"I drink milk."
Translation:Je bois du lait.
Yes, the verb makes the difference or construction because of the difference of meaning:
Tip: please try to translate what is meant rather than what is written
1)with action verbs, the partitive "du" (de+le) or "de la" are used with uncountable nouns to mean "some, a portion of, an undefined quantity of":
- je mange du pain; tu bois de la bière; il respire de l'air; elle prend du temps...
2)with appreciation verbs, the partitive is not used, neither in singular, nor in plural and with any kind of objects, countable or not. Appreciation verbs naturally introduce generalities with definite article le, la, les
- j'aime le vin; tu préfères la bière; il déteste les roses; elle apprécie le soleil...
I don't think what you wrote above answers his question!
'Du lait', as you said, means 'some' milk. But if one were to ask more generally 'do you drink milk?' would 'le lait' not be correct?
I think its fair to ask whether or not this is an exception to the rule you outlined above.
read what is written and act accordingly. it doesn't matter if you mean 'i prefer milk' or 'right now i am drinking milk', if the verb is an action verb you use some form of 'de'. and regardless of what you mean, the definite article (le//la/l'/les) is used with preference verbs.
Am I thinking correctly to say: 1. du, de la, and des = some, undefined quantity or speaking general. 2. However this changes when using a verb of appreciation. For appreciation verbs the "de" is dropped and only le, la or les is used; even if, or especially if, we are speaking in general terms. 3. And so when back translating with verbs of appreciation, where we see no form of DE, and only see a form of LE, we need to translate this NOT to the specific 'the' but to the general some; which in the case of English can be left out, so we are left with just the noun eg milk.
1) For uncountable nouns, "du, de la, de l'" translate the meaning of "some" as "an unknown amount of a mass thing", NOT "speaking general".
- Au petit déjeuner, je bois du lait = At breakfast, I drink (some) milk.
- En ce moment, je bois du lait = Right now, I am drinking (some) milk.
2) For countable nouns, indefinite people, animals and things use "un, une, des".
- J'ai un mari et des enfants = I have a husband and children ("children" is the plural of "a child").
3) Countable or uncountable things, categories, and concepts use "le, la, les", when they are generalized, with or without an appreciation verb.
- J'adore le chocolat = I love chocolate.
- Foxes are shrewd = Les renards sont rusés.
- History is my favorite subject = L'histoire est ma matière préférée.
Not all French speakers use "petit-déjeuner" as a verb but it is correct.
Others use "Je prends mon petit déjeuner" with the noun and in some regions, some say "Je déjeune" (lit. I break fast).
For other meals:
- Je déjeune (midday) = I have/eat lunch
- Je dîne (@8 p.m.)= I have/eat dinner
- Je soupe (late evening) = I have/eat supper
Since the question is a generality, why is it DU (some) and not LE, the latter which would indicate that I normally/in general , drink milk. The question did not say: "I drink SOME milk" or, "I am drinking milk", it said "I drink milk" which indicates a general case as opposed to a specific case.
No, the sentence is not a generality. A generality is something like "I love milk" or "Milk is white", where "milk" is considered as a category of things.
"I drink milk" is not about a whole category of things but about "an unknown amount of a mass thing", or "some milk". This meaning translates to the partitive article "du" (the contraction of "de+le" before a masculine mass noun starting with a consonant sound).
"I drink/am drinking milk" and "I drink/am drinking some milk" mean the same and translate to "Je bois du lait".
With "I drink the milk", the milk is specific because it was mentioned before or it is in front of me.
Please don't get bogged down in too much detail. I've learned that Duolingo can't cope with these nuances - all context is lost in isolated sentences and therefore it's difficult to get a handle on what exactly was meant. There is also the problem that English can be different across the world and I'm sure French is different across the French-speaking world too. Please don't worry, when you're speaking in context with a French person it will all become apparent and these little things cease to be important. I used to be hung up on the detail and it would stop me speaking. Now I worry less and am much happier having a go than I used to be. Let the little things go.
It should be "je bois" (I drink) and "il/elle boit" (he/she drinks). Look at the verb's conjugation here: http://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com/du/verbe/boire.php
kristen- wrong- There's no LE/the in the English sentence. With LE it would be a specific milk. Je bois le lait = I drink the milk. Je bois du lait = I drink (some) milk. For the suggestions, they're not all correct answers, it's a lesson, you have to choose the correct answers, what would be the difficulty here if Duo gives you all the answers.
brittany- some milk is not the milk. We don't put the each time, du is also an article, a partitive article. du lait is some milk and we don't talk about the quantity. Le lait is a specific milk, maybe the I one I left for you on the table. If I ask you will you drink the milk or the juice, the answer : le lait
I would have thought that whether to use le or du depends on how you translate je bois.
I am drinking milk (right now): je bois du lait.
I drink milk (regularly, generally): je bois le lait.
If I am given "I drink milk" to translate, surely I could go either way with le and du?
sean, your second exemple is wrong, i'm native and if you ask me what do you drink everyday for dinner, je bois du lait. we use le lait to say, le lait est bon pour la santé/ milk is good for the health. Yesterday I drank the milk that you left for me/ hier j'ai bu le lait que tu m'as laissé.