"Il parle des sandwichs."

Translation:He talks about the sandwiches.

December 24, 2012

116 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BushBot

Why would it be "... about the sandwiches" and not "... about sandwiches"?

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alex_cesarp

de+les=des...tricky french...

September 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kinggambit

how would you say "he is talking about some sandwiches" then? (opposed to "he is taking about the sandwiches")

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Hannes_42

Il parle de sandwiches.

June 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/EUREKA__
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But "sandwiches" is plural...Shouldn't it be "des"?

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

@Corinnn. What Hannes has posted will do because French has to find a way to distinguish between "Some" ="DE" and "Of The(About the)=De+Les. Hannes seems to be a natural but maybe to be certain "Certaines" would be inserted.: "Il parle de certaines sandwiches".

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gxxsh
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usually des, but the original de in parler de 'erases' it, so it's just de

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DefectPawn

You've gotta be freaking kidding me...

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/igorgel
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same question - "des" != "the"

April 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GabyLeung

DUDE the exercises before marks you wrong for placing "the" in places of "de"des"du"d'"..... why now?

October 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/emmaliv

There are some excellent explanations for this below, but the main reason is that the phrase is "parler de", so "de" is already present in the sentence.

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TechniCallie

Why do I need "the" if is says "Des"? For it to be "the sandwiches" shouldn't it say "les sandwiches"?

April 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren
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In French, 'de les' is contracted into 'des', so 'des sandwichs' = 'of the sandwiches'. Having said that, though, I think this sentence can mean both 'he is talking about the sandwiches' (certain sandwiches at issue) and 'he is talking about sandwiches' (in general). Confirmation anyone? :)

April 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/framericaine128
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I completely agree with you. There aren't any context clues to indicate whether he is speaking about sandwiches in general or about specific sandwiches.

July 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/rkent

Therefore, both should be accepted, no?

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuganka

But des is also a plural for 'some'. So how to differentiate between that usage and this 'de les' usage?

August 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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You differentiate by the preceding verb, which is "parler de", to talk ABOUT". Because of that "de", "les" is absorbed and becomes "des", a contracted mix of both words. If it was about "some" sandwiches, the sentence in French would be "Il parle de sandwiches", i.e. "parler de" without article. The difficult aspect here is the postposition "de" in the phrasal verb (you talk ABOUT something, tu parles DE quelque chose), which changes the basic rules in French.

Determined objects:

de + les = des

de + le = du

Undetermined objects:

de + des / du / de la = de

Only "de + la" remains "de la"...

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/janderson009

This part of what you said was most helpful to me: "parler de [is] to talk about," and the les is assumed because of this structure. Thanks.

February 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jessi784299
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merci ! this is very helpful !

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LaBiciEsMia

Very helpful answer, although I think the plural of "sandwich" in French is "sandwichs".

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

HaH! Brilliant! I'm going outside chepps. I may be SomeTime......

February 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Brownbeast77

'he speaks some sandwiches' wouldn't make sense

October 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sidmister2000

the thing is the explanation it gives you on this pages states that des is 'some dresses' or simply just 'dresses' then marks you wrong for putting it. i just think this is another bit of bad teaching from duo lingo...however koolkaren thank you for explaining it properly

February 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gejeli

Either way, it makes a weird English sentence and I think this i one of the problems with Duolingo; sentences translated between the languages tend to be ridiculously non-idiomatic at times… You need to disregard the English language structure entirely and stick to what the French sentence says, word for word.

April 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LawrenceBarker

That is not a weird sentence in English.

May 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LolaValentine

The sentece itself isn't weird, but both should be accepted.

October 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/gxxsh
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wrong, sandwiches in general would just be 'de'

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/angela1

I thought 'He speaks of sandwiches' would be correct.

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Althout I confirm, as a Native FR speaker, that what you say is correct (provided you talk about sandwiches in general, and not "some" sandwiches), I think however that it's important to force learners to choose and remember that translation, otherwise they would tend to think that "des" is always "some/no article + noun".

it is a very complex thing to learn in French, and yet very basic and used every day. Some days "I need apples [which ones? how many?]" (j'ai besoin DE pommes), other days "I need the apples [that I bought earlier] (j'ai besoin DES pommes), some day I might do a lecture about fruits and "talk about apples [in general]" (je parle DES pommes).

