Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"Little girls read books."

Translation:Les petites filles lisent des livres.

1
5 years ago

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/spesme

I thought it would be "De petites filles lisent des livres?...since there is an adjective in front of the noun.

23
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

You are right, without any hint on the context, you could interpret this sentence two ways:

  • Little girls as the plural of A little girl => une petite fille -> de petites filles (des becomes de in front of an adjective)

  • Little girls [all] read books, as a generality => les petites filles (in general) read books (generalities use the definite article)

78
Reply35 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antoniojl
antoniojl
  • 17
  • 14
  • 11

It tells me:

Correct solutions: Des petites filles lisent des livres. Les petites filles lisent des livres.

But I thought you said that "(des becomes de in front of an adjective)"?

1
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

The most correct form is "de petites filles", you are right. But that rule is not always respected and you can hear and use "des petites filles". The meaning does not change.

10
Reply15 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/petit_bibre

I wrote exactly that but it was wrong.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

(As always) What Sitesurf said. We had a lengthy discussion about the issue a while ago. Maybe you're interested: http://duolingo.com/#!/comment/27813

6
Reply15 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

I am impressed by the length of that 9 month old thread... I had not joined yet then, so it is very interesting for me to read it now. Also not sure any French native speaker contributed in that discussion, too bad. Thanks for the insight.

4
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ana_81
ana_81
  • 20
  • 18
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 9

I wrote "De petites filles lisent des livres" and it was accepted, it doesn't suggest "Des petites filles lisent des livres" anymore.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/benzopila
benzopila
  • 10
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

That's funny, because I had the first of those "correct solutions". And it's wrong. Duolingo gives me only one variant: "Correct solution: Les petites filles lisent des livres".

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

Well, if Duo and Sitesurf disagree you should trust Sitesurf…

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/benzopila
benzopila
  • 10
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I was simply surprised, that antoniojl's "correct solutions" were "Des petites filles..." and "Les petites filles...". Now Duolingo gives only one variant. :)

1
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

@benzopila: ok, I misunderstood your post.

0
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahWalkerIII

Same here; the only correct solution offered is "les petites filles lisent des livres" and my "des petites filles lisent des livres" (translation I'd given for "little girls read books" is being rejected.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahWalkerIII

Oh, I'm sorry; I'll go through the links provided on the page first...

0
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pablojara26

In this case, LES petites filles wouldn't be "THE little girls"? Shouldn't be instead "DES petites filles" for "Little girls"?

13
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

The definite plural article can also be used to refer to groups in a general sense. See here for more details: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa082401.htm

5
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xu_Wei
Xu_Wei
  • 22
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 171

It's very helpful! Thanks a lot!

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daniel.w
daniel.w
  • 15
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5

So it can't be DES ?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrisBoc

I don't understand. I put "des petites filles lisent des livres" and lost a heart.

6
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/B5Jasmine
B5Jasmine
  • 14
  • 10
  • 7
  • 4

same here and it is not correct. It says ' little girls' which means some little girls not the, therefore it should be 'des petites filles'

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

If you follow the links already posted to this discussion (e.g. this one http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa082401.htm ) you can easily check that there is nothing wrong with duo's translation.

1
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daniel.w
daniel.w
  • 15
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5

sure but is there something wrong with our translation ;) ?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

Yes, it is. This has also already been answered.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

It'd have to be "de petites filles" (at least that's the more proper form). See Sitesurf's comment above.

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lewaddjul

As noted below, it could be "Les petites filles lisent les livres." if you mean books in general.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

no, "les petites filles lisent les livres" is "the little girls read THE books".

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lewaddjul

It could mean either. Just as "J'aime le lait." could mean "I like milk." or "I like the milk."

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ych_n

I wrote les livres instead of des livres but isn't that also right? If so, why did Duolingo mark it wrong?

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

"les livres" = "the books" = specific books (the ones we gave them, for ex)

"les petites filles lisent des livres" is the plural of "les petites filles lisent un livre " = some books = more than one book.

Remember that "un/une" have a plural form: "des", whereas the English indefinite article "a" does not have a plural form.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Smokestack1

Why is it that in some cases it seems like you structure as noun-adjective (ie "girls little" or "filles petites") and in other cases you structure as adjective-noun (ie "little girls" or "petites filles")

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

Most adjectives are placed after the noun. Others are usually placed in front of them (most notably, the BAGS group: beauty, age, good and bad, size) . And a few can be placed either way. In that case, the meaning often changes depending on where you place it. See here for more details: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

5
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sahar.ebrahimi

Thank you so much.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nim24

It tells me the correct translation is "De fillettes lisent des livres." I've never seen "fillettes" used on duolingo before! Is that correct? Strange that they'd introduce a word without defining it: What does it mean?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

une fillette / des fillettes

= une petite fille / de petites filles

"fillette" sounds a bit out dated, the French don't use it often in speech, although still in writing.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/reg_ray
reg_ray
  • 12
  • 10
  • 7
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2

I only remember fillette from Mulan's Comme un Homme. Femmelette was also used.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/countryred

Why De before petites and why not petits

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

une petite fille / un petit garçon (fem/masc)

des filles / des garçons (plural fem and masc: "des" is the plural form of "un" or "une")

de petites filles / de petits garçons ("des" becomes "de" in front of an adjective)

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/loungecat69

Its telling me the correct response is fillets what happened here? This is not a word...

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marrisjanet

I thought des means some books

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bpforrest1213

What I'm confused about is how it told one of the translations for 'little' alone is peu. But when I tried that I was completely rejected.

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jasoni22
jasoni22
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6

Peu means little in the sense of "a little bit". It isn't used when referring to the size of a person

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bpforrest1213

oh that makes a lot more sense thanks

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luke_Reddy1

it doesnt say 'some little girls' or 'the little girls'

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JelenaFlor

I wrote "des petites filles lisent des livres", could someone tell why it isn't correct?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

des filles - de petites filles: in front of an adjective, des is changed to de

0
Reply4 years ago