Why is it « nouvel » and not « neuf » when the raincoat would be brand new from the store? I thought neuf is for new, never been used, and nouvel is for been used but still pretty new.
Freeform Writing Exercise B1
The English says -
"... because he needs a new raincoat "
you wouldn't say in English
because he needs a brand new raincoat
that sounds just as strange as saying in French -
il a besoin d'un imperméable neuf
The emphasis is on the fact that it needs replacing not the fact that the raincoat will be brand new, although it is bound to be.
Sorry - doing edit and hit wrong button! Chris has covered now, so won't retype everything! Link from previous answer though https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/neuf-vs-nouveau/
Agree with Maarten. In my observation, nouveau is used in a broader context as neuf, because "new to the owner" can also include something brand new. Though in cases where you want to make clear that it is indeed brand new, you're obligated to use neuf.
Here is an example (cited fromhttps://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/neuf-vs-nouveau/) where their difference really comes out nicely:
un restaurant neuf is a restaurant that just newly opened.un nouveau restaurant is a restaurant that may have existed for a long time but that is new to me, i.e., I've never been to it.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard