"L'enfant mange du pain."

Translation:The child is eating bread.

January 7, 2013

This discussion is locked.


the "du" means "some of the" but why is my answer wrong when i put "some of the"


No. It's wrong. Anyone who told you that it means "some of the" is wrong!

"Du" is the partitive article, and mean an indefinite quantity, it only mean "some" and NOT "some of the". Your mistake is to translate it word by word.

Only translate the partitive articles with "some" or no article in English. When you have a partitive article in two words, remember that "de la" is like a single word, it's a whole expression, and the "de" can't be translated with "of" literally here!

See here for Partitive articles:


Is there any way of saying some of the in a sentence like this, or would it just not be said? In English, if there were a table laden with food - we might say I'll just have some sandwiches (the ones on the table is implied) or I'll just have some of the sandwiches It would mean the same thing because of the context.


I think the difficulty for many English native speakers learning french is the "du" can in some cases be translated as "some" as in "du pain" but in other cases it translates as "of the" such as "le chapeau du garçon".

It is then easy forget that these are two completely different meanings - the result the two meanings are run together "some" + "of the" = "some of the". Of course this is wrong as you have explained but it is a very common confusion among english speakers learning french.


Exactly my problem...


It's because "some of the" implies specific bread. In this sentence, they're just eating some bread, which is different. I'm not sure how you would say "some of the" in French, but this is not it.


It is just some... So like le garçon mange du (whatever) then it would be the bot eats some (whatever)


I wrote "l'enfants mangent du pain"

The children are eating bread. It sounds exactly like the singular version so why am I wrong?


I have the same question, is there an audible difference between "mange" and "mangent"?

Edit: I think I've got it, l'enfant is singular, les enfants is plural. She said l'enfant, so it has to be "L'enfant mange du pain."


I had the same dilemma, thanks for the clarification!


ah thanks for pointing that out - i also made the same mistake


Thankyou so much as i couldnt work it out.


I did a similar mistake, then I realized that is the subject of the sentence were in the plural the article should be "Les enfants mangent du pain".

The trick on these cases you need to detect if it is plural or singular is to watch for the articles and extra information since there is no audible difference in the verbal terminations.


"les enfants" is required to make your translation correct.


I actually thought that this said, le femme mange du pomme- making me entirely wrong. I am struggling with differentiating all these word when so many letters seem silent or muted in french- does anybody have any tips or suggestions for more practice with both pronouncing and understanding better?


okay, la, le, and les all sound pretty different so just practice by going to google translate, typing them in the 'french' are, and then hitting the speaker. phonetically i imagine they would look like this la = l ah le = l uh les = l ay


Use forvo.com instead of google translate, it's far better.


Thank you! google translate is a good resource, I appreciate it.


What's the use of "du", do you know?


edit: after reading through some comment threads on other sentences, I found that this has been explained several times and much better than I can.


Repetition is the key to learning. So, it's very good you explain with your own words. People could understand better the same explanations with other words, and you can understand it better by trying to explain, it becomes more clear in your mind.


How can you have "mange du pomme" if the word "pomme" is feminine?

Du = masculine singular partitive article.

De la = feminine singular partitive article.

Pomme = Une pomme, la pomme = feminine noun.

For reading French, here some tips: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2406084


I thought it said la femme also


It's probably your imagination, because:

Enfant = ɑ̃fɑ̃

(ɑ̃ = a nasal sound, here the grapheme "en" and "an" in "enfant")

Femme = famm

Train on forvo.com, you will manage to recognize the sounds quickly.


I'm struggling again. Hearing pomme rather than pain.


I did the same thing, my own fault I guess as she did pronounce the 'du' before the noun.


I could not detect whether it was L'enfant mange or Les enfants mangent. It is difficult to distinguish the singular from the plural when listening to the audio.


When it is plural you can hear a long ee after the L as well as the connecting s - it's like one word "leesenfan", singular is just "lenfan".


I wrote the child ate from the bread and was given the answer wrong


Yes, because "ate" is past tense, but the french sentence is in present tense.


l'efant sounds like la femme to me :(


Having that same problem. Duolingo needs to do a better job with the voice.


Sometimes it's a bit hard until you get used to the pronounciation. In "enfant" everything is pronounced through the nose, very French, in "femme" there is no nasal sound, it's pronounced just like "faam" or "fum" (like in the English word "fun" with an m at the end).


"The child is eating some bread" is correct, but "The child is eating some of the bread" is incorrect. I don't understand that.


In the French sentence, the child is not eating some specific bread (some of THE bread), just some bread. du is a special article to say "some".


Are there different vowels in French? Like for instance is "H" a vowel? Cause it just told me that le and la turn into L' when a vowel is begins the next word... so for instance... does "homme" begin with a vowel?


I wrote the boy. I guess it's wrong because of the gender. I could be boy or girl. :V


Hi folks! Just do what I do. I guess if it is singular or prural, hahaha...Sometimes the pronuciation in DuoLingo is far from reality.


it doesn't cinsider babu


it doesn't cinsider babu


OMG the recorded voice is killing me in this all the time!


This totally sounded like les enfant im so mad


I heard "la femme" instead of "l'enfant". Probably a common issue, not always the easy to hear these clearly.


It is clear, it just takes practice - PERCE_NEIGE talks about it a bit earlier on this thread.

You can go to Forvo and key in the words separately or use goggle translate which is quite good for this particular pair.

Key the woman and the child (as a phrase) into google translate with French as the destination language. It will say la femme et l'enfant in the box to the right and there is a little mic at the top. You can listen to this to train your ear. It will come with practise.


Seriously? Type what you hear? I can't "hear" anything!


So if it was aime instead of mange, the article would be le instead of du?



Yes you are right - it would be "l'enfant aime le pain" - "the child likes bread".


Ok, aime definitely needs definite article, got it. Any other exceptions like this?


Oh man! I think Duolingo is a fan of bread, this is my fourth sentence that I hear ''pain''.


bread is life \o/


Idk when to type some and when not to.. please heeeelp


30 lessons?? My god, I hope the vocab changes at least

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