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"Elle a de petits chiens."

Translation:She has small dogs.

5 years ago

86 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ghoso

I did some research that may be helpful for those who wonder why de not des. In French, unspecific plural nouns generally have "des" before them. However, When the plural indefinite or partitive article is used with an adjective that precedes a noun, des changes to de.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Len_H
Len_H
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Wow, could they make this language any more complicated??

Thanks for the explanation!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shadow-WXZ

Well if you speak English as your native language then is very likely you will find complicated any neo-latin language :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kathryn.roberts

Thank you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yutmen
Yutmen
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Who the hell did create this language? LoL thanks for the explanation

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarlClark4

You need to say: "Who in the hell created this language?" LOL, English is terrible, too!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/landmers
landmers
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lol - even for those of us who speak it naturally!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nancy362383

You've got that right! I am a reading specialist (English), and teach dyslexic kids to read. For every rule that we have, we break. More than any of the Latin based languages. That is for sure!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amermaqbool

saw an example on the negation lesson: vous n'avez pas de chien. in this example there is no adjective and chien is not even plural. is there a logic behind this? thanks

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dhMuse
dhMusePlus
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Yes, there's a different rule in play in that example: the use of "de" with negative statements of possession.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/InaraCouto
InaraCouto
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Thank you!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ilovepeanuts

Couldn't hear the plural.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yekrats

I don't think you can hear plurals in French. You can only tell they are plural by the article that comes before them:

• Elle a un petit chien. (singular)

• Elle a de petits chiens. (plural)

The only change in pronunciation is the un/de.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oo6

isn't "de" singular and "des" plural?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah-Cheung
Sarah-Cheung
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When there are adjectives between "des" and the noun, "des" becomes "de" while the adjectives remain plural.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jpmurrayrn
jpmurrayrn
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Thank you so much! This has been driving me crazy.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarimarJau

So would you say "des chiens petits" or "de petits chiens" and both be correct?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Platten

This is the infamous BANGS rule: Beauty Age Number Goodness Size go before the noun.

There is more to it than that however. Fuller explanation better than I could manage here:

Position of French Adjectives http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Je_suis_BiDo

Thanks :)

Duolingo really should inform us of stuff like this, though. One shouldn't have to always ask somebody to know basic stuff like this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/benkossenberg

They do explain all of this if you go to the unit on a web browser, or open it on your phone's browser. Scroll down to read.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nheat
Nheat
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Thank you very much. This is so helpful

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HvYHkGOO

Oh yes in this case a single one would have had un

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamSidders1

Welcome to French enjoy your stay

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clarasmiler

I can't hear the difference between "de" and "des"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yekrats

"Des" sounds like the English word "day". "De" sounds like a much duller "deh" sound. (At least to my ear.)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Casiquire

Run over to Google Translate and set it to French. Type in de and des and hit the speaker button. It will read the words back to toy and clarify the subtle subtle better than words here can.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CottonCandy69

The correct answer it gave me is "she's some small dogs" that makes no sense.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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It is a known bug, a real nasty one, too. We are begging the owl to please fix it but so far no action has been taken. It stems from the notion that "she has" may be contracted to "she's" so now the owl spits out "she's" whenever "she has" is part of the answer, notwithstanding that "she's" is the standard contraction for "she is". Duolingo discourages contracting he/she/it has for this reason. Pandora has been let out of the box and the programmers and trying to get it back in again.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/i-lumos

I assumed it was feminine, yet my translation was not marked correct.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/4Elysa
4Elysa
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You should be able to hear the difference between "petits" and "petites." Does that help?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

See my comment below on the pronunciation differences between masculine and feminine.
In the masculine petits, the t isn't pronounced.
In the masculine chiens, the n isn't pronounced. :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Miss_Anthropy

I wrote "petites chiennes," and it said it was wrong. I thought it could be used either way.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

There is a slight pronunciation difference between petits chiens and petites chiennes.
With the masculine petits we do not pronounce the final t. We also do not pronounce the n in chiens.
The final t is pronounced with the feminine petites and the n in chiennes is also pronounced.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

And which is the preposition here?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NamNum
NamNum
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I'm sorry but can anyone distinguishes the usage of 'de/du/de la' for me?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Num624Jn316

de = of
du = of the (masculine)
de la = of the (feminine)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EminHasanl

why "elle a de"???? shouldn't it be just "elle a"??? Which means she has?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andrewtaranto

It seems strange that it's not "des", but then I guess "de petit chien" would make less sense ("she has some small dog"). Oh well.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
northernguy
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Des becomes de in front of an adjective if des is being used as some.

