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  5. "Il faut du lait."

"Il faut du lait."

Translation:Milk is needed.

January 28, 2013

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My immediate response was 'he needs some milk'. How would one say that then? I can understand how it can translate to 'milk is needed' but am very confused about the ' we need milk ' option as there is no mention of we in the French.


Did you ever figure this out? I put the same thing as you and I can't figure out where the 'we' comes from.


It's funny to see how this causes so much confusion. In this case I'm lucky to be Spanish because we use the exact same structure as the French to state that something is needed. Think of it as something like 'It's raining'. It makes no sense to ask what is raining, it's just the way it works. Or if someone told you 'It's five o'clock', would you ask him 'WHAT is five o'clock?'. The same way you say 'It rains' or 'It's five o'clock' we and the French say 'Milk is needed' or 'We need milk'.


I suppose, But as a native English speaker I would not say (or write) "He is 5 o'clock"; which is the structure that I interpreted this French sentence to have has to English-speakers.


"Il" or "elle" ARE the French words for "it". Masculine is just the default.


It is idiomatic. Il isnt he, and elle inst she. Il is masculine, like he, but in some cases it can be different. You can have different genders for the same thing on different languagues. Ex. (It) Bread(neutro); french: le pane (masculine) (i dont remember surely)


http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/devoirfalloir.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/impersonal-verbs.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm

To RH1234 above and RossLG below. "He needs milk." is "Il a besoin du lait." and you can also say "Il lui faut du lait." which is "It is necessary for him to have milk." or "Milk is necessary for him." or "Milk is needed by him."



So what if WE didn't need milk, only HE needed milk. How would you say that?


Il a besoin du lait.


They don't mean "we" specifically but as a generalization in French they use "we" to generalize or "on" while we use "you" or "one" to generalize. To use this verb form for "he" you would say "Il lui faut du lait." which would be like saying "It is necessary for him to have milk." for a specific "we" it would be "Il nous faut du lait." or "It is necessary for us to have milk." (They don't have to say "to have" with this verb in French, but when there is a noun after it instead of a verb in English that is how it would translate.) So as it is written above it is "It is necessary to have milk." and in English that could mean "Milk is necessary." or "Milk is needed." or the generalization: "One needs milk." http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


In English we might well make use of an empty subject and say 'It needs milk' eg when we taste something and note that there is no milk when there should be.Though this use is more usual with other thing ,sugar ,salt


No, "il faut" is an expression which means "It is necessary" when in front of an infinitive and "it is necessary to have" when in front of a noun. There is no specific person nor thing that is the subject. It is a generalization. If you wanted to say "It needs milk.", you would have to say "Il a besoin du lait." or "Il lui faut du lait." unless the thing that needs milk happens to be feminine in French in which case you would say "Elle a besoin du lait." or "Il lui faut du lait."




We cannot use "We" Because "falloir" itself is an impersonal verb, which strictly states that it is only and only conjugated in the il form. Thus falloir is only used as general occurrences


Scroll up and down for more info.

The "we" is not we specifically but the "we" as in all people. "il faut" is an idiom which means "it is necessary to have...." or ".....is necessary." or "....is needed." "Milk is needed." "It is necessary to have milk." The impersonal "you" is also common as in all people, or better yet "One needs milk." "Milk is needed." even works for "it" as well as for someone or people, such as for a recipe. It is not known who or what needs some milk. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


It's a very useful link thanks but I still don't see why il translates as we. in the link given she uses 'Il nous faut manger' which I understand translates as 'we' because she uses 'nous'. Thanks for you explanation though it was helpful.


"Il nous faut manger." = "It is necessary for us to eat.." = "We need milk."

"Il" doesn't translate as we. "Il faut" translates as "It is necessary..." and "It is necessary for us...." translates as "We need..." Sometimes you just cannot translate word for word and you have to translate idiom for idiom. Without a pronoun indicating for whom or what the milk is necessary, we can say "It is necessary to have milk." or we can put it in passive "Milk is needed." This can be a generalization, that milk is needed by everyone. In which case there are more possible idioms with pronouns used to mean everyone "We need milk." or "You need milk." or "One needs milk." or there is a cultural idiom from an ad for milk "Milk does a body good.", but I doubt that duolingo would accept that last one.


