"Les poches des robes"

Translation:The dresses' pockets

January 22, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I don't understand why DL is saying "the pockets of dresses" is wrong, but "the pockets of THE dresses" is right...

  • 1696

Either that or "des" is a contraction of "de les".


I believe "The pockets of dresses" would be "Les poches de robes".

"Les poches des robes" can only be "The pockets of the dresses".


To my understanding, "du" is the masculine form of "of". "De la" is feminine. "Des" is plural for both, much like "le" and "la" become "les".


That is correct. I read an ancient French grammar that nonetheless explained it well:

  • le - masculine singular
  • la - feminine singular
  • les - masculine plural
  • les - feminine plural

« de » + article:

  • « de » + « le » = « du »
  • « de » + « la » = « de la »
  • « de » + « les » = « des »
  • « de » + « les » = « des »

« à » + article:

  • « à » + « le » = « au »
  • « à » + « la » = « à la »
  • « à » + « les » = « aux »
  • « à » + « les » = « aux »


Mikukaito: That's not correct. "Des" is a contraction of "de+les." It does literally mean "of the." We could quite correctly say in English "The pockets of the dresses." But it's more common to use a possessive: "The dresses' pockets." French does not have possessives, so one must use the first formulation.

If "des" translated only to "of," the English sentence would read "The pockets of dresses," which is another thing entirely - not the pockets of a particular set of dresses, but pockets of dresses in general. In English, the more usual way of saying that would be "The dress pockets," not "The dresses' pockets." If the former is what you want to say, the French is different: "Les poches de robes." Or if referring to the pockets of only one dress, "Les poches de robe."


In the sentence in question, "des" is a possessive, meaning "of" and therefore having no relation to "les". It's kind of hard to understand and/or explain, but when you say "de la" or "du" or "des", it doesn't translate to "of the", it translates to "of". There is also the other use of the "de"'s, which takes the place of "le"'s and translates to either some or just takes away the "the" and just shortens the sentence. For example, "Elle mange des citrons.", or "She eats (some) lemons." Sorry for any mistakes I have made.


Merci beaucoup, thank you, Dennis, for these clear explanations.


I disagree with your husband interpretation when dl wasreminding us that des refers to indefinite article "some". Les the definite article"the." It was correct to omit the English translation some but the french translation "des" must always be included before the noun. So why the confusion now?


I agree. Somewhere they had made corrections with similar format. Suddenly they have decided that "the" is now required


Can this be translated as simply dress pockets (referring to them in general)...? E.g. if in English we were saying "dress pockets are very useful" as a general observation then would the equivalent be "Les poches des robes sont très utiles/pratiques"? Thanks!


I can't see why it isn't dress pockets, but apparently that's wrong.


You can report it and see if it will be accepted.


I think it would rather be Des poches des robes sont très utiles. But I'm not sure.


"Some pockets of the dresses..."


If only dresses had pockets... :D


Carol Burnett insisted that her dresses had to be altered to include pockets. If there's a side seam to the dress, pocketses are an easy DIY addition. Duolingo's sewing tip for the day! :)


Je pense que Duo est un peu ivre xD


It didn't even show me the "Another correct solution" it only told me I was "almost correct" even though omitting the apostrophe is incorrect.


Konim96 It just gave me the same thing. The reporting tool for this one has no category for the correct answer is incorrect. so I can't even report it.


Why does 'des' need 'the'?


It doesn't, the 'les' is what translates to the 'the.' Word for word the first sentence would become "the pockets of dresses," which seems unnatural so we move around the word order to make in seem more normal and it becomes "the dresses' pockets." The 'the' is still referring to the pockets because 'dresses' is acting as an adjective describing the pockets. Think of it in a sentence: 'The dresses's pockets were too small to hold anything.' The dress is not what is small, the pockets are, so both the 'the' and the 'dresses' refer to the pockets as the subject.

I hope that helped, I had a hard time trying to figure out how to word that... It's a confusing thing to explain, but it makes sense once you get it heheh.... :)


Nope, I think it must be something else because "the pockets of dresses" was not accepted. You could quite naturally say, "The pockets of dresses are different to the pockets of pants."


"des" is the mandatory contraction of "de"+"les". That's why it's "of the dresses".


my answer was "the pockets of dresses" and it marked it wrong???


that happened to me too. it counted me wrong because i said dress instead of gown


Same here, I reported since dress is on the hover and what we have been using. Gown was not a word introduced to us.


