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  5. "We are going to have a coffe…

"We are going to have a coffee together."

Translation:On va prendre un café ensemble.

January 28, 2013



"nous allons avoir un cafe ensemble?"

Does that also translate to the above in english?


No, in French we don't use verb "avoir" to mean that, but verb "prendre".


Okay, well I translated it the same way and Duo told me to use "boire" instead. Is that just as common?


Does 'un' mean we are going to share 'one' coffee? Or, rather, it should have been 'du' to indicate that we are going to have coffee together?


with collective subjects, we often use singular objects whenever it seems (to us) obvious that it is about "one each". that is the case here.


'Often' does not mean 'always', does it? Is it possible, then, in theory, to use 'partitif du' in such situation if only for emphasis's sake so that the obvious sinks well?


"aller prendre un café ensemble" means that you and your buddy go to the next Starbucks or to the coffee machine on the second floor. Generally, you have one cup of coffee then you move on.

that is why, in my understanding (and in usage), in that sentence "un café" means "a cup of coffee" - not that you may not have a second or a third cup if you can stand caffein, but it is really about "one".


I must have obfuscated my intention too much, sorry. I just wanted to establish whether the French have a precise equivalent of "Okay, we're going to have some coffee down at the cafe' (i.e. not one each, but as much as one may want to have, regardless of its caffeine content).


I will switch this to beer as the expression works better in English.

aller prendre une bière = go for a beer

Unless I'm mistaken both the English and French don't specifically mean 1 beer. It may be 2 or 3, but I'm not going out with the intention of closing the bar and waking up $200 poorer and not knowing where I am.

  • "Hey Sitesurf, do you want to go for a beer?"

This is just an invite to go to a bar and have a drink or two and hang out. Go for a coffee would be the same. We're meeting somewhere to have a coffee, but it could be multiple coffees and involve a piece of cake or two. Possibly a crême caramel because Sitesurf has a sweet tooth.

"aller prendre un...." is a fixed idiom. When I try typing in "aller prendre du cafe" in Google, "aller prendre un cafe" automatically comes up. Ditto with bière and verre.


@Hohenems: Quand tu veux pour une bière, merci, je prendrais bien une petite crème au caramel ou mieux, une tartelette aux fruits rouges (qui se marient bien avec l'amertume de la bière). @DmytroShkr: So, let's go for a beer/coffee together, maybe with a little red berry tart (flavour would blend so nicely with beer's bitterness)?


all right, so your "some coffe down at the café"= "un café en bas au troquet*".

*familiar for "café/pub"


@Sitesurf: Kind invitation of yours, if only jovial, is much appreciated. Google Hangouts could come in handy, I reckon. L'amertume does not taste bitter, to my palate, but sounds nice :)


Can I use it if we have a coffee machine in our office? Seriously, is "du café" is completely wrong, or is it just a awkward?


Particularly if you have a single-serving coffee machine, "a coffee/un café" is required, as it will come in a predefined unit (une tasse/un gobelet).


How does "On" translate to "We" if it is singular?


"on" is the convenient extra pronoun that is used in French to mean: we, you, they... it depends on the context, but the idea is that while it is singular, it means "someone" without pointing to a person or people in particular. It is used instead of "nous" because the conjugation is simpler!


That's not how I learned it. "On," as I have been taught, means either "we" or "the royal one." I've never been told that it can be used as you or they. For example, "Comment on dit bonjour en anglais?" would translate as either, "How do we say hello in English?" or, "How does one say hello in English?"

Here in Québec, it is used a lot in spoken language, but less in written language, and can sort of be thought of as nous=formal, on=informal, just like vous=formal, and tu=informal.


Cool, thanks for sharing! That's why I'm here, learning new stuff all the time. I wonder if this is a difference between Parisian French and Joual, or if it's common usage in Québec, as well. I suppose I shall learn as time goes on. Appreciate the info!


As a native Quebecer, I have almost only used "on" as the "we" and "one" usage, however the examples in the french link all sound familiar to me, from RDS of all places.


"On" is indeed the Royal One, if one happens to be reading older novels. When I last visited Paris it seemed to replace all pronouns! (Ok, I know other pronouns must have been used, it just felt that way to me)


if we want to say " we go to take some coffee...." , what should we use to say "some coffee". "du cafe" or "des cafes" ? Sorry I even don't know "some coffee" is right or not in English.


In English we rarely say "take" as a verb to imply either eating or drinking; it is considered an archaic usage. Most likely we would say "We are going for a coffee" with the understanding that when we get to where we are going we will drink the coffee. French is not word-for-word the same construction as English. In French you would say "Nous allons boire un cafe," for example, or maybe "On va prendre un cafe."


I think you could use each for different reasons:

Un café - a coffee Du café - some coffee (liquid) Des cafés - some coffees (servings)


So even when you use "on" to mean "we", you must use the il/elle form "va"? In other words, will "on" always be third person singular? Merci beaucoup!


Yes, "on" is 3rd person singular, even when it is used instead of "we".


google translate says "are going" is "vont" can't we go "nous vont prendre"?


"vont" is the conjugation for "ils/elles" (they)/

With "nous", the conjugation is "allons".


I think this should be 'nous' since the 'we' that is being talked about is real, as in the people being spoken about are actually defined and exist. Am I wrong in my understanding of 'on'?


"On" massively replaces "nous" in speech. So be prepared to come across many sentences with "we" translating to "on" or "nous" with the same meaning.


Fantastic. Also, I recently learned that the passé simple exists and is rarely used in speech except for a few phrases using être or avoir. However, I also learned that this tense, while commonly replaced with passé composé in speech, is still used a lot in writing? Is this true? If so, why don't we learn it in this tree?


This course teaches the basics and it was decided, from the beginning, that the passé simple was not common enough for users to be taught how and when to use it.


Okay. I was under the impression that it was used a lot in French writing, but not in French speech, so if that's not true, then it doesn't matter


How do you know when to use "on" vs. "nous"?


What Duo would like to teach you here is that French people very often mean "nous" when they use "on". But all English sentences with "we" can be translated to "nous".


Couldn't it be "On va prendre..." and "On prendra..."?


"on va prendre" is announcing an almost immediate action.

"on prendra" in simple future refers to a further future.


Is there a rule for adverb placement in sentences? It’s not always after the verb according to this example. Thanks.


There are several rules for adverb placements, depending on the nature of the adverb and which word or phrase it modifies.



Why is it un café and not une?


Because '"un/le/du café" is a masculine noun.


nous venons avoir du cafe ensemble?


The near future needs "to go" = "aller"

We are going to + Verb = nous allons + infinitive

We are going to have a coffee together = nous allons prendre un café ensemble

"Venir" is used in the recent past tense:

Nous venons de prendre un café ensemble = we just had a coffee together


"nous allons prendre du cafe ensemble" was marked incorrect. why must I use "on va" ?


Because it's "a coffee" not "some coffee"

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