Be aware that this applies because of phrasal verbs built with "de" in French (sometimes it's clear, just like "to talk ABOUT" is "parler DE", sometimes it is less, like "to need" is "avoir besoin DE").

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Markle0
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If we are being introduced to a new concept: phrasal verbs, that should be plain in the lesson.

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Oh Gawd! I want my mum! Its true, isnt it, isnt it....y'know that the French have the best memories in the world. How else do they ever manage their language every day?

February 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/shemp
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I agree with you(and others) and am reporting this as a problem. I feel both "of sandwiches" and "of the sandwiches" should be accepted without having any context to go on. It is splitting hairs I agree, but Duo needs feedback in these instances

September 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren
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I would have thought so too. :)

April 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/openeverything

i got really confused, i guess it would help if there is some kind of a hint, the first couple of times some phrasal verb with "de" is part of any excercise. it should be highlighted not just if you peek, but in general, so you have a chance to learn it right instead of learning it by mistake and needing to laboriously correct what you thought you already learned.

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/djami_duo

we can't really distinguish "il parle ..." or "ils parlent..." they sound the same !

February 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren
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I agree. I hope it accepts both.

March 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Conhart
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Why does the mouse-over translate "parle des" as "you talk about"? Doesn't the conjugation mean it should be "I talk about" or "He/she talks about"?

March 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/amosciare

I think "the" is not right in this sentence. It should be he speaks of sandwiches or he talks about sandwiches, literally speaking

October 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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"the" is (also) correct, and is important to learn and remember that it is correct. See my posts above. :-)

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Fadwa135

I read all the comments and I still don't understand !!! If it wanted to be 'the sandwiches' it could've been 'les sandwiches' as des means some or an article for the undefined plurals or means 'of the' The ability of putting 'des' before any thing and every think just doesn't make sense

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Oh, and without me wanting to confuse you even more, that is very important because you encounter that form every day, in very simple sentences.

I wrote that happens because of the "de", which is a post- ("after") or pre("before")-position: indeed with "to talk about / parler de", it's more a post-position, as "de" comes after the verb "parler", which calls for it (not always, as in "je parle français", no "de" needed because it means "to talk/speak French" and not "about French").

But what is even more common and frequent, it's the preposition "de", general translation of "of" in English. The same happens with that preposition:

  • "the neighbours' daughter" or "the daughter of the neighbours" = "la fille DES voisins". Here, clearly, it is unquestionable: "the neighbours" are VERY determined, I'm talking about specific neighbours, the one with that daughter I'm referring to. Well, in French, that "des" cannot be undetermined, and it's again a contraction of "de + les", literally "of the": incorrect French would be "la fille de les voisins" (hurts my ears!!!), correct form is "la fille des voisins".

If you thought that girl is "some neighbours' daughter" (but you're not sure who precisely), you'd say in French: "la/une fille de voisins" - unlikely to be used, but grammatically correct; a more realistic example could be "a neighbours' meeting": "une réunion DE voisins".

Hope that helps. :-)

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/theshine

Thanks a lot! Your explanations really help me out. Native speakers like you make Duolingo a great place to learn new languages, hopefully there will be Chinese courses in the future so that I can make some contribution to this community as a native Chinese speaker :p

March 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree
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There is (a course for Mandarin), please do :)

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Oh! WOW! I'll need a couple of weeks with this ElGusso. It is good. It is so good. How I wish I had your understanding and grounding sir! Lingots!

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelFeil

I wish this was a mini lesson on the main page! Thanks!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Are you sure you've read all comments? :-)

I know, it's really not that obvious to understand. For us, natives, we've never had to think and understand that, but actually the explanation is "simple", i.e. you need to remember that rule (OK, boring, but that's for almost any language you learn, e.g. irregular verbs, etc.); here's a copy/paste of my post above:

"je parle de [= de+des] sandwichs" = "I am talking about (some / the idea of) sandwiches" -- UNDETERMINED

"je parle des [=de + les] sandwichs"= "I am talking about the sandwiches (that we ate earlier / that are sold next door / etc.)" or "I am talking about sandwiches (all the sandwiches of the world) -- DETERMINED (literally, or universally).

