"You are young boys."

Translation:Vous êtes de jeunes garçons.

December 29, 2012

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Hello, can someone please explain why do we need "de" in this example? I would really appreciate that..


Look at the singular form: "you are a boy" = "tu es un garçon". Then, back to plural: "you are boys" = "vous êtes des garçons".

In English a/an does not have a plural, but in French, un/une has a plural: "des".

Now in front of an adjective, "des" becomes "de": "vous êtes de jeunes garçons."


I just wanted to thank you for all of your posts, it seems you address every q I have and in a straightforward way, merci...


I thought here the adjective will follow the noun so used des garçons jeunes


I thought that too. Is it correct to say "des garçons jeunes"? And if not, why not?


It depends on whether you are referring to an inherent, subjective, figurative quality of the garçons (de jeunes garçons) or if you are using an objective, literal classification to describe them (des garçons jeunes)

Some political parties in some countries have youth wings. A jeune garçon/young boy by inherent subjective standards (say 6 or 7 years old) would be very surprised to see an objective, literal garçon jeune (say 28 or 29 years old) classified as such because he meets the youth wing membership eligibility requirements of being less than thirty.

At one time, I had regular conversations with someone who was a hundred years old. He would comment on someone passing away so young. He would be talking about people who were 60 or 70. For him, they were subjectively, figuratively young. If he was speaking French he would quite rightly have placed jeune in front of the noun.

Just remember, in conversation, no one would stop you and ask ....are you saying they were subjectively young or objectively young.


Thank you so much your time and effort. Highly informative. A great reply. I think I get it.

I guess you wanted to say that a boy (6) would be surprised to meet the requirements of being < 30 (des garçons jeunes) and that political parties should in fact look for "de jeunes garçons", which might mean e.g. 14 - 29-year-olds. Am I right?

So I'd like to know why duolingo DOES NOT accept "des garçons jeunes" in this particular case? Thanks a lot.



In my example, I am thinking that the 6 year old attending the political event for young people would be surprised to see a thirty year old there. The thirty year old is there because he has been classified as young, objectively, (garçon jeune) by the rules of the organization.

I would think if garçons was the actual title for members of that organisation, then it would be garçons jeunes since members qualify on the basis of a classification system. Even their own membership (who consider themselves jeunes garçons) might find it hard to regard some other members as being jeunes garçons because of how they look and act, but would concede that such non youthful individuals are still garçons jeunes.

I should say that I am talking about the logical basis for placing adjectives. Political youth wings and anybody else may wish to emphasize one or another aspect when talking about themselves. They can call themselves jeunes garçons or garçons jeunes as they wish. Compared to my hundred year old friend just about everybody is subjectively young.

My 6 year old grand daughter classifies just about everybody who has a job, a car and lives on their own as objectively old. Her working, car driving brother doesn't fully qualify as old because he still lives at home. Unlike some of his friends, he doesn't meet the classification she has established.

[deactivated user]

    I wrote "Vous êtes des garçons jeunes" and was marked correct every time. But in a later sentence, "les jeunes enfants" was correct, while "les enfants jeunes" was marked wrong. But at the top of this discussion section it says, "Vous êtes de jeunes garçons." So now I'm very confused. Northernguy's response helps a little, so perhaps that's why I wasn't marked wrong with "des garçons jeunes." Who knows? (rhetorical question there)

    [deactivated user]

      Do we always use de before un adjective that precedes a plural noun instead of des?


      Yes, although many French people don't!


      That cleared all my doubts, it's so good to have people like you here, thanks Sitesurf!


      Lovely explanation. I liked it.

      Kind of like: J’ai acheté de belles roses pour mon amour. I bought some beautiful roses for my love. J’ai de grandes idées pour notre compagnie. I have big ideas for our company. How about that?


      So very many exceptions. I guess time and practice will embed these rules...preferably before I leave this mortal coil. :) thank you.


      Merci! Nice explanation


      Sitesurf If "des" initially identified with "garçons", why would it no longer maintain the same function?


      why was I marked correct for choosing "petits garcons" for "young boys" ? I knew to pick this answer because I had to re-do this lesson but I still think "petits" is wrong for a translation of "young" especially when at the beginning of this lesson you can see the meaning of the word "petite" and nowhere does it say young.


