"I like tea, but I love coffee."
Translation:J'aime le thé, mais j'adore le café.
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because "j'aime le thé" and "j'aime bien le thé" mean exactly the same thing.
"bien" does not change the meaning to "aime" when it comes to objects.
Only when the object is a human being, does "bien" change the meaning:
- j'aime bien Marie = I like Marie
- j'aime Marie = I love Marie
Sitesurf, I'm confused! The link you added says "aime" is "like/love" and "adore" is "love". It says "J'aime cette fille" means "I like/love this girl"; "J'adore cette fille" means "I love/adore this girl"...and it relates to a 'human being' as you stated earlier. Can we just use both to mean "love" with living sentient beings?
"bien" after "aimer" is the most efficient way to be clear about your feelings being "like" and not "love".
It is not an enhancer but a diminisher actually: "j'aime bien cette fille" (I like her) is less deep than "j'aime cette fille" (I love her) or even "j'aime beaucoup cette fille" (I like her very much).
I am not happy with the discussion of reasons why 'du' will not do in both clauses. In both cases a certain variety of tea is not specified, nor a certain variety of coffee, nor is this about a certain quantity of coffee or tea; but as I read the English, it is about the general preference for coffee over tea, just like "the boy eats apples = le garcon mange des pommes" which could be, but doesn't have to be, "some apples." It could be that the boy >does< eat apples, no? and so, I >do< like coffee more than tea. This appear to be an ambiguity in French (or the French so far) that is not reflected in this translation.
With appreciation verbs the use of a definite article is automatic before the direct object.
"le garçon mange des pommes" is the plural of "le garçon mange une pomme". Therefore, what he is doing is limited to one or several units of objects.
"le garçon aime les pommes" means that he likes the whole apple category, apples in general. This requires a definite article, because definite articles are used for generalities as well as specific objects.
The lack of a plural form for "a/an" in English can blur your understanding of the exact meaning of a bare noun as well, but you will have to decipher whether "apples" means "more than one apple" (des) or "apples" as a whole category of things (les).
You have to be aware that when "bien" modifies the verb "aimer", it is not an enhancer and it does not mean "a lot" or "very much", which would be "beaucoup".
With the verb "aimer", "bien" is a softener, meaning that the feeling is not "to love" but "to like".
- With things and animals: "J'aime bien le thé/les éléphants" means "I like tea/elephants".
- With people: "J'aime bien mon collègue" means "I like my colleague" = I am not in love with him/her, this is only about friendship/fellowship.
I understood the discussions here, however, we've been taught "aimer = like" and "adore=love" here, in this site. So it's unfair J'aime le the, mais j'adore le cafe. and J'aime bien le the, mais j'adore le cafe.' (Sorry I don't use French keyboard.) are both correct. Certainly I think yes, we can learn something, so I'll appreciate if we get some explanation by the teachers here when we're "checked " wrong.
Both "j'aime le thé mais j'adore le café" and "j'aime bien le thé mais j'adore le café" are correct and accepted, because "aimer" or "aimer bien" something are synonymous.
"bien" is not an enhancer but a softener with "aimer"; it is used optionally when the object is a thing to mean that this is not a deep feeling.
When the object is a human being, you need "aimer bien" to mean that it is not about love, but appreciation, friendship, fellowship or other non-deep feeling.
The rules again: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/736970
"J'aime le thé" and "j'aime bien le thé" are synonymous and interchangeable.
"I really like tea" = j'aime vraiment le thé - this is deeper than just "aimer/aimer bien".
"I like tea a lot/very much" = j'aime beaucoup le thé - this is another step further.
"I love tea" = j'adore le thé - with a bit of exaggeration, this is even deeper.
First, make sure you understand the English sentence, then apply the French rules.
1) I like tea in general, as a drink, any tea, all types. This is what "I like tea" means.
2) In French, generalizations need a definite article, especially when it comes to the direct object of appreciation verbs (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, apprécier, préférer, détester, haïr).
3) "Du thé" means "some tea", as "an unknown - but limited - amount of a mass". You can drink "some tea/du thé", buy "some tea/du thé", make "some tea/du thé", but when it comes to your general likes and dislikes, the whole category is concerned. Therefore "some tea/du thé" cannot work.
4) The definite article "the" is specific only.
5) The definite articles "le, la, les" are used either for specificity or for generalization.
- I like tea but I love coffee = J'aime le thé mais j'adore le café.
This must not be confused with "I would like tea", which is a wish or request for "some tea" and logically translates to "Je voudrais du thé".
Vous pouvez dire "j'aime boire du thé, mais j'adore boire du café" car le partitif "du" signifie "une quantité indéterminée d'une chose indénombrable".
Mais avec les verbes d'appréciation (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, apprécier, détester, haïr, préférer, admirer, respecter), l'utilisation de l'article défini est automatique pour signifier une généralité.
Aimer le thé et adorer le café sont des dispositions générales envers n'importe quelle sorte de thé ou de café.