"You always gave him wonderful gifts."
Translation:Tu lui offrais toujours de merveilleux cadeaux.
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I gave the same response as you. When the app gave me a suggestion for why the response was wrong, it said de + les = des cadeaux merveilleux (with the s in des). My guess, based on reading the other answers as well, is that "de" gets the format adjective then noun, and that "des" gets the format noun then adjective. FYI: I am not a native French speaker. I'm just learning like everyone else.
"Horrible(s)" can be placed before the noun if it is your own opinion or after the noun if it is everyone's point of view.
So "My ex always gave me horrible gifts" can translate to:
- Mon ex me donnait toujours des cadeaux horribles
- Mon ex me donnait toujours d'horribles cadeaux: note that "des" becomes "de/d'" before an adjective.
In the English sentence there are no specific gifts mentioned and it's an unspecified number - and the French would normally put "Des" there but because the adjective precedes the noun, it's reduced to "de". It's just a rule of grammar - I don't think there is a logical explanation.
After writing "de cadeaux merveilleux" instead of "de merveilleux cadeaux" I was given an extra hint to tell me that because I was dealing with a plural I should use "des" instead of "de". While "des" is allowed it is not the standard answer and is not the error I made. I don't think there's any way of reporting this sort of error, is there?
Yes I did, and yes I can.
The point I made was that I made the mistake of writing "cadeau merveilleux" instead of "merveilleux cadeaux". The suggestion I was given was that I should have used "des" instead of "de". As said elsewhere in the discussion, either "de" or "des" is acceptable - but the hint was unhelpful because it both failed to spot the actual error I made, and by suggesting that I should not use "de" is incorrect in this case. There is no way to report this error, because once the hint pops up you don't get the option to report it. If you think there is something else on this thread that means I should not have made this comment, could you please refer to it rather than taking this attitude to feedback on errors in the course?
It's a known issue that the system can point to non-errors or focus on a minor mistake and ignore a bigger one. There's nothing better than a flesh-and-blood teacher to make corrections and offer relevant explanations.
However, the point here is that "des cadeaux merveilleux" and "de merveilleux cadeaux" are the correct alternatives.
The rule here is that "des" becomes "de" before an adjective, even if Duolingo tends to accept "des" before an adjective.
If you indeed entered "de cadeaux merveilleux", the grammar hint you saw was accurate; "cadeaux" is a noun and "des" should not change.
Because the adjective " merveilleux" is being placed before the noun! It may be debated whether this adjective should go before the noun..(the BANGS/BAGS) group is not really grammatical foolproof but once you put 'merveilleux' before the noun you have to adhere to the grammatical rule that DES becomes DE when followed by an adjective + noun.
Tu lui offrais toujours de bons/mauvais/beaux/jolis/gros/petits cadeaux: all of these adjectives are BANGS
Tu lui offrais toujours des cadeaux affreux/horribles/moches/magnifiques/superbes/géniaux/énormes: all of those are regular.
Tu lui offrais toujours d'affreux/d'horribles/de magnifiques/de superbes/d'énormes cadeaux: all of those can be placed before the noun for a more subjective meaning.