Usage of les and des
"I am having difficulty understanding the correct usage of "les" and "des". I thought "les" conformed to the English usage of the, and "des" was a more generalised word where some could be used in English, but isn't. In the segment irregular plurals these guidelines appear to be fluid. Can you give me a better understanding when to use these articles?"
In French, nouns are normally preceeded by articles. And the articles need to conform in gender and number to the noun to which they refer.
So you get:
le garçon : the boy
les garçons : the boys ( i.e. more than one - plural - and refers to a specific set of boys )
un garçon : a boy (i.e. not a specific boy )
des garçons : some boys ( as in not a specific group of boys )
You will read/hear also that un / des refered to as indefinite articles. Once again indicating they are not refering to a specific boy, or specific group of boys.
la fille : the girl
les filles : the girls
une fille : a girl ( indefinite )
des filles : some girls ( indefinite )
Also note : mostly in French, they use an article (i.e. le , la , les , un , une , des) before every noun. While in English there are more instances where we do not use an article ( i.e. the, they, a/an/one , some/any )