flower."

The word grand could either mean taller or bigger in either a non-physical or a physical way. It really depends on the sentence and in this particular case both could work. But I think they meant big as in tall, in a physical sense.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange! – temporary_user_name May 3 '16 at 19:59
  • I'm not new to stack exchange. I'm new to the French part though. Thanks, had I knew my first language had its own sub I would of come earlier. – Delupara May 3 '16 at 19:59
  • Oh, right you are. When I see people with 1 reputation I assume they are new. This is the first time out of perhaps 50 that it has been a false assumption. By the way, it's "would have come earlier" :) – temporary_user_name May 3 '16 at 20:01
  • Well I'm 1 in 50. Praise the luck XD. I'm native French lol. – Delupara May 3 '16 at 20:02

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