"Ils doivent discuter de la couleur des murs."

Translation:They have to discuss the color of the walls.

September 7, 2015

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/javatete

Des murs would be some walls, would it not? Duo insisted it was the walls.

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Oh, boy, I hope I can explain this. I'm still learning, myself. First of all, it really is "of the walls", not "of some walls." I believe "of some walls," in this context, would be "de quelques murs."

As I understand it, the difference lies in the use of "de". In this sentence it means "of" - "le couleur des murs" = "the colour of the walls".

In situations where "des murs" means "some walls", as in, I don't know, "I find some walls" = "Je trouve des murs" - the "des" is what's known as a partitive article.

I don't feel I'm explaining this very well. Sitesurf? Anybody? Sorry.

September 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/javatete

No problem. I keep forgetting des is a contraction of "de+les" in addition to meaning "some."

October 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/chase84180

I believe if it is plural, you would use "des" as of the. I've noticed I never see de les. They join the two to make "des"

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

You are correct that "de les" is never used, it must be contracted to "des".

But as @javatete realizes, "des" can be either the plural indefinite article (typically translated to "some" or nothing at all) or "de + les", which translates to "of the". The latter is the case in this exercise.

You can figure out which one by whether the preposition "de" ("of") is needed.

See also @mammad99's answer, which also lists the non-plural French for "of the".

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathanDu937423

Sounds like a pretty boring art class.

August 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

"Discuss about" is odd. We would usually just say, "They have to discuss the colour of the walls." (That is accepted, btw.)

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/contrl

Coincidentally, I just commented the same thing a few minutes ago on the same exercise from English to French. :)

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tingtingding

maybe I should learn English first :D

April 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ahulani

Hmm. I said "They must discuss the wall color." which I think in English is generally meant to apply to all the walls in question. A subtle difference? (I know this is plural "color of the walls'. I was just curious if this transclation would work. If I have a house in need of painting, I probably would not call the painter and say I needed to discuss the "walls' colors". Much more likely to say, "I need to discuss wall color with you." Just thinkin'

July 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Susan36330

I agree, Ahulani. If I am getting ready to decorate a room, I would say that I need to discuss the wall color, not the walls color.

March 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/bodwisteve

i think there is a slight difference between the walls' color and the wall color and the wall colors and the walls' colors. If you imagine a wall with one color and a wall with several colors and several walls with one color and several walls with several colors

January 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ahulani

That's correct, but not usual. In fact, if that were the case, I am certain the surrounding context would make it clear. For the most part, "wall color" is used in the USA at least, to mean the color of the walls in a room. Even if there is more than one color. In my room, I have one green wall. I would still use "wall color" to include that difference. Enough already. I think we all get it. We just don't say "Walls' colors or color" usually.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BobTheAlmighty

Is this a case where the adjective doesn't have to be plural?

August 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

"couleur" is not an adjective, it is a feminine noun, hence the partitive article "de la" (since color is not countable). There are no adjectives in this sentence.

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MouliCha

Why 'Des' has been used here? Doesn't it mean some?

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99

of the = de les --> des, plural, masculine or feminine
of the = de le --> du, singular, masculine
of the = de la --> de la, singular, feminine

Des also translates to either some or nothing, always plural, masculine or feminine, examples: des pommes = apples or some apples feminine, des jardins = gardens or some gardens, masculine

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MouliCha

thank you

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NezihD
  • 1253

why "they have to discuss about the color of the walls" is wrong? I remember "..de la ..." is used as "about" or "of" in some other examples.

February 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathanDu937423

You can't say 'discuss about' in English. It's just 'discuss + object'

February 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Meri223722

Why isn't "They must discuss" as acceptable as "They have to discuss" the color of the walls. That was counted as incorrect.

February 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

They probably forgot to code this answer, which seems acceptable to me. You could report it if you come across it again.

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielLyra6

It annoys me that the english spelling of colour is not accepted, whilst american color is by duolingo. Petty i know!!!

August 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BaiShann

yes it is

January 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rpzi8

'they must talk about the colour of the walls' makes sense and is accepted - 'de la' = 'about the'

October 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99

"Ils doivent parler de la couleur des murs " and "ils doivent discuter la couleur des murs" convey almost the same meaning to me. the use of the word "de " in the sentence "ils doivent discuter de la couleur des murs" somehow sounds redundant and unusual. My understanding is that the meaning of "de" is already included in the word discuter, but not in "parler." I would appreciate comments from natives or from Duo people. Thanks

February 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

According to this dictionary entry, "discuss" (or "talk about") is "discuter de": https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/discuter.

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

It could be an idiom. No doubt it will become one.

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/StevenBroc5

They use :des: means some ,My answer is correct

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99

What did you write exactly? see my note a bit higher. There are two kind of "des". one is a partitive article: De + les -- des -- and the other is the plural of un or une -- des, which is a definite article (Addendum: the plural of the pronouns un et une would be les uns and les unes)

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/StevenBroc5

the definite article

August 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99

Sorry I meant the entire sentence you wrote

August 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DaniloAustria

I had this as a listening exercise. How do I know that this is "des murs" and not "de mur" or "de murs"? I seem to remember an example in which "caisse de pommes" was used and I really have a hard time figuring out when to use "de" or "des".

Thanks in advance for any help

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Yucca-Moh

Discuter de = to talk about = to discuss

February 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/travis.font

"they must speak about the color of the walls" should be accepted.

February 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/travis.font

Ideally "they should speak about the wall colors". People who write this stuff are sometimes out of their minds.

February 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mega-Slowking

Why is it discuter de la, not discuter la? It is not a definite article, so the English equivalent shouldn't be THE color.

April 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/msinykin

According to this dictionary entry, "discuss" (or "talk about") is "discuter de": https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/discuter.

And then you need "la" as the definite article "the" for the noun "couleur".

April 6, 2019
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