https://www.duolingo.com/learn007

"Girls are women."

December 15, 2012

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/learn007

Girls are women : les filles sont des femmes
why it is not les filles sont les femmes
can any one tell me ? why des required ?

December 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/DemiReticent

You would say "The girl is a woman." or "La fille est une femme"

"des" is the plural indefinite article in french (we say "a/an" for singular indefinite, but drop the article for plural)

Hence, "The girls are women" -> "Les filles sont des femmes"

In other words, the sentiment trying to express here is not to say the girls are some particular women ("les femmes"), but simply that they are, in fact, women.

January 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/zeroesenkoenigin

But it just says "girls are women". So couldn't it be "Des filles sont des femmes"?

January 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/junio

This reply is confusing. In all other cases when the plural of woman is used it is les, this reply does not make it clear why it is changed in this instance. I agree with learn007. It does not make sense. I apologize if I am not understanding your reply. Perhaps it needs a little deeper explanation. Sorry.

February 17, 2013

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On this page, you should read all the other explanations given. Namely, in terms of the structure of nouns in French: <All nouns have to be 'determined' with an article (un, une, le la) or a possessive adjective (mon, <ma, etc), or a demonstrative adjective (ce, cet, cette...), or a number (one, two) or an adverbial <locution (peu de, de nombreux...). To sum it up, it is extremely rare that nouns are standing <alone in French.

In addition, when it comes to the very sense of any sentence or phrase, the choice of the article needed corresponds to a number of rules. One of the rules is that the expression of generalities need a definite article in French (le/la/les) where you have none in English. To mean "women" in general, the French say : "les femmes"

Now, to understand why "girls" translates in "des filles", this is a tip: put the sentence in the singular form: "the woman is a girl" = "la femme est une fille". Then, the plural of "une" is "des".

You need to understand the construction of the sentence as well: the verb "are/sont" gives a definitaion of what the subject is. ("I am a man, we are men..."); then you will understand how the whole thing works together.

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/junio

This information helps a lot. Thank you.

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/drcsorna

good info, thanks. i could use more like this! :)

April 29, 2013

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"les filles" = girls in general "des femmes" expresses a qualification

Other examples: le platine est un métal les choux sont des légumes

December 18, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/junio

This helps. Thank you.

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stephen-lee

why don't we translate it into "des filles sont des femmes" since there's no "the" before "girls"?

March 25, 2013

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Your job here is not to translate word to word, but to understand the structure and what is meant in the sentence to find the relevant translation:

  • "les filles" = girls in general - in French, always with a definite article (men are stronger than women = les hommes sont plus forts que les femmes)

  • "des femmes" = "des" here is just the plural of "une". If you put the sentence in singular, you get: "... is a girl. In English, "a/an" has no plural form but in French, the plural of "un/une" is "des".

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/halstead

I still do not quite understand, if "les filles" is equal to girls in general the surely "les femmes" means women in general, so to me both should either be "les" or "des" as one is a general form and the other a specific

April 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chloequatre

do all nouns need to be preceded by a definite or indefinite article?

January 28, 2013

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All nouns have to be 'determined' with an article (un, une, le la) or a possessive adjective (mon, ma, etc), or a demonstrative adjective (ce, cet, cette...), or a number (one, two) or an adverbial locution (peu de, de nombreux...). To sum it up, it is extremely rare that nouns are standing alone in French.

January 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Dentstudent

does it count if I say "les filles sont femmes"?

June 12, 2013

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it cannot count as correct, since "femmes" is not an adjectif but a noun, i.e. it needs an article: "des" as the plural of "une".

June 13, 2013
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