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24/05/2022
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[French] Elle a l'air content or Elle a l'air contente
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RudyT

Member
Posted on 28/12/2021 at 03:36:14

by RudyT
Member
Hi!

I have a quick question about a point in French.
How do you say "she looks happy" in French?

Some people say:
"Elle a l'air content"
while others say:
"Elle a l'air contente".

Which one is the correct one? Is there a debate about it?

Rudy
TheLibrarian

**Moderator**
Posted on 28/12/2021 at 04:27:41

by TheLibrarian
**Moderator**
Hi Rudy! 🙂

This is an excellent question.
Actually, there is no debate at all about it. Both are correct.

In French grammar, everything is clear. There are many rules and exceptions for these rules. But there is an explanation for everything.

"Avoir l'air" is an expression that means "paraitre". So:

Elle parait contente → Elle a l'air contente


"Contente" agrees with "elle".

However, "avoir" also means "posséder". So:

Elle possède quelque chose → Elle a quelque chose


"Quelque chose" can be anything. For example, "une voiture grise" or "l'air content". So:

Elle possède une voiture grise → Elle a une voiture grise ("Grise" agrees with "voiture")
Elle possède l'air content → Elle a l'air content ("Content" agrees with "air")


In the end, "elle a l'air content" and "elle a l'air contente" are both correct and have the same meaning while if we decompose the sentences we can see that the adjective applies to different subjects.

I hope it is helpful.
--------------------------
RudyT

Member
Posted on 28/12/2021 at 08:53:52

by RudyT
Member
It is very clear now indeed. Thanks very much.
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