"L'alcool est mauvais."

Translation:The alcohol is bad.

January 5, 2013



can this also mean "alcohol is bad" in general? instead of "the alcohol is bad" where its specific to a certain drink? because when saying "les hommes" or "les femmes" it translates to just "men" and "women" in general

March 5, 2013



October 21, 2013


Yeah, as Toxic said, that is correct as well. (That's what I put, and got correct)

September 3, 2014


Yes, le/la/les can be used to refer to classes, things in general...

October 27, 2014


Yes, I agree with you Ahnaqsh, If you want to check out more about the discussions of le / la / les, you might find it interesting to read about The great pig debate: le porc / le cochon / le sanglier , which also discusses this issue.
If you click on the light gray link above, it will take you there. To get back here, click the return button on your browser. :)

February 11, 2015


I know that l'ecole hasn't been introduced yet but I could have sworn that's what I heard. Especially since l'alcool and mauvais don't fit together in any sentences I'd ever speak.

February 28, 2013


Hi GetchaGrubbOn,
You might like to check out :
un alcool
une école
and this also has a sound file attached.
You might like to also check out examples of French Vowels.
There are lots of resources up on the internet - including on you tube.
I have started writing a bit - to get my head around it on: French Vowel Sounds. ( ps - it is about time for me to revisit this myself - and see if I should do some modifications on it - or refine it more - as I wrote this 7 months ago.
I hope that helps.

February 11, 2015


I can clearly hear the "L" sound in the first syllable, which excludes the possibility of école. You should sharpen your hearing :)

September 17, 2013


Because school can never have a definite article?

May 13, 2014


L'aLcool. L'école. First word combinations have two l sounds in the first syllable, the second has only one.

June 8, 2014


Why is "Alcohol is evil" incorrect?

January 5, 2013


In English few people, if any, believe that alcohol itself is possessed by some kind of evil spirit. Saying alcohol is evil is a shorthand way of referring to its perceived impact on individuals and society. On the other hand if the only alternative is heavily polluted, disease ridden water then the alcoholic drink may be preferable.

I think you can assume that in these short sentences or phrases that Duolingo uses they are not trying to get into social commentary. They tend to start with the most common applications or the simplest just to teach.

To that end they used the phrase l'alcool est mauvais. The correct translation The alcohol is bad is what most English speakers would read into it because your phrase that alcohol is evil only works if you leave out the .

January 29, 2013


Northernguy you are so sorted/perceptive linguistically. Do you teach professionally? Anyway.... my brother is very into special whiskey and recently showed me his prize bottle of 15 year single malt. So it was 15 years in the vat before it was bottled and cost a small fortune. Would you believe it had a Sell By date on the label????? After which date it is....what? :) JJ

November 3, 2013


outstanding salad vinegar, or possibly great for spicing up risotto!

November 26, 2013


This is tricky because alcohol, due to its controversial nature in America especially, could be considered evil by some. However, the translation "bad" is usually used when referring to food items, which alcohol also falls under. I think this one could really go either way as well, but I hope that helps explain why the program is marking it incorrect.

January 13, 2013


I know we haven't gotten to the adjective "mal" yet, but when do you use mal vs. mauvais?

January 11, 2014


I was taught in school that 'mal' is used in the sense you might say, 'J'ai mal a la tete', or 'I have a bad head'. As far as I know, 'mal' is used as 'bad' to indicate pain or discomfort. Though please correct me if I'm wrong!

January 7, 2015


I wonder if it's anything like 'bon' vs 'bien'? I am still having trouble sorting THAT out.

November 18, 2015


Mais le vin est bon

January 8, 2015


The meaning for mauvais is given as 'bad' and 'evil,' yet 'alcohol is evil' is marked wrong. "Bad' is the only alternative??!

April 20, 2014

  • 1695

"Mauvais" can be translated as "evil" in certain circumstances, usually having to do with one's thoughts or intentions. Otherwise, the standard interpretation would be "bad", "nasty", etc. When talking about "alcool", "mauvais" might be understood as "cheap" or "of poor quality".

August 1, 2016


It is the more common English use, to say that the alcohol is bad rather than that it is evil.

June 8, 2014


The drink is bad, should also be accepted, and it makes more sense than "the alcohol is bad".

May 16, 2013


Not really, because alcohol doesn't mean a drink. "Drink" to describe alcohol and other beverages is a colloquial use of the word in English and you can't translate "drink" back to "l'alcool".

August 27, 2013


boisson = drink no?

October 3, 2013



June 8, 2014


I believe drink is an alternate translation because 'drink' is a colloquialism for alcohol in English; Hey barkeep, could you grab me a drink?

But when you use 'l'alcool' you don't mean just any drink in general.

December 10, 2013


it is very similar to nouveau :/ but if u hear it well it does say mauvais

June 20, 2013


What is the feminine form of the adjective "mauvais"? :/

February 12, 2014



June 8, 2014


Why can't it translate "the drink is terrible"?

April 1, 2014


Because "Mauvais" doesn't mean "Terrible".

April 1, 2014

  • 1695

Mainly because "l'alcool" is not "drink", but "alcohol". In this context, "mauvais" can mean "cheap" or "of poor quality".

