so what is the "du" for? how is this not the same as "ll mange pain". does the "du" just modify the verb to a present tense?
I suggest you browse the "Discussion" section, chances are you will find the answers to all your questions in a couple of clicks, since already many people have asked this question and been given extensive answers.
"du" means "some". "I eat some bread" or "I eat bread", in french, would be "je mange du pain"
Welcome to the magnificent world of French conjugations:
infinitive = manger
simple present = je mange, tu manges, il/elle/on mange, nous mangeons, vous mangez, ils/elles mangent.
Why do they keep speaking about articles? What does it mean it has no "article"?
Articles are words which are needed to determine nouns. In English: a/an, the In French: un, une, des, le, la, les
un/une/des are indefinite articles: un for masculine nouns, une for feminine nouns, des for plural nouns le/la/les are definite articles: le for masculine nous, la for feminine nouns, les for plural nouns.
please read this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles.htm
Phonetically, this audio can be interpreted as "Ils mangent du pain", correct?
How is it that in a sentence like this I can put in "he eats some bread" and be correct, if it is also just "he eats bread". Where is the "some" coming from?
I believe this is because they are, more or less, equivalent. At least compared to the alternative--Il mange le pain--meaning he eats the bread, which is more specific. "Il mange du pain" means he is eating bread, or some bread, but not specifically the bread.
What is the difference between "Il mange du pain" and "Il mange de le pain" ? "De le"and "du" means the same?