Il faut is a saying that means "it is neccessary" its a colloquial saying ..its just one of those off things you have to memorize


Rachel, there are many impersonal verbs in French. "Falloir" is one of them. Impersonal verbs are only conjugated in the il form. Falloir means "to be necessary".

When I say "il faut du lait", it literally means that "It is necessary for some milk". English, however rejects this sentence formation. Thus, "Milk is needed", is the most correct option. Now let us change the sentence a little bit by saying "il faut boire du lait". Guess it's translation. Doesn't that mean "It is necessary to drink milk". Now, English won't accept "Drinking milk is needed", as it makes no sense at all because "needed" is only used when something is less in quantity.

Other impersonal verbs are "pleuvoir", "neiger", etc.


I do not think you are right ,there are not many impersonal verbs in French there are two ;falloir and neiger . many other verbs can be used impersonally but this use is not exclusive so to class arriver for example as an impersonal verb is not correct as it is not used exclusively in the third person singular


Does "Il faut" translate as a phrase then, to indicate something is needed, similar to the way that "Il y a" translates as a phrase to "There is/There are"?


Yes, correct! "Il faut" means something is needed/necessary. Like "il y a," trying to translate it directly won't get you very far. However, don't think of it as a totally fixed phrase, as it is still modified based on the subject – e.g. "il me faut" is "I need" / "I have to" – as well as the tense.


Why does the translation for "il faut" say "it is necessary/it is necessary to have" if the answer is "___ is needed"? Is "It is necessary to have milk" wrong?


both answers are correct


My friend just explained this to me, since I had the same problem as all of you. The short version is because it is an expression and only will conjugate in third person. This site is recommended: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/devoirfalloir.htm


So in this case 'il' doesn't mean 'he'...


That is right. " il" can mean "it". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/ss/subjectpronouns_4.htm

"il faut" means "it is necessary" or "it is needed"; "il faut du lait", (literally "it is needed, some milk".) and translated as "Milk is needed." or "Some milk is needed." We don't know who needs it.

Of course, some people would use the general form of we or you or one which is more in keeping with "it is necessary". "One needs milk.", other examples not in keeping with this particular lesson: "You need milk to survive." and "We need milk to be healthy."

"il lui faut du lait." (literally, "It is needed, some milk for him.") which means "He needs some milk." or "He needs milk." (when not specifying in English "some" is assumed for an indefinite amount). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/devoirfalloir.htm


You can translate it also by "on a besoin de lait". It would be less formal but more common than: "Il faut du lait."


You can't translate this sentence word by word. The best literal translation is "Milk is needed", although in this situation one would most likely say "We need milk" (which is also a valid answer). [As it's already been said, consider this (french) "il" as it was an (english) "it"]


But how do you say "HE needs milk" in french? Because that's what I answered and I got it wrong and I really don't understand why...


Another way is to say "Il lui faut du lait."


I learned from my teacher if we "English speakers" try to do direct translation from french to English we will be confused and wrong many times


Il - He, faut - Needs, du lait - Milk. = He needs milk. But this is wrong?


Falloir is a kind of weird verb. It is always conjugated in the third person (faut) and the subject is always il. The direct object says what is needed and the indirect who needs it. So he needs milk would be "Il lui faut du lait" (It needs him milk)


I take Brunote's point but then why was "it needs milk" not acceptable? As in "it" being, say, the tea or coffee. If not acceptable, then what is "It needs milk" in French? Suggestions gratefully accepted.


"il faut" is an expression which is not to be separated. Just as "il" can mean "he or it", so too does "lui" mean "him or it" in this case that follows: "il lui faut du lait." could mean "Milk is needed for him" which is usually translated as "He needs milk." or "Milk is needed for it." which is usually translated as "It needs milk."

