Hi, you are confusing American and British English. What Americans call French fries we call chips (e.g. fish & chips), unless we are buying them in McDonalds when they are French fries. What Americans and the French call chips we call crisps.
It's not a big thing but it can be disheartening to get the answer right but still lose a heart.
Nonetheless, it is a brilliant site and I'm enjoying using it.
(And don't forget the biscuits = cookies relationship!).. I hear you. I got burned by translating something literally ("de rien") recently. But I got marked off because it is known as "you're welcome" in French but translates literally to "of nothing". Such are the nuances of a foreign culture and language...........
Then again, here in Oz, chips are chips, as in fish and .., (except in Macca's) and chips are also crisps but never called crisps. Usually. though, they are differentiated by calling them "potato chips". Don't ask! Like a lot of what we have been learning it makes sense in context.
I'm sorry, but I don't see the problem with this sentence. "J'aime les frites." translates to "I like fries." but that doesn't mean that the sentence inherently means to dishonor British culture. Also, if you know that it's wrong, just type in "fries" to get the answer correct. It's not like you don't know what fries are, right?
Either way, Duolingo specifically states not to report sentence errors in the comments to limit the conversation to questions others have. Please keep that in mind, as I did not enjoy having to scroll past your intense debate just to get to what should have been up here in the first place.
Thank you and good luck on your journey of learning the French language.
You are good Malayka, very very good. It is unfortunate that the Duo French course only translates to English and American English at that. For people who have English as a second language I feel it is a disadvantage, unfair even. This is why there are "Invovled" discussions here. Duo doesn't want "Clutter" but the nature of their task sentences actually invite the very Clutter Duo wants to avoid.. Malayka I agree with all you have posted here but I must state that Duo's task sentences do well suck for clutter, mate. They do, and that is why you have to scroll so far to find the pertinent point. Apparently other language courses at Duo are more proficiently composed which means that this French course is the "Cinderella". It's sad. Duo would do well to make this course more robust before banging on with new languages, but fiscal needs be? So WE You And I Sort this out and to do so we need lashings of patience, yes? You are very good Malayka, we need you. To help. Please?
LA tomate et LE pain = the tomato and the bread, with definite article "the" that make the objects specific, when you point to them, for example.
"J'aime les frites" is considered as a generality in French because of the verb: all appreciation verbs (aimer, adorer, détester, haïr, préférer, apprécier) are constructed with definite articles le, la or les.
"I like bread, soup and tomatoes" = j'aime le pain, la soupe et les frites (generality)
"I eat bread, soup and tomatoes" = je mange du pain, de la soupe et des frites ( partitive)
"I eat the bread, the soup and the tomatoes that you left on the table" = je mange le pain, la soupe et les tomates que tu as laissés sur la table. (specific)
Same way. J'aime les frites. It is only in the English interpretation where the article may be dropped to generalise. Be aware that English is quite a "Lazy" language and we commonly say "I like THE chips/fries" when we would be a tad more correct to say "I like THESE chips/fries" which would, I think, translate to "'J'aime ces frites". It is picky, I know, but this is language Usage and Duo has an enormous task on its hands here.
Le/la/les are used for referring to specific things (when you would use "the" in English), but le/la/les are also use for generalities. You'll most frequently come across this with verbs that have to with liking or disliking (such as "aimer," as used here,"adorer," "préférer," "détester," etc. So, depending on context, this sentence could translate to either "I like fries" or "I like the fries."
The rules for when to use le/la/les or du/de la/des/de for what we consider generalities are a bit tricky to clearly define for non-native French speakers, and most French speakers just know when to use which without really understanding why. For more insight into the difference, check out this discussion between me and Sitesurf: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/212032
[Edited 5/22/2013 to fix some possibly misleading bits]
I think they're trying to show us that there's a difference in intensity depending on whether aimer is referring to a person or an inanimate object. The thing is, the same goes for American English! When we say "I love fries!" no one gets confused and thinks that we feel amorous toward, or have a deep affection for, fries.
Maybe DuoLingo is trying to make an unnecessary distinction here, or maybe our gushing "I love fries!" would be rendered "j'adore les frites" in French. I don't know French well enough to be sure. If "j'aime" is never used in a gushing way, then Duo might be right here.
Hi alex. Easy question.....involved answer. The wonderful Sitesurf has addressed this so well so I'll be very basic here. Aimer is To Love and to Like. When applied to persons it is Love. To make it to Like Aime needs to be modified to Aime Bien/Beaucoup. When aime is applied to objects/things or usually animals it means like. To Love those probably Adore is appropriate.
Hi Tab. Fries is both a noun and a verb. In the US that is. We've avoided this trap in the UK by calling fried chipped potatoes "Chips" and fried thinly sliced potatoes "Crisps". (UK English being more phonetic than the ex-colonies and the Commonwealth.) So to answer your query. Fries when a noun cannot be conjugated; they are those fried potato oblong thingies on your plate. "Frire" is the verb "To Fry" in order to Make those oblong potato thingies on your plate. Frire is the third of three groups of French verbs. 1): those ending in -er. 2): those ending in - ir and 3): those ending in -re in their respective infinitive forms. Well worth trawling through language sites to research these in order to give you some solid grounding to support your learning here. Cordial, JJ.
So, I just typed what I heard: J'aime les frites. And Duo gave me the translation as "I like fries." But when I typed "J'aime les frites" when it asked me to translate "I like fries" it said I was wrong. The correct answer was "J'aime bien les frites." How does that work exactly? sigh
No they don't Jam. In the first case: As a preposition Like can mean Similar to. In the manner of, In a way appropriate to, Characteristic of, To ask about someone's or something's characteristics, In this manner, Such as.
As a Conjunction informally it can mean In the same way that, As though. As a noun it can mean the same person or thing, (with "the") Things of the same kind. As an adjective it means Having the same characteristics to another. As an Adverb it can be used in speech as a meaningless filler. ("I'm like How are you? and he's like "I'm OK)
In the second case: As a Verb it can mean To find agreeable, enjoyable or satifactory, To wish for; want; prefer or in response to a question, Feel about or regard. and as a Noun (Likes) as in The Likes Of You.. Love: As a noun, An intense feeling of deep affection, A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone, A great interest and pleasure in something (Far more intense than a Liking for something), A person or thing which one loves, A friendly form of address especially in the UK, In tennis a score of nil. As a verb it is it is to feel a deep or intense romantic and usually sexual attachment to someone. In French Aimer means Love when applied to people and pets but it means Like when applied to inanimate things.
No, Mangie. I'm wobbly on when the partitive and definite French articles may be dropped on translation to English, it's to do with countable and uncountable things. J'aime des frites=I like Some fries; well I'm thinking which fries do I not like then? I'm not 100% on this but I think that Fries are uncountable so therefore Jaime Les frites=both I Like The Fries and I Like Fries. Grammarians to the rescue please.
No, because the direct object of an appreciation verb (aimer, adorer, préférer, haïr, détester, apprécier) always has a definite article:
Either because the object is a category:
- j'aime les frites = I like fries in general
Or because the object is specific:
- j'aime les frites qui sont dans mon assiette = I like the fries that are on my plate.