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Use of Des in "Ils marchent comme des danseurs."

DavidC1Kwiziq community member

Use of Des in "Ils marchent comme des danseurs."

Hello. My very first question on the forum.  In fact I have a question on the use of "des" rather than marcher, but the guidance on the question led me here.  I am not clear why it is not "les" danseurs being a generic dancer?  Probably some grammar rule that I have missed along the way, but if someone could point me in the right direction I will do my homework!

Asked 4 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

In some contexts, French uses the definite article where in English you'd use the indefinite (or no) article. This happens with some constructions or verbs but also occurs in some idioms and often used phrases.

Ils marchent comme des danseurs. -- They walk like dancers.
J'aime le chocolat-- I like chocolat.
Dans ce film ils font l'amour. -- In this movie they have sex.

DavidC1Kwiziq community member

Thanks for the response.  I in fact did not tick the box to tell it to send me emails so I did not realise there had been a response, so sorry for delay.

Unfortunately still don't get it.    In your example "J'aime le chocolat" I get.  But still don't get how and why I would choose des for "ils marchent comme des danceurs" .  I guess Les would be specific dancers.  If there is any lesson that explains this and why I would use it I would love to see it.  I have ticked email notifications this time!

DavidC1Kwiziq community member

In fact I think I have found it:   Plurals of the and a = les and des (articles) in French

The plural forms of le, la and l' is les

The plural forms of un and une is des

Voila!  Simple as that.  I live in France and have been studying French on and off for 20 years have have missed that one.  

Use of Des in "Ils marchent comme des danseurs."

Hello. My very first question on the forum.  In fact I have a question on the use of "des" rather than marcher, but the guidance on the question led me here.  I am not clear why it is not "les" danseurs being a generic dancer?  Probably some grammar rule that I have missed along the way, but if someone could point me in the right direction I will do my homework!

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