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  5. "Elles boivent du vin."

"Elles boivent du vin."

Translation:They are drinking wine.

January 23, 2013



They gave me 3 choices....eau, vin, and bier.....How in the world am I supposed to know which one to pick?


I think the statement was "Je bois du..." And the options were eau, vin, and alcool. Only vin fits because it starts with a consonant and du ends with a vowel. Ex: du eau is just d'eau. Du alcool is d'alcool.


You are missing "le/la" in all your examples.

  • "eau" is both feminine and starts with a vowel, so it can't be *"du eau", only "de l'eau"
  • "alcool" is masculine, but also starts with a vowel, so it is "de l'alcool"
  • "bière" starts with a consonant but is feminine, so it must be "de la bière"
  • "vin" starts with a consonant and is masculine, so it is the only choice we are given that can go with "du": "du vin"


why "alcool" is masculine, but use 'de la' in front of it? Shouldn't be 'du' ?


Masculine nouns that start with a vowel will have « de l' » for the partitive article:

  • de + le + alcool
  • de + l'alcool
  • de l'alcool

Masculine nouns that start with a consonant will have « du » for the partitive article:

  • de + le + vin
  • du + vin
  • du vin


so if i understand right, determiniting (by sound alone) if it should be wrote "elle" or "elles" is all context in reference to what you're reffering to? I hope that is the case because i cannot hear the difference between Elle and Elles


To my ear Elle and Elles sound the same before boit and boivent. The difference I hear is in boit and boivent, with there being the slightest v sound in boivent, letting me know it is plural. You can get an idea of this if you go to translate.google.com and type in the two sentences "Elle boit du vin," and "Elles boivent du vin," and listen to them both one right after the other.

When Elle and Elles are followed by a word that starts with a vowel, there is a slight z sound connecting Elles and the following word, such as with "Elles ecrivent." Again, translate.google.com will let you listen to both and hear the difference.

That's how I'm telling them apart, but I'm a beginner and not a native speaker, so ... don't hold me to it. :)


'Elle' and 'elles' sound the same but 'boi' and 'boivent' are pronounced differently. 'Boi' is pronounced as 'bua' wheras 'boivent' is pronounced as 'buave'.


Always listen carefully to how the following verb is conjugated. Works for me!


Vin sounded like van


Yes, because of how vowel-consonent pairings work in french. "On", "En", "In" and...I think there's a couple of others that are all nasal, which means that they sound different than they should. Specifically for the letter "i", it tends to sound more like an open "a" or an "ee" sound. For vin, because it's a nasal i, it sounds like van.


I used "alcool" here just to see if it would work instead of "vin." Can anyone tell me why that's not an acceptable answer..?


The correct partitive for alcool would be "de l'alcool", because "alcool" starts with a vowel sound.


Would this be correct- Elles boivent du le vin? Can 'de' be used in situations other than 'de la'? CJ Dennis's comments confuse me. He used 'de l'alcool'. Why did he change it from "du" to "de" for words beginning with vowels? I thought "de" was feminine? Please clarify!!


You can't use « du le » because « du » already means « de » + « le ».

If it's plural, use « des » : « Je mange des fraises » - "I'm eating [some] strawberries"
If it starts with a vowel or mute "h", use « de l' » : « Je bois de l'eau » - "I'm drinking [some] water"
Otherwise, if it's masculine, use « du » : « Je bois du vin » - "I'm drinking [some] wine"
If it's feminine, use « de la » : « Je bois de la bière » : "I'm drinking [some] beer"
If you got here, you missed a rule. Go back to the start and try again.

« du » is the mandatory contraction of « de » + « le », and « des » is the mandatory contraction of « de » + « les ». « de » is neither masculine nor feminine. It's also not plural or singular. It's the next word that determines the number and gender, and two out of the three articles combine with « de » to form a different word.


this with an audio is impossible to distinguish from the singular form (elle bois du vin) and yet they still say it is incorrect :/


Please focus on the V in "boiVent".


Tricky: it's the "V" sound at the end boivent that's the clue, not the silent "S" in Elles (otherwise it would be "Elle boit du vin")


So elles is always they but just the feminine form and not 'the girls' or 'the women'


Yes, essentially. The girls would be les filles, and the women would be les femmes.


What about she that is elle but so is they. Please explain this im confused


"They" is not gendered in English, but its French translation is:

  • "elle" is "she" if the subject is a female human being, or "it" if the subject is a feminine noun of animal or thing.

  • "elles" is "they", but exclusively feminine, and referring to any female or feminine things.


