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Grammar question??

 
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salmi



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:52 am    Post subject: Grammar question?? Reply with quote

I'm little confused about something, I just don't get it.

de (=from, about, of) + les (=plural of the) = des
is that correct??

And for a typical example.

Je parle des garcons
(I am speaking about the boys)

But "des" in its own right (ie without constructing it by combining "de" + "les") is supposed to mean "some" or "any". I suspect it is the plural of "a" or "un"/"une". If you check that sentence once again with that meaning in mind, it does no longer make any sense, or??

Je parle des garcons
(I am speaking some boys, I am speaking any boys)

Now how can "des" mean two totally different things?? How am I as the reader supposed to know if "des" in this context was used as it is, or by adding de and "les" together?

Thanks!!
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Julien



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 388
Location: Germany / France

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am talking about... = Je parle de...

What is the problem exactly?
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Jim



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 31
Location: U.K.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Grammar question?? Reply with quote

salmi wrote:
I'm little confused about something, I just don't get it.

de (=from, about, of) + les (=plural of the) = des
is that correct??

Most of the time.

And for a typical example.

Je parle des garcons
(I am speaking about the boys)

This can be difficult: je parle des garçons = I am speaking about
some particular boys.

Je parle de garçons: I am speaking about boys in general.

But "des" in its own right (ie without constructing it by combining "de" + "les") is supposed to mean "some" or "any". I suspect it is the plural of "a" or "un"/"une". If you check that sentence once again with that meaning in mind, it does no longer make any sense, or??

Je parle des garcons
(I am speaking some boys, I am speaking any boys)

des garçons = some particular boys. de garçons = boys in general.

Now how can "des" mean two totally different things??

Why not? "Leaves" means two totally different things, doesn't it?

How am I as the reader supposed to know if "des" in this context was used as it is, or by adding de and "les" together?

In its simplest form just remember that 'de' followed by a plural
noun implies generality, and 'des' particularity.


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Amitiés,
Jim.
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