"Elle mange du pain."

Translation:She is eating bread.

January 30, 2013



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


I dont really understand the use of "du"

January 30, 2013


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


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


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


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


Thanks! That was really helpful.

May 7, 2019


"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


french grammar is weird :P

May 29, 2017


Why is " She eats the bread" incorrect?

February 1, 2016


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


the 'du' here is kind of confusing

May 11, 2013


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

May 12, 2013


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

March 30, 2017


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


    Thats ok i did too:-(

    April 11, 2017


    French do really eat pain for breakfast

    January 26, 2019


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

    April 13, 2019


    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


    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


    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


    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


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

    June 7, 2013


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

    June 6, 2014


    Actually I also got it as an audio clip.

    September 18, 2018


    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


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

    November 30, 2013


    There is no difference.

    November 30, 2013


    i said that

    October 2, 2017


    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


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

    May 17, 2018


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

    August 28, 2013
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