"They write long letters."
Translation:Elles écrivent de longues lettres.
There are some adjectives which belong before the noun. I remember which by using "BAGS" which stands for beauty (la belle fille instead of la fille belle); age (le jeune garçon instead of le garçon jeune); goodness (le bon chien instead of le chien bon); and size (les longues lettres instead of les lettre longues).
When there is an adjective before the noun use de, eg. de longues lettres. If there is no adjective match to the number eg. des lettres
I would like to know why "de" is needed? Is it an article or a preposition (that goes with the verb - "ecriver de"???)?
French grammar requires an article before a direct object, even in places where English does not (e.g. plural nouns).
English: They write a long letter French: Elles écrivent une longue lettre
English: They write long letters (some is implied). French: Elles écrivent de longues lettres.
As mentioned above, there is an additional rule that says to use "de" instead of "des" when the adjective comes before the noun.
My references state that "de" is used rather than "du" or "des when the noun is preceded by an adjective in the plural - in this case, de LONGUES lettres. Hope this helps. At least it worked when I tried it!
I think that "ils écrivent..." is an exact translation of "they write..." If you missed that one, it's probably for a different reason. (I got it wrong because I wrote "lettres longues" which is why I checked in here)
Can anyone explain the reason why the same adjective is placed differently? "Elle veut une robe longue" "Ils écrivent de longues lettres."