      I think you're right. I marked that as wrong, too. However, I'd like for an expert to confirm. :-)


      "petit garçon" = a boy aged @3-12 "petite fille" = a girl aged @3-12 "jeune garçon" = young boy "jeune fille" = Teen + young adult = young woman, aged @13-25


      If you don't use "des" before an adjective, why translating "you are young boys" as "vous êtes des jeunes garçons". I don't really get when to use "de" and "des"


      As you said, 'you don't use "des" before an adjective'. So "you are young boys" translates in "vous êtes DE jeunes garçons".


      Why can't i use "Tu es..." here?


      Tu es is singular. de jeunes garçons. is plural.


      Yeah I totally agree. However, I've been 100 % sure that duolingo is wrong before but everytime I've been proven wrong :). Is there anyone who can post a final verdict on this??


      Done, see above my previous answer.


      I have reported it as a mistake. I imagine they are improving the answers as we report the mistakes, don't you think?

      I am totally sure this one is a mistake. It is "de", as Sitesurf said, even though they keep saying that we miss the "des" option as correct


      There are plenty of duly reported mistakes and errors which have not been corrected. Most of the time the audio is involved. And I think it is far more difficult for Duolingo to change anything in the audio than in the written sentences.


      what's wrong with "vous êtes des garçons.jeunes"


      Jeunes is one of those adjectives that go before the noun because it conforms to the B.A.N.G.S. protocol. Des becomes de in front of an adjective.


      What's the B.A.N.G.S. protocol?


      B.A.G.S. is a protocol that provides a simple but rapid method to determine whether adjectives should be placed in front of the noun it modifies or after it.

      Adjectives that refer to Beauty, Age, Goodness(or badness), Size usually go in front. Some people include Number but there are exceptions.

      B.A.G.S. is just a rough guide so it has its limitations. There is actually an underlying set of rules that B.A.G.S. captures to a fair extent. Sitesurf says some ten percent of adjectives can be placed in front or after the noun depending on the intended meaning. That means if you place it in front you are sending a particular message and if you place it after you are sending a different one. B.A.G.S. definitely won't help you with that.

      In the early stages of Duo, B.A.G.S. will work for you quite well.

      [deactivated user]

        What's wrong with ''Vous êtes de petites garçons'' as translation of ''You are young boys.'' ?


        petitEs is for feminine plural, petits for masculine plural, you should have written "Vous êtes de petits garçons"


        petit means small, not young


        Petit refers to small where jeune means young.


        Can someone tell me why Vous êtes des garcons jeunes" is incorrect (assume proper accent on garcons)


        It is not incorrect, you may report it.

        Note: under the C of "garçons" , the sign is called a cedilla (une cédille).


        Actually, it should be "Vous êtes des jeunes garcons." (I think!) Certain adjectives need to be in front of the noun: adjectives about beauty, age, good/bad, size.

        See: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm

        This would be a great thing for a Duolingo tip! (Hint, hint, Duo!)


        As I said previously, "vous êtes des garçons jeunes" is correct with a nuance on meaning.

        But with "jeunes" in front of the noun, you have to write: "vous êtes de jeunes garçons".


        Des changes to de when there is an adjective before the noun? I am so confused :/


        Yes, such is the rule.

        • un garçon jeune -- des garçons jeunes.
        • un jeune garçon -- de jeunes garçons.


        I types vous êtes de jeune garçons which was the right answer from my previously incorrect attempt, then this time it required petit garçons..


        "vous êtes de jeunes garçons".


        What about "vous sont de jeunes garcons"?


        You don't use "sont" with "vous". (In English, both the second person (you) and the third person plural (they) use the word "are"; but in French the two translations of "are" are different words.)


        In English: I am, you are, he/she is, we are, you (pl) are, they are. In French: je suis, tu es, il/elle est, nous sommes, vous êtes, ils/elles sont.


        I thought that in French thr adjective can come after the subject, i thought it made sense to write: Vous êtes de garçons jeunes... But Duolingo said it was wrong... Je n'aime pas....


        85% of French adjectives are regular and placed after the noun they modify.

        Please take a look at this: https://www.thoughtco.com/introduction-to-french-adjectives-1368789


        Most adjectives do come after the noun, but there are some exceptions. "Old" and "young", for example, go in front.


        so there are 2 possible answers for "You are young boys" i.e. "Vous êtes de jeunes garçons" or "Vous êtes des garçons jeunes" ?

        Correct me if I'm wrong.


        Why does "Vous etes des garcons jeunes" also work?

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