"She is eating grapes."

Translation:Elle mange du raisin.

July 7, 2016

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurenC513367

I may be thinking about this incorrectly, but "grapes" is plural, thus shouldn't "du raisin" actually be "des raisins?"

July 7, 2016

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

"grapes" is plural to mean "a bunch of grapes".

one grape is un grain de raisin.

"le raisin/du raisin/un raisin/des raisins" can be countable or uncountable, just like "le pain/du pain/un pain/des pains".

July 7, 2016

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

It seems as though "raisin" is the substance in this kind of sentence, like "watermelon" in English.

That said, "a watermelon" is also the whole fruit, as well as, in some contexts, "a kind of watermelon (plant or fruit)". Is "un raisin" used for "a bunch of grapes" or only "a kind of grape"?

And if the former, would "elle mange d'un raisin" be a possibility here?

(Other comments here – yours among them – do suggest that "un raisin" could also be a bunch, but I've found "une grappe de raisin" for "a bunch of grapes", so the situation is still a little unclear to me.)

March 22, 2017

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

"un raisin" is either "a kind of grapes", or more often "a/one raisin".

"d'un raisin" is possible if the verb uses the preposition "de" :

  • "elle a besoin d'un raisin blanc tardif" means that she needs a specific type of grapes, that is white and harvested late.

With a partitive article, you have to use "raisin" as a mass noun: "elle mange du raisin".

"une grappe" is a/one bunch (you can use it with other fruit, like dates).

Using "un raisin" to mean "one bunch" is just improper French.

Actually, "le raisin" and "le vin" very much work the same way: le vin, un vin, du vin, des vins les vins - both are countable and uncountable, depending what we are talking about.

March 23, 2017

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

Great, thanks. It seems perfectly clear to me now. :-)

March 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristend1

so, is this the same concept as "fish" (singular) and "fish" plural?

July 31, 2017

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

No, it's like "fish" only in the uncountable sense ("have some fish", like "have some chicken"), not in the "one fish, two fish" sense.

July 31, 2017

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

Sitesurf, is this answer also correct? because this is what I wrote but Duolingo marked it as wrong: "Elle mange des rainsins."

August 11, 2018

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

"Du raisin" (no N in the middle) is a kind of collective noun to translate "grapes". You will only exceptionally use it as a plural noun.

August 24, 2018

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

Raisin = A bunch of grapes. She is eating one bunch of grapes. Therefore Elle mange du raisin.

January 12, 2017

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

thank you

October 28, 2017

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

I agree. "du raisin" is some grape" but maybe the "DU" makes the object plural.

March 1, 2017

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

"du raisin" is to be considered as a mass noun (like "fruit").

"grapes" is plural because it describes every little fruit on one bunch.

March 2, 2017

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

Given that they, grapes, can be countable or not countable shouldn't the answer "Elle mange des raisins" be marked as ok and offer an alternative as some of other questions do ? What am I missing?

September 2, 2016

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

In English "grapes" are the little fruits attached to the bunch. In French "le raisin" is mostly a mass noun in this case. So an individual grape is not "un raisin" but "un grain de raisin".

As a consequence, it works like fruit (mass noun): she eats fruit / elle mange du raisin

September 14, 2016

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

I am sorry. It seems as though the more I read the explanations, the more confused I get. I just need clarification on my thinking, if you don't mind.

If I understand correctly (hopefully), I will use "un grain de raisin" for one individual grape. But for a bunch, I would use "un raisin"? When, if ever, would I use "des raisins" or does that not exist?

Thanks so much!

August 10, 2017

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

"un grain de raisin" = one individual grape

"une grappe de raisin" or "du raisin" is fine to refer to a bunch.

"grapes" = du raisin

"un raisin, des raisins" is a normal, countable noun, that you can use in suitable context and construction:

  • le chasselat est un raisin blanc délicieux (the "chasselas" is a delicious white grape) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chasselas

  • les raisins blancs et rouges servent à faire du vin (white and red grapes are used to make wine)

August 24, 2017

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

I'm sure that I'm just confused on the grammar, but why is the correct translation "Elle mange du raisin." instead of "Elle est mange du raisin." ? Thank you in advance.

September 14, 2016

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

French does not have continuous tense forms.

So "she is eating" does not translate to "elle est mangeant" (literal translation), nor "elle est mange" (translation: she is eats) or "elle est manger" (translation: she is to eat).

The continuous present can translate to a simple present: "elle mange" or, if you want to make clear that the action is in progress at the time you speak: "elle est en train de manger"'

September 14, 2016

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

Thank you for taking them time to help me.

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlosNez14

Thank you for the clear explanation!

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

Thanks again for patience. Millions of things to learn and relearn....and later learn again.

April 15, 2018

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

Why doesn't 'mangeons' work in this case? I thought 'mangeons' meant is eating and 'mange' meant to eat. Sorry, this is probably simple but I'm confused.

December 8, 2016

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

With any verb in any conjugation, the ending -ons is reserved for "nous " (we).

