"You always gave him wonderful gifts."

Translation:Tu lui offrais toujours de merveilleux cadeaux.

July 9, 2020

This discussion is locked.


Why is it not correct: Tu lui offrais toujours de cadeaux merveilleux ?


It is "des cadeaux merveilleux" or "de merveilleux cadeaux".


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.


This "des" is by no means the contraction of "de+les". It is just the plural indefinite article English does not have, as the plural of "un cadeau merveilleux".


Accepted maintenant. 28.7.20.


It's not accepted now, and it shouldn't be. You don't use des when the adjective comes first.


I'm guessing it's due to the BANGS rule of adjectives in French: beauty, age, number, goodness, and size adjectives all preceed the noun. This would be under goodness.

'Merveilleux' translates more directly to marvelous, I would argue, as well.


Strange that in another question 'horrible' has the syntax of following the word 'cadeaux'. Albeit the scentence uses 'des' not 'de' .. . This remains a mystery to me..


"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.


Thanks, Sitesurf. Expecially for the "des" becomes "de/d'" before an adjective!


WOW! Lingot quality stuff.


I just came across another exercise where Duo said: Qui a fait ces dessins merveilleux ?


Maybe, merveilleux there is a consensus opinion (in DUO's interpretation) and so goes after the noun... Similar to how Sitesurf's explanation for horrible above.


Why not "tu l'offrais"?


"Offrir à quelqu'un" is the construction of this verb; so when the indirect object is a personal pronoun, you need "lui": Tu lui (= to him/her) offrais.


But why do you not need l' given that offrir starts with a vowel?


Because le/le which would have been "l'" is the DIRECT OBJECT.. /'lui' is the indirect object. Offrir (direct object) to(indirect object). So lui is the object of the preposition not the verb.


I still don't understand why is "de", not "le" before merveilleux.


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.


Thanks. I sometimes got confused because, to me, "wonderful gifts" sounds more specific comparing just "gifts". But, I get it.


I wondered the same, and left a comment in the "cadeaux horribles" question.


Would formidables also be an acceptable translation!


Don't understand. Why can't one say "cadeaux merveilleux"?


Did you add "des" before "cadeaux merveilleux"?


tu lui as toujours donné de merveilleux cadeaux


De was counted wrong, but des was not one of the choices , then I tried it without de and it said the correct answer had de


You probably had another error because "des cadeaux merveilleux" or "de merveilleux cadeaux" are both accepted.


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?


Have you read the rest of the thread before posting? Can't you read the discussion?


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.


When is it 'lui' and when is it 'le' please ?


When the verb is directly transitive (no preposition), you use "le" and when the verb needs "à" to introduce its object, you use "lui".

Offrir quelque chose à quelqu'un: To give sth to sb.


I'm a little puzzled why Duo rejected the perfect tense here. Can anyone explain?


This answer references the english to french exercise. Translate what is written in english to FRENCH. The english sentence is NOT written in any of the three ENGLISH PERFECT tenses: present(have given)/past(had given) future/(will have given)... so the french isn't..


Ok thanks. But often Duo seems to favour the perfect tense. And if we are trading tense for tense "gave" is not the same tense as "offrais" - the English equivalent is "was giving" or "used to give" So I remain puzzled.


You are 100% right here in that the FRENCH 'offrais' is really 'used to give' . It is not DUO or French but our English which contains the impreciseness, Like the terms 'he ate at Mom every sunday, we played soccer every weekend...are used when we mean 'used to.


Why is it "de" instead of "des"?


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.


is not "manifiques" a suitable word for "merveilleux"?


If gifts are bad, the adjective goes after, but if they are good, the adjective goes first?


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.


Thanks for explaining that, Sitesurf. However, what I was asking was whether "formidable(s)" would also be an acceptable translation...


I think "merveilleux" is the best translation for "wonderful" and vice-versa.


I'll try to remember that. "Formidable" immediately comes to mind (for "wonderful") for me, because I once had a boyfriend from France and he always said "formidable" for "wonderful"...

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