"Des" can sometimes translate as "some". Other times it translates as "of the"
"Des" = "some" when it refers to an unspecified amount of something.
"Des" = "of the" when it refers to something belonging to something/someone.
We can see which it should be by trying to fit either "some" or "of the" into the sentence - see which one works.
"The pockets some clothes"
"The pockets of the clothes"
In this case we can see that "some" does not work but "of the" fits nicely.
Try a different example- "Je manges des pommes"
"I am eating of the apples"
"I am eating some apples"
Here we see that "some" fits nicely but "of the" makes no sense.
Important to remember - although "des" can sometimes be "some" and other times it can be "of the" these are two entirely different meanings - do not combine them - "des" never translates as "some of the". This is a mistake that many learners make.
It's a context thing. "Des" is a contraction of "de" and "les," so it could literally translate to "of the." However, sometimes, it is used in the same way that you might use the word "some" in English. Many basic words in English (e.g. for, what, to, that) will have many different meanings depending on the context, same for French.
In this particular example "The pockets some clothing" would not make sense whereas "The pockets of the clothing" does. More naturally, it could be translated as "the clothing's pockets," since the only way to explain possession in French is to say " blank of the blank." For example "Le jouet du garçon" means "The boy's toy" even though it literally translates to "The toy of the boy."
"Some" would have to be du, de la, or de l' depending on gender... You use these three when you don't know how much of and item you have. For example, saying "Je mange des/une pizza(s)" would be saying "I'm eating pizzas" or "I'm eating a pizza". Sounds ridiculous right? You're not eating a WHOLE pizza by yourself, right (I hope)? Des goes along with the un and une articles. If you want to say "I'm eating (some) pizza", you'd say "Je mange de la pizza". Now, if my four years of French are correct, I'm pretty sure this applies to clothing as well, and is not particular to food. Correct me if I am mistaken.
Hi The Dutch. Here we start a little debate. How many Pockets are there in the world? A small bag or pouch sewn into a garment (like in this task)? One's financial resources? A small, isolated patch, group or area? An opening on a billiards/snooker table for balls to fall into to score points? A protected area behind the line of scrimmage in A.F from which the quarterback throws a pass? The hollow in a baseball mitt in which the ball is caught or held ? (Nouns). Adjectives; Of a suitable size, fit for purpose, as in "Pocket Dictionary"? As a Verb; To put into one's pocket? Take for oneself, especially dishonestly? In Billiard and Snooker; to drive a ball into a pocket, as in "He pockets the Blue."? Or in Usage; To be in someone's pocket, as Under Their Influence? Or closely involved with someone? Or lost/gained through a transaction as in Out Of or In Pocket ? It just goes on and on. You see, The Dutch, French is specific and as we are Learning, isn't it best that we agree to be taught?
Hi Ansley. The Clothing's Pockets / The Pockets Of The Clothing. Both work but for me, it is an "Unfortunate" sentence. It has drawn so much debate which may be a good thing. The debate centres around plural/singular and the use of the apostrophe which is really very tricky and as you point out, the inversion of the structure. There is so much going on in this sentence and so early on in the course which, in itself, is only basic. This sentence isn't! I hear your call for HELP! but I can't swim! (I LOVE your icon. It's as complex as this task sentence.) Respect, JJ.
I don't know what's happening with Duo recently David. It seems to have its knickers in a twist. I looked at Duo's own solution at the top of this page and it uses Clothing's, not Garment's. to be fair, you did miss out the apostrophe in Clothing's. Also, you will be offered words that you haven't come across before. That is how any language is learnt by anyone, Native or otherwise. We don't know a single word to start with, we just "Picked Them Up" as we went along the learning curve. Didn't we? We weren't born knowing our language, every word was new.
Well now, Georgia; everybody is allowed their own opinion but when it comes to things like Maths or Grammar it is set and if you are going to learn them, then you learn them. You are already inventing your own language, I mean, what does ngl mean On A French Language Learning Course Please?
Hiya Thalia, the apostrophe can be tricky. Sometimes it indicates a missing letter, sometimes missing letters, sometimes to indicate possession as it does here, and sometimes it is left out although there is possession. (Eg: The dog is eating it's dinner and wagging its tail. Tricky!) Duo have the correct use of the possessive apostrophe here. So, as there is only the one possession and Clothing already indicates a plural; ending Clothing with "s" without the apostrophe is a double plural and incorrect. There are many writings on the subject and there appears to be "Schools Of Though" around it and reading them all tends to lead to confusion rather than increased clarity. I've read through 17 grammarians on the subject, all professors, and this post is a precis of their work. I have found the work of Bernard Lott, OBE, MA, PhD, formerly Controller, English Language Teaching, the British Council the clearest for the lay folk like me.
OK Quidditchpotter, let me guess; your answer was The Bus Is Pink. No? OK , was it I have 28 Toes? No? Alright it must have been He Walks Backwards Up The Staircase. No? Oh, dear. Surely it was The Crow Lives In The Barrel, Fight Is Its Fancy. No? Well this is getting difficult. I give in. Please tell us what your answer was and maybe then we may be of some help. Strange that Duo answers twice; that's a fox also.
Hazel, although I agree with you, the apostrophe is so tricky and changes between True English and Noah Webster's American "English." Look at this for example as a correct use of the tricky apostrophe: The Dog Is Eating It's food (apostrophe) and wagging its tail (no apostrophe where one may think there should be one?) With respect JJ.
It shouldn't be eating "it's" food. An apostrophe is only used as a contraction and never as an indicator of possession for "it". And in cases such as "piano", in the possessive case an apostrophe would be used before the "s" for one piano, or after the "s" for multiple pianos. I.E. The piano's keys, the pianos' placements. For always-plural words or others that end in "s", the post-"s" apostrophe is appropriate.
Hiya Grantland. The pockets ON the clothing is different from The clothing's pockets both in French and in English. In French the pockets ON the clothing=Les poches SUR les vetements. The clothing's pockets may well be pockets that are yet to be sewn onto the clothing. Additionally Duo gives the solution with an apostrophe (see top of this page) and DES translates to Of The/Some, not just Of. With respect, JJ.
So today the correction for "The pockets, clothes" is "The pockets in clothes" I admit it sounds better than other options, but the hover meanings did not announce that des in this case is indicating possession. "The pockets of the clothes" is probably the best translation as long as the possessive meaning is listed as an option for des.
Two things, Naomi, and a hello to you. The article in French always agrees with the noun. If the noun is singular then the article is also. Here the noun is plural and so the article will be in plural form too; so "De" won't do, it is "Des." Second thing, on a language-learning site we need to keep our grammar and structure correct. "I" (first person singular) is always written in higher case; "I" not "i". Well worth noting. With respect, JJ.
Hiya Jakob, no, capitalization (if you mean higher case) does not seem to matter to Duo. Certainly articles do. However writing something twice when Duo has only written it the once would, I think, count as a mistake. We need to remember that the programme is just that and as such, being only a computer programme will not accept a repetition where none is in their given task may well result in a negative from their pre-programmed computer.