3

My understanding of tel is that it can act as an indefinite adjective as well as a qualifying adjective*.

Example of tel acting as an indefinite adjective:

  • Une telle faiblesse est en fait votre force. = Such a weakness is actually your strength.

Example of tel acting as a qualifying adjective:

  • Elle est un tel gâchis. = She is such a mess.

My question is the following: According to cliffsnotes **:

when another adjective is being used to describe the same noun tel is acting on, tel changes to si.

Now I just need some clarification on the matter. By "another adjective" do they mean any BANGS adjective or do they mean all qualifying adjectives? Secondly, does it just apply to when tel is acting as a qualifying adjective or does it also apply to when tel is acting as an indefinite adjective too?

So to be as explicit as possible, which of the following are true?

1) When tel is acting as an indefinite adjective and a BANGS adjective acts on the same noun tel is acting on, tel changes to si.

2) When tel is acting as an indefinite adjective and a qualifying adjective acts on the same noun tel is acting on, tel changes to si.

3) When tel is acting as qualifying adjective and a BANGS adjective acts on the same noun tel is acting on, tel changes to si.

4) When tel is acting as qualifying adjective and a qualifying adjective acts on the same noun tel is acting on, tel changes to si.

*Qualifying adjective is what normally comes to mind when we think of the word adjective e.g. blue, big, scary etc.

** https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/french/french-ii/french-ii-indefinites-passive-voice/indefinite-adjectives

  • 1
    Elle est un tel gâchis doesn't sound French. We might say c'est un tel gâchis or son attitude est un tel gâchis – jlliagre Apr 28 '18 at 22:13
3

Neither the location of the adjective (before or after the noun) or the indefinite/qualifying status of tel seem to affect the rule.

  • Une telle faiblesse est en fait votre force.

  • Une telle grande faiblesse est en fait votre force.

  • Une si grande faiblesse est en fait votre force.

  • Une telle faiblesse inattendue est en fait votre force.

  • Une faiblesse si inattendue est en fait votre force.


  • Je n'ai jamais vu un tel orage !

  • Je n'ai jamais vu un tel violent orage !

  • Je n'ai jamais vu un si violent orage. (...un orage si violent)

  • Je n'ai jamais vu un tel orage matinal !

  • Je n'ai jamais vu un orage si matinal.


  • C'est un tel gâchis !

  • C'est un tel incroyable gâchis !

  • C'est un si incroyable gâchis ! (...un gâchis si incroyable)

  • How does one say "such big weaknesses are actually your strengths"? Is it "si grandes faiblesses sont en fait votre forces"? – CubbyKushi Apr 29 '18 at 0:42
  • That would be De si grandes faiblesses sont en fait votre force. – jlliagre Apr 29 '18 at 1:07
  • So the sentence "such evil feelings are unhealthy for a person" is equal to "de si malveillantes sentiments sont malsains pour une personne" ? – CubbyKushi Apr 29 '18 at 3:04
  • Yes, outside the gender issue: de si malveillants sentiments sont... – jlliagre Apr 29 '18 at 6:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.