Singular would be:

"je parle d'un [=de+un] sandwich" = "I am talking about a sandwich" - undetermined

"je parle du [=de+le] sandwich"= "I am talking about the sandwich - determined

So, NO GUYS!!! "des" is not always a translation of "some" or absence of article in English. It depends on what is before in the sentence, in this case the verb "to talk ABOUT", i.e. "parler DE" in French. And that "de" (= "about", "on", "of"... depending on the verb used) creates that bizarre thing with a "des" which in fact is a "les" preceded by the pre-/postposition "de".

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Artsmngr

I agree that this is a very confusing usage. Might both sandwiches and the sandwiches be accepted?

April 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/norcun

Why it is not accepted?, I think that this sentence can also talk about sandwiches " in general"

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Artsmngr

Then how would you say he is talking about some sandwiches?

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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It's true that French is particularly a language of exceptions.

However, with "du" there is no doubt: it never goes with a plural noun. So if you talk about some sandwiches (and want to translate every word, i.e. insisting on "some" as in "certain, not all of them"), this would be indeed "il parle de certains sandwichs".

Structure is as follows:

  • he talks about = il parle de.

Note that de here, in "parler de", is part of a phrasal verb (to talk about) and has nothing to do with the articles "des" or "de", as in "il a de beaux enfants" (he's got beautiful children) or "il mange des sandwichs chaque jour" (he eats sandwiches every day).

  • some sandwiches = certains sandwichs.

Relsut is:

  • "Il parle de" + "certains sandwichs" = "il parle de certains sandwichs". No contraction with "de" (preposition) and "certains".

Whereas:

  • "il parle de " + "les sandwichs" (if that person is talking about the sandwiches or sandwiches in general) = "il parle des sandwichs".

Jackjon, you'd use "du" if that person is talking about the sandwich (and not about the soda, the weather or anything else):

  • "Il parle de " + " le sandwich" = "il parle du sandwich".

There's no logic to be found in those contraction rules, you gotta learn them and/or it will come naturally with practice.

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

ElGusso, thanks for your very extensive and clear explanations. However, in "il a de beaux enfants" mentioned above, why do you use "de" instead of "des"? If it is indefinite article in plural, it would be "des"; if it would be definitive article in plural, we would use "les" instead, right? I just don't see how "de" can be used here (only if verb is perhaps "avoir de", with which I'm not familiar) - I do not see here any contraction which would result in using "de" (except if verb is "avoir de", and then "a de des" = "a de"). Could you explain this, or you've just made mistake by accident? (Or is it just that maybe I have misunderstood some of your commentaries made on this topic?)

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

Well, I see now that I have completely overlooked that "When the plural indefinite or partitive article is used with an adjective that precedes a noun, des changes to de." (about.com). Never mind for my previous comment, I was obviously completely wrong.

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Yeah.... What I'd love to know is how on Earth do fluent speakers of French take All That into account whilst speaking so very fast??!!

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

My guess would be that they don't even think about it, it is natural to them; they just "feel" it, if you know what I mean

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Yes, Kristian. How I wish, wish, wish, call centres would use diction rather than feeling.

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Hey, hey, indeed that wasn't a mistake, and you've found the reason why yourself.

Now, I didn't explain why 1) to avoid adding another explanation on the side, but mostly 2) because it is not a mistake to use "des" with an adjective before the noun, e.g. "Il a des beaux enfants"".

Using the "des + adj + plural noun" in that case is more oral French, while using "de + adj + plural noun" sounds nicer, cleaner.

Jackjon, there's no way you'll know and understand how we use that naturally. Plus, we feel the same about other languages, notably Spanish (e.g. with their common use of all subjunctive tenses) and even English, which is simpler at first and for basic rules, but the more you dig and want to be accurate and precise and use idiomatic expressions, the more complicated it gets (e.g. all phrasal verbs, and how one single word like "get" or "set" with an extra easy word like "up", "on", "off", "onto", "into", "unto", etc., will have different meanings, often unguessable). And in both those languages, like many other, we feel natives speak very fast (sometimes I have to rewind scenes in TV series or films, while using subtitles and having a quite good level of English - let alone certain phone conversations with customer services and the likes...).

All relative. But again, don't worry too much about those nuances at this level...