August 5, 2016


I translated this as 'the alcohol is terrible' and it was marked as wrong! In Australia we are much more likely to say 'the alcohol is terrible', than 'the alcohol is bad'. And terrible is given as one of the meanings of mauvais by Duo Lingo, so not sure what goes on there?!?

April 19, 2014


Kidding aside, how would one say "The (specific) alcohol is bad" as opposed to "alcohol (in general) is bad"?

June 20, 2014


Difference between mauvais et mal?

October 17, 2015


Basically, Mauvais=Bad and Mal=Evil. There is much more to it than that of course but this will do till much later in our learning.

October 17, 2015


Thanks. I was wondering since "mal/pas mal" seems to be a standard way to answer when somebody asks how you're doing in French. Would it be weird to say "pas mauvais"?

October 17, 2015


Well, I did say that there's much more to it. I afraid I'm not educated enough to answer because it is such a whole lesson of its own. However, to invite the grammarians here to clarify, my friend Claude-Henri in Marseilles says: "Par Mal", which seems to contest my original response. Ho Hum. Grammarians to the rescue please. Anyroad, just for this stage of the course I stand by my post as written.

October 17, 2015


I don't know why but it didnt accept poor for bad =as in poor quality and cheap

November 4, 2017


Finally after multiple sentences of people drinking alcohol, there is one who tells the truth. Alhamdulillah

December 28, 2017


she said "l'ecole"

May 27, 2013


mauvais vs nouveau. Hard to tell

October 14, 2013


The two vowel sounds are different, both au versus ou and ais versus eau: mauvais is written mɔvε and nouveau is written nuvo in the International Phonetic Alphabeth (IPA).

The best way to sort this out is to practice your listening skill, as new sounds are really difficult to distinguish as a beginner. (Well, you are no beginner when I write this, but others that come later and read this might think the same.)

You can practice your oral understanding at www.forvo.com or by listening to the phrase at google translator (only for listening - the translations are not to be trusted). To experiment with the phonetic writing you can use this page for French http://learn-foreign-language-phonetics.com/french-phonetic-transcription-converter.php?site_language=english and this page for English http://learn-foreign-language-phonetics.com/english-phonetic-transcription-converter.php?site_language=english.

June 8, 2014


In some countries, it is not unusual for 'homemade' / 'backyard' alcohol to be produced in large quantities and bottled into empty genuine commercial bottles. It is mainly sold in clubs and bars (not on supermaket shelves) to increase profits. It is inferior in quality and frequently toxic, making the consumer 'high' or sick instead of drunk. This alcohol is indeed -and can indeed be called -'bad', just like any food product that has gone bad and should not be consumed. If you're accustomed to drinking and you happen to order a 'bad drink' you will usually know after the first one because you will feel like you've had a bottle rather than a serving.

December 3, 2013


Should additional synonyms be acceptable here such as yuch, gross and horrible?

December 8, 2013


There are other definitions for mauvais but none or the synonyms you suggest is among them it seems.

December 8, 2013


Perhaps horrible, but yuch isn't a word, and gross is colloquial.

December 8, 2013


Gros/disgusting=dégoutant, horrible=terrible. Not the exact synonyms for bad.

June 8, 2014


I wanna know the difference between mauvais and mauvaise :/

April 8, 2014


The adjective must agree with the gender of the noun/article. So Le garcon est mauvais. La femme est mauvaise. Also; Il est mauvais... Elle est mauvaise. But remember, if the gender is uncertain or indefinite always default to masculine, in this case mauvais. Hey! The explanation yet confuses, doesn't it? Go through it a few times, make a note of it and refer to it sometimes. It WILL happen for you, rest assured.

April 8, 2014


Is it that wrong to translate mauvais as awful???

July 13, 2014


@Sumac49. Well, I would call "Awful" an interpretation of "Bad" but not a translation to English of "Mauvais" simply because I don't think "awful" comes under the list of possible translations of "mauvais".

July 14, 2014


I wrote "The alcohol is awful" and got it wrong. Does "mauvais" mean that the alcohol has gone bad (e.g. wine turning to vinegar) or is referring the taste? If referring to the taste, is there a different french word which would be more equivalent to awful? Thanks!

July 20, 2016


Hi Winter. "Awful" has a few translations and none of them are "Bad" Terrible. Affreux. Epouvantable are three of them. They will, in context translate to Awful.

July 20, 2016


no it's not!

January 24, 2017


Tell that to an alcoholic, Lubomirini. The difference between a heavy drinker and an alcoholic is an alcoholic must Never drink. Nowthen, gange?....................................... Alcohol, legal, addictive and can kill. Gange? Non addictive, has never killed anyone and is illegal? Wonderful.

January 24, 2017


how is it bad it is amazing it gets me drunk

January 27, 2017


Doesn't bear any relation at all to the task sentence Grant. It Is Amazing=C'est Incroyable. Gets me drunk (and I'm not 100% on this) is I think Ca Me Saoul (with accent on the C)

January 27, 2017


Nice try, Duo

March 6, 2017


Je ne suis pas d'accord. L'alcool est très bon.

October 30, 2018


non, il n'est pas mauvais

November 21, 2018


Tempted to add "um ok?. A tribute to South Park.

December 21, 2018
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.