In the following sentence:

Tous les mardis et mercredis des deux mois.

This is the translation from the following sentence:

Every Tuesday and Wednesday of both months.

However, according to a comment there, des here is a contruction of de les, which I have already learned.

But I thought it is fine not to add the article in this case, as deux can work as an article. So I wrote the following sentence, which got rejected:

Tous les mardis et mercredis de deux mois.

I wonder, why is the article les needed here? I thought if you use a number before a noun, the article is not needed. For example:

J'ai quatre livres.

Cinquante-deux personnes travaillent dans l'entreprise.

  • In English, "Every Tuesday and Wednesday of both months" and "Every Tuesday and Wednesday of two months" mean different things ... the first refers to some particular two months, while the second is indefinite. I'd guess the situation is equivalent in French – sumelic Jan 23 at 7:43
  • "Every Tuesday and Wednesday of both months." will be translated by "Tous les mardis de chaque mois." – Baptiste Gavalda Jan 23 at 8:35
  • @BaptisteGavalda If you want to use chaque, that should be tous les mardis et jeudis de chacun des deux mois. – jlliagre Jan 23 at 9:23
  • What's this business of checking everyting in DuoLinguo over here? Can't you just stick to one forum? Don't get me wrong, I love DuoLinguo (in other languages) but I don't see why we should function as a sub-forum over here – George M Jan 25 at 0:46

The article "le" is needed because it is necessary to determine which months you are talking about; as preceding your phrase there must be an introduction of those two month, "le" stipulates they are the months you are talking about; "le" is here used in its determinative function.

  • They'll have to participate to a two month training stage in a foreign land and so for not one day of both months will they be able to be home, is that clear?
    Il devront participer à un stage de formation de deux mois dans un pays étranger et donc il n'y aura pas un seul jour des deux mois où il puissent être chez eux, est-ce que c'est compris ?

There is no article in English because it is already present in the word "both"; "both" is a determiner defined as meaning "the two ".

In a different context, you do not use the article.

  • Every day of two months in the year they spent at a sea resort, I think it must be July and August.
    Tous les jours de deux mois dans l'année il sont dans une station balnéaire, je crois qu'il s'agit de juillet et aout.

There is no specification of the months before the utterance, they do not belong to the context, and thus no determiner is needed and plain "de" is enough.

You must realise that numbers are considered as adjectives in French ("deux" is a "adjectif numéral cardinal", "deuxième" is a "adjectif numéral ordinal"), never as articles (in one of your sentences : "'deux' can work as an article").

  • Ah yes thank you for the last note. I was confused with it. – Blaszard Jan 23 at 11:17

Duolingo translation is correct.

Using both means this is about two specific months, we know which months they are (les deux mois). A definite article is required in French.

De deux mois would mean, "Every Tuesday and Wednesday of some couple of month".

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