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Is it corrcect to write

Elle as des grands pieds


Elle as de grand pieds


and if the second, why is the plural of the indefinite article not used?


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Elle as des grands pieds                Elle a de grands pieds.

I was taught that that is the "rule" when  you have de + adjective + noun  (at least when "de" means "some" ).

But I can see that it is also possible to say "Elle a des grands pieds" and so I can't really say except that I  suspect that "Elle a de grands pieds" is more usual  .

Hi George/Annette -- either is possible, it's essentially a question of register.

"de", rather than "des", is usually used before a plural adjective in formal usage, and where you are emphasising that the adjective is being given its 'separate' meaning.

But in everyday informal usage 'des' is generally used as expected.

As I hinted at, 'des' is also used even in formal usage when the adjective and noun form a set expression. So this in principle means you can have a contrast between e.g.:

"des grands magasins" -> "(some) department stores"
"de grands magasins" -> "(some) large stores"

In practice, things aren't always that clear cut (especially in a situation such as "de grands auteurs" vs "des grands auteurs"), and in informal usage "des" tends to prevail anyway.

If you're in doubt, probably the best thing is to Google the particular phrase in question and see how people are using it with "de" vs "des".

Thank you both, George and Neil.  It appears to be a subtle distinction.  I guess I won't make too big a fool of myself if I use either in conversation or informal writing.

No, not at all. In informal situations, you can pretty much just use "des".

thanks again!


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