"She is eating grapes."

Translation:Elle mange du raisin.

July 7, 2016



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

July 7, 2016


"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


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


"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


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

March 23, 2017


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

July 31, 2017


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


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


"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


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

January 12, 2017


thank you

October 28, 2017


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

March 1, 2017


"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


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


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


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


"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


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


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


Thank you for taking them time to help me.

September 14, 2016


Thank you for the clear explanation!

May 3, 2017


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

April 15, 2018


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


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

December 9, 2016


Thank you!

December 13, 2016


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


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


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


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

April 13, 2017


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

January 25, 2017


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


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

February 2, 2017


"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


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

April 5, 2017


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


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


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


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.


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


  • 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


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

April 13, 2017


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

May 15, 2017


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

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

May 16, 2017


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

August 4, 2017


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

August 4, 2017


it is plural

September 3, 2017


.... in English.

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

September 3, 2017


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

September 6, 2017


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


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


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

October 14, 2017


Why it is not "des raisins" ?

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