Il a de petits chiens

Hi can someone expalin to me why the "De" does not become "des" like it does with Ils ecrivent des lettres

November 16, 2012


Hi dazzas1066,

When you have an adjective which comes before a noun, the "des" becomes "de".

E.g. des chiens, de petits chiens Des lacs, de beaux lacs.

There's no logic underpinning it, just one of those things that must be memorised!

November 16, 2012

There are two "des". They look and sound the same, but they're different. One means "some": you have 'un oeil' (one eye), 'une heure' (one hour), but 'des yeux' (some eyes) and 'des heures' (some hours). The second "des" is "de" + "les" = "des", which means "of the" ("the" being plural). So if you want to say "I speak of time" you would say "Je parle de temps", but if you wanted to say "I speak of the times" you would say "Je parle des temps". Hope this makes sense!

November 20, 2012

OK simple. many thanks

November 16, 2012
November 17, 2012

I read in other places that this rule is used in more formal settings but colloquially people often use "des" even when the adjective comes before the noun.

June 11, 2013

it is not really "colloquially" but rather "wrongly"

June 11, 2013
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.