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  5. "He likes to drink his coffee…

"He likes to drink his coffee without any sugar."

Translation:Il aime bien boire son café sans sucre.

January 6, 2013



Are these two sentences really identical: 1) Il aime bien boire son café sans sucre. 2) Il aime boire son café sans sucre.

Wouldn't the difference be "he likes" / "he really likes"?


A useless nuance, I would say...


Are you saying it is useless in French, English, or both? Because I would disagree that is a useless nuance, as long as there is an actual difference in meaning for either language.


In French: "il aime le café" and "'il aime bien le café" are interchangeable.


The problem is that sometimes these nuances are rewarded, and sometimes they aren’t. Just like it is arbitrary whether the definite article is absent or present.


I wouldn't say it's abitrary whether or not the definite article is included, only that devoid of context as the sentences are presented by Duolingo, it often seems so.


How come my answer including "de sucre" is not correct?


I know, it is not logical but we say "avec du sucre" and "sans sucre".


Is that the case with all things - sans lait, sans joie, etc.?


I think it makes sense, actually. "avec de" because it's "with some" but "sans" directly means none, not any. Even in English it would be strange for us to say "without some sugar".

"Without any sugar" is the same as "without sugar" just without an added emphasis, and I think the French "sans" captures both. At least, it makes sense to me?


Does "sans aucun sucre" make sense?


If you want to insist on "pas de sucre de canne, pas d'aspartame, pas de fructose...", why not? (no cane sugar, no aspartame, no fructose...)


I am sorry, but this translation is not correct. If you want to say "without ANY sugar", you need to say "sans aucun sucre". If you want to say "without sugar", you say "sans sucre". I agree that they mean the same thing, but the translation is simply not correct. Thanks to this, I lost my last heart to test out of these skills... Guess I'm giving up on polishing my French.


Don't give up! You've got a lot to give the rest of us! But Duo isn't a teacher with a responsive brain, so you just have to keep educating the Owl too!


How? Can I report it if something is wrong?


Yes - When you are doing the translation, and Duo gives you the answer, there are two boxes on the lower left side; one is to link to these discussions & the other is to report faults & errors. Duo does take notice of these & will contact you to say if it adopts your suggestions. That is how the Duo Owl learns. . . but it doesn't give you your hearts back! Good luck!


I haven't noticed Duo adopting any suggestion lately. Do you really get reactions sometimes? In that case all my suggestions must have been considered not useful.


Same here, yesterday! Maybe we have woken up somebody out there?


That's great- congratulations! Owls are nocturnal aren't they?


And once again I got one. My nocturnal owl is called Rémy...!


As Sitesurf's comment implies, are "aime" and "aime bien" functionally equivalent? In Mandarin, you very often say that something is "hen hao" [lit. "very good"] rather than merely "hao". But "hen hao" really just MEANS "good"...if you want to say something is particularly good, you actually need another construction.


Exactly. Completely threw me off and I gave the wrong answer :/


In a prevoius question vous etes aller was wrong and here aime boire is correct. It doesn't the same word order but in everyday chat would Il aime son cafe noire be correct.


1) "vous êtes aller" does not work, because verb "être" is an auxiliary that is used to form compound tenses, ie with a past participle: vous êtes allé(e)(s).

2) il aime son café noir (without -e, café is masculine) = he likes his coffee black

3) he likes to drink = il aime boire, because verb "aimer" is part of the following list of verbs that can be constructed with a verb in infinitive:

  • aimer/aimer mieux, aller, compter, croire, daigner, devoir, entendre, espérer, faire, falloir, (s')imaginer, laisser, oser, penser, pouvoir, prétendre, savoir, sembler, sentir, valoir mieux, venir, voir and vouloir.


Thanks I get it, I don't mean to sound flip here but it's just a memory thing, like the gender thing. It is because it is.


Where is the any in this sentence?


It is not needed in French.


What is the difference between sont and son ?


"Sont" is verb être, 3rd person plural, indicative present (typically preceded by ils/elles = they)

"Son" is a determiner, preceding a noun, more exactly a possessive adjective, used when the owner is 3rd person singular (= his or her or its) and the object masculine singular (or by exception feminine singular when the following word starts with a vowel sound)


I think the 'bien' in 'il aime bien le cafe' is like the german schon which came via Yiddish into eastern American English as "already' as in 'I like coffee already!' . The BIEN, SCHON and ALREADY convey that this is the person's state of mind or in a different context, a state of the situation as in 'I finished already' means I am in a state of having finished. So il aime bien le cafe' does not mean a stronger preference for coffee than il aime le café.


Je pense qu'il aime bien boire son café sans boeuf, aussi !


Peut-être sa boisson est vraiment Bovril ?


Sorry, I did not get it...


Search for Bovril. It's a hot drink consumed in Britain.


I only knew Marmite... Thanks.


I read an article the other day about Unilever who just increased Marmite's selling price by 10% (a side effect of the Brexit, apparently). The French journalist commented on the fact that such a product was so British no French person would consider it to be edible.


Peut-on dire "avec rien de sucre" ou "sans rien de sucre"??


No, rien does not allow such constructions.

"sans rien", by itself, would mean "sans lait et sans sucre".


When do you use boit


"Boit" is the conjugation for "il/elle/on", so you will use it to translate "he/she/it/someone/one... drinks/is drinking".

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