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  5. "We write the women's names."

"We write the women's names."

Translation:Nous écrivons les noms des femmes.

March 2, 2013



Can someone explain to me why "des" is necessary in front of "femmes"?


In English, you have a possessive case built as such: owner + apostrophe + owned thing. but it basically means : the names of the women.

In French, there is no possessive form other than: owned thing + de + definite article + owner.

  • le nom de la femme
  • le nom de l'homme, le nom de l'amie (le/la is elided in front of a non-aspired H or a vowel)
  • le nom des hommes/femmes (contraction of de-les)


I'm slightly confused. I thought it was this: le nom de la femme = the name of the woman, le nom des femmes = the names of the women, le nom de femme = the woman's name, and le nom de femmes = the women's name, (i.e. the 'de' does not become des)


how about "nous ecrivons des noms de les femmes"


"de+les" has to be contracted to "des"


Is dames really just too formal instead of femmes? Would using the word dames in French be strange in conversation? I'm pretty sure it's on a lot of toilet doors in France..


"une dame" is certainly more formal than "femme", but it translates back to "lady", so we remain strict on registers of speech.

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