"He wears glasses."
Translation:Il porte des lunettes.
You would use "de" if there were an adjective in front of glasses:
- il porte de belles lunettes
Still having trouble recognizing when to use "les" or "des". How would the meaning of the sentence change if I were to use les luntettes instead of des lunettes? I guess I'm asking in general, what are the rules for using les/des? I'm aware that "des" is a partitive article, so it can mean "some sunglasses." Would saying "les lunettes" not indicate the idea of glasses (i.e. not necessarily a specific pair of glasses, but glasses in general?)? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
"des" is the plural indefinite article that English does not have.
So "des" is the plural of "un" or "une" (a/one).
In this sentence, he wears glasses (plural noun) could be replaced by "he wears a shirt or a cap or a belt..." In plural, those would be "he wears shirts, caps or belts".
Now in French: "il porte une chemise, une casquette ou une ceinture" is singular and "il porte des chemises, des casquettes ou des ceintures" is the plural.
This is very helpful. The word "des" represents actually two wholly different words? Plural of "the," and "some"? Those are different.
Thank you. I am getting slightly better at this topic in the past three months. But latest thing to throw me was il mange des (de-les) pâtes, because spaghetti is a countable quantity.
I had trouble believing the French when eating a plate of spaghetti or other form of pasta consider the individual strands/pieces countable. But if you say so, OK. I am too grateful to be learning French with such dedicated volunteers to complain.
Yes, "un spaghetti, des spaghetti" and more generally "une pâte, des pâtes" is how we use these countable nouns. Usually, since we eat several, we consider them as a plural noun but if one falls down on the floor, we will pick "le spaghetti/la pâte" up.
I don't know where you got the idea that spaghetti is countable. Of course, it isn't. It is the convention in French to always use the plural pâtes to refer to it and hence "des pâtes", not "une pâte". Try a careful read of the link again.
"des" is the plural of "un/une" (a/an).
"les" is the plural of "le, la, les" (the)
"des" can also be the contraction of the preposition "de" and the definite article "les" when the verb is constructed with the preposition "de":
- parler de + definite article + noun: "je parle des (= de+les) lunettes" = I am talking of/about the glasses
Thanks. Is it possible to be competent at french without ever understanding what the "partitive" is? Is it necessary for the learner to understand the partitive? Or is this an artificial or redundant concept?
Groan. I empathize with the cherub who is covering his face in grief. I have tried to learn but the explanations shift around like sand.
Don't worry, grammar will sink in, little by little. Make sure you read the sentence discussions and the Tips&Notes in the lessons.
Where are Partitive Tips and Notes? There isn't a lesson on the tree devoted to Partitive. It would be really be great if there were.
I thought lunettes were sunglasses? Can lunette mean any type of glasses?
If both "mettre" and "porter" mean "to wear", would it be correct to say "Il met des lunettes"? Merci beaucoup!
"mettre" suggests the movement of the glasses from your hand to your nose.
"porter" suggests they are on your nose already.
However, if you talk about your habits, you can say, interchangeably : je mets (or porte) toujours des lunettes pour lire / je porte (or mets) toujours mes lunettes de soleil sur la plage.
The French needs an article. EN "glasses" are considered to be a plural noun in EN just like "lunettes" are in French. So you have to use a plural article. "Des lunettes" is the correct form; it means simply "glasses". "Les lunettes" means = the glasses. This is explained more farther up the comments and also in considerable detail here: https://www.thoughtco.com/du-de-la-des-1368977 It's always a good idea to read the comments before posting a question because the answer is probably already there.
Thanks. I know the "les vs des" thing was explained further up, but I wondered why an article was necessary at all.
Sitesurf has already answered your question (above). The verb "mettre" is generally understood as "to put on" when referring to clothing or something that you put on your body. Once you have put it on, now you are wearing it (use the verb "porter"). There is a narrow interpretation of "mettre" as "to wear" when you are looking in your closet and you ask yourself, "what shall I wear today?" This is meant in the sense of "to put on" . So "il met des lunettes" would mean "he is putting on glasses", whereas "il porte des lunettes" = he is wearing glasses.
Where can i get information like this about the difference between mettre and porter?
When you ask a question, other learners or Mods can answer, which saves you a lot of time searching answers for yourself. Yet if you ask Mods to document their answers, you don't save their time which is given for free to all learners.
@sitesurf, Thank you for your reply. What I really meant was that such subtle difference between different verbs is not easy to find on the internet. So, i was wondering there should be lots of such important information about how different words should be used in different contexts. and if there is a way to get that information. had I not asked the difference between mettre and porter, i would have never known.
Thanks to you and nz6s.