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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pwallington

"Bois-tu du lait ?"

January 11, 2013

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pwallington

How do you distinguish between 'Do you drink milk?' (i.e. ever) or 'Are you drinking milk?' (i.e. right now). Both are 'correct' answers according to the question...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
  • 1563

In French there is no equivalent tense to the present progressive in English. We translate both "Are you drinking milk?" and "Do you drink milk?" into "Bois-tu du lait?". In colloquial French, we sometimes use the expression "en train de + INFINITIVE VERB" to express the idea "progressive" tense. For example, you can translate "Are you drinking milk?" into "Es-tu en train de boire du lait ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pwallington

Thanks! Is that using the infinitive of the verb? (boire in this case)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacquelinemommy

How do you know when to add the dash, as in bois-tu


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy
  • 1563

You have to add a hyphen between the verb and the subject, when the verb comes on first position (best level of language):

e.g. "Bois-tu du lait ?" ("Do you drink milk?)

Do not use a hyphen if the subject comes first (more colloquial):

e.g. "Tu bois du lait" ("You drink milk?")

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