I copied this note down that was posted by a user when I was having trouble with le/la/les and du and when to use du and when to use le or la. It has helped.
Start with two simple sentences: I like bread. I eat bread.
In the above examples, eat is a dynamic verb, and like is a stative verb. What's the difference you may ask?
Dynamic verbs denote an actual action or expression or process done by the subject. They mean an action which can be seen or physically felt or the result of which is seen or physically felt by the object or an indirect object. (something is 'done' to the object)
Stative verbs refer to the state of the subject or the situation of the subject. Stative Verbs tell us about the state of mind of the subject, or the relation between the subject and the object (we have preferences or thoughts about the object, so to speak).
So in French, 'I eat bread' which uses a dynamic verb, the phrase should be 'Je mange du pain', but if you like bread as in 'I like bread' the phrase should be 'J'aime le pain'
dynamic verb: Je mange du pain. stative verb: J'aime le pain.
Another way of looking at dynamic and stative verbs is "action" and "being" verbs. It is a bit easier for younger people to remember than dynamic and stative.
I like the translation of 'du' as 'some'. That way, 'I am eating some bread' sounds correct, but 'I like some bread' - not so much...
I read your comment and thought "well, yeah of course love should be excepted" before realizing what you ment... Je intelligent.
I also wrote "I love sugar" as well! I don't know why it's incorrect...
J'aime is "I like" as in all the previous examples. J'adore is "I love" we were not taught that yet.
You're welcome. Sometimes duolingo wants us to think ahead and other times not. It can be frustrating. lol
Ugh, I heard "J'aime la soupe." I really should have known it would be sucre since it was introduced in this lesson. It just REALLY sounded like soupe. >.<
Given that when the verb "aimer" is used, the subject that follows is never to use "du/de la", but "le/la" instead, how does it show when "i like THE item" is what is to be read?
You could use other determiners such as ce sucre/that sugar.
Another way is to attach aimer to an action verb. I like to have the sugar, taste the sugar, include the sugar etc. Attaching aimer to an action verb permits the use of du/de la. That being the case, if you are using le/la it is because it is your intention to use the definite article since you could use the indefinite if you chose to.
Does this translate to "I like the sugar"? Why not just Je aime sucre, subject verb noun?
the noun needs the particle 'le' as with all french words a particle is needed. Direct translation for english is, I like the sugar but for French its, I like sugar.
But it isn't the sugar it's all sugar, any sugar so why not des sucre?
After more time taking this course and associated research the answer to my question is this:
French has dual use of le/ la/ les The first use is the one that English speakers are familiar with, which is j'aime le sucre meaning I like that sugar right there.
But in English if we want to talk about sugar in general we just drop the article and say I like sugar because we don't have a definite article that means all examples of something.
Similarly, French does not have an article that fills that role but they require an article in front of the noun, so they have assigned it to le/ la/ les. That is the second role that the French definite article plays.
Le sucre = the sugar (that sugar right there)
Le sucre = the sugar (all sugar, the idea of sugar, all examples of sugar).
Du sucre = some sugar (not all sugar, not that sugar right there but just some sugar)
So English I like sugar (all sugar) is translated as j'aime le sucre because there has to be an article in front of sucre. No problem going from English to French but how to tell which meaning is intended by the French use of le in J'aime le sucre. Is it I like sugar or I like the sugar?
Without context you can't know which is intended.
I really like the way you explained this; I have a habit of translating things too literally and this really cleared things up for me. Thanks!
I'm not an expert but I believe it has to do with the verb being used. The verb manger would need different particles depending on the quantity or specificity of the food. But with the verb "aimer" you rarely see it used with "du" in a simple, present tense, statement. You can go to this website called linguee and type a phrase to see a few results of it being used in a real context. I entered "j'aime du" and the sentences would suggest in that case it means "of the" instead of "some" or unspecified quantity.
You are correct. Sitesurf has indicated that appreciation verbs such as aimer cannot be limited to some. You can like all of something, like that something right there but you cannot like some something.
If you want to limit appreciation verbs to some you have to include an action verb.
EG: I like to drink some coffee. I like to taste some tea. Aime du thé is not accepted if you are trying to say you like some tea.
D'accord. Sitesurf is where I learned this as well. Since j'aime is saying that you like something, it is an appreciation verb and regardless of whether it makes sense to an english speaker, appreciation verbs need to have a definite article after, such as le or la.
I agree, "J'aime du sucre" to me seems more appropriate than "J'aime le sucre." 'Du' is used in similar situations instead of 'le'. Why 'le' instead of 'du?'
giddy- wrong, you could say j'aime manger du sucre but never, j'aime du sucre.
Also you cant put two vowel SOUNDING letters together thats what the ' is there for
I put suger instead of sugar by accident and I got it wrong what happened to almost right
When I wrote suger by accident and duolingo said sugar and it made the whole sentence wrong. :(