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

I agree completely with you regarding English (I'm not native English speaker, obviously). In French, this "de" stuff was very confusing to me until I've read some useful explanations on about.com. Anyways, thanks again for your very clear explanations on this and other topics.

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

I just had a feeling in me waters that you'd get on this ElGusso. Thank you so much. I have understood this but my short-term memory works less than well. Also, I think that you'd agree that this is a tricky subject in French grammar. Tricky, that is until it becomes clear and then it probably is glaringly obvious. Bless your patience. If I had had the courage, I would have left it at "DE" of which I was almost sure. But in a response to a student's query "almost" just wont do. It brought your excellent explanation here which you and your colleagues have done over and again elsewhere but now it is here which I suggest is no bad thing. I fear this may not be the last time I return to this tricky subject. Thanks.

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hi Artsmngr. I am unsure of my French here and I post what I think is the answer to attract comment or correction. I think you would say: "Il parle de (du?) certains sandwichs." The only thing I'm not absolutely sure of is whether it's De or Du. EDIT: Further to El Gusso's post above I now remember that it is De=De+Les and not Du=De+Le. Thanks ElGusso.

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Davewilson123

'He talks about sandwiches' is a correct English translation. 'He talks about the sandwiches' in English implies particular sandwiches!!!?? I contest the need for the article here.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Still it is correct English and a possible translation of 'Il parle des sandwichs'.

You're arriving late at a meeting about organizing a party. Someone's talking, you ask quietly 'What's he talking about? The drinks?' - 'No, he's talking about the sandwiches', ie the very sandwiches for that particular party. Saying 'he's talking about sandwiches' would imply something else.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Please correct me if I'm mistaken; is it not "He talks about THE sandwiches=Il parle DES (De+Les) sandwiches" and "He talks about sandwiches "(no article in English) = Il parle DE sandwiches"?

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Sorry, i realised afterwards that what I had written might be confusing. You're right, especially in this case as it's unlikely that somebody would talk about sandwiches in general. But imagine a guy's job is to talk about new trends, i.e. virtually all of them, in general, but not specific ones, then you'd say in French 'Il parles des nouvelles tendances'. Whereas 'il parle de nouvelles tendances' would be for instance about a guy who today is talking about (some) new trends...

See the nuance? Slight, still there.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Williamscou

I wrote "He speaks sandwich" haha.

October 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshYoung3

He is talking about sandwiches = wrong

He is talking about the sanwiches = right?

Sure... eye roll

August 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Your proposal in French is written the same way one would write "He is talking about (some) sandwiches", namely, "il parle de sandwichs".

de + des (which is your proposal) = de

de + les (which happens to be the case here) = des

August 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/johnnycopt

weird sentence...

December 24, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/sarahdarling1965

why is it not some , des ...being some rather than the

October 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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OK, I came up with this little paragraph to show this in context (please don't mind the ridicule or likelihood of the example). Remember, "de + les" becomes "des", and "de + des" becomes "de":

French:

"Voici mon magasin de sandwichs préféré: le lieu est propre, le personnel est sympathique et les ingrédients des sandwichs sont super frais. Le gérant parle toujours des sandwichs avec passion! Personne ne parle de sandwichs comme ça!"

English translation:

"Here's my favourite sandwich shop: the place is clean, the staff is nice and the ingredients of the sandwiches are super fresh. The manager always talks about the sandwiches with passion! Nobody talks about sandwiches like that!"

And this happens only when using "de + les" (or "de + le", becoming "du", when singular). So for instance, if you said "the manager talks about HIS sandwiches with passion", it would be in French "le gérant parle de SES sandwichs avec passion".

March 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mouad73
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oui j'ai compris now (y)

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/patchsonic

How would you be able to tell if hearing this out of context, that it was plural?

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/emknowsaunicorn

Because it is des not de. Des sounds like day.

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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"de" wouldn't be singular in this case.

"je parle de [= de+des] sandwichs" = "I am talking about (some / the idea of) sandwiches" --> UNDETERMINED

"je parle des [=de + les] sandwichs"= "I am talking about the sandwiches (that we ate earlier / that are sold next door / etc.)" or "I am talking about sandwiches (all the sandwiches of the world) --> DETERMINED (literally, or universally).

