Translation:The young children are eating the chocolate.
Going by my experience so far, I'm pretty sure had I said "eat chocolate," it was going to be counted as a mistake. However, nobody says "eat THE chocolate" in English, even though it is a French quirk I'm familiar with by now. Don't get me wrong, I love this software and I'm very thankful for it! It's very good and free to boot, but apparently some translations are not set up by native English speakers. It's not that important, but it's kind of discouraging and annoying when you get points taken away from you for something that's not your fault.
Fair enough points from both above. Language is a very subtle thing, and duolingo is tuned fairly sensitively. BlackSea, I often tell myself that DL's stringent nature will only make me practice harder and learn faster :)
Question for the more experienced users: How then would you say "the young children are eating chocolate"?
Yes we can talk about general behaviour of specific people - but that isn't what this particular French sentence is doing.
The French sentence given in this exercise is referring to specific chocolate - the chocolate that we were saving for Easter (or whatever)
"The children eat chocolate" - meaning from time to time they eat chocolate - that would be "Les jeunes enfants mangent DU chocolat"
How about generalized statements such as:
"Children eat chocolate."
"Chocolate causes cavities."
English uses no articles but won't 4 different french articles be needed to express these simple generalizations?
Les/du/le/des? How does a person know which ones to use? Do you have any suggestions?
I could not agree more with you BlackSea. There should be an override option when it's not your fault. For DL they seem to want 'du/de la/des' for present actions like eating something (je mange du chocolat) and 'le/la/les' for more timeless/ general things like 'to like' something (j'aime le chocolat). Unfortunately 'I eat chocolate' in English could be seen as either (I (do) eat chocolate (in general) or I eat chocolate (right now)/I am eating chocolate)!! Here is where I find the issue lies. Any answers?
I agree with BlackSea and Bethany. There's nothing wrong in English with leaving out "the" here; I realize that there are more determinative rules in play in French. I would be able to see using "the" and leaving it out, in this sentence, and it is indeed frustrating when DL simply picks one option and ignores the other.
You're probably hearing the liason between the two words. When one word ends in a consonant and the next word starts with a vowel, the consonant sound kind of blends in with the vowel sound in quick spoken French. In this case, the "s" sound blends into the "en" sound in "enfants". There are some exceptions to this rule, as there always is in French, but there will almost always be a liason between a consonant sound and a vowel sound. The reason the liason isn't heard in the slow version is that the two words aren't close enough together to form a liason.
Some common adjectives that go before a noun are: joli, jeune, nouveau, bon, mauvais, petit, grand... You can remember them using "BAGS" B = Beauty A = Age G = Good/bad S = Size
Some of these can come after the noun (eg grand) but it changes the meaning - you can look up 'fickle adjectives' for more info :)
Manger makes the same sound in all forms except after nous (mangeons). There may be others but up to the point I am at this has been the only one with any different sound.
Have to learn how to conjugate those verbs! It gets easier as you notice the patterns of them... Or get the little cheat tables of -ir verb endings, -er verb endings, etc.
In French the adjective (in this case 'jeune') must agree in gender and number with the noun (in this case 'enfant').
In this exercise we have "enfants" (plural) so we must have "jeunes" (plural).
"The young child" = "Le jeune enfant"
"The young children" = "Les jeunes enfants"
Tu = Manges
Vous = Mangez
Nous = Mangeons
Ils/Elles/plural groups = Mangent
Je/Il/Elle = Mange
Or if you want literally every single conjugation... http://www.conjugation-fr.com/conjugate.php?verb=mangerx=0y=0