Difference between nouveau and neuf

AlanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Difference between nouveau and neuf

Why is it “ nouveau copain” and not “copain neuf”? As far as she is concerned he is brand new.

Asked 1 year ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Alan.

Here are some concrete examples:

Mon nouveau copain = my new friend / boyfriend

Mon nouveau patron = my new boss

Ma nouvelle collègue = my new colleague

Mes nouveaux voisins my new neighbours

Mon nouvel appartement = my new flat

Ma nouvelle voiture = my new car

 

In French, you will NEVER use ‘neuf-neuve’ with a living thing, as it sounds like you have just “acquired” him / her recently, like an object ;-) !

Mon copain neuf my brand new friend

Mon patron neuf my brand new boss

Attention: ‘neuf – neuve’ = ‘brand new’ (recently build / acquired)

Mon bureau neuf my brand new desk 

Ma voiture neuve my brand new car

 

See link here:new-neuf-versus-nouveau

 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Don’t think many people would regularly use “brand new” in this context in English either - referring to animate “possessions” as “brand new” sounds odd to me in English or French.

When used in the context of an inanimate possession or abstractions, neuf concisely emphasises the newness or novelty of them, rather than just that they have been newly acquired. Despite that,  “tout neuf” is used, just as in English “absolutely brand new” or similar is sometimes used. 

Difference between nouveau and neuf

Why is it “ nouveau copain” and not “copain neuf”? As far as she is concerned he is brand new.

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