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"Digital photos are large files."

Translation:Les photos numériques sont de gros fichiers.

April 3, 2018



I can't figure out any rationale on why "grands fichiers" is incorrect here. What's the difference between "grand" and "gros"? Or do you just have to learn the idiom?


As it turns out, in French the size of a digital file is conceived of as a "volume", and "gros" is the word to talk about (relatively speaking) three-dimensional things (i.e. lumps), as opposed to one- or two-dimensional things (i.e. poles or sheets), which use "grand".

(Sometimes it depends on what's being emphasized.)

An alternative way to say "large file" is "fichier volumineux".

As for the question of "de" versus "des" for this sentence, see the following comment and others on this page:


I still don't get why I need the 'de' in some of these sentences. It doesn't belong with the verb in this case I don't think.


In English we can say either "large files" or "some large files". The "some" part is optional in English (and often omitted) and it is mandatory in French. It is "des" immediately before a plural noun, and "de" otherwise, e.g. before a plural adjective. "de" combines with "le" to become "du", and "les" to become "des". Both contractions are mandatory.


I don't understand either, would some kind person please explain?


It's similar to sentences earlier in the course like 'les canards sont des oiseaux' or 'les cheveux sont des animaux'. The only difference here is that because there is an adjective in front of the noun, 'des' becomes 'de'.


this is enough to make you crazy: one question is "Les photos numériques sont des fichiers gros.", the answer being "Digital photos are large files"; and the very next question is this one, and the answer "Les photos numériques sont des fichiers gros" is marked wrong.


Can you find the URL for that? I can find only two exercises, each the exact reverse translation of the other, one being the one on this page and the other being "Les photos numériques sont de gros fichiers":


I've found it. Note the native speakers saying in the comments that "des fichiers gros" is wrong.


I am sorry, I don't seem to have the ability to be able to go back and find the exercise, but it was in Level 2 of Science. It appears that AlanBaker519 observed the same problem. That being said, it seems that "de gros fichiers" would be more correct than "des fichiers gros", n'est-ce pas?

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Same experience here. The inconsistency is very frustrating.


digital in this context should translate as "digitale" not "numérique"


I don't think so, but it's debatable.

In my understanding, the Académie française recommends "numérique(s)" (for the English "digital") as opposed to "analogique" (for the English "analog"), for digital-computer-based technology including photography.

French apparently borrowed "digital(es)/digitaux" for clock faces etc., and some people claim that although this word was originally used for computing as well, it has already become outdated in the latter sense.

However, the standard argument in French is that "digital" is about fingers and "numérique" is about numbers, and according to this argument "numérique" should be the right term for both computing and clock faces.

But to return to computing itself, the following article suggests that when we're talking about the digital experience of digital marketing on our digital devices, it makes sense to borrow the English term "digital", whereas when it comes to talking about the dematerialization of the experience into binary data, it makes sense to use "numérique".

Numérique tend à renvoyer de fait au technologique, à la dimension discrète de la technologie, celle que manipulent les ingénieurs et qui restent intangible.

Digital semblerait concerner plutôt l’usager dans son expérience de cette technologie numérique. Avec digital, on passe de l’autre côté de l’écran.

In any event, I get more hits in a Google search for "photos numériques" than for "photos digitales".


I was meant to write the same thing.


I wonder why "Les photos numériques sont des fichiers volumineux" was marked wrong. It has the same sense as "gros" and "grands."


If we are talking about digital files in general, then i believe it should be accepted with both 'les photos' and also 'des photos'


The issue is that we're not talking about "all digital files in general", as not all of these are photos, so it can't be "les", but has to be the partitive "des" (which becomes "de" in front of an adjective preceding a noun).


in other sentence it was "des fichiers gros" and now it's only "de gros fichiers" and i don't understand why because for me these sentences are completely the same but only one answer is acceptable


Can you find that other sentence? (I can't.)


I've found it. Note the native speakers saying in the comments that "des fichiers gros" is wrong.


Yes, there is definitely another exercise, translating from French to English the sentence 'Les photos numériques sont des fichiers gros' - I have reported to Duo.


You reported it on this exercise or the other? There's nothing to report here, and if you don't provide a link to the other, I doubt they'll find it. (So far my searching hasn't located it.)


I think that "des" means "of the" whereas "de" means "of" - so there is a slight difference there, which would explain only one being acceptable. "Des" is definitive whereas "de" is more general.


How it works is that if the adjective comes before the noun, "des" changes to "de".

So "de gros fichiers" is correct, and changing the order of the adjective and the noun gives us "des fichiers gros". The only question is whether the latter is also a correct word order.

"Gros" usually goes before the noun. If it's placed after the noun it's because it has a figurative meaning. Maybe in this case, because a computer file doesn't have any literal physical size to speak of, it can go in either position.

However, the native speakers commenting on the Duolingo sentence with "des fichiers gros" are saying it's wrong:


@PeaceJoyPancakes, @AlanBaker519, @bethiowamd - the sentence 'Les photos numériques sont des fichiers gros' reappears at duolingo.com//skill/fr/Science/3 and is to be translated to English - the translation provided by Duo is 'Digital photos are large files'. It appears that this (French) format has been omitted by Duo as an option in the exercise to which this discussion page is linked and to which I have reported that the above format (ending in 'gros') should be accepted. We'll wait and see.


With a Google search I get 94 results for "fichiers gros" and 874,000 for "gros fichiers". I'd say it's not this exercise that needs to be reported, but the other (for being wrong or misleading), if you can find it again.


I've found it. Note the native speakers saying in the comments that "des fichiers gros" is wrong.


Thanks for pursuing this and for providing that link. Worrying, then, that 'des fichiers gros' ever made it to the Duo website and equally worrying that, a year after it was apparently identified as incorrect, it remains on the website. From the chat on this page it is evident that it is confusing things. Thanks again.


Please what is the difference between these two sentences? 1. Les photos numériques sont de gros fichiers. and 2. Les photos numériques sont de fichiers gros. BOTH have the same meaning


"Gros" is part of the Size adjectives in BANGS, so it is always placed before the noun it modifies.

"De" is changed from "des" only before an adjective: de gros fichiers / des fichiers volumineux


Why is « Les photos digitales sont de grands fichiers » rejected? Digitales and grands are the only words that differ from the example sentence. Is either wrong or should I report it?


"Grands" is not the best adjective to describe something "heavy" or "voluminous". "Gros" is the correct one.


When do we use des and de, since "fichiers" are plural?


"Des" (the plural of "un/une") must change to "de" before an adjective.

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