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Why "les dents" and not "mes dents"?

John D.Kwiziq community member

Why "les dents" and not "mes dents"?

Why is it "Je me brosse LES dents" instead of "MES dents"?  If they are MY teeth, why not "mes dents"?  Or, if maybe I have a child I'm teaching good dental hygiene, "Je te brosse tes dents."

Asked 4 years ago
Lisa H.A1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

Hi John, good question. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. You use the definite article and not the possessive adjective. You say “Je me brosse LES dents” but it is translated as ”I  brush MY teeth.” Tu te laves LES cheveux = You wash YOUR hair. 

Hope that helps.

Why "les dents" and not "mes dents"?

Why is it "Je me brosse LES dents" instead of "MES dents"?  If they are MY teeth, why not "mes dents"?  Or, if maybe I have a child I'm teaching good dental hygiene, "Je te brosse tes dents."

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