Des becomes De/D’ when in front of Adjectives that precede Plural Nouns

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In this French grammar lesson, you will learn how des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that precede plural nouns.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how des is used in French
  • des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that preceed plural nouns
  • how des/de/d’ are used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on how des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that preceed plural nouns
  • the way Anki files can be downloaded for how des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that preceed plural nouns

Please refer to the French B1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this fits in the overall structure of French B1.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that preceed plural nouns!

Table of Contents

How Des is used in French

In this lesson we will handle the word “des“.

However, please don’t forget that there are two ways to use “des”.

  1. Des means “some”.

In French you can use partitive articles so that des” means “some”.

  1. Des means “of the”

In French you can use contractions so that des” means “of the”.

Please read those lessons (again) if you will like you need a refresher on these topics.

It is important that you know the distinction for this lesson.

Des becomes de/d’ when in front of Adjectives that Preceed Plural Nouns

When an adjective is placed before a plural noun, the partitive article des (some) will become de/d’.

J’ai des peintures qui sont belles.

I have some paintings that are beautiful.

J’ai de belles peintures.

I have some beautiful paintings.

You can see that in the second example, des turns into de.

This is because the adjective is placed before the plural noun.

Louis a écrit des chansons qui sont bonnes.

Louis wrote some songs that are good.

Louis a écrit de bonnes chansons.

Louis wrote some good songs.

Elle a des frères qui sont beaux.

She has some brothers who are handsome.

Elle a de beaux frères.

She has some handsome brothers.

This rule only applies when des means “some” (partitive article).

This rule DOES NOT apply when des means “of the” (contraction).

Have a look at the following example.

Je prends des photos des bâtiments.

I am taking some pictures of the buildings.

In this example, the word des appears two times.

The first time, it means “some”.

The second time, it means “of the”.

However there’s no adjective so nothing happens.

Je prends des photos des grands bâtiments.

I am taking some pictures of the big buildings.

You can see that the second des doesn’t turn into de because it means “of the”.

Because it means “of the” the rule doesn’t apply here.

Example Sentences on Des

The final section of this lesson on how des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that preceed plural nouns is about seeing the the terms in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how des becomes de/d’ when in front of adjectives that preceed plural nouns through examples.

Here you can find the sentences of the previous chapter, neatly stored in one place.

J’ai des peintures qui sont belles.

I have some paintings that are beautiful.

J’ai de belles peintures.

I have some beautiful paintings.

Louis a écrit des chansons qui sont bonnes.

Louis wrote some songs that are good.

Louis a écrit de bonnes chansons.

Louis wrote some good songs.

Elle a des frères qui sont beaux.

She has some brothers who are handsome.

Elle a de beaux frères.

She has some handsome brothers.

Je prends des photos des bâtiments.

I am taking some pictures of the buildings.

Je prends des photos des grands bâtiments.

I am taking some pictures of the big buildings.

Quiz Yourself on Des

It’s not enough to just read this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and practice them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

Anki File for Des

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French B1 you can practice every French B1 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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