"I drink milk."

Translation:Je bois du lait.

January 15, 2013



I understand what the literal meanings are of le and du, but I can't understand why "I drink milk" is "Je bois du lait", when in a previous exercise, the sentence "We like wine" is "Nous aimons le vin". Does anyone know why there is a difference?

September 25, 2013


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...
September 25, 2013


If one was saying it in a general sense, like, "do you drink milk?- yes, I drink milk" wouldn't that be expressed as je bois le lait? or would it still be je bois du lait in that case?

July 8, 2019


Thank you! That makes sense. :-)

September 25, 2013


The biggest issue I had was the ambiguous language used in the Hints - talking about "preferences" rather than "appreciation verbs". Implicitly, if a person is saying that they drink milk, that implies some form of preference.

Not a very good hint - your explanation is much better.

October 6, 2018


Thank you for the explanation. One more rule learned.

November 4, 2013


merci beaucoup :)

January 4, 2014


I haven't seen de being used anywhere! Where is it used?

July 7, 2014


Fantastic, thank you! Not sure why this rule is popping up before it's been explained anywhere. Getting flashbacks to freshman french with a teacher who could never remember what she had taught us...

July 20, 2016


This is explained in the Tips and Notes of the Food lesson. Can't you access them?

July 20, 2016


It is explained in the "Breakfast" lesson (not the Food lesson). Also, you explained it much more clearly here than the Breakfast explanation - the lesson should be changed to what you wrote here in the notes!! :)

October 16, 2018


This sentence may have been borrowed from the volunteer Tree2 which did have our Tips and Notes, two years ago. Apparently, it was recently added to the staff tree which does not have the same structure or explanations.

October 17, 2018


Hey :), I am new here and have no idea on what you guys are discussing regarding notes. I will really appreciate if you could direct me on how to access such materials.... I'm confuse and need some directions.

August 20, 2019


I don't see any way to access them on mobile (android).

July 20, 2016


Well, this is an issue we cannot solve until Duo can fix it. In the meantime, you may use a PC when you need start a new lesson then use the app on your phone to practice.

July 21, 2016


can somebody please explain me difference between je bois le lait and je bois du lait? i dont get it....

January 15, 2013


same difference as between "I drink the milk" vs "I drink some milk"

January 16, 2013


bois or boit? me and others?

March 16, 2013


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

September 28, 2013


I do not understand when exactly should I use "du"?

July 14, 2015


Please read the whole thread.

July 14, 2015


I write "je boire" why is incorrect?

February 24, 2014


You have to conjugate verbs. You have used the infinitive (non conjugated) form of verb "boire".

je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent

February 24, 2014


Why "je bois du le lait" is incorrect? Such a construction "du le" was used before!

May 2, 2014


shurame- wrong, du le is very wrong, but there's de le which is contracted en du. You have to choose between du or le, but you can't put the 2 in the same expression, du lait (some) or le lait (the)

July 9, 2014
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