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De même, dans un pamphlet célèbre, Swift propose-t-il de résoudre les problèmes économiques de l’Irlande en suggérant aux familles trop nombreuses de manger les jeunes enfants.

Why is not leur or even des used in this sentence instead of les?

Aren't leur or des more appropriate for this sentence?

... manger leur jeunes enfants = to eat their infants

or

... manger des jeunes enfants = to eat infants

(generally speaking)

So why has the author of this article chosen les instead?

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1 Answer 1

I would say that there is not much of a difference between leurs (not leur because of the plural) and les. In this context where he talks to the big families of Ireland, both of them indicate that the children that would be eaten are their own children.

If you used des, we would lose the meaning of the sentence and it would not necessarily imply the children of those families.

If it hadn't been mentioned that he talked to the big families, leurs would have been more correct than les or des.

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