"You are eating the boys' fries."
Translation:Tu manges les frites des garçons.
I get that there's multiple fries. But there is only one boy. Why is it des garçons?
There are multiple boys. Check the possessive apostrophe placement:
- the boy's fries ~ the fries of one boy
- the boys' fries ~ the fries of more than one boy.
I understand why you are looking for "les frites". However, if the boys ordered fries and you didn't and you were eating their fries, I could say "You are eating the boys' fries" (regardless of the fact that you weren't eating all of them) . Translation Tu manges des frites des garcons. This makes both translations correct. No?
Somewhere along the line you may have been persuaded that using "les" means all of them. It does not. Break it down. Whose fries are you eating? The boys' fries. There is no partitive here. How do you say "the boys' fries"? Les frites des garçons. Compare: the boy's fries (les frites du garçon).
7 Oct 2018 Thank you so much maialeaf. I also got confused with the usage here. It helps to back translate. Very good explanation.
"Les garçons" does not show possession. It is "les frites des garçons", i.e., literally, the fries of the boys.
Try reading the other comments on this page. I think you will find your answer there.
I put "Tu manges des frites du les garçons". The correct translation looks to me like the fries of some boys. So similarly, how would you say " you are wearing a boys shirt," as in a shirt designed for boys generally rather than belonging to a particular boy.