"Elle mange du pain."

Translation:She is eating bread.

January 30, 2013

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kareem.dor

I wish there was a section where we could save the comments that we find most helpful for future reference. hint hint

May 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rodllag

I dont really understand the use of "du"

January 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The first principle is that nouns are rarely left alone in French. In particular, articles are used where the English skip them.

"She eats bread" = she eats some bread = a certain quantity of bread

In French, that notion is expressed with construction : de + definite article - with the masculine definite article "le", de-le is contracted in "du" -> elle mange du pain - with the feminine definite article "la", no change: "de la" -> elle mange de la soupe

January 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Job946523

But 'She eats bread' isn't always about a certain quantity of bread. It could very well be a question of eating bread in general, right? Whereas 'Are you eating bread?' would be more time specific and thus about a certain quantity.

I ask this because I had some troubles with it in an earlier question.

September 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The verb's tense makes "she eats bread" a generality, or at least a habit. But every time she does, its only "some bread".

This is why the object is the same in "she is eating bread".

September 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Travis871695

Someone in another thread left a comment about this that I've found helpful in combination with Sitesurf's explanation: where the noun is the object of an active verb, the article is indefinite, e.g. "elle mange du pain," and where the noun is the object of a verb of appreciation (like, love, hate), the article is definite, e.g., "elle aime le pain."

March 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shana1995

Thanks! That was really helpful.

May 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Du" in masculine and "de la" in feminine are not indefinite articles, but partitive articles used with uncountable nouns to mean "an unknown amount of a mass".

The indefinite articles are "un, une, des" for countable nouns only.

May 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Xx_username_xX

french grammar is weird :P

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/T.a.r.a.

Why is " She eats the bread" incorrect?

February 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

She eats THE bread (specific) = elle mange LE pain (specific).

She eats (some) bread (undefined quantity of a mass) = elle mange DU pain (partitive = undefined quantity of a mass thing).

February 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/akshayadkini

the 'du' here is kind of confusing

May 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

why don't you read the whole thread, you may find answers.

May 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Pure_Onyx

I keep forgetting to translate 'du' as 'some', it is a real /pain/. Oh well, gotta practice more.

March 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Julian_Asch

i thought it said pomme not pain :(

April 5, 2013

[deactivated user]

    If it were pomme it would have been de la pomme, not du pomme, I think.

    April 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Atalia711730

    Thats ok i did too:-(

    April 11, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lordlahmacun

    French do really eat pain for breakfast

    January 26, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/AllanSingl1

    My pronunciation is excellent, so I do not understand why this was marked wrong

    April 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/quodlibet_ens

    Why is 'mange' translated as 'eats' as opposed to 'eating'? I'm assuming that 'mange' isn't translated as ate because the sentence is present tense. So, in this sense, it seems to make more sense -grammatically- to suggest that 'she is eating some bread', right? I guess I'm confused by the language used.

    February 24, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

    In English, to mean that an action is in progress at the time you speak, you use the continuous verbal form, ie verb BE + action verb in the gerund form (-ing).

    o she is eating means she currently eats

    In French, this verbal form does not exist (directly translated “elle est mangeant” is incorrect).

    Therefore, you can translate either “elle mange” or “elle est en train de manger”, where the construction verb être + en train de + infinitive correctly expresses the English continuous form.

    February 24, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/jagquon77

    The essence of what Sitesurf is getting at is that both are in the present tense, whether you say she eats or is eating. With French, you can often let the context of the sentence take care of itself, so long as you have the right tense for the verb.

    April 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/danbalam

    I wrote 'ils mangent du pain'. what is wrong with this? i didn't detect any reference to gender in the audio.

    June 7, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

    It can be "elle" or "elles", not "il" or "il" - pronounciation EL vs IL

    June 7, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

    danbalam, the sentence was written and it was feminine and singular. Elle mange du pain

    June 6, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Amy1706

    Actually I also got it as an audio clip.

    September 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Amy1706

    Danbalam-I also got it as an audio clip. Make yourself listen to the slow clip so you assure yourself-or try to get the right words. I put Il first then heard Elle. Some words are so flippin' tricky!

    September 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/jeharris56

    What is the difference in sound between "Elle mange" and "Elles mangent"?

    November 30, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

    There is no difference.

    November 30, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/JelenaStan7071

    i said that

    October 2, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/emily9.6

    sometimes mange is translated as "is eating" but other times it's translated as "eats" so if I'm reading something in French that says mange, how do I tell which one it means

    May 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

    Context will tell you if the action is habitual or happening right now.

    May 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeteyChat

    I love how it tells us if we hover over the word

    August 28, 2013
    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.