Why, you ask? Because that is just the way it is.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeffissimo
jeffissimo
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merci beaucoup!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cmlopes
cmlopes
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I've been wondering what that "de" was. It's just the "des" before an adjective. Simple. Thank you so much.

I almost googled something like that: "why french use prepostion "de" before adjective".... go figure..... heheh Many thanks again.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
DmytroShkr
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I wonder why 'little male dogs' (which sounds weird in conversational English I presume) is wrong here?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
northernguy
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DmytroShkr

Please read the comment immediately above yours.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
DmytroShkr
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Exactly. You say so yourself, 'small, male dog', but they label it 'wrong'

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
northernguy
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Please read the entire sentence.

Petit chien/ small dog means a small, male dog OR a small dog of unknown gender.

Petite chienne means a small dog of known female gender.

Chien is inclusive of both male and unknown gender dogs. Chienne is exclusive of everything except female dogs.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
DmytroShkr
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Aha, so now I can see what you mean: the perfectly grammatically correct translation of 'elle a de petits chiens' would be something like 'she has some small dogs of unknown gender, possibly including some male dogs', for the 'small male dogs' would unreasonably exclude 'dogs of unknown gender'.
I know I'm slow, but not that slow it appears ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
northernguy
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There is only the masculine designation or the feminine designation in French gender assignment. There in no neuter/ neutral available. Therefore when the gender is mixed,unknown or considered irrelevant, either the masculine or the feminine must be used to carry that information.

The French language, by custom, has assigned that dual role to the masculine. Some people object to this on principle. Some French speakers say that they and their friends don't conform to this practice. Some English speakers object to using the term chairman when the gender is unknown. Some insist on using a newly invented term chairperson, which they and all their friends use. Whatever floats your boat.

Duo will sometimes take a heart if you use the feminine form when the gender is unknown or mixed, sometimes not. But they will never take a heart if you use the masculine form.Some French speakers may say that you confused them if you use the feminine form to describe a mixed gender or unknown situation. But they will never say you confused them by using the masculine, no matter what region or social circles they travel in.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cutiesnap

Is it just me, or do you find it hard to notice that its a plural? I couldn't hear the indication, even though I am in the plural section :3 Its still impossible in my opinion to hear the difference

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yekrats

If you have an adjective, des (pronounced "day") is switched to "de" (pronounced "deh"). How do you know it's plural? If it was singular, it would be UN petit chien.

I think this is right... I'm only level 7 French, so take this with a grain of salt!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seongkwang1

Why does petit precede a noun?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

Some adjectives go before a noun. Just remember BANGS: Beauty, Age, Numbers, Good/Bad, and Size. Verbs describing those things precede nouns. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xrayextra

The solution it gave me was "She has got small dogs." Where do the get 'got' from?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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British English often uses "has got" whereas US English uses "has". Choose which one you use but don't be put off if you see it shown the other way.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dmcvelarde

i don't get it. Why 'de' is translated to 'got'? can somebody help me understand this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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It is not. Please read the posts above regarding "de". British English often uses "has got" whereas US English uses "has". Same thing for different versions of English.

2 years ago

[deactivated user]

    All the comments are about "de" and "des" but the lesson is telling me that the correct translation is "She has got small dogs". Why in past?

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
    n6zs
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    There is nothing past tense about "has got"; it is the British way of saying "has".

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/MasoudSabahi

    Why "des petits chiens" is not correct?

