"Boys like toads."
Translation:Les garçons aiment les crapauds.
The object of "aimer" always takes a definite article. "Aimer" + "des" will always be wrong.
No, because "boys like toads" is a generality, meaning it applies to all boys. This is expressed with "les", the definite article.
"Des" is simply the plural of "un" or "une." If you say "des garçons", you're only saying "more than one boy."
Ok, but isn't there then a clash between plurality versus generality? I do find sometimes we must translate for the article, and sometimes not, it seems confusing..It is my understanding in french the article is ALWAYS used, whereas in english not always, is this right?
It can get confusing, yes, mostly because we're still learning. Ultimately, we translate the meaning and not the words. And the grammar rules are there to correct the syntax. This prevents the clash.
It is my understanding in french the article is ALWAYS used, whereas in english not always, is this right?
A little precision: French nouns generally need a modifier. It can be an article, preposition, possession. You're correct about the English.