I'm puzzling over a spoken sentence that contains (apparently) the phrase "des carottes jaunes". My question is, is there any way aurally for the listener to distinguish this from "de carotte jaune"?
The full sentence given is "Il existe des carottes jaunes". This would seem, in addition, not to be grammatical, as "il" is singular, not plural. I'd appreciate some guidance on how this works.
"des carottes jaunes" and "de carotte jaune" are pronounced differently, as the vowel sounds in des and de are different (roughly day vs duh).
In addition "de carotte jaune" would only make sense in a negative statement: Il existe une carotte jaune / Il n'existe pas de carotte jaune
Yes, listen to the word "des". It has a different vowel sound from the word "de". Also, "de carotte jaune" would be grammatically wrong in this sentence.
As for the singular/plural question. The "il" in expressions like "il existe", "il y a", "il faut", "il pleut", etc. is a bit special, in that it is totally impersonal– unlike your typical subject pronouns, it doesn't refer to or replace anything. By convention, this impersonal use of "il" is always singular.
the vowel in "des" sounds more like "day" whereas the vowel in "de" sounds more like the vowel in "dit."