De vs Des trouble
During the course I've encountered the sentence "There are prettier zones" which translates into:
Il y a des zones plus jolies
but it turns out I could also write it like that (at least according to Duo):
Il y a de plus jolies zones ("de" instead of "des")
Can anyone explain why do I have to switch from "des" to "de" while shifting the word order?
Most of the time in French, we put the adjective after the noun «il y a des pommes rouges» (there are red apples), «il y a des zones sombres (there are dark zones)». However, this rule has some exceptions, which you may or may not know: this includes a BANGS rule. Any time the adjective is one of the following categories, we can put before the noun:
When we do this for plurals, des becomes de. Jolie (lovely) covers beauty, while sombre (dark) doesn't cover any of the above categories.
Il y a des zones sombres. Il y a de jolies zones.
There is a list of adjectives in French that require "de" be used when the plural form of the adjective is placed before a plural noun. I'm at work and don't have my French textbook to give you the list, but here are a few of them: beaux/bels/belles, nouveaux/nouvels/nouvelles, vieux/vieils/vieilles. Jolies is also one of them.
J'ai des ordinateurs.
J'ai de vieux ordinateurs.
J'ai des lampes rouges.
J'ai de vieilles lampes rouges.