This sentence

In this sentence "Nous avons de beaux enfants" why is "de" nesscary?

April 8, 2018


The indefinite plural article, which is normally des (and doesn't translate back into English which doesn't have such an article), contracts to de when there is an adjective before the noun:

Nous avons des enfants - We have children

Nous avons de beaux enfants - We have beautiful children

April 8, 2018

I actually don't quite know. because de means of which wouldn't make sense in that sentence. where did you see that?

April 8, 2018

In this instance the de is showing ownership, possession, connection.

I will edit this in a moment to talk some more about de., for it is used in quite a few different ways.

Tips and Notes

Tips and Notes, in the skills Prepositions-1

Also a recent post Preposition-2

April 8, 2018

de can indicate possession.

And it contracts the the definite article of the (le , les ) It does not contract for la

ie. C'est le chat de la fille. : It is the girl's cat.
C'est le chat du garçon. : It is the boy's cat.

Though it can also be more general, such as when it is the subject of the sentence. I suppose you could use a general rule, that when you think of the sentence in English, if you use the phrase "about the", then include de in the french sentence.

i.e. Elle parle de la pomme : She talks about the apple.

So you get :
de +le = du
Il parle du film : He talks about the film. ( the film : le film )

de + les = des
Elle parle des pommes : She talks about the apples ( the apple : la pomme )

Then de can mean from, and is used before infinitive verbs. (infinitive : the source , or root name for the verb.

The common verbs that require de are :

verb french
accept accepter de
avoid éviter
choose choisir de
decide décider de
deserve mériter de
do without se passer de
dream rêver de
finish finir de
have just venir de
hurry se dépêcher
laugh at rire de
refuse refuser de
regret regretter de
stop s'arrêter de
take care of s'occuper de
try *essayer de

Then the last one:

verb french
in order to afin de
instead of au lieu de
before avant de
for pour
without sans

I am still not happy with this explanation, and hopefully I will come back and fill in some example sentences. Or perhaps someone else will. Or someone else might come by with a better explanation.

Please let me know if I have any errors, including spelling errors.

April 8, 2018

Thank you! I know a couple of its uses, I know "de" plays alot of roles in French grammar as a whole.

April 8, 2018

I will be back, just dealing with another issue at the moment. ༠

April 8, 2018


April 8, 2018
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