Singular would be:

"je parle d'un [=de+un] sandwich" = "I am talking about a sandwich" - undetermined

"je parle du [=de+le] sandwich"= "I am talking about the sandwich - determined

Bloody French, I'm so glad it's my mother tongue, that's the kind of thing we don't need to learn! :-)

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mouad73
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i think the phrase in french is not correct !!!! the correct is "il parle autour des sandwichs" this phrase "Il parle des sandwichs." n'a aucune sens

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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Yeah right.

  1. Read other comments before posting such misleading statements, even if they're just 'opinions' (but then, ask a question instead please).

  2. This sentence is absolutely correct, at least grammatically - not much chance to hear that in the real life (who talks about sandwiches?! LOL), although totally possible, especially if you talk about 'the' sandwiches ("what's he saying?" - "nevermind, he's talking about the sandwiches").

  3. Now, 'about' can sometimes be translated as 'autour': une discussion autour de sujets économiques; une conférence autour des questions d'environnement; ils débattent autour des problèmes de voisinage (although 'à propos de' or 'au sujet de' is more likely to be used).

  4. Yet in NO way can you say a sentence like 'il parle autour des sandwichs' - i can't even think of a natural example with 'parler autour'.

  5. Donc cette phrase a du sens: yes, 'DU sens' not 'de la sens', 'sens' is a masculine noun. So your claim would be 'ça n'a AUCUN sens'. :-)

(I am a native, by the way)

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mouad73
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:) merci pour tes corrections franchement j'ai appris beaucoup choses avec des arguments et des preuves bien numéroté , et s'il vous plaît j'ai juste une petite dernière question , est ce qu'il peut dire 'He is tanlking the sandwiches?' et merci

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/markon

In english you don't need to use the article, right? That's why it's hard to remember the articles when learning french.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/markon

My problem is that if I was asked to translate "he talks about sandwiches" to French, i would have included the "des" but for English it is not necessary. I DO know English.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahOC23

I put "he talks about sandwiches" which was of course marked incorrect and I think I've just twigged why it's wrong and should be "the sandwiches" instead. "Il parle" on its own is "he talks" and given that we know that language consists of words rather than sandwiches, we can assume he is talking about sandwiches rather than talking sandwiches, hence "il parle de....les sandwichs" which boils down to "des". Is that right?

June 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JulienTheCheese

I just dont seem to understand this... doesnt "parle" mean speak? I mean, i could easily remember to fix that, but then it has "des". Does de possibly mean "about?" Im quite sorry that that im so clue less, but i guess its easier than it seems! d:

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hi Julien. Not clueless at all. In fact you are very nearly there. Il parle=He speaks or talks. Des= de+les= Of The= About the, so altogether we get He speaks of the sandwiches= He talks about the sandwiches. "Des" can confuse because it has multiple uses. It can also mean Some, and at times can be dropped altogether in a translation to English. So, chin-up, you will get it in time and with usage in its many contexts. JJ.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/april_040990

I'm still confused. I thought it's "He talks some sandwichs"

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/april_040990

I read the comments. Just gonna ask if "des (about)" also works on other verb like manger des (to eat about) and boire des (to drink about)? I haven't taken the other verb lessons yet. So yeah, just saying.

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

@april. Welcome to our dear confusion around "DES". It is really tricky. It leans heavily on context. It translates SOMETIMES to "Some", to "Of The", to an article which is dropped altogether in English, and "screwed" from "Of The" into "About The" as is done with this sentence-task. The English "About" is also tricky as it too can be construed in multiple ways making this particular lesson almost a nightmare. "About" can mean "Somewhere Non-Specific", "Approximately", "Around", "Almost", "Nearly", "Non-Specific Movement", "On A Particular Subject" (As is done here with this sentence-task). So, in given specific contexts, yes your examples could be used in English but no, not in French. Other grammatical solutions would be necessary.

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rljones
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Cheers, Danny. You are right about "about." In addition "talk about" is well on its way to becoming one of those phrasal (or compound) verbs in English that ElGusso talks about some way up this page. This use of "about" is specific to "talk"; it doesn't work quite the same way even with "speak about X," where the word seems to remain a preposition; "speak of" is closer to "talk about."

