"Il a de petits éléphants."

Translation:He has small elephants.

March 31, 2018



Could someone explain to me why it's “de“ here and not “des“?

April 3, 2018


When a noun is preceded by an adjective, des becomes de: il a des éléphants, il a de petits éléphants.

April 5, 2018


Thanks- have a lingot

September 5, 2018



March 16, 2019


"De" sounds like "duh" whereas "des" sounds like "day"

April 6, 2018


If it's ''de'' then how do I find out if it's plural elephants?

January 21, 2019


I too thought it was deux.

April 4, 2018



May 10, 2018


It said the solution was He's some small elephants, which makes NO sense.

May 23, 2018


Some people who think they know English, actually have serious problems with the language. That solution is "bad," but there are people who mistakenly write that and they mean: "He has some small elephants." However, this abbreviation of has/have can only be used when forming present perfect verb tense. Example: They've eaten all the food. He's taken all the money.

I continually see supposedly "correct" English on Duo that looks suspiciously like ESL students decided on what was "correct" English. I would know, since I have been teaching ESL students for almost 30 years.

July 27, 2018


"Il a deux petits éléphants" et "Il a de petits éléphants" sont phonétiquement pareil et tous les deux bons.

June 19, 2018


Can anyone tell me how to tell ,when it is only auditory, the difference between plural and singular elephants?

January 7, 2019


very difficult to discern a difference between de and deux at full speed.

March 31, 2018


I put deux into my answer!

September 5, 2018


Oxymoron much?

May 19, 2018


Isn't 'Il a des éléphants petits' translation of 'He has small elephants'? When does the adjective preceed the noun?

June 7, 2018


The notes for 'Adjectives 1' introduce the BANGS rule: Adjectives precede the noun if they describe Beauty, Age, Number, Good or bad, and Size. So it would be "petits éléphants".

The notes for 'Plurals 2' state that if "des" is followed by an adjective, then it is shortened to "de". Thus it becomes "de petits éléphants".

August 30, 2018


when it's not really distinctive....you might say "il a des éléphants roses" - he has pink elephants - when emphasising something unexpected. Mind you, how often do you hear the phrase, "he has little elephants?"

June 9, 2018


Could it be "It has some small elephants" in reference to a zoo or a wildlife park. I don't know of anyone who has some small elephants- or even some big ones!

June 29, 2018


Excellent explanation and makes sense.

October 3, 2018


Who ownes a damn elephant?

August 8, 2018


Well, Bart had Stampy for a while.

August 30, 2018


I don't think i'll use this one much

February 5, 2019


But it says it translates to "He's some small elephants." I will try: He has small elephants.

April 5, 2018


Hmm. I guess "He has some small elephants" is acceptable, but "He has small elephants" is more fitting.

April 5, 2018


and <éléphants> me semble et <élésants>! pas

May 25, 2018


Petit___small or little which?

June 15, 2018


Basically, both!

June 18, 2018


How do you know verbally that this is plural?

June 27, 2018


And please don't say context.

June 27, 2018


You should hear the 's' from petits join with the following 'é...'. When singular, that sound won't be there.

June 27, 2018


Could not distinguish between singular and plural!

October 26, 2018


Why is it that the same sentence translates to: He has then in other examples it is There is - there is no way of knowing when it is a "spoken" question.

November 26, 2018


Why it has 'zeee' sound in it, like "petite-ezzz-zelephant"?

December 22, 2018


Why not des petite éléphants?

January 14, 2019


Okay, how could I know it was elephant and petit in plural?! I just couldn't! Since it's "de", there was ni way to figure it out it's in plural, cause it sounds the same petit-petits, and elephant(s)! Urgh!!!

January 19, 2019


I was not able to detect the plural, How would you know when is singular or plural?

January 25, 2019


In writing it is simple: look for the plural sign (an s in most cases).
Orally it is a little more difficult, because "éléphant" and "éléphants" sound exactly the same. But in most cases the articles tell you what is meant: one elephant woiuld be "un éléphant", several elephants are "des éléphants".
Here "des" becomes "de" because of the adjective in between.

February 25, 2019


This les and des is going to be the death of me. I'm having a very difficult time hearing the difference.

February 18, 2019


I get that this is an example sentence, but let's be real: this is absurd as my old Koine Greek grammar giving us sentences such as "On account of the teaching of the apostles the disciples entered the temple." Seriously, who has small elephants? I don't mean to be a pest here, but this example sentence is logically absurd unless you're a zookeeper or a collector of stuffed animals.

February 18, 2019


this lesson isn't explained very well throughout duolingo. I've done many lessons on de vs des and did not at all understand the rule behind it until I looked up this forum. For me it was all guessing. they need to work on making this more obvious. Also I noticed duolingo on computer form explains the rules whereas the cell phone app lacks that feature entirely. it would be helpful if that was on the app.

February 26, 2019


You are right in saying the browser version contains the "tips and notes". That's why I always use this one. You can use it on a mobile as well, just don't use the app but a web browser.

"des" is the plural indefinite article. It becomes "de" when there are adjectives between the article and the noun (as is the case here).

February 26, 2019


"Just to make the underlying pattern clearer: Generally, it's de + article. If you can count it, the article is plural, and de + les is is put together to get des. If it's not countable, it can be de + la for female things, or de + le for male things. Now, if the following word starts with a vowel, the article gets shortened to l', so you get de l'. And as an additional annoyance, de + le gets shortened to du."

March 30, 2019


As you do.

March 17, 2019
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