"There are lovely ducks."
Translation:Il y a de jolis canards.
The pattern is des + plural noun BUT de + adjective + plural noun. Whenever you have an adjective in front of a plural noun, the des becomes de.
des hommes → de beaux hommes
des filles → de jeunes filles
beaux canards = beautiful ducks
Yes, it is nit-picky, but the point is to learn that there is a difference in degree between joli and beau in French.
But "beau" is stronger than "joli," right? Usually you find the correspondance beau=beautiful; joli=pretty. (This course seems to go with that elsewhere, rejecting "belle" here for instance.)
"pretty" and "beautiful" I think have a clear gradation between them; if I had to place "lovely" on it, I'd think it's interchangeable with "beautiful" to maybe even a little bit above (Oxford defines it as "very beautiful"; "pretty" is "attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful"), so that would be the opposite of the gradation I understand to exist between "joli" and "beau."
"Voilà, de jolis canards" is technically possible. However, in most circumstances you would use "il y a" to point out lovely ducks.
This is surprising to me. "Voilà" is a pointing word, "il y a" is an existence statement, no? Would "voilà" be more usual with a plain noun w/out adjective? Or is "il y a" the go-to choice for pointing more than I'd realized (I guess it's intuitive enough that when you're actually literally pointing at something either would work)?
To point out lovely ducks, I actually might have thought you'd use both of them together: "Voilà, il y a de jolis canards." Perhaps not?
Not that it's anything more than an anecdote, but there are five Google results for "voilà de jolis canards" and there is one for "il y a de jolis canards" — the present discussion.