So, English is in some ways much like French (and it ought to be--France is where a lot of our language came from). We don't use anything quite like "de," but it shouldn't be too difficult for English speakers to grasp. We can even confuse ourselves with our own usages.

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidRowe6

Translation "he speaks of sandwiches" is also perfectly good English!

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Yes David, but that is not what the task sentence is saying so the "Good English" is not a Good translation. Des=De+Les=Of THE or here About THE.

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/questioninfinite

I'm listening...

September 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/2cut34u

What is the difference between he talks sandwiches ad he talks about sandwiches ?

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hi 2Cut. "He talks sandwiches" doesn't make sense in English. It is confusing and I feel for you because we have "He talks nonsense" (a noun also) and that is acceptable, meaning What He Says Does Not Make Sense. We have "He talks about nonsense" and this means something different. It means that he is speaking About nonsense; not that what he is saying is nonsense. So, there are many nouns that require "Of" or "About" to precede them We can't have "He talks cars", "He talks women". and to be even more correct, we would have to say "He Speaks nonsense" rather than "He talks nonsense." Thing is; in this Duo task, "Des" is interpreted as "Of" or "About".and "Of Some" or "About Some." In another context it is interpreted as "Some" or "Some of" or may be dropped altogether which is another reason for the confusion. Does this help? If it is still not clear feel free to ask again, JJ.

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Happy holidays JJ! «waves»

2Cut another way to look at Jackjon's example is "nonsense" is a noun describing the statements a person is uttering. While "sandwiches" is not a noun that is used in reference to words, sentences, etc.

You can say:

"I saw what you wrote and I'm afraid I find it to be complete nonsense."

But you cannot say:

"I saw what you wrote and I'm afraid I find it to be complete sandwich."

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Oh! Sea Of Cats, you complete Darling. I love what you have posted here. I am not certain whether my botty has been spanked or my cheek has been stroked? Hehehehe. Sandwiches always fall on the Jam Side! Very happy holidays to you and yours, too, JJ. Pomeganates!

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CaroEnrico
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She is actually the Mother of Cats.

September 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Quebec729261

The sandwiches or some sandwiches...whatever!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/anthony971504

why "des" sandwiches an not "les"

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Please read the discussions before posting so you don't echo questions that have already been answered.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GoShelbyGo

Am I the only one that second guesses myself regularly because I find myself thinking, 'why on earth is someone talking about sandwiches?!'

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CaroEnrico
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So it's not just me. Whenever the conversation starts flagging I always bring up the topic of sandwiches.

September 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Biometallurgy

I wrote "He talks sandwiches." and like 'oh yeah, I speak food languages.' LOL.

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thazrail
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i wrote " he speaks of sandwiches " and it was marked wrong

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

That is because that would be il parle de sandwichs. Why? Because the word "sandwiches" without an article would be des sandwichs. If you precede that with il parle de, then you would have il parle de sandwichs because

de + des = de (of)

Since this exercise had il parle des sandwichs and not ...de sandwichs, we know the definite article must be used in our translation because

de + les = des (of the)

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/michelesta1
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This translation is incorrect there is no definite article

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Please get into the habit of reading the discussion before posting so you don't post wrong information as you have done. The article is included and how has been explained. Please read.

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Tineke.R.

it looks like it says "he speaks sandwiches"

February 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

des = de + les = of the

February 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Seenoff
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Apart from the "tricky french", why is the definite article needed here?

March 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/flipabit

Why is it that anywhere else, the phrase "des sandwichs" means "some sandwiches" and the phrase "les sandwichs" means "the sandwiches"?

September 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
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See my posts above. :-)

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

ElGusso, you have the patience of Job and just wanted you to know you're very much appreciated. While I probably will need a refresher on this down the road, with my short memory, reading repetitions of your explanations made usage of "de" and "des" clearer to me. "Parler de + des" = parler de, while "parler de + les" = parler des. I cannot wait for the day French grammar becomes second nature.

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/VaishaliKothari

Again it confuses sometimes for the use of des is 'some' or 'the'. Please take steps to correct this module.

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mere_des_chats

Des has never been "the" which is les. The way to avoid confusion is not to rush to post a rant, but to read the discussion any time you find yourself lost. There is so much knowledge shared therein that you miss out if you are spending more time writing than reading.

April 1, 2018
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