"We have beautiful children."

Translation:Nous avons de beaux enfants.

January 24, 2013

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Shouldn't "nous avons de belles enfants" be correct as well? The gender of all children could be feminine.


Yes, it would be acceptable.


But the noun "enfant/enfants" is still masculine, so it is referring to the word itself rather than the sex of the children. Children would tend to include both boys and girls anyway (which is default masculine when both sexes are represented), because if not, you could just say "nous avons de belles filles"; we have beautiful daughters.


enfant can be feminine as well.


Why not "Nous avons des beaux enfants"?

Why is it "de beaux enfants"? It seems like the "de" doesn't agree.


"de" is a preposition and as such, it never agrees.

The word missing is "des", plural indefinite article, which is replaced by "de" in front of an adjective.

  • des enfants magnifiques
  • de beaux enfants


Thank you Sitesurf! I didn't know this previously!


Thanks! I've been wondering about that!


why is "beaux" in front of the noun? i thought it went after... my answer was "nous avons des enfants beaux" can anyone tell me what is wrong with it?


Beauty adjectives come in front of the nouns they modify.


Sitesurf, which all adjectives come before the noun? Thanks.


I've found this link helpful in learning which adjectives to place before nouns. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

The general rule for before-the-nous adjectives is Beauty, Age, Good/bad, Size (B A G S). Hope this helps!


So, "we have kids" would be "nous avons des enfants" but now since there is an adjective des becomes de?


Yes, that's the rule.


and if the adjective goes behind (like "chats noirs") is it still de?


The rule is that in front of an adjective, "des" becomes "de".

  • un chat noir - des chats noirs
  • un petit chat - de petits chats.


In the case of the word enfante, it refers to a female child. Enfants would refer to a group of children which contains at least one boy. A few words in French referring to living things or people have both masculine and feminine forms.


Is it possibe to write: " Nous avons des enfants qui sont superbes. " ? Merci d'avance !


It is correct, grammatically speaking, but you have added 2 words that were not required.


Votre aide m'a aidée et je vous en remercie !


"On est de beaux enfants" is what the system corrects me with when I enter "On a de beaux enfants". This seems wrong to me.


"des" becomes "de" in front of an adjective. So the translation can be:

  • nous avons de beaux enfants
  • on a de beaux enfants.


what is the reason why des becomes de in front of an adjective?


And this leads to another thing I was wondering. Is there a specific situation where Nous and On are use differently?


Yes, actually "on" does not have all the properties of "nous".

For ex, there is no imperative for "on".

  • let's go = "allons-y !" or "on y va !"

In some situations, "on" does not mean "nous", but rather "they":

  • on a dit dans les medias que... = it was said in the media that...

Sometimes, it means "you":

  • alors, on est en retard ! on n'a pas entendu son réveil ? (so, you are late! you haven't heard your alarm clock?)
  • on devrait sortir la poubelle (please put out the rubbish)


Wow, "on" is getting confusing. Is there anyway to tell apart when it is used as we, you or they? Or we'll just have to guess which text suits best?


If you get "we" in the English sentence, you translate to "nous"

If you get "on" in the French sentence, you have to clarify the meaning of the whole sentence to decide which pronoun to use.


Merci pour le conseil.


Sitesurf, "Nous avons de bels enfants.", c'est possible ?


No, because the plural of "beau" is "beaux", ending with a consonant which creates a Z liaison with "enfants"; so it sounds just fine.


Why put superbe as an option then not accept it? *sigh


Nous avons des enfants beaute? ?? What does that translate to


Ok why not jolis?


Why is 'de' necessary?


Please consider the same sentence in singular:

  • Nous avons un bel enfant

The plural of "un" is "des", which changes to "de" before an adjective:

  • Nous avons de beaux enfants

Without an adjective or when the adjective is after the noun, this is what you get:

  • Nous avons un enfant (gentil) --- Nous avons des enfants (gentils)


What is wrong with "Nous avons de bels enfants" ?


"Bel" does not have a plural form nor needs one. "Bel" is used before a masculine singular noun starting with a vowel sound, because the original adjective "beau" ends with a vowel sound which creates a sound conflict: "bo-|-enfant"

In plural, "beaux" ending with an X creates a Z liaison with the next vowel sound and therefore, there is no longer a vowel sound conflict: "bo-z-enfants"

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