"Elles boivent du lait."

Translation:They are drinking milk.

January 7, 2013

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Oh, forgot to answer the question after all xD. By ear, the only difference between "elle boit" and "elles boivent" is the "v" sound at the end of "boivent". If the French recording is properly made, you should be able to hear the difference.


Is there any phonetic difference in "elle boive" and "elles boivent" (same with il/illes)? I can't tell the difference at all, and I only get it if I happen to guess right.


"elle boive" doesn't exist.

The singular form is "elle boit". The plural is "elles boivent".

Also, "illes" doesn't exist either. Plural form is "ils" and is used for groups of people of men only, or for groups of people of men and women.


I just cant hear the difference between "elle" and "elles" they just sound like "EELLL".


That's because there is no difference to hear. To make a difference you'll have to use the rest of the sentence, if it's possible.

  • "Elle mange / Elles mangent" = no oral difference
  • "Elle boit / Elles boivent" = oral difference with the verb, as I explained in a previous comment here.


No difference but you can tell if the following verb begins with a vowel :

Elle adore (elador) Elles adorent (elzador)


if you listen to the verb tense it will give you a clue for whether the answer should be singular (elle) or plural (elles). It seemed easier to hear the "v" sound in boivent as opposed to the silent "t" in boit.


There should be, but, the recording doesn't enunciate that difference.


dont really understand the use of du


Le lait (milk, in general) Du lait (some milk)

L'eau (water) De l'eau (some water)

La farine (flour) De la farine (some flour)

Les fruits (fruit) Des fruits (some fruit)

Du (masculine), De la (feminine), De l' (before a vowel), Des (plural masc. or fem)


Diffrence between "de" and "du"


Du is a contraction of "de" and "le". If you would use de and it would be followed by le, you use du replace both words. The is not the case for "de la" though. And "de les" becomes "des". Unlike English contractions, it seems French ones are all mandatory so far as I can tell.


I thought you had to pronounce EN in elles boivent (bwave~). And you told that I had not to (bwav). And elle boit sounds as ell bwa. Should I not to pronounce -ent, and other endings in french verb conjugation? I thought I had to. One girl from north france told me so, and another belgian man, too.


-ent is always silent at the end of conjugated verbs.


yes--please someone explain again the difference between the use of "du" and "de" relevant to du lait and le vin. Merci beaucoup.


happy- du is partitive, du pain du vin, du lait, du chocolat and it's for masculine nouns. de = je ne veux pas de café, je ne veux pas de chien. il sort de la maison, c'est le frère de John. c'est la porte de la maison. voici le pot de biscuits. un verre d'eau.


Whats the difference between du and de


"Du" is masculine "De l'" before vowels ("du eau" would sound weird, no?)


So the difference between bois and boivent is that one is singular amd one is plural right? However is it not a verb that should have a root word and follow the conjugation rules?


What do you mean by "root word"? "boire" is indeed a verb, and has conjugation rules as well.

You can have a look at this link if you're interested:



Is bois masculine and boivent feminine?


difference between Bois and Boivent please !??


Hello Maitkala, Each one has a subject separately.

  • -Je suis = I am.

  • -Elle/Il est = She/ He is.

  • -Elles/Ils sont = They are.

  • -Tu es = You are. --- It's an informal way of "Vous"in French.

  • -Vous êtes = You are. --- A formal way to refer to someone who you don't know yet or just a formal and polite way to talk to someone.

  • -Nous sommes. = We are.

Hope this help if there are mistakes or questions please comment.

Greetings and luck.



Last question educated me that "du" means "some" or an unidentified quantity. Here that is incorrect. Why?


You can say "they are drinking milk" or "they are drinking some milk". Both are correct. It is only that the English word "some" is usually ignored in this context. "Du" is one of the partitive articles used to refer to "some" portion of (usually) food. Here are a couple of examples:

  • L'enfant boit du lait = the child is drinking (some) milk. The "some" is optional (and usually ignored) in English; the "du" is mandatory in French.
  • La fille mange de la soupe = the girl is eating (some) soup.
  • Les garçons mangent des pommes = the boys are eating apples (or "some" apples).

Here is a link that explains it. You may open it in another tab on your browser. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_4.htm


Why is it incorrect to specify "the girls" for "elles" instead of simply "they"?


It's not specified in English, there's no reason to specify it in French.


you cannot hear the "S" in elles


That's because it's not pronounced :).


How do i know when to use Ils and when to use Elles?


"Ils" is masculine and "elles" is feminine.

"Ils" is also used for a mixed group.


Are "Je bois" and "Je boire" the same?


"Je boire" is not correct French.

"Je bois" = "I drink" or "I'm drinking" depending on context.

"boire" is the infinitive form of the verb.


May I ask here: "du" is for masculine nouns and "de" is for feminine? :)


No, the feminine of "du" is "de la".

Don't forget that nouns starting with a vowel or a mute "h" use "de l' " instead, no matter their gender.


i am confused as well, when is "de" and when is "du". for me is almost the same. is the same when is used as SOME. And they drink milk, I use du, but to say i like wine, i have to use "le" ( nous amoins le vin, not amoins du vin) why´s that?


How do i know elle from elles


"elle" is singular, "elles" is plural. They are pronounced the same way, so you'll need context to tell them apart.


Elle is singular and elles is plural


I hear only "elle boit du lait". Then I used speech recognition software and it heard same. :(


I didn't hear anything close to that because the recording is too fuzzy... But if you're listening to something that's actual possible to understand, the difference is... "Elle boit" sounds like "Ell bwoh" and "Elle boivent" sounds like "Ell bwohvv" with the "vvvvv" sound.

[deactivated user]

    What does "du" mean?


    They don't pronounce correctly, with my professor she will pronounce the "s" at the end of "Elles" so that we can correctly translate/


    I am having a problem with this because when I play the audio I do not hear anything to indicate it is plural! How am I supposed to tell?


    Why is SOME not given in the option fir DU??


    Why is SOME not given in the iption for DU? Why is it not "They are drinking some milk" ?


    ohh wow,thought she was saying this 'elle vous a les ' pfffff!


    If there are both boys and girls in one group, do you say "ils" or "elles"?


    I got told on another discussion chat (about 'ils' and 'elles') that you only use 'elles' when you know that the sentence is talking about girls. So why are they using 'elles' here when (in my opinion) you can't tell whether or not it is masculine or feminine. Therefore shouldn't they have used 'ils'?


    I'm being asked for a french translation of what I hear, but the response is that I am wrong for not typing the English translation . . .

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