1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I love tea, but I adore coff…

"I love tea, but I adore coffee."

Translation:J'aime le thé, mais j'adore le café.

January 30, 2013

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rafalio

Why can't I use 'du', and have to use 'le' ? I thought that when you use 'le', it's like using 'the' in English, meaning you are referring to a specific instance of tea and coffee, and not tea/coffee in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Captman

You are not saying that you love and adore "some" tea and/or coffee. You are referring to the universe of both in this statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweet9J

I have this question too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mooviies

This only applies to things that can't be count. You can't say : I have four tea or I have ten coffee. It doesn't make sens. For these word you can say "le thé" while talking about tea in general since you can't have a tea. So when you use "le" in these situations you are talking about all the tea or all the coffee that exists. When using "du" you are talking about a portion of all the tea. For exemple, you can say : I have tea ("J'ai du thé"). You can't have all the tea in the world but you can have a small portion of all the tea that exists. So using "du" means exactly that. If you want to say that you love only some kind of tea and not all of it you would not say "J'aime du thé". This doesn't sound right and is not precise enough anyway. You could say "J'aime le thé anglais" for exemple.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guenthjm

Well said! Would've been nice for duolingo to explain this ahead of time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonodrew

This is a little difficult to explain, but in essence because you're making a general, declarative statement we use le ou la. If you would like some tea, perhaps because you've just been running naked through snow, you would say j'aimerais du thé. I hope this helps a little.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/framericaine128

Thank you for the explanation and the memorable example, haha! That helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/framericaine128

I also used "du" but got it wrong. Does anyone have a link to a clear breakdown on when to use "du" vs. when to use "le"? Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonodrew

du/de la replaces de + le/la. Remember that we use "de" to describe "some", so I would like some tea - j'aimerais du (de+le) thé. We always need the "le" article, but we can't say "de le" - it just sounds horrible. So we smush them together and make du. Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drbat

I also used "du" but got it wrong. Does anyone have a link to a clear breakdown on when to use "du" vs. when to use "le"? Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eva.lyus

the given english sentence "I love tea, but I adore coffee" is a bit 'rubbish' "I like tea, but I adore/love coffee" would make more sence....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christel_grace

I agree; j'aime can mean both like and love, and I think in this case it means like.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kankush03

Why can't I use 'du', and have to use 'le' ? I thought that when you use 'le', it's like using 'the' in English, meaning you are referring to a specific instance of tea and coffee, and not tea/coffee in general


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

le/ la/ les = the = specific =that/ those one/s right there. eg: I like the wine (on the table)

du = some = but not all. eg:I like some wine (but not all wine)

le/ la/ les = general = all. I like all the wine (that I have ever seen or heard of) =all examples of something or all members of a group or community.

In English we just drop the article to express generality. eg: I like wine = I like all wine. But in French you can't just drop the article. You have to have a modifier for most nouns. Rather than invent a new article to express generality, they assigned that role to le/ la/ les.

J'aime le thé means either I like the tea (right there) or I like all tea. In the example we are given here he seems to be speaking generally. So it's J'aime le thé because that's how generality is expressed.

J'aime les enfants = I like the children = those ones, the ones we were talking about previously.

J'aime des enfants = I like (some) children = but not all of them.

J'aime les enfants = I like the children = all the children in the world, or all the children in the class, or all the children present etc.= all examples of something

Context tells you which use is appropriate. Je bois le vin = I drink the wine (that wine right there). It can't mean all the wine in the world because you can't drink all the wine in the world. You can like all the wine or children in the world but you can't drink it all or talk to them all .

There is no comparable use of such an article in English. You just have to remember that in French there is an extra usage of the article le/ la/ les that appears on a regular basis.

Edit: ...Sitesurf has reminded me in other posts that like is an appreciation verb and therefore in French cannot be limited to some. You either like the wine that we know about or you like all wine. If you want to say you like some wine you have to use another more action type of verb such as ...I like to drink some wine, I like to taste some wine etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mooviies

Great explanation. Couldn't have said it better :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eellrraatt

The waiter tells in the kitchen. Five coffee! He means five (cups of) coffee. Right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

If that is the practice in restaurants it is an example of group specific speech. It is understood to refer to a known unit of quantity. It is a form of shorthand. When the server brings them to the table s/he will say something like here are your five coffees.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graymouse1

In a question from Level 1 (Breakfast), we were asked to translate "I love tea." The correct translation was "J'adore le thé." I wrote "J'aime le thé" and got it wrong. Why is it right here and wrong there?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.