It should accept "dresses(')" in all instances, but there's nothing wrong with "gowns(')" even if you haven't previously been exposed to it.


I translated it to mean: the Pockets of dresses

Could the question be rephrased to: 'Les Poches de la robe' to make it clearer its talking about pockets of a specific dress and not MANY dresses (with the use of des replaced with de la).


I guess it could be rephrased in that way for single dress


Why not "the pockets of dresses"? that is the literal translation, right?


In this sentence it appears that des robes is an adjective for les poches. That is why IMO the best translation would be the dresses' pockets.


No, it is the object of a preposition. The English "the dress pockets" does not preserve this (in fact, it makes 'dress' into, effectively, an adjective), but depending on context it is a perfectly adequate translation, and even a more common one than this one. Reported.


I was doing a review and the question right before this was "Les poches des vêtements" and it accepted "The pockets of clothes" as the correct answer so one of these two questions has a bug.


"les" and "des"(plurals) pronunciation in English sound similar than "le and "de"(singular)


Le = "luh" De = "duh" Les = "lay" Des = "day"



It finally makes sense, thanks. bucko


Thank you so much


I can't tell the difference at all :-(. These pairs sound absolutely the same for me :-(.


Le – les, de – des, robe – robes. Bucko gave some pronunciation tips above, but... I'm not a native English speaker and maybe I'm wrong, but I would pronounce i. g. "lay" completelety differently from what I hear here in the French course when "les" is said. And I can't tell it from "le" :-(


The vowels in Czech are quite different to French. Notably, Czech doesn't have the unstressed vowel sound in « le » which is found in most other languages. I'd suggest listening to some recordings on https://forvo.com/

« robe » and « robes » are pronounced the same.


Thank you very much for your explanation. The fact is in Czech (what is my native language) there's nothing like the vowel you pronounce in the word „the“, we have only this like in „thee“. So I had to learn to hear it and to pronounce it. I thought I had managed it but now it seems it works only for English, not generally. OK, I will keep trying to learn it for French as well :-).


Thank you, CJ.Dennis, I'll check it!


"Les" is not exactly "lay" but it's close. It's not quite as high, and definitely not a diphthong as in English. But very different from "le" which is like the e in "the." (but not "thee) So the le/les and de/des pairs are similar to the English pair the/they.

There is probably an audio resources online with these things spoken by French people. My old set of French records has a demonstration of all the vowel sounds where they speak them back-to-back so you can hear the subtle differences.


'dress pockets' in English, seems to me to be talking about all dress pockets, in general not the pockets of one dress.


I don't agree. I could easily imagine someone saying, "It's in my dress pockets."


In your sentence "dress" is an adjective, not a noun. They are your pockets and the types of pockets found in dresses, not the pockets of your dresses.


Verb? Did you mean adverb? I don't believe "dress" is an adjective. "Dress pockets" is a compound noun made of the nouns "dress" and "pockets".

I think I misunderstood what he was trying to say; I thought he was saying the pockets couldn't be the pockets of one dress, but on second look I think that's not the case. I guess you're both just pointing out that the main noun of the compound is "pockets", not "dress"; that's obvious to me but perhaps it's odd to non-native speakers.


It looks like I confused you as much as I confused myself! I meant "noun", not "verb" (or "adverb"). In English we're allowed to use just about any noun as an adjective in front of another noun (as you say, a compound noun), so even though "dress" is a noun, in "dress pockets" it is an adjective. Of course, we can't say "These pockets are dress" because the rule doesn't work that way.


Ok, I see what you mean. It's called a noun adjunct.


how am i supposed to know its a pural i doesn't sound any different !!

  • 1696

"Les" and "des" are both plural. If they were singular (feminine) the articles would have been "la" and "de la".

  • 2841

How can I tell when "des" means "of the" or "some"


des is supposed to mean some right? Then why it says 'the' here.


The word « des » is a contraction of « de » + « les ». Sometimes it means "some" (when it's a partitive article) and sometimes it just means "of the", as it does here.


Why was the dress pockets incorrect?


Robes is plural.


"Robe" could be both singular and plural, no?


Yes and no.

Une robe=a dress

Des robes=(some) dresses

But robe and robes are pronounced the same except when followed by a vowel sound (vowel and silen h).


I need help I pronouced robe(dress) every which way to sunday and it always come out wrong is it not pronouced like it is in english or is that nasally sound intentional can someone please help



It is /ʁɔb/, very similar to "Rob". You can also hear native speakers saying it here:



I agree, the dress pockets is just better English than the dresses' pockets.


