https://www.duolingo.com/pwallington

"Bois-tu du lait ?"

January 11, 2013

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/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...

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1046

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 ?"

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pwallington

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

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1046

Right.

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacquelinemommy

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

January 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
  • 1046

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?")

January 21, 2013
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.