I'm confused because 'long' is supposedly one of the adjectives coming before the noun, but for some reason, I've always learned 'long pants' as 'pantalons longs'... a quick search on many translators yields the same. Could someone explain this rule?


1 Answer 1


It is actually kinda weird but you can say it in both way for those 2 examples :

De longs pantalons = Des pantalons longs

Same goes for the "serviette" example :

Des serviettes longues = De longues serviettes

But you could also say :

"Des longues serviettes" instead of "De longues serviettes"

Wether you use in one way or another depends on how you want to formulate your sentence and on wich one sound the most natural.

  • Thanks for the reply! I'm a bit confused about how you used 'des' and 'de' respectively, however. As 'des' is the indefinite plural article, it would make sense to say 'des longues serviettes' as in 'some long towels'. But 'de' means 'from' or 'of', so I'm not too sure how this construction works instead of 'des'. What am I missing? Thx
    – Evan
    Aug 9, 2022 at 14:32
  • @Evan De doesn't only mean 'from' or 'of' saying "de longues serviettes" is some sort of more sustained way of saying "des longues serviettes" wich would be more coarse langage.
    – Zuzog
    Aug 9, 2022 at 17:38
  • For the reason you use de longs pantalons but des pantalons longs in formal French grammar, see this answer. Sep 4, 2022 at 13:50

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