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Others, others or others?

Here is a short guide, so that you no longer confuse "d'autres", "des autres" and "les others".

Here we find the usual distinction between "indéfini" and "défini"

To simplify, "les autres" and "des autres" belong to the category of "défini". While "les autres" belong to the category of "indéfini".

Observe these sentences:

Situation 1: I tried on two pairs of shoes in a store (one red and one blue).

" J'ai essayé les chaussures rouges mais je préfère les autres ".

Situation 2: There are 2 types of papers (red and yellow) on the shelf. Your coworker brings you the yellow papers but you wanted the red ones! You can say :

"Merci mais j'ai besoin des autres ".

Des autres has the same meaning as les autres. But it is used after verbs which require a preposition "de" (in situation 2: avoir besoin de... ".

Another example: se souvenir de ...

Stéphanie and Marc are discussing:

Stéphanie: "Je me souviens des personnes qui étaient dans le jardin pendant la fête".

Marc: "Je ne me souviens pas de ces personnes mais je me souviens des autres". (for example: those in the living room).

Situation 3: You have tried on shoes in a store but you don't like them.

" Vous avez d'autres chaussures en stock ?"

What big difference do you notice between situations 1 and 2 AND situation 3?

In situations 1 and 2, the object replaced by "les autres" or "des autres" is clearly defined:

Situation 1: les autres are the blue shoes.

Situation 2: des autres are the red papers.

On the other hand, in situation 3, your request is about shoes in general but the type of shoes you want is not precisely defined. The seller will probably ask you what type of shoes you would like to see.

Practice :

What is the difference between?

J'ai besoin des autres crayons.

J'ai d'autres crayons.

Reply :

J'ai besoin des autres crayons (= I did not take the right pencils).

J'ai d'autres crayons. (= the pencils I have are not enough).

For the exercises, it's here!

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