1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "J'ai horreur des légumes."

"J'ai horreur des légumes."

Translation:I hate vegetables.

January 3, 2013



Are "J'ai horreur de" and "Je déteste" interchangeable?


Pleasantly surprised to see "veggies" in one of the English translations : )


Is this commonly said by French children, just like my kids used to say "I hate vegetables"?


is there another way to express "I hate vegetables" than this? Also, if there is...which would be the more common French expression?


In my high school French classes, we would have said << Je déteste les légumes. >> Google translate turns this into "I hate vegetables." No idea if it is really common/typical French, though.


in my french class we were taught both :)


How would you stress that you only hate "some" vegetables?


I would guess "...certains légumes".


Would "I can't stand vegetables." be a reasonable translation?

Which represents the higher degree of detestation: "J'ai horreur de …" or "Je ne supporte pas …"???


The audio sounds something like "ji ruh day leg-ume" (with a soft 'j') I get the "des legumes" bit is correct but "ji ruh" for "j'ai horreur" seems wrong to me. Should it be something closer to "jay or-uer" (again with a soft j)?


Which voice? The male voice said it so well that, even though I didn't recognize the word in this strange context (who in the world is horrified by vegetables?), I could figure out how to spell it in French.


Why is <des> ignored here? It means <some> in almost all other situations, usually optional. J'aime bien des légumes !


Whenever the noun is used in the generalized case: "J'aime les légumes» = I like (all or most) vegetables, «Je déteste les insectes» = I hate (all or most) insects, the French use the definite article.

The partitive article implies that you're talking only about some unspecified quantity; could be 2, could be a thousand, but not all, and whether it's most is anyone's guess: "J'ai des chemises" = I have some shirts, «Je vais acheter des légumes» = I'm going to buy (some) vegetables, «Je mange des pomme de terre» = I am eating (some) potatoes.

If you say «J'aime bien des légumes» that means you like some vegetables.


You are confusing several things here.

  1. Grammatically, "Je déteste les légumes." does not mean "I hate (all or most) vegetables.", it means "I hate (ALL) vegetables.", I hate the idea of vegetables. You are effectively saying that you wish that the concept of vegetables did not exist.

  2. If it could be two or it could be a thousand then it is not a partitive article it is a plural indefinite article. This is the case in all of your examples.
    If it is not a partitive article then "some" is redundant and is usually best omitted.
    "J'aime bien des légumes." does NOT mean "I like some vegetables.", it means "I like (some, but not all) vegetables." and is usually best expressed as "I like vegetables.".

Vegetables are an exception to the usual rules. Normally when people say that they like something they mean that they like that thing in general or the concept of that thing:
"I like cars." → "J'aime les voitures."

But I suspect that most people, when they say "I hate vegetables.", do not mean "Je déteste les légumes.", they, like me, actually mean "Je déteste des légumes.".


If you want to say that you hate just some vegetables, you would say "Je déteste certains légumes". It is grammatically impossible to say "Je déteste des légumes"


isn't it "I hate some vegetables"? Does " des " mean "some"?


I think what we are seeing here is a contraction of de + les to des.

We have the construction:

avoir horreur de --- to detest/loathe

combined with the idea that for verbs of 'liking' and 'not liking' we need to use the definite article (in this instance les) in front of the noun

les legumes

So: avoir horreur de les legumes

Becomes: avoir horreur des legumes

The preposition de contracts with the definite article les to become des.

So, it is not that I hate some (des) vegetables. It is that I have a hatred of (de) (les) vegetables. All vegetables, the very idea of vegetables.

Example from Collins French English online dictionary:
"J'ai horreur du chou." "I hate cabbage."

In this example, de+le is contracted to du.

Disclaimer -- I, personally have a very amicable relationship with vegetables of many kinds.


As far as I understood, when 'de' is a part of the verb construction like in this case "avoir horreur de", the article before the object is omitted. Is this an exception or 'de' is not really a part of the verb here...or did I miss something?


