Unfortunately, the logic is not the same.
"parler de" is an intransitive verb (need for a preposition), like "talk about".
"j'aime les fleurs" is a statement about your appreciations of flowers in general, hence the definite article in French.
"j'aime les couleurs" would be identical in construction.
but since "parler" requiring preposition "de" you have to use parler de + definite article:
-je parle de la couleur (fem sing)
-je parle du drapeau (masc sing) - de+le, contracted in "du"
-je parle des couleurs (fem plur) - de+les, contracted in "des"
It's a question of nuances ,because the intonation is the same when there isn't liaison between the article +Noun; in the pronuntiation of" de" or "le" you must close your mouth meanwhile in "des"or "les" you have to open your mouth ( Nous parlons des garçons) When then Noun begin with a vowel there's liaison and you hear the sound of "s"(Nous parlons des enfants)
According to Google translate "He talks about colors" (no article) is translated to "Il parle de couleurs" (de instead of des)
Is that correct?
talk about something = parler de quelque chose
in French "quelque chose" has to get its usual article, in this instance "les couleurs".
but when "de" is followed by "les", there is a contraction: de+les = des
so "des couleurs" is not the plural of "une couleur", but the plural of "de la couleur" -> des couleurs.
therefore, in English you need to translate to "about the colors"
Salut! I've read the whole thread and now understand, thanks to the posts of sitesurf and DanHil. Merci beacoup mes amis! One more question, s'il vous plaît? Whether or not an article is used, also depends upon the verb being used? For example:
Il mange des baguettes = He is eating baguettes (or 'some' baguettes). Il parle des couleurs = He is talking about the colors.
Using the verb 'parle des' (or parler de), the article is used. Using the verb 'mange', the article is not used.
So, it depends on the verb, as well as the other things you've already mentioned?
Indeed, the verb makes a lot of difference, whether it is transitive (direct object) or not (with a preposition).
Manger, prendre, couper, boire... are directly transitive:
- il mange une baguette, elle achète des baguettes (des = plural of un/une)
but with uncountable "mass words", French add a preposition to mean "some":
- nous coupons du pain (uncountable), vous buvez de l'eau (uncountable) et de la bière (uncountable)
Parler de, penser à... are used with prepositions, which need to adapt the construction of the object.
- je parle d'une baguette (about one), il parle de baguettes (about more than one),nous parlons de la baguette (about the), vous parlez des baguettes (about the = de+ les = des))
In addition, appreciation verbs (aimer, détester, haïr, préférer, apprécier) naturally introduce definite articles
- j'aime les légumes, mais je préfère les fruits, il déteste l'injustice, elle préfère la biologie...
If Duo says so, it is an error.
Look at this to differentiate indefinite articles from definite articles:
il parle d'une fille (singular) -> il parle de filles (plural)
he talks about a girl (singular) -> he talks about girls (plural: a/an has no plural form)
il parle de la fille (singular) -> il parle des (= de + les) filles (plural)
he talks about the girl (singular) -> he talks about the girls (plural)
Just out of curiosity, if this were a description of seeing someone talk and seeing colors coming out of their mouth, would this be a correct way to describe it?
1) "des" is either an indefinite article, plural of "un/une"
2) or a contracted definite article where preposition "de" is merged with definite article "les": de+les = des
now, in terms of meaning and translation to and from English, there are several cases:
1) "un chien = a/one dog" is singular; "des chiens = (some) dogs" is plural.
- In English, you don't need an article to mean "an undefined number of dogs or more than one dog".
- But in French, "des" is required.
2) "les noms des chiens" = literally: "the names of the dogs", where you understand that the names belong to the dogs.
- In English, you will not use "of the" but the possessive case: "the dogs' names"
- But in French, there is no such construction, so you have to keep: "les noms (de+les=) des chiens"