Why is du used here even though the translation is 'They are drinking wine'? For


The French love their articles and they also have articles that English does not use: partitive articles.

Partitive (= part of something) articles are required when the meaning is "some" in front of a mass noun. They are formed with the preposition "de" and a definite article: "le", "la" or "l'"

  • ils boivent du vin ("du" is the contraction of the preposition "de" and the masculine definite article "le")
  • ils boivent de la bière ("la", because "bière" is a feminine noun)
  • ils boivent de l'eau ("l'" because "eau" is a feminine noun starting with a vowel sound)
  • ils boivent de l'alcool ("l'" because "alcool" is a masculine noun starting with a vowel sound).

This is fully explained in the Tips and Notes in the lesson that you can access at anytime during your lessons, provided you work with the online version of Duolingo.


What's the different between using 'du' or 'des' ? Are there any more plural things you could use? (Apart from 'les')


"du" is a partitive article (masculine, singular) and "des" is the plural indefinite article (that English does not have).

About partitive articles that are used with mass nouns, please read the above comment.

About "des", it is the plural for "un" or "une" and it means "more than one".

  • singular: je mange une fraise (I eat a/one strawberry) -- plural: je mange des fraises (I eat (some) strawberries)


elle means girl right?


Not necessarily. "elle" can be "she" or "it" and "elles" in plural is "they".

The sentence does not say if the people who drink are women or girls.

In general, the personal pronouns "elle" and "elles" refer to any feminine noun (people, animal, things).


I dont understand wha does du mean? Doesn't it mean part of? So e.g. du biere isnt it 'part of beer?'. Also what is the meaint of de la? I am very confused.


"partitive" articles are about "part of something uncountable", "some + mass noun" or "an undetermined quantity of something". That is for the meaning.

  • I drink beer OR I drink some beer = je bois de la bière: bière is a feminine noun, "de la" is the feminine partitive article.

  • I eat bread OR I eat some bread = je mange du pain: pain is a masculine noun, "du" is the masculine partitive article.

If the noun starts with a vowel sound, "du" and "de la" are changed to "de l'":

  • I drink water OR I drink some water = je bois de l'eau: eau is feminine

  • I drink alcohol OR I drink some alcohol = je bois de l'alcool: alcool is masculine.


Thanks for explaining "partitive"! We really don't get taught this stuff in English speaking countries (at least in Australia)!


Neither do we, actually, until we learn foreign languages (or teach French to foreigners)!


how to differenciate between singular and plural form of this sentence??


elle boit = [el bwa]

elles boivent = [el bwaV]


muito obrigada! XD!


Why would "They are drinking the wine" be incorrect?


the wine = le vin: specific wine -> definite article.


Why can't it be they are drinking the wine


"the wine" and "(some) wine" are different in English and in French as well:

(some) wine = du vin (an undertermined quantity of a mass thing)

the wine = le vin (specific)


What's tge rule about ommitting the second 2 letters in tge word boivent? How do I know what is tge correct manner to say it? Thanks :)


When the subject is 3rd person plural (ils, elles = they), the verb ending is always -ent, and it is mute.

The last sound you hear is that of the previous consonant:

  • ils/elles boiV(ent) = bwav

In singular, the last consonant is not heard either:

  • il/elle boi(t) = bwa


I typed 'elle boire du vin' (which i know is wrong) but it kept telling me i was typing in English? i know its probably just because it was very wrong, but don't understand why it wasnt recognised


The computer-checker can be dumb sometimes.


Even I have once faced the same problem


Can someone explain to me why it's elles instead of Ils? I'm very new to French.


"they" can translate to "ils" if the subjects are all masculine or a mix of masculine and feminine people (or animal/things), or to "elles" if the subjects are all feminine.


don't be too fast. I am still doing my answer


Got a voice recording correct for the first time


Can it be they drink wine?


Her pronunciation sounds more like "vent" than "vin." Because of the context I assumed it was supposed to be vin. And I listened to it several times quickly and slowly to be sure.


There really is something wrong with the French lessons audio, I know that the French don't speak this incoherently.


As a listening excercise it is unfair, because it can be heard as "Elle boit du vin." The program doesn't pronounce the v very clearly


elle and elles are pronounced the same by this lady.


"Elle" and "Elles" are indeed pronounced the same because there is no liaison with the next word to prompt a Z sounding liaison.

But the verb does not sound the same: boit vs boiVent

[deactivated user]

    I think it's funny other choices they gave me were "goldfish" and "skirts"


    How is boivent pronounced in contrast to bois

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