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  5. "Nous écrivons les noms des f…

"Nous écrivons les noms des femmes."

Translation:We write the women's names.

January 12, 2013



I'm so confused on this sentence. I thought 'des' was part of, not the whole. They are certainly NOT writing the names of every woman in existence but writing the names of some women.......'des'. That's what I put and got it incorrect. It is frustrating me that I'm missing some basic french concept.


Well I'll reply both to @Dufarge and @northernguy.

I forgot to mention in my previous posts that "des" is also used as a contraction (mandatory) for "de les".

It's used to mark the possessive form, as it's the case in this exercise.

  • "les jouets de l'enfant" = "the child's toys"
  • "les jouets des enfants" = "the children's toys"

Remember that it's mandatory, you absolutely can NOT say nor write "les jouets de les enfants".


I'm having the same problem. I wonder if the difficulty lies in there not being anything directly analogous to common English usage in some of the French patterns.


I agree! I understand what Arjofocolovi wrote (above) about "des" being the plural form of the indefinite articles "un/une," but in this sentence it doesn't accept "some" as an answer. I'm quite frustrated... and I don't know whether that we're missing some basic French concept or if the program is just very particular.


But it isn't the names some women it is actually the names of the women . We know this because of the word des which in this case is a contraction of de les or of the . Sometimes des is the plural form of un/une as you wrote but sometimes it's the contraction of de les.

How can you tell which usage is required. Well one way is which one makes sense.

Many thanks to Arjofocolovi and Sitesurf for their explanations on this which enabled me to finally figure it out.


de les?could you tell what de les means?


de = of

les = the (pl)

des = of the (pl).

les noms des femmes = the names of the women.

Also: des = some

In this case:

the names some women does not make sense = incorrect

the names of the women does actually make sense = correct


I was thinking "the names of some women" but I guess "des" can't mean "of" and "some" at the same time.


Maybe I might be of help....am not a French native but still might try......

Yeah... Sure you know every one has a name and the name can be said to be the person's possession....

So just look at it as trying to say the names belong to the women...

Then opt-in this formula; article (Le, La, les) + possession (as in this case 'names') + the preposition DE or des + article +owner (in this case it was 'women' ) makes up a sentence indicating possession in French.

Hope that was helpful.... All gratitude to 'sitesurf' that let this out here on duo... Cos this made me feel as if I was not going to learn French again...


i thought des means some of them and les means all of them. Perhaps this sentence is idiomatic?

  • "All of them" = "Tous"
  • "All of it" = "Tout"


"Les" = "The/Them"

  • "Les fleurs" = "The flowers"
  • "Je les vois" = "I see them"

"Des" is the plural form of "un/une" (in English : a/an). It does not exist in English.

  • "J'ai mangé des carottes" = "I ate carrots".


I translated femme as girls and not women, how big of a faux pas is this?


In this context I believe it is absolutely fine, as this is what we would say in English - "girls' names"


As far as I can tell, none of the comments above answer my question: What if one wanted to say, "We write the names OF SOME of the women." How would you say that in French? I would like to know, because I think it would help me get these different French ways of speaking straight in my mind. Will anyone explain?


Maybe the way to translate 'we write the names of some women ' would be ; nous écrivons les noms de certaines femmes


Why is it specifically 'wives' not 'women'


I don't think it is.


Why is "we write down the women's names" not accepted. If you translate back EN-FR what would be different if you wanted to say "write down" not just "write"?


I believe We write girls' names should be accepted. Reported.


Is "femmes" translatable to "females"?


I wrote "ladies' names." I think that's a valid translation. Discuss!


This given translation is clumsy at best. I think we would say in English "we are writing down the women's names" Comments?

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