But not correct English if referring to multiple dresses, as in this case.


It's correct English if the focus is the pockets themselves


I'm not so sure. Les poches des robes=The pockets of the dresses (the dresses' pockets). ie the pockets of these particular dresses. If we wanted to talk about pockets of dresses in general ("The dress pockets), I think we would have to say "Les poches de robe." In other words, we are talking about multiple pockets, but not necessarily multiple dresses.


Why isn't "The pockets of dresses" correct? Every other time "des" or "de" is used I get pinged for accidentally saying "the". The correct solutions don't even make sense; I was not under the impression that we were discussing specific dresses or I would have expected "les poches de les robes".


You cannot say "de les." It gets combined into "des."


How do I know if something is plural??


Visually, there is usually a plural form - both poche and robe add an "s" to form a plural. Also, the article changes to the plural form "les." (Or "des," which is de+les in this case). You can't hear the difference with the added s, but you can hear that "les" sounds different from "le" or "la."


Thanks so much!


whats wrong with: le poche de robe


It is not what the audio is saying. And it is singular for both the dress and the pocket.


Back translation: "The pocket of dress".


If a single dress pocket is "le poche de robe," and you want to pluralize the pockets but not the dress, would that be "les poches de robe"?


I'm having a hard time hearing the difference in pronunciation with the plurals


You do know that the plurals themselves are not pronounced differently? It's only the preceding article which is different (Les vs la, des vs de la). Adding an "s" does not generally change the pronunciation since it is silent.


How are you supposed to tell it's plural if it sounds exactly the same as singular ??


Your question is answered if you look immediately above in the comments.


I can tell by looking at it that it's plural. I mean by listening to it. It SOUNDS exactly the same as if it were singular. That's the biggest problem I've had with French so far. Telling the difference between plural and singular.


If you hear a sentence completely out of context, there's often no way to tell the singular and plural apart. This is why the Duolingo moderators have decided to allow both homophones whenever they occur, even if technically it doesn't match the spelling of the original sentence.


I was talking about pronouns and verbs, not articles which, although similar, are different enough to always be able to be distinguished by careful listening. In other words, my original comment was almost completely off-topic.

« le » and « les » sound different from each other, etc.


As discussed above, the articles sound completely different for plurals.


Is the dress pockets not considered correct??????


Robes is plural. Read the rest of the comments for extensive discussion.


Duolingo forgot to add the apostrophe indicating possessive in its correction. It proposed "The dresses pockets"


I typed in "the dresses' pockets" but it still said I'm wrong


My answer: "The dresses' pockets".... she tells me I am wrong. Her answer: "The dresses' pockets" IT'S THE SAME ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!


I just made it "The dress pockets" and got corrected to "the gowns pockets."


Still getting "..dresses.." marked wrong and corrected by Duo as "..gowns.." (May 2018)


Although technically the dresses' pockets is right, in English it sound les clumsy to say the dress pockets and would be understood as more than one dress.


With the new app which limits word entry I would say the pockets of dresses makes a more natural translation than the dresses' pockets which doesn't have the apostrophe


So "des" also means "of the" ?


yes. De les is combined to make des. Just as in the singular, de+le=du.


Just listening to the audio, how can you tell it's plural?


Les vs la. Des vs de la. They both sound very different.


Yep, you won't know unless you get a vowel after the s. You do learn to listen out for the article in conversation


nzchicago's answer is completely correct. You can hear the difference just in « les » and « des ». You don't need any liaisons to be able to hear the plural with articles.

  • le, de - /lə/, /də/
  • la, de la - /la/, /də.la/
  • les, des - /le/, /de/ or before a vowel /lez/, /dez/


Apologies, I may have been a bit vague but yes, the article has an audible difference. The plural, being a noun, doesn't have an audible difference unless followed by a consonant (i.e. poche sounds the same as poches).

CJDennis is referring to the declension of the article, rather than the plural noun itself.


DL corrected my possessive {dress's) and put "dresses" as the correct translation. WRONG DL... this needs the possessive, not the plural.


Since it's « robes » it must be "dresses", whether it's possessive (dresses') or not.


Actually, your answer is incorrect. It is plural possessive, so you need dresses'. That's exactly what Duo is showing as the answer for me - maybe the apostrophe is missing for you?


