"He has new pants."
Translation:Il a un nouveau pantalon.
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I don't understand why 'Il a de nouveau pantalon' is wrong while 'Il a de nouveaux pantalons' is correct. note that 'Il a un nouveau pantalon' was also a correct answer. here's where I'm confused: 1) what's the rule? 2) why didn't we say 'des nouveaux pantalons'
Your reply would be much appreciated. Peace
I'll try and tackle this one...
Pants are countable, so you either have ONE pair (un pantalon) or several pairs (des pantalons). In other words you wouldn't say "du pantalon"... I'm pretty sure that doesn't make sense.
So if you want to say "He has pants" you have 2 options: "il a un pantalon" or "il a des pantalons." These are both sort of options because "pants" is an ambiguous quantity in English.
So if you want to say he has new pants, you would say "il a un nouveau pantalon" (he has 1 new pair of pants) or "il a de nouveaux pantalons" (he has several new pairs of pants).
Note that the "des" became "de" in the second one. This happens when there is an adjective that separates the plural indefinite article (des) from the noun (pantalons) - this is discussed as point 5 on this page: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/de-vs-du-de-la-des_2.htm