"The children write letters."

Translation:Les enfants écrivent des lettres.

March 25, 2013

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RinoSrbin

Why not les lettres???

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/trvotr

That would mean "the letters" instead of "some letters"

October 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/NemishKanwar

Why do we need des in the statement

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

In French, there are 3 indefinite articles: "un" and "une" in singular, and "des" in plural

  • une lettre - des lettres
  • un livre - des livres
September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lelawatie

I thought des is for non countable things...

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"des" is the plural form of "une"

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lelawatie

Thanks, I did not know that. Is it the plural form for "un" as well?

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Yes it is. The fact that in English "a/an" has no plural form causes lots of problems to French learners!

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLoubier

I dont understand why it wouldn't be l'enfants

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"l'enfant" replaces singular "le-enfant" because of the conflict between sound "leuh-" an sound "-en".

in plural, "le" is "les" and liaises with "enfants": leh-Z-enfants

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BoriNagy

why "des"? Why not "les"?

October 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

des lettres is the plural of "une lettre", but in English a plural indefinite article does not exist.

les lettres = the letters

October 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TPinso

how was i supposed to know it was supposed to have des in it?

January 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"des lettres" is the plural of "une lettre".

"des" is THE plural indefinite article in French that does not exist in English.

"des" is the plural of "un" or "une".

In addition, if you open Tips and Notes of the Basic1 unit (at the bottom of the main lesson page and via a button at the top of every sentence page), you will find full explanations on this matter.

January 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TPinso

i guess that makes sense... i guess

January 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sylvietr

Can "cartes" be used for "letters'? This is what I'd always heard.

June 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sylvietr

...or maybe this was just because most "letters" we received in my family were actually cards, for birthdays and holidays. Sorry - contextual/cultural gaffe!

June 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinSeng

Is "écrivent" the plural form or the singular form?

January 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

As you can see in this sentence, with a plural subject (the children/les enfants), the correct conjugation is "écrivent".

singular for one child is "écrit"

January 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinSeng

Thank you Sitesurf! Haha I forgot the singular is ecrit. (Sorry don't know how to type accents in normally)

January 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ActualGoat

If you are using android you should be able to just hold down a letter and move your finger to the correct accent. I hope that helps some people

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/acidblood

by doing this lesson i thought i came to understand that it isnt a must to write "des" or not, except if "some" is written. so why does it have to be "des lettres" so suddenly if its "the children write letters" and not "some letters" ? what did i miss?

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

In English "some" is optional to mean "an undefined number of things": they write (some = more than just one) letters.

In French, determiners are required as a general rule.

In this case, "des" is required as the plural indefinite article:

  • ils écrivent une lettre (singular) => ils écrivent des lettres (plural)

Note that in English articles "a/an" do not have a plural form.

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/acidblood

ok thank you

November 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wisebaxter

Why is ecrivent(s) wrong? I cant work out when to put an s on a verb

January 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

An -s is added to the verb stem in various cases:

  • with pronoun "tu", always
  • with pronoun "je", only for verbs of 2nd and 3rd groups (infinitives in -ir or -re)

"écrivent" is the complete form of verb écrire in 3rd person plural.

Conjugation of verb écrire in indicative present: j'écris, tu écris, il/elle/on écrit, nous écrivons, vous écrivez, ils/elles écrivent.

January 17, 2015
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