1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Children, women and men"

"Children, women and men"

Translation:Des enfants, des femmes et des hommes

February 22, 2013



I put 'les enfants, les femmes et les hommes' and it was correct... why is "les" and "des" interchangeable here? Are they always interchangeable?


There is no context, that is why you have a choice.

  • children, women and men have two legs (generality) = les enfants, les femmes et les hommes ont deux jambes. In French, generalities are expressed with the definite article le/la/les

  • children, women and men were found in the house = des enfants, des femmes et des hommes ont été trouvés dans la maison: we are talking of "a certain number of", with the singular version being: a child, a woman and a man were found in the house = un enfant, une femme et un homme ont été trouvés dans la maison.

The ambiguity comes from the fact that a/an does not have a plural form in English, whereas the French un/une has a plural: Des


Great explaination, thank you!


wait I only put des before enfants, why must I use it 3 times for des but not for les?


That is the way we do it: we repeat the article.


This is what I put: L'enfants, les femmes, et l'hommes.

I was marked wrong.

CORRECT SOLUTIONS: Enfants, les femmes et hommes Des enfants, des femmes et des hommes

I thought it was improper to use a French noun without the article (as shown in the first correct solution), so I used the article for each noun. Can anyone explain why my answer was wrong?


Oh wait ... Is "L'enfants" incorrect because it's a plural? Do you only use the l' contraction for the article if it's "l'enfant" singular?


yes, the plural article for le/la/l' is LES


Why is "des dames" not acceptable. Does it imply only married or older women vs females of any age?


"des dames" = ladies


Just to clarify based on the preceding discussion: 'des' is required before each noun, but 'les' would only be required once?


It can be "des" or "les" but in both cases, the article would be repeated with each noun.


From my understanding, with "des", the article doesn't always have to be repeated if it (des) can apply to each of the objects, and if the objects are part of an enumeration.. Repeating them is more common, however.


I put 'Enfants, femmes et hommes' and was accepted. No les or des used at all. Based on the above discussions, I am wondering whether this would be acceptable in real world use?


I don't see why not. It's not a complete sentence so we don't know the context anyway.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.