I find translations less problematic by letting go of English phrases of expression and then try to understand and accept the gist of the French phrases of expression for conveying a meaning, a communication or an idea that way you can translate it easily into the many possiblities unique to your English-speaking region. In addition, the more bizzare the French way of expressing something seems to be, the easier it is for me to remember it. As in this exercise, the image of vegetables chasing people around is as amusing as it is absurd...so have some fun with learning by letting "it" be what it is and let go of the frustrations of translations. Cheers


That's all very well once you understand the meaning of the phrase! What is the gist of this sentence? Does it mean "I hate all vegetables." or does it mean "I hate nearly all vegetables."?

As somebody who falls into the latter category, I would quite like to know!


It means I hate all vegetables.

But I don't know why one can say "J'ai horreur des légumes" but not "Je déteste des légumes.

I'm going to ask Sitesurf to help us out


I've figured out that it is to do with them being different forms of "des". The former is "de + les" and the latter is the plural indefinite article.

But I'm not clear on why you can't hate plural non-specific vegetables (which I do!).


Ah yes, of course!!!

J'ai horreur de = I hate

"J'ai horreur de les légumes" = J'ai horreur des legumes"

So it doesn't mean that I hate just some vegetables, but all vegetables.


And I think that the phrase which I need might be "J'ai horreur de la grande majorité des légumes !" → "I hate the vast majority of vegetables!".


There you go!

Glad that's settled ;)


What is the logic under which "I dislike beans" is a correct, but "I dislike vegetables" is incorrect, when the only difference in the sentences is whether beans or vegetables are the object of scorn? What is it about vegetables that causes them to be hated or despised, when beans get by with only being disliked, despite the same "J'ai horreur des . . ." introduction?


I'm not sure if Duo used to translate "J'ai horreur des haricots." as "I dislike beans,", but nowadays it is given as "I hate beans".


I think that it should translate as "I have a horror of vegetables." Which is not all that uncommon in British English. I'm really tired of how North American English is ruining the language for Britain and all of the other countries who speak it more formerly than Americans.


This isn't confusing at all.


I answered, " I strongly dislike vegetables." It seemed reasonable, but was not accepted.


Hi Glenn66641. Sorry, but "strongly dislike" is a totally different level of emotion to "horror" or "detestation". There is no equivalence in any language!


I believe that for an intimate and strong emotion such as hatred, a certain familiarity is required. ''I hate veggies'' should be allowed


Hi biscuitamerican. Sorry, but your belief is misplaced. I hate violent crime and murder - but it's not necesssary for me to be familiar with it!


"I hate veggies" is also correct. It's been added since your post.


Ooooh ! CommeuneTexane ! Must you ? Really ? Are we going to resort to baby-talk now ;-)

Also, I don’t know if there is any perceived difference between UK and US usage here, but in UK English, although the OED allows ‘vegetable’ as an accepted (secondary) translation - we would almost invariably use the term ‘veggie’ to describe a person of the vegetarian persuasion. Bonne weekend !


Since many dialects of English use the term "veggies", it was decided by the team to allow that as an acceptable alternative translation. I had no idea that vegetarians were called "veggies" in the UK. Interesting. Bon week-end !


I also find that interesting. In the U.S. we have the word "vegan" which indicates that the person consumes no animal products. Vegetarians don’t eat animals, but may consume products that come from them such as eggs and milk.

Both vegans and vegetarians like veggies.

In the United States, referring to vegetables as "veggies" isn't baby talk, but I do consider it to be slang.

Paul et Tex, passez un bon week-end


In UK English, "vegan" means someone who does not eat or use animal products. We have no convenient word for a dietary vegan, although the term "strict vegetarian" is sometimes used to distinguish them from ethical vegans or "True Vegans". The French word "végétalien" describes a dietary vegan.


@GraemeSarg - your "UK" definition of vegan is, I believe the usual one everywhere. It is difficult for me to conceive of a "vegan" who refused to eat all animal products but was unconcerned about wearing leather.