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indirectobjects.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


FYI duo just accepted the following translation: It is necessary to have milk.

I have no clue whether this translation would hold up outside of Duo.


"We need milk" would be "Il nous faut du lait" n'est-ce pas?


Yes, if we were talking about a specific "we", but "We need milk to be healthy." is a generalization which is how they are using it from the "Milk is needed." or "Milk is necessary."


I wrote: "he needs milk" . What's the problem with it?


or "il lui faut du lait". Scroll up for more info.


You would say "Il a besoin du lait"


So 'il faut' should be spoken as 'we must' in meaning?


In translation, one of the options is "There is a need for" so why "There is a need for a milk" is the wrong answer, especially that it means the same "Milk is needed"?


Maybe the problem was translating 'du lait' as 'a milk', versus just 'milk' or 'some milk'. e.g. Does 'There is a need for milk' cause an error? I'm new to French so 'il faut' confused me too.


Whether it is he needs some milk or It needs some milk would depend on the context of the discussion. If you were tasting something and it needed some milk, wouldn't you say Il faut du lait. ?


Yes, but it actually means "Some milk is needed". If you wanted to emphasize he, she or it, you would say "il lui faut du lait." which would mean "Some milk is needed for him." meaning "He needs milk." or "Some milk is needed for it." meaning "It needs milk." or even "Some milk is needed for her." meaning "She needs milk."


Why not "It needs milk"? If milk is needed and we have il as the subject why not the subject of it? Why does it have to be "Milk is needed" or "We need milk"? Mainly just confused by the "One needs milk" suggested as the actual answer.


Coud I just say, "J'ai besoin de lait?"


"I need milk" is not the same as "Milk is needed." or "Milk is necessary." We don't know who needs the milk in the first and the second is a generalization for all people. Scoll up for more information.


I answered "he must have milk" and was told a correct answer was "one must have milk" Why is that not "On faut du lait"?


"il faut" is an idiom that cannot be separated like "il y a". "il" can be "he" or "it", but in this expression "il faut" means "it is necessary to have" or "....is needed" with the word afterwards being what is needed. Scroll up for more info. and check the following website: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


falloir is the verb to need. but its' only conjugation is "il faut". wouldn't 'I need' 'you need' or 'they need' ever be used?


"I need..." is "il me faut..." literally "it is necessary for me to have...."

"you need..." is "il te faut..." for familiar singular form of you (tu) or "il vous faut..." for plural or formal singular you (vous)

"they need..." is "il leur faut..."

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/g/indirectobjectpronoun.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


What is wrong with milk is "lacking"???


"It is necessary to have milk." or "Milk is needed." We don't know if there is milk or not. This is a generalization. We cannot assume that there is a lack of milk, just that it is required.


same problem with the 'we' rather than he. I understand the other meaning though.


"We" is a generalization meaning everyone like "one". "He" would be "Il lui faut du lait." http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


Please someone: how would you say: it must have milk ... that is warm (perhaps an instruction in a recipe)


❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ il mean he not only need milk . not compre


In this case, because you are using falloir as the verb the only way to conjugate it is "il faut" which refers to one must or necessary.


Ok. I read the posts above, but I'm still not clear on whether this can also mean "He needs [some] milk."


Il Faut is an impersonal expression which means it can never translate directly as he . He needs milk=he has a need of milk=il a besoin de lait


I had trouble understanding it /completely/ because I had no context to figure out what words I was supposed to be listening for. If the question included a picture of a table with an empty glass of milk I would have guessed better, but still may have misspelled some words.

Come to think of it, learning a language might be much easier with pictures with the words, or with a running conversation to provide context. I think Babble does something like that.


A picture with an empty glass of milk would be wrong. This is a generalization that "It is necessary to have milk." or "Milk is necessary." (for everyone) http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm


I wrote we need milk whats wrong


In French the generalization "Nous" can be used to mean everyone, but in English we would use "You" so they opted to change for the other generalization "On" which is also used in English "One". "Milk is needed." and "It is necessary to have milk." are still accepted. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/falloir.htm

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