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
    n6zs
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    This question has been answered many times above.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Escorbores

    @NorthernGuy, @Scott Starkey: I agree with SA_Mills' comment above and have not found sufficient information from reliable sources to help me understand your explanations. Do you have any sources you can suggest for consultation, please? Thank you in advance.

    F.Y.I.: Since there seem to be discrepancies, confusion and inconsistencies about the subject, "She has small dogs" was accepted as a correct response 14·SEP·2015 and "She has some small dogs" given as an alternate response suggestion.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
    n6zs
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    The "some" is optional in English. Both "She has small dogs" and "She has some small dogs" are equivalent in English.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/YosiTomorr

    I was told in a previous lesson, that chiennes is feminine and chiens is masculine.. so Why is chiens used here and not chiennes??

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
    n6zs
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    "Dog" can be translated as "le chien" or "la chienne". The first refers to a male, the second to a female. So "She has small dogs" might be either "Elle a de petits chiens" or "Elle a de petites chiennes". The words "male" and "female" are not used in translating the French.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/mud426148
    mud426148
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    Fyi typo: should be 'des'

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
    n6zs
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    No. The reason that it is "de petits chiens" is because the "des" is changed to "de" when there is an adjective before the noun. It is an invariable rule.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RaymondWong11

    Now im really confused, i always thought du/de means "some" , je bois du jus = i drink juice, like in this sentence, de means some, so is it the same word having other meanings as "of/from/in" ?

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
    n6zs
    Mod
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    The word "de" can be used in several different ways. Context will tell you which it is.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/HamedYNezh

    Just wondering why i love french language so much?! De des whatever i love you

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Derek513546

    The translation i got was nonsense "she's small dogs"

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/NarthaniNa

    thats why i left her ;D

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/roosmar
    roosmar
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    Why not des petits chiens

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/CherylFont1

    des becomes de because des is followed by the adjective petites. If the sentence were She has dogs (without the adjective) it would be des chiens

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/kamshan
    kamshan
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    Why is "she has small dogs" wrong? I was told I used the wrong word and should have said "she owns small dogs".

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/amermaqbool

    saw an example vous n'avez pas de chien. can anyone example the de in this case

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pascal_Engels

    Can't we translate "petits chiens" by pups or puppies

    5 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/AlexAmador188422

    This language is the exact opposite of esperanto

    4 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/JackieYoung1

    Yet another multiple choice question without the correct word anongest the possible answers provided. 'a' is missed out yet is not among the choices. I am using an iPad.

    4 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/JackieYoung1

    This is the THIRD multiple choice error I have found today. 'a' is missed from the sentence but not offered among the possible answers. I am using an iPad

    4 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ArseneFern

    Good

    3 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Liam299257

    Why is there "petites" & "chiennes" in "les petites chiennes mangent" & here there"s "petits" & "chiens"?

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Yutmen
    Yutmen
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    Chien and Chiens are singular and plural male dog(s) respectively. Chienne and Chiennes are singular and plural female dog(s) respectively. The adjective 'petit' conjugates based on the gender and number (singular/plural) of the noun.

    • le petit chien (the small male dog)
    • les petits chiens (the small male dogs)
    • la petite chienne (the small female dog)
    • les petites chiennes (the small female dogs)
    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Louis622090

    why not chiens petits

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Yutmen
    Yutmen
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    Because PETITS (small) falls into BANGS adjectives (Beauty, Ages, Numbers, Goodness, Size) which come before the noun.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/yacico
    yacico
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    CAPTAIN: look at these three: "des chiens", "des chiens blancs", but "de petites chiens". A rule states that 'des' turns into 'de' if there is an adjective between it, the indefinite aritcle, and the noun (all words useable with the 'the' article, i.e. the apple, the thoughts, etc).

    Indf. Article + noun (+ adjective) = des chien (blancs) Indf. Article + adjective + noun (+ adjective) = de petits chiens (blancs).

    I hope this helps!

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/yacico
    yacico
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    *I misspelled: 'petites' (plu. fem.) should be 'petits' (plu. mas.)

    1 month ago