No because in front of an adjective, indefinite article "des" becomes "de".
Earlier they wrote "des petites filles" at the end of a sentence so this is a bit confusing still.
The earlier sentence was "vous lisez les lettres des petites filles", which was a possessive case (the little girls' letters = the letters of the little girls).
In that sentence "des" was the contraction of "de+les" = of the, and not the plural of "une".
- je vois une petite fille - je vois des petites filles = I see a/one little girl - I see (some) little girls
- les lettres de la petite fille - les lettres des petites filles = lit. the letter of the little girl - the letters of the little girls.
I believe "des" in "... des petites filles" is a possessive pronoun, not the article. (i.e. "the small girls' ...", not "... some small girls")
But isn't "petites" an adjective? So why "des petites filles", but not "des bons fruits"?
What about when an adjective follows the noun (fruits rouges)? Would it be des or de?
"des" becomes "de" in front of an adjective. Consequently, "des" remains "des" when the adjective is after the noun.
- des fruits rouges
- de beaux fruits
Am I right in assuming that there is no difference in sound between this and 'il mange de bons fruits?"
Yeah, you're right. The only way I knew when it would most likely be plural for sure is when I was learning the plurals section. I almost wish there were pictures to describe what needs translating, for context, since the sounds are often very difficult to decipher. I guess that may be something that comes with more practice.
My french teacher in school says that there is literally no verbal difference between these two sentences. Often, when these must be translated, an indicator of plurality and usually gender as well are placed afterwards in brackets, "(f, pl)" like so.
It might be worth it for Duolingo to include those indicators in their lessons.
I got this wrong too. As SiteSurf says above des turns to de if there is an adjective before the plural. See http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/de-vs-du-de-la-des_2.htm bullet 5 for an explanation.
- When the plural indefinite or partitive article is used with an adjective that precedes a noun, des changes to de.
J'ai des amis. - J'ai de jeunes amis. I have some friends. - I have some young friends. (Note: J'ai un jeune ami. - I have a young friend.)
J'ai mangé des épinards. - J'ai mangé de bons épinards. I ate some spinach. - I ate some good spinach. (Note: J'ai mangé de la bonne sauce des épinards. - I ate some good spinach sauce.)
I ate some good spinach sauce: I would vote for "j'ai mangé de la bonne sauce AUX épinards"
Does anyone know the rationale for the change of des to de? Is it to facilitate pronounication? It is nice to know the background to the rules if that info is available. It helps the memory process.
One native French speaker in another thread once said that actually "des" is here not a mistake, but "de" definitely sounds better to his ears, and this is the main reason why...
"des bons fruits" is very often heard and said. Which does not mean that it is correct, because it is not.
Duolingo aims at teaching good French, but once the grammatical bases are secured, exceptions can be made in real life.
As Sitesurf posted earlier in this thread des becomes de when placed in front of an adjective in the role of an indefinite article.
I'm thinking that 'des bons fruits' would effectively mean 'of the good fruits' rather than 'de bons fruits' meaning 'good fruits'
If we are to say, "il mange de bons fruits" and "il mange un bon fruit", does that mean we should not say, "il mange du fruit" but "il mange un fruit"? If this is so, then why do we say, "il mange de l'oignon" and not "il mange un oignon"? Please can someone throw some light on this because I am a little confused here? Thank you very much.
It is a matter of how much you eat of one or the other food. You can easily eat une pomme (plural des pommes). One entire onion ? It is a matter of size: so you may eat un oignon (des oignons) or de l'oignon (some oignon - quantity unspecified).
Read all the thread and still dont understand why 'de bons fruits' but 'des petites filles'
To make a long story short, "des" (plural of un/une) changes to "de" in front of an adjective.
However, many French people do not respect that rule and can easily say "des petites filles" or "des bons fruits".
Is it not about the difference between the object and the subject? Des petites filles .... (subject)
and 'Ils mangent de bons fruit' (object)? Just wondering
no, whichever the function of the noun (subject, object...) the rule remains valid: de petites filles sont... or ils mangent de bons fruits
"les jupes des petites filles" (= lit. the skirts of the little girls): in this case "des" is the contraction of "de+les" so it will not further contract to "de".
"j'ai vu des filles, de petites filles" is the plural of "j'ai vu une fille, une petite fille"; so "de" stands for indefinite article "des" which contracts to "de".
I didn't hear that fruit was supposed to be plural. How would I have known that? Because of "de." I'm clearly missing something.
the French "fruit" is a regular, countable noun:
-un fruit, deux fruits, le fruit, des fruits, les fruits.
the singular of "de bons fruits" is "un bon fruit", ie "one good fruit"
with no adjective, the plural of "un fruit" is "des fruits" (more than one, some)
with an adjective in front of the noun, "des fruits délicieux" becomes "de délicieux fruits"
Oh my gosh! You are so right. Of course. But you just had a dozen light bulbs go off in my petit tete (or is that feminine). happy dance, happy dance And happy that I'm coming to Paris in April 2014!!!!! I'll be able to use all this...peut etre!
I agree. For those trying to learn English: fruit is rarely used in the plural form. It doesn't matter how many peices of fruit there are, you would still just say fruit. You would only say fruits if you were trying to emphasize that there are different kinds of fruit involved.
For example: if there are a group people eating apples and oranges and bananas, you would typically just say "they are eating fruit", however if it was important to convey that there were different kinds of fruit invovled, you might say " they are eating various fruits"
So de should not be a preposition here, if it means some? As we have seen in the previous lessons
Absolutely correct! If you got it wrong on a listening question, report it to DL, as I believe those should be accepted as being either singluar or plural third person (for il vs ils and elle vs elles)