"I like women."
Translation:J'aime bien les femmes.
The reason you have to say "j'aime les femmes" instead of "J'aime femmes" is because of the fact that ending consonants are not pronounced in most if not all french words. So both "j'aime femme = without plural 's' " and " j'aime femmes : with plural 's' "would sound the exact same, and no one would know if you mean to say woman or women. Le= singular masculine (pronounced Leuh) La= singular feminine (pronounced Lah) Les= plural masc. & fem. (pronounced Leh) So saying "Les femmes" makes all the difference in saying women vs woman
You would use "des femmes" if you're talking about an indefinite number of women. You would use "les femmes" if you were referring to some specific women, or (in this case) if you were talking about women in general.
Another example, you would say "J'aime les livres" if you like books in general. Hope this helps, I'm still learning French myself ;-)
Source: a Dutch book about French grammar
Thank you! Now I get it. Evry1, Let's get back to english. "The women" is actually specific, have it have a preposition or not. Thus les. Women in general however, is technically of indefinite number, so we use des. And we should really use des, les, and une in femmes and femme since it wouldn't make sense if we don't.
"Des" is a contraction of "de les" and means "some".
"J'aime des femmes" would mean "I like some women"
"J'aime les femmes." means "I like women in general" or that I like the women.
"les" means "the" and is plural for "the"
French is different than the other languages, because in English, Italian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese, you can say "I like women. I like bread. I eat bread. I drink water" but in French, you always have to have an article, "le, la, les, du, des, de la".
Am I not remembering this correctly? I thought in an earlier lesson we learned "J'aime" means "I like" when referring to things, but it means "I love" when referring to people? And I thought I remembered "J'aime bien" would be used to say "I like" if you're talking about people. It's quite possible I'm remembering this completely backwards, or that I'm entirely off base, I just want to make sure I understand which phrase is appropriate in which scenario.
By the way, thanks to the people who clarified why "les" is important in this sentence; makes perfect sense now.
Le/la are the singular masc/fem forms of 'the', les is the plural form and is used for both masc & fem nouns. Your interpretation is incorrect because you are using the singular terms to talk about a plural noun. To give an example in English, what you said is similar to saying 'I like a women', which is obviously not correct English. :)
http://cnrtl.fr/definition/aimer - the object (les femmes) refers to a class or type of beings or things - have or show a taste for (...L'obj. désigne une catégorie ou un type d'êtres ou de choses - Avoir ou manifester un goût prononcé pour ...) − [the object is a plural noun] Aimer les enfants, les femmes, les livres : 71. ... j'aime d'avance ceux qui souffrent. Ainsi,...(H. de Balzac)// ... Elle aimait les beaux garçons; quoi de plus naturel? N'aimons-nous pas les belles filles? (G. de Maupassant)//... ils aiment les femmes, le cinéma et les bains de mer. ( A. Camus)
Here you need to say "some" :
To say some in French, you need to know the gender of the word (noun) in question.
Masculine If the word is masculine, such as (le) chocolat, (le) café, then the French for some is du: du café some coffee du chocolat some chocolate du thé some tea du pain some bread du jus d'orange some orange juice
Feminine If the word is feminine, such as (la) limonade, (la) confiture, then the French for some is de la : de la limonade some lemonade de la confiture some jam de la glace some ice cream Plural If the word is plural (whether masculine or feminine), then the French for some is des: des garçons some boys des filles some girls des chocolats some chocolates
Words beginning with a vowel Before a word beginning with a vowel, use de l' instead of du or de la: de l'oignon some onion de l'eau some water
Exception: avoir besoin de With the phrase avoir besoin de meaning to need, the word for some is always de (or d' before a vowel), unless the meaning some of the... is specifically meant: j'ai besoin de sucre I need some sugar il a besoin de pain he needs some bread elle a besoin d'argent she needs some money ils ont besoin de chaises they need some chairs
"Adore" is stronger than "like".
Also there is a French word for adore. So if we translate the French sentence "J'aime les femmes" as adore - what would we translate the French sentence "J'adore les femmes"
If you met a nice guy you might say "I like you" but would you say "I adore you"? You might but probably best to get to know him very well first ;)