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"Des enfants, des femmes, des hommes"

December 27, 2012



Is there a difference in meaning between this phrase and: "Les enfants, les femmes, les hommes"?


The difference between "des" and "les" is that "des" refers to people in general (indefinite article) and "les" to people in particular (definite article).

  • 1822

Please have a look at this link about contracted articles: "du", "de la", "de l'", "des", and "de":


In this case "Des enfants, des femmes, des hommes.", the plural indefinite article "des" refers to more than one countable person in an indefinite sense.


Thanks. I thought "des" was short for "de les". Now I get it. Thanks again.


my friend des is a short form of de les but the difference is in the use as the post above tells.


So it's not correct to say "The children, the women, the men" ?


Yeah it will be wrong. Best regards


is there a difference when you want to say "some women, some men" instead of "women, men", because this in english has two different meanings. in French is it 'des femmes, des hommes' for both cases?


Yes, in French, if you can't number or identify the noun, you have to use "des". Only a few exceptions, but in advanced French that you don't need at this stage.


Why is homme sometimes man and sometimes human?


In the same cases as in English, since you have two words for two different notions: either humans in general (men) or like here men as opposed to women and/or children.


If that's the case, then I imagine this like the way that the word "man" sometimes means a man and sometimes means humans. Like "I am a man" and "The deadliest animal is man".


I really can't hear any 's' here. The trick is to know it by the article, isn't it?


Final "s" is never to be heard as a form of plural for a noun.

In that sentence there is one "s" that you should hear: the one just before "hommes". you should hear : LAY-Z-OM But it is not because it is a plural, it is because there is a liaison with "homme" (note: non aspired H), which changes with other determiners: mon homme (MON-N-OM); cet homme (SAY-T-OM)...


thanks, thats a good explanation. i will watch out the articles in the future.

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