"Vous êtes de jeunes garçons."

Translation:You are young boys.

December 22, 2012



Why not "des" when a plural follows?

December 22, 2012


It's a peculiar rule of French you'll have to remember. When there is an adjective before a plural noun you use "de" instead of "des". If you are saying "she has apples" you would say "elle a des pommes" but if "she has pretty apples" you would say "elle a de jolies pommes." Another example "elle a de grands yeux bleus" - "she has big blue eyes."

December 22, 2012


Great explanation, thanks a lot. It just reinforces my feeling that French is a fussbudget language, but I love it anyway. (fussbudget = excessively and painfully detailed)

November 10, 2013


Is this only with des or does the rule also translate over for Les?

April 27, 2013

  • 991

This is only for "des".

April 28, 2013


why is this different "Les petits canards mangent du pain"?

July 4, 2018

  • 1659

If you mean to ask why it is "les petits canards", it is because that is the only correct way to say "the little ducks". Remember that the rule in "de jeunes garçons" is that one does not say "des jeunes garçons", but "de jeunes garçons". It means "young boys", not "the young boys". The rule applies to the indefinite plural form "des garçons" (boys) when the plural noun is preceded by a (BANGS) adjective. In such case, the "des" changes to "de".

  • un garçon = a boy
  • des garçons = boys
  • un jeune garçon = a young boy
  • de jeunes garçons = young boys
  • le jeune garçon = the young boy
  • les jeunes garçons = the young boys
February 2, 2019


It's there a rule on when an adjective should precede or not its noun ? I can see from your exemple that it would sound weird to say "Elle a de grands bleus yeux".

October 20, 2018


There are about 16 adjectives that come before a noun, including grand, petit, bon, mauvais, villain, même

December 20, 2018

  • 1659

In French, adjectives generally follow the noun they modify. Among the exceptions are those called BANGS adjectives:

  • Beauty, e.g., beau/belle/joli(e)
  • Age, e.g., une jeune fille
  • Number, e.g., trois femmes
  • Goodness/Badness, e.g., un mauvais garçon
  • Size, e.g., un grand homme
February 2, 2019


I am starting to understand when to use "de" instead of "des", but I don't understand why, in this sentence, the "de" is even necessary. If I wanted to say: "You are young boys" couldn't I just say: "Vous etes jeunes garcons?" and not include the "de"? What does the "de" do in this sentence?

January 9, 2013


I don't think the de is necessary here either, but i' not an expert

January 11, 2013

  • 991

Yes, "de" is necessary in this case (and in most of cases).

"de" (variation of "des" because of the adjective that follows) is a plural indefinite article (or determiner) that means "some".

See: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_3.htm

January 12, 2013


Sometimes in spoken French the only way to figure out whether a noun is plural is by the article preceding it. Think of determiner as being exactly that if it helps.

The article determines characteristics of the noun so that it can be understood by people listening. Therefore articles (determiners) are used in French where they are completely useless in English.

I'm suggesting this as an aid to understanding the need for articles not as an exact, quotable description of the proper grammatical meaning of determiners or their use in French,

February 16, 2013


Would "Vous êtes de jeune garçon" be incorrect?

January 5, 2013

  • 1659

If "vous" is singular, then you would say "Vous êtes un jeune garçon". In Vous êtes de jeunes garçons", the reason for using "de" instead of "des" is that 1) normally, "des" is the plural of "un" but 2) it changes to "de" when there is an adjective used before the plural noun.

September 28, 2015


Why is 'de' even used in this sentence? Wouldn't "vous êtes jeunes garçons" suffice? At first, I thought it should translate to "you are 'of' young boys", because of the 'de'. But when I looked at the choices, you couldn't form a sentence anywhere near that context. I went with "you are young boys" but I'm still confused as to why 'de' is even used... Please help, RSVP

March 15, 2015


It should be vous êtes des jeunes garçons but French converts des to de when in front of an existing adjective.

The full translation would be You are some young boys but English speakers routinely drop the article in such a situation, so Duo allows the some to be dropped from the answer.

In this example you are confronted with an exception in the French part and a characteristic dropping of the article in the English part. Des to de always occurs in the French when appropriate and the dropped article is a feature of the English.

Hope this helps.

March 17, 2015


For what it's worth, I typed "You are some young boys" and it was marked incorrect. :/

June 13, 2018


Why not "ce sont" instead of vous êtes?

February 13, 2019
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