"We are going to have a coffee together."
Translation:On va prendre un café ensemble.
"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)?
"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.
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."
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?
There are several rules for adverb placements, depending on the nature of the adverb and which word or phrase it modifies.
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