Yes you are right on both counts. It should have been dresses', and the apostrophe was missing when they gave me the supposedly "correct" translation.


I don't understand why Dress doesn't work and robes does. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


It's plural and possessive: dresses'

If you wrote just dress it would be marked wrong.


I got marked wrong for saying "Le poche de robe" like the [s] are silent, so whats the difference in pronunciation?


The difference is in the article, le vs les. They sound different.


why not the "the pockets of the dress"?


Because it's plural. Des (de+les) robes.


My answer was "the dress pockets", but it says it's "the GOWNS" pockets".


The correct answer is the dresses' (plural) pockets. Gowns' should work too since it is also robes in French.


That's probably because the correct answer is "dresses'" (seven letters plus an apostrophe) and you wrote "dress" (five letters). The word "gowns'" (five letters plus an apostrophe) could then be considered as a closer match because the number of letters is the same.


True I think so too


I entered the above and was wrong. Th "correct" solution was the pockets of the robes.


Is there a trick to hearing the difference between singular and plural? I put
"le poche de robe" and it was marked wrong.


Yes, « le » and « les » sound different, as do « de » and « des ».

  • « le » /lə/, like the "le" in "dealer"
  • « les » /le/, like the "le" in "led"
  • « de » /də/, like the "de" in "leader"
  • « des » /de/, like the "de" in "dell"


Yes, le and les sound different. Find an audio file demonstration.


I thought robes were dresses, now it's gowns. ?????


« Une robe » can translate as "a dress", "a robe", "a gown" and even "a coat" (of an animal) in the right context.


Why is DL saying that the correct translation is " the pockets of the robes "?


Duolingo forgot to add the apostrophe indicating possessive in its correction. It corrected with "The dresses pockets"


Hi guys it keeps saying that my answer of "Les poches des robes" is wrong and I should replace it with "Les poches des robes" ... Someone please help me out here!!!!


There is a glitch, I'm continually writing the correct answer and it won't accept it


I've typed exactly what is says in the correction and it is still saying I'm wrong? Bug.


The alleged correct answer is "the pockets of the robes". Robes? Who would use the word "robes"? That's actors talk!


Also judges, college graduates, Druids, priests, and people just stepping out of the bath or shower...


Heh heh! You are correct. It's life Jim but not as we know it!


I do not see the apostrophe on the answer in the app version.


Not sure why it always says you typed in English.


Sooo hard to say fast easy to say slow


❤❤❤❤ u Duolingo! There is no "le" so there shouldn't be a "the"!


The dress pockets was wrong but the gowns pockets was correct... What?


Robes is plural, so gowns would be possible but dress would not be. That's why it must be "dresses'"


I can't hear the "s"


Every S is silent!


In English, the correct plural possessive requires an apostrophe. The word "dresses'" is correct.


And indeed that is exactly what is being shown as the correct answer.


Pockets of one dress The dress's pockets Pockets of more than one dress The dresses' pockets


So awkward to say or use this as an exampme in English


I put the dress' pocket and it was marked incorrect. It said it should have been "the gown's pocket" ❤❤❤?


Both are incorrect. It should be "the dresses' pockets." Although "the gowns' pockets" could also be possible.


Couldn't you say the dress pockets


"Dresses' pockets" is correct but archaic. Any fashion-conscious native youth would now say "dress pockets" - it is easier to enunciate.


There are probably any number of common usages that are easy to pronounce but grammatically incorrect. Why would we expect DL to copy "fashion- conscious native youth" instead of grammar?


Because thine language and grammar evolves


Further more "robes" is not an English word. I think The correct translation The Suits pockets


Of course robe is an English word! Robes are what judges wear, what graduates wear to the ceremony, what Jesus wore in all those paintings, etc. Also, a bathrobe is a type of robe.

The French "robe" is primarily translated as "dress," but also "robe." "Suit" is a completely different word. Costume, complet, tailleur, ensemble. Many other words as well, depending on context.

Having a dictionary can be useful, but you can always look up translations online!


ROBES is not an english word.The correct english word is SUIT


Since when do regular dresses have pockets?


The version with little word cards has no apostrophe with dresses, making the answer wrong.


There is no option to add the apostrophe.


wait what lesson did we learn pockets? And why is "The pockets of dresses" wrong?


"The pockets of dress." Is is wrong??


Dresses don't have pockets. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


When choosing the translated words on the screen the correct choice is "The dresses pockets" however this is incorrect as the apostrophe is missing. The word bank should also contain dresses'

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