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FR: des animaux tels que des / les

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Music22, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Music22 Senior Member

    English
    "je m’occupait des animaux tels que des cheveux, des poules,des chats, des chiens, des lapins et des cochons d’Inde. " ou "les". I would probably guess at des?
     
  2. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    It should be je m'occupais d'animaux . I would complete the sentence with the definite article, but wait for some native responses.
     
  3. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    I would rather omit the article in this context:

    Je m'occupais d'animaux tels que chevaux, poules, chats, chiens, etc.

    Otherwise both articles are possible:

    Je m'occupais d'animaux tels que des chevaux, des poules, des chats, des chiens, etc.
    Je m'occupais d'animaux tels que les chevaux, les poules, les chats, les chiens, etc.

    Alternatively (note the colon instead of tels que):

    Je m'occupais d'animaux : (des) chevaux, (des) poules, (des) chats, (des) chiens, etc.
    Je m'occupais des animaux : (des/les) chevaux, (des/les) poules, (des/les) chats, (des/les) chiens, etc.

    Note: The des used for the listed items in both sentences can be considered either as the contraction of the preposition de with the definite article les (just like the very first des in the 2nd example), or as the indefinite article.

    Je m'occupais des animaux : des chevaux, des poules, des chats, du chien, etc.
    Je m'occupais des animaux : des chevaux, des poules, des chats, un chien, etc.
     
  4. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    When you're choosing between them, de/des has a some feel to it, while les feels more specific (as suggested by the term definite article). Des is often the better choice when there's no article in English; les is often best when the is present. So if you took care of animals including (some) chickens, then des; if you took care of the chickens but someone else took care of the sheep, you'd choose les.
     
  5. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    I agree with you in general, Kelly, except for the the following:
    There are indeed many, many cases where there's no article in English but we use the definite article in French, e.g., people = les gens.
     

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