Plurals with "beaucoup"
Why is it "beaucoup de vêtements" and not "beaucoup des vêtements"? In other words, how can the article be singular when the noun is plural? Are there other contexts there this happens?
I think the simplest explanation is that when you want to say a lot of something in general, "beaucoup" is always followed by "de" only. In your example, there is no article.
Remember "des" is contraction, and "contains" de + les. You could say "beaucoup des vêtement dans la boutique sont chers", meaning that you are referring to specific clothes, but not others, in the shop. Compare with "beaucoup de vêtements", meaning "a lot of (any) clothes". Hope this helps! Bon courage!
The difference in the two is "a lot of clothes" versus "a lot of the clothes". So both can be correct depending on what you mean.
"Beaucoup" is always followed by "de" along with several other adverbs of quantity. For example "assez de" meaning enough and "moins de" meaning less.
Yes, but when the word that's after BEAUCOUP starts with a vowel, then we'll use "des", isn't it? Ex : "beaucoup des amis"
I think it would just be "beaucoup d'amis." Unless you were saying "a lot of THE friends" in which case it would be "beaucoup des amis."
There are some other situations like this. Quantity is one of them; beaucoup as above (this isn't ALWAYS the case, some words, such as le plupart go back to des, but almost always it's just de). Negative is another; after a negative construction such as il n'y a pas de gens, even though gens is plural and is always plural, you still use de. Finally, there is what is known as adjectival inversions. This is where the adjective comes before the noun it is describing. An example: ce sont de nouveaux livres goes with de because the adjective comes first, but ce sont des arbres hauts doesn't because the noun comes first.
This occurs also when you want to say "none of something": "Je n'ai pas de vêtements." = I have no clothes; or "little/few of something": "J'ai peu de vêtements" = I have few clothes.
Part of it may be that "beaucoup" means (literally) "a good cut" - think steak <smile>. It is therefore a single item, like "a pile" or "a bunch", and what it's made of, like grapes or beans, is really just descriptive.
It's similar to "a lot" in English. It describes many things, but the group as a whole is referred to as ONE LOT.
Logically, you wouldn't say "I have a lot some clothes." "Des" means "some". "De" translates to "of". So, you would say, "I have a lot of clothes."
Whenever you have a phrase describing a quantity of something, it's followed by "de". Beaucoup demonstrates "a lot of," therefore it's followed by de. The same applies for other statements of quantity. For example, a box of shoes would be "une boite de chaussures" or "plenty of food" would be "plein de norriture."
Translations of "de" into English won't always give you the answer; French has different, more specific grammar rules. "Des" and "de" merely change with the quantity of whatever noun you're describing.
Hope this helps. :)
This is called the "partitif" so if you didn't understand from those answers, google Partitif, I'm sure you could find some exercises to help you out.
Basically if you have some kind of quantity, you use "de" une tranche de pizza, deux tranches de pizza...
then there are some words that describe quantities so you must use "de" with them. "Beaucoup" is one of them, so is "assez"
The french language will always throw curveballs at you - the partitif is just one of them.
de + le = du
de + les = des
de + la = de la
de + des = de
it's the last one that's the key here, at least that's the way i was taught and it seems to help me understand it
lleuad is right. That's also what my teacher says. Word expressing quantity is always followed by "de"
As for your question about similar cases, previous lessons had "livre de recettes". It wasn't obvious to me why it wasn't "livre des recettes", but thanks to the explanations here I do now. Merci beaucoup!