"You read the little girls' letters."

Translation:Tu lis les lettres des petites filles.

February 10, 2013



Should it be "des petites filles"? I read a comment earlier saying that if there is an adjective between des and a plural noun, the des becomes de. Is this different in this case?

February 10, 2013


Here it is different because it is a possessive case: the letters belong to the little girls. therefore, the construction (adjective or not) is de+definite article, with usual contractions:

  • la lettre du garçon (contraction of de+le)
  • la lettre de la fille
  • les lettres des garçons (contraction of de+les)
  • les lettres des filles (contraction of de+les).
February 10, 2013


But I have seen sentences with possessive construction that use "de" and not "des" as long as there is an adjective in between. I'm sure that what you say is correct, but it is a very confusing rule/excpetion...

May 31, 2014


I thought read was the one that sounds like "red" rather than the one that sounds like "reed" - so it could've been past tense.

January 23, 2014


Duo should certainly accept a past tense answer for this.

February 6, 2014


True, the passé composé: "tu as lu / vous avez lu les petites lettres des filles."

February 7, 2014


I wrote "Tu lis..." is that very, very wrong?

April 3, 2013


Not wrong at all! if Duo has not listed it in the correct answers, you may report it.

April 3, 2013


what is wrong with tu lis petites filles lettres?

April 5, 2013


The English possessive case, built with <the OWNER's OBJECT>, to mean <OBJECT of the OWNER> does not exist in French.

Therefore, "the little girls' letters" meaning "the letters of the little girls" only translates in "les lettres des petites filles", where "des" is a contraction of DE+ LES:

  • la lettre de la petite fille (no contraction needed)
  • la lettre du petit garçon (contraction of de-le)
  • la lettre des petits enfants (contraction of de-les)
April 5, 2013


is it always ok to use fillettes for little girls?

January 31, 2014


"une fillette" has become rare in daily usage.

January 31, 2014
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