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I want to say “You’re fucking cute.” in french.

I learnt from this article that « putain de » is roughly equivalent to the word “fucking” (adjective form). So, "Ma putain de voiture est si belle" means my “My fucking car is so beautiful.” But the word “cute” is an adjective.

So how do I say the sentence?

  • I'd say Tu es putain de belle/jolie. Putain de works quite the same as in english, as you said, and you cas use almost the same as in english for every use you can find ;) – Lyzvaleska Dec 11 '19 at 8:45
  • A piece of advice: never ever say "You’re fucking cute" to anyone. If you have a good friend, you could tell him "That girl is fucking cute", but to say that to a woman that you find attractive is a full assurance that she will wish only one thing: never see you again. En français, c'est à peu près la même chose. Il est absolument impossible de dire en face à une femme, "Vous êtes vraiment bandante", au moins dans un stade préliminaire d'une relation. – Bazin Dec 11 '19 at 13:34
  • You all need to chill out. Whether someone takes offence to the sentence “You’re fucking cute.” or not all depends on context. It depends how it was said, what was said before, gestures, who it is saying it to me. – Noybwbh Dec 11 '19 at 20:47
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As you said, before a noun:

My fucking car is so beautiful!

Ma putain de voiture est tellement belle !

Before an adjective:

My car is so fucking beautiful!

Ma voiture est putain de belle !

As you can see I removed the word tellement because it's more natural this way, but you could say est tellement putain de belle or est putain de tellement belle.

Now I'd say it's not very common to use this formulation before an adjective, at least not as common as using it before a noun. I would rather say Ma voiture est tellement belle, putain !.

It's possible before an adverb too, and similarly to before an adjective, I'd say it's not the most natural way:

My car is moving so fucking slowly!

Ma voiture avance (tellement) putain de lentement !

I'd rather say Ma voiture avance tellement lentement, putain !

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  • I like the way that you avoided the (not very common) use of "putain de" before an adjective by simply ending the sentences with "putain" (I also like that all of your examples were about a car, thus avoiding the [potentially?/blatantly!] offensive use of "putain" in sentences describing a woman!). Back to "putain" at the end of the sentences, do you think "Putain [que]" could also begin the sentences and still have the same meaning/impact as your putting it at the end? (eg: "Putain [que] ma voiture est tellement belle!) Thanks! – Papa Poule Dec 11 '19 at 17:49
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    @PapaPoule To me, putting it at the beginning or the end doesn't change the meaning. In your last example I wouldn't use "tellement" if I use "que". Similar to English "How beautiful it is!", I think "How so beautiful it is!" sounds wrong. – Destal Dec 11 '19 at 18:26
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I think that using a "suitable" emphasizing/emphatic adverb constructed with the usual "ment" suffix would sound smoother than "putain de" and better avoid any possible implication that the recipient of your complement has "whorish" qualities.

"Sacrément" or one of the synonyms (especially, but not necessarily the vulgar one) for it mentioned in the linked TLFi/CNRTL entry might work:

SACRÉMENT, adv.,
...
DÉR.
Sacrément, adv.,pop. Tout à fait, extrêmement. Synon. bigrement (fam.), bougrement (fam.), diablement (fam.), foutrement (vulg.), vachement (pop.).

"T'es sacrément/foutrement/vachement/(>>>) belle/beau/mignonne/mignon, toi"

(>>> You could also consider "fichtrement", in my opinion.)

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  • Ou le joli gavé qui doit venir de quelque part dans le Sud. T'es gavé belle. – Destal Dec 11 '19 at 17:00
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In Southern France, at least in Marseille's area, you might hear:

Tu es putain qué jolie/mignonne/belle !

Qué being a remnant of Occitan.

Otherwise, this would work all over France:

Putain, que tu es mignonne !

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cute can be use everywhere beautiful is used, with one condition : this must be an animal, a human, ... so something that live. Also, with cute/beautiful, we would prefer to translate it as tellement instead of putain, which is really familiar (and can be insulting).

A car didn't live (only mechanic and electronic), so you can't use cute in that case. But for a cat, you can use both.

In french, that's not a problem, both belle and jolie (both refered to beautiful) can be used for tools, plants or animals. But cute would more refered to mignon.

Examples : about a draw :

  • in english, I would say My draw is fucking beautiful, a masterpiece !
  • in french, we could say Mon dessin est tellement joli / beau, un chef d'oeuvre

about a baby :

  • in english : That baby is so fucking cute, he grabbed my hand.
  • in french : Ce bébé est tellement mignon, il a attrapé ma main.

NB : you could use mignon in the 1st example, but the sentence would totally change about what is described (we would about what is drawn, and not the draw in global - a cat drawn for example)

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  • Fucking definitely not translates to tellement... Putain is vulgar as fucking is in English. – Destal Dec 11 '19 at 10:53
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I Even with an adjective you can use that most succesful expression ; there is a clear tendancy though: the adjective shouln't be of that sort that shows a quality and should be of the disapproving kind. There is a range of moods associated with such elocutionary behaviour, from grudgingly friendly to downright mean. It should be known that whatever the attitude you choose all this sort of language is of very inferior quality, not at all advised to speakers that want to preserve their French a clean language; all of this that follows in the examples is utterly coarse.

  • Mais t'es putain de têtu, comment je vais te faire comprendre ? (recollections)

  • Elle est si putain de [bête (rare)]/[con (con)] qu'elle fout du fromage dans son thé. (recollections)

However, the rule concerning the disapproving character of the adjective is not a hard and fast one;

  • C'est si putain de bon qu'ils se mettent à quatre pattes pour le boire dans la mare du tonneau renversé. (quasi recollections)

  • Elle est si putain de grande que ses genoux se voient au-dessus du tableau de bord. (quasi recollections)

I wouldn't know about "cute" (mignonne); it seems I never heard such a combination of ideas, which amounts to the crudest of terms being allied to one expressing the most delicate and divine perception in order to connote a high degree of the quality.

II This usage is rather rare in print, where for the quasi totality of the uses of "putain de" the complement is a noun. Personnally, I think that this "pioneering" English usage itself (fucking cute) goes one degree further in the way of making for an unnatural and contrived language.

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    ......... Bruh. – Noybwbh Dec 11 '19 at 20:04
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Putain est certainement utile dans bien des contextes en français métropolitain, entre autres, et l'adverbe tellement peut en effet exprimer le haut degré.

En français du Québec/Canada le l'adjectif maudit peut servir à accentuer et on a l'adverbe mauditement, mais on est loin du compte en ce qui a trait au niveau de vulgarité. On peut possiblement recourir au sacre directement, en locution adverbiale avec en (en... crisse, tabarnac, sacrament, etc. : beaucoup sont identifiés comme vulgaires par Wiktionnaire) ; l'adverbe crissement est usuel.

Cette personne est belle en maudit/crisse1.
Cette personne est mauditement/crissement belle.

1 Dans un cadre où la syntaxe est très relâchée, il peut y avoir confusion possible entre le haut degré/locution adverbiale et une réduction d'une locution verbale ou d'un emploi différent, « quand elle est en crisse/maudit » (en colère).

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