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  5. "We have sugar."

"We have sugar."

Translation:Nous avons du sucre.

January 16, 2013



Can someone explain the use of "du" vs "un" or "de la/ de l" vs "une"


Du and De la/de l' is used when you don't know the quantity of items (sugar in this example - you don't count out sugar grains, so we say some sugar. Same with water, rice..). Un and une would only be used if it is a single countable item (such as une orange, un chapeau...)


Thank you for clarifying! This helped a lot.


But what about chicken/pork? The sentence "We eat pork" is translated as "Nous mangeons du porc". I explained it to myself that they won't probably eat the whole pig (just some of it), but still, it confuses me that sometimes the answer without "du" is right and sometimes it's not, in both cases when there is no article before the noun.


On Babbel they explain it saying du is most often time used with beverages and food, since they are part of a greater group (pork in this case being part of the animal). I found this to be a lazy explanation, since everything is TECHNICALLY part of something else. It seems this battle will be a lot like learning the gender of words simply by knowing!


Hope that helps


I like to think about how I would say it in English. I would say, "I eat pork," not "I eat a pork." Same thing for sugar: "I have sugar," not "I have a sugar."


In frnch you can't say "I have sugar" you have to say "I have some sugar" or "I have a sugar"


pork is uncountable→du porc


I am just beginning, but it helps me if I think of "du" as meaning - of (like the 'de' in Spanish). Then I just think of it as: "I eat of the pork, I eat of (or from) that which is in front of me: salt, sugar, chicken, or cheese. I am sure that my understanding will grow as I progress, but this gives me the lever I need now, plus I think I may be right!


This really helpful


OK, but what's the difference between Du, De l' and De la?


I keep getting 'du' and 'le' mixed up. I know that 'du' doesn't have a specified amount. Right? But why doesn't 'le' work like saying 'we like THE sugar'? This is like the same thing I asked about the 'we like wine' question. I just can't seem to remember the difference between the two, 'du' and 'le'. Someone please help...kinda stuck.


"Du" means "some" in this french sentence.

The English sentence really means we have some sugar, however in English the "some" can be left out.

If the English sentence had meant that we have a specific sugar - e.g. we have the sugar that we bought this morning then the English sentence would have said "the sugar". In that case the french would be "le sucre".


This helps a lot merci!


why is it nous avons du sucre?? i thought sucre is feminine since it ends with an e


In this case, the "e" is there not because it is feminine, but because "sucr" can't work as a word.


what exactly IS on? is it like a conjugation of nous or something?


On is a neutral article sometimes is used as nous and sometimes used as neutral

Nous avons du sucre (plural) On a du sucre (neutral)

is almost the same


My professor would use 'on' to indictate that 'one' does or 'one' has etc.


This really helps a lot; I have never thought of it this way until now. Thanks!


Can you tell me what is the diffrence between de and du



"de" on its own has several meaning - most important "of" and "from"

However it is also often found as part of "de la". In this case it is important to think of "de la" together as if it was one word.

"De la" is used to express an unspecified amount of a feminine non-countable noun. Most often it is translated as "some".

"I am eating some meat" = "Je mange de la viande".

"Du" is the masculine equivalent. Used with masculine non-countable nouns. Really it is "de+le" but it is always written as "du"

"I am eating some sugar" = "Je mange du sucre"

Checkout link for more information.



Ok, I am so terribly confused about the usage of "du/de" vs "le/la" or "un/une." I think I am understanding that "du/de" is for when its not a specific amount? Like "I eat pork" would be "Je mange du porc" vs "I am eating one pork" would be "Je mange un porc"? The confusion is in one exercise I uses the feminine "la" for "We have sugar" so it read "Nous avons la sucre" and Duolingo said wrong, it should have been "Nous avons le sucre" so when this exercise came up and it was the exact same sentence, I remembered sucre is masculine and wrote "Nous avons le sucre" and now that is wrong and should be "du." Why wouldnt the program correct me to "du" the first time instead of focusing on the masculine/feminine mistake?



The first thing to notice is that you should not focus on "de" instead the relevant terms are "du" and "de la". Think of "de la" as if it is a single word.

"Du" is actually a contraction of "de+le" and is always written as " du" - it is the masculine partitive article. "De la" is the feminine partitive article. The partitive articles are used with non-countable nouns (water, milk, bread, pork, meat etc) and is used to express an unspecified amount - they can be translated as "some".

"Du" is used with masculine non-countable nouns.

"I have sugar" = "I have some sugar" = "J'ai du sucre"

"De la" is used with feminine non-countable nouns.

"I have meat" = "I have some meat" = "J'ai de la viande"

If instead we haveTHE sugar/meat" we use "le/la"

"I have the sugar" = "J'ai le sucre"

"I have meat" = "J'ai la viande".

"Un/une" means "a/an" and are used with countable nouns (apples, hats,cars etc)

"I have a hat" = "J'ai un chapeau" (masculine noun)

"I have a car" = "J'ai une voiture" (feminine noun)

Checkout link for more information on French partitive articles.



Why can't I put, "nous avons des sucres" ?


Sugar is an uncountable noun in both English and French.

Your suggested sentence would translate as "we have some sugars" that does not make sense in English or French.

If we wanted to make sugar a countable noun we would have to say - some sugar lumps, some spoons of sugar, some bags of sugar, or we have various types of sugar.

So we could not use "des" without having a completely different sentence with an entirely different meaning.


I CREA- frack i still had caps lock on from when i was raging about the same thing, anyway, i made a comment look for it and you will hear red


oh just noticed you put des but still had nous


Should "Nous avons sucre" not also be acceptable?


No "nous avons sucre" is not acceptable. In French nouns almost always need an article or other determiner.

The English sentence means "we have some sugar" eventhough "some" can be left out of the English sentence if we want. However in a French sentence the equivalent of "some" can not be left out. "Sucre" is a non-countable masculine noun therefore in this case "some" = "du".


Why can't I say "Avons du sucre."?


Ah - very interesting question.

French is an exception among romance languages.

In French we can not drop the subject pronoun and in fact, just as in English, we have to introduce a "dummy" subject pronoun into impressional expressions where necessary because we can't be without one. The other romance languages are often called null-subject languages because the structure of their grammars often makes a subject unnecessary.

However, in French, a subject pronoun is not included in an imperative statement. This is similar to English except that English is far more casual about the rule and often includes a subject pronoun into an imperative statement anyway just for emphasis or effect.


Thank you, PatrickJaye. That was an excellent explanation.


You are welcome


i love your profile picture :D



The original sentence is "we have sugar"

Your suggestion would be "have sugar" so not only would it not be a correct translation it would not make sense in any case.


whats the point of putting 'du' if there is no 'some' in the sentence?



First thing to realise is that in French we must always have an article or other determiner in front of the noun. In French naked nouns are not allowed.

Once we realise that then it is just a question of deciding which article to put into the French sentence.

The English sentence "we have sugar" has no determiner but we could rewrite that sentence as "we have some sugar" - that would mean exactly the same. We can now translate that into French and we get "nous avons du sucre:.


How do i know when to use du or not?


when did we learn the word 'on' for 'we' i am confused




I wrote ''Vous avons sucre". I know that Vous was incorrect, but it also put incorrect that I DIDNT put du


To help myself remember what sugar is in French, I just remember "sucrose."


How do they decide if it is a wrong answer or just a typo?


Apparently, if it is one letter off or a transposition and does not accidentally result in an other actual word (such as a different form of the same verb) the computer considers it a typo.

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