1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "He has small elephants."

"He has small elephants."

Translation:Il a de petits éléphants.

March 28, 2018

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffreyD.

When there is an adjective before a plural noun you use "de" instead of "des". If you are saying "he has elephants" you would say "il a des elephants" but if "he has small elephants", it's "il a de petits elephants." Another example "elle a de grands yeux bleus" - "she has big blue eyes."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StellaBWrites

I always, always forget this. Merci.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bunny1213

Now I got it!!! Merci beaucoup


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffreyD.

And "de" is necessary! ....as i previously had the same question.

"de" (variation of "des" because of the adjective that follows) is a plural indefinite article (or determiner) that means "some".

See: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_3.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VjeranC

What about "Il a des elephants petits." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

Most adjectives go after the noun in French, but there are certain very common adjectives that precede the noun. To help you remember, the acronym is BANGS (or sometimes BAGS if number isn't included).

Beauty - belle/joli
Age - jeune/vieux
Number - un, deux, trois
Goodness - bon/mauvais
Size - petit/large

Of course there are more words that fit into each of these categories, and then there are a few exceptions too. This is a general rule and you will be right most of the time if you follow it.

Il a de petits éléphants is the correct word order.

Here's a link: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/adjectives/

Ugliness which describes attractiveness is an exception: moche/laid go after the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cecilia203378

When should you write petits and petites


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VjeranC

Petits is when the noun is plural masculine. Petites is when the noun is plural feminine.

"éléphant" is masculine singular, "éléphants" is plural.

"chaussure" is feminine singular, "chaussures" is plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vladimir185345

How about nous sommes peti...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

Nous sommes = we are.

Nous sommes petit(e)s = we are small (or short).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanderlust3000

But in this sentence we are not using nous sommes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanderlust3000

Because its plural it should be il a des petits éléphants!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

When there is an adjective in front of a noun, des becomes de.

Ex.
des enfants → de petits enfants
des arbres → de grands arbres
des pommes → de grosses pommes

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