Hi Diana,

I agree. I forgot to add that vegans don't wear/use leather. I just meant to explain that vegans are against using anything at all from animals. I used "consume" because I at first wrote "eat" and then realized that we drink milk.


By pure coincidence, I came across this word today: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pescetarianism


Salut ThanKwee & GraemeSarg. Just to add a footnote to your fascinating discussion.

In the UK, the word ”vegan” did indeed, originally refer to a dietary vegan. Dietary veganism started to become popular with a small minority around thirty years ago, when there were fewer options available to avoid the use of animal products in other aspects of everyday life.

And, indeed, the public generally was less aware of the extent to which animal products were used other than in foodstuffs.

It is only more recently that “vegan” has come to denote a ‘vegan lifestyle’ as it has gradually become a viable ethical choice.

Bon weekend.


Hi Paul

Thanks for adding more information.


Ah those pesky pescetarians. They're a fishy bunch.


lol... This thread of conversation is ever so off-topic, but it's fun


Salut ThanKwee. And aren’t these discussions much more enjoyable when one goes “off piste” occasionally? Serious endeavour always benefits from being leavened by a bit of humour!

Bonne journée.


I am thinking that I am here to learn French and Portuguese. But I am also learning the differences between American English and English as it's spoken in other countries. I also enjoy reading comments from French speakers from Canada. And of course even here within the US people speak differently. It's great to read all of various peoples' opinions


Salut ThanKwee. Absolutely agree. And, if one has an ounce of humanity, it also teaches (me, at least) some small degree of humility!

Bonne journée.


Humility is a good sign of an intelligent and kind person. I hope that I may develop more intelligence and humility as time goes by. I'm 62 years old, so I should have developed those skills by now, but I guess we never stop learning.

Have a wonderful day, Paul. I like your style.


Salut ThanKwee. Thanks for your comments – I’m just five years ahead of you! And – don’t worry about losing your place in responding to the thread. Your dedication, and that of your colleagues, is crucial to us learners, and we cannot thank you enough!

Bonne journée.


Regardless of whether it might be common useage, and dispensing with the fascinating but not strictly relevant hyperbole regarding the status snd meaning of "veggies", the literal translation "I have a horror of vegetables", surely cannot be disallowed???? DL does sometimes "want to have it's cake and eat it", as we Brits say, but I'd be interested to see a moderator defend the only acceptable translation as being "detest", when that obviously would imply the use of "deteste" in the original phrase.


We have previously been told that 'des chats' means some chats, as opposed to 'les chas,' or all cats. So why am I being told that now 'des légumes' is a generalization for all vegetables?

Yes, I hate some vegetables, but not all of them. Consistency, please, Owl??


"Des" in this sentence = "de les"


Duo is not being inconsistent. It's just that English and French do not map one-for-one in many cases. The correct use of "des" is different in different grammatical constructions. This may help:


Hi Diana,

That link doesn't really explain fully why "J'ai horreur des légumes" makes sense.

If there's a phrase in French which includes "de" (such as "j'ai horreur de") then "de les" becomes "des".

So J'ai horreur de les légumes becomes "J'ai horreur des légumes"

Thus "J'ai horreur des legúmes" = "Je déteste les légumes"

That's because "Je déteste" and "J'ai horreur de" = I hate


Hi, ThanKwee, you are right. The article does discuss expressions requiring "de", but it is not particularly obvious that our sentence is using one of them. Thanks for making that clear.


I'm a bit disappointed that "I am afraid of vegetables" turned out to be wrong, because that would have been hilarious.


as we've already had 'je deteste les legumes' for i hate vegetables it seems obvious that 'j'ai horreur des legumes' should have a different translation; 'I have a horror of vegetables' is something that I definitely hear in England. {Although plenty of us actually love vegetables)


The French expression "j'ai horreur + something" means "I hate something". Often French has multiple ways of saying the same thing, just like English. It's important to learn this expression because it is a false friend.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.