December 9, 2016

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

Thank you!

December 13, 2016

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

it should be elle mange des raisins because in the english sentence it says grapes with an -s meaning its plural not singular

January 27, 2017

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

It should be, but it is not, because "du raisin" is a mass noun in this context.
This case is the opposite of "fruit = un fruit/des fruits".

du raisin = grapes

"raisin" is the name of the fruit category, and of a bunch of grapes.

"a grape" = un grain de raisin

January 28, 2017

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

So we never say "des raisins" in French because "du raisin" has indicated the plural form. Correct me if I am wrong. And is there any context where we can use "des raisins" and what does it mean? Thanks

April 13, 2017

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

You can easily say "ce vin est fait de raisins blancs et noirs".

April 13, 2017

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

it marked my answer wrong because I put "elle mange rasins" instead of "elle mange du rasin" !!! :( :( :(

January 25, 2017

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

The correct spelling is r a i s i n (s).

"raisins" in plural cannot be used without the plural indefinite article "des". However, if you say "elle mange des raisins", it will only refer to "raisins" (des raisins secs).

The fresh fruit is "du raisin". Please read the rest of the thread to understand that the plural "grapes" translates to/from the uncountable "du raisin".

January 25, 2017

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

I don't understand, what is the difference between 'du' and 'de la'

February 2, 2017

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

"du" is the partitive article you have to use in front of a masculine mass noun starting with a consonant sound.

"de la" is the partitive article you have to use in front of a feminine mass noun stating with a consonant sound.

If the following word starts with a vowel sound (vowel or mute H), please use "de l'".

February 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yigit.hati

why we can't use " elle est mange " for she is eating ?

April 5, 2017

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

The sentence in English was, "She is eating grapes." The French translation you gave was, "She is eating SOME grapes." I don't understand why "Elle mange du raisin" is the correct translation for "She is eating grapes," rather than "Elle mange raisin," or at least "Elle mange le raisin." How can you differentiate between someone who is eating 'some' of something, and someone who is just eating something? Does there always have to be an article in French before the object?

April 9, 2017

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

Yes. French often requires an article where English doesn't require any determiner at all.

When we say "she is eating grapes" in English, there is an implied notion of "some". We don't mean she is eating all of the grapes that exist in the world in general.

French makes this notion more explicit with the partitive article: "elle mange du raisin"; "she is eating (of the) grapes (that exist in the world)". "To eat of something" is an old-fashioned construction in English, but it can be a helpful way to think of it.

April 9, 2017

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

I see now, thanks. My confusion started when I saw the translation of 'du' to be 'some.' I guess colloquially it should be translated that way, but I always thought 'du' meant 'of' or 'of the'. It might help idiots like me to include an explanation of the literal meaning of the article for those of us who were confused by 'of' versus 'some.' That could maybe go in the notes for the lesson. Thanks again.

April 9, 2017

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

It's not a surprising question to have, and if my own experience is any indication, this will not be your last battle with the partitive article, or with French articles in general.

German does it like English, unsurprisingly. The indefinite partitive or the indefinite plural (implying "some X[es]") and the generalizing uncountable or generalizing plural (implying "all X[es] imaginable, in general"), if I can make that distinction, are both expressed without an article.

In French, on the other hand, the former takes the partitive or the indefinite article, and the latter takes the definite article.

Indefinite

  • J'ai des voitures. – I have cars.
    (I have an indefinite number of cars, but not all the cars that exist.)

Generalizing

  • Les voitures coûtent cher. – Cars are expensive.
    (Cars in general are expensive, and by my syntax I mean all of them, whether or not this is demonstrably true.)

The second sentence can also mean "the cars (that we have already specified) are expensive".

April 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ANNAlEY0

why raisin if the sentence is plural, I think must be raisins

April 13, 2017

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

What's the difference between Elle mange du raisin and Elle a mange du raisin

May 15, 2017

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

"elle a mangé du raisin" = she ate/has eaten grapes.

"elle mange du raisin" = she eats/is eating grapes

May 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannah783943

"She is eating grapes" should translate to "elle mange des raisins" I looked it up on google translate

August 4, 2017

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

You shouldn't trust Google Translate. It's like drinking fog through an iron bar.

August 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maleehak1

it is plural

September 3, 2017

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

.... in English.

There are already many comments here to help you with your concern.

September 3, 2017

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

Is "Elle mange du raisin." preferred over "Elle prend du raisin."?

September 6, 2017

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

In a restaurant, "elle prend du raisin" will mean that she chose to order or already ordered some, not that she is eating it.

November 3, 2017

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

Why is that the above doesn't have the "le' after du When it was need on the last sentence :the girl eats soup, it has to be translated as Elle mange de la soupe

October 14, 2017

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

"Du" is a contraction of the masculine "de le". There is no contraction for the feminine "de la".

October 14, 2017

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

Why it is not "des raisins" ?

November 13, 2018
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.