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  5. "The French women like wine."

"The French women like wine."

Translation:Les Françaises aiment le vin.

February 1, 2013



What's wrong with "les femmes françaises" instead of "les Françaises"?


The point of this lesson is that nationalities have adjectives and nouns:

  • nationality adjectives are not capitalized
  • nationality nouns are formed with the addition of an article (determiner) and a capital letter for people.

Therefore "a French woman" is "une Française".

"In the bus, there were Russians and Germans" = dans le bus, il y avait des Russes et des Allemand(e)s

"I have several pens, including a French one" = j'ai plusieurs stylos, y compris un français.


yeah, but is that response actually incorrect? like is it WRONG to say les femmes francaise? because it's a bit frustrating, especially seeing as at first glance, given the English sentence given to translate, it would very much so seem correct.


"Les Françaises" is enough to refer to any feminine plural noun of French nationality. In this sentence, of course, you understand that they are women, but you can use nationality nouns without another noun to follow.

It is not incorrect to say "les femmes françaises" (with an ending S), but you are taught here that you don't need to resort to a noun + an adjective, since all nationalities have adjectives and nouns with a few patterns:

-ais [a/Anglais/e, f/Français/e, c/Camerounais/e, p/Portugais/e, n/Néerlandais/e...],

-ien [a/Algérien/ne, é/Ethiopien/ne, m/Malien/ne, c/Canadien/ne...],

-ain [a/Africain/ne, c/Cubain/e, a/Américain/e...],

-ois [c/Chinois/e, s/Suédois/e, d/Danois/e, q/Québécois/e],



And how do we then say "French men" ?


Les Français.


Why 'de vin' is not acceptable?


Because verb "aimer" (an appreciation verb, like apprécier, détester, préférer...) naturally introduces a generality.

Generalities are expressed in French with definite article le/la/les

  • j'aime le vin, je préfère le vin rouge, je déteste le vin blanc (I like... in general)
  • je bois du vin = I drink wine (some wine)


Les femmes should be accepted too, no?


The only acceptable translations are "les Françaises aiment le vin" or "les femmes françaises aiment le vin".


I wrote "Les Femmes françaises" and it didn't accept as correct.


Hi Sitesurf

  • Does "les Françaises" necessarily refer to adult women, or could it also include French girls?
  • Can "les Français refer to French people in general sometimes, and not just French men in particular? ie can 'Les Français aiment le vin' also be 'The French like wine' ?

  • While capitalizing femmes would be wrong in this instance, I've never encountered Duo marking a whole question wrong for capitalization?

I'm surprised this seems to be the first time I'm encountering this (if memory serves), as I would think this would be an issue for referring to other nationalities also.


Hi Oateasse,

Context would tell if "les Françaises" are women or girls or both (or cows!).

The French definite articles are used to specify the object or to refer to the object class or category or concept in general.

Therefore, depending on context, "les Français" can be the French men/people in this room or already mentioned, or "French men/people"' in general:

  • Les Français que j'ai rencontrés étaient sympas = The French people I met were nice (only those I met, men and women)
  • Les Français ne peuvent pas acheter sur certains sites allemands = French people cannot buy from some German sites (all and any of them, men and women)

Nationality nouns are capitalized, but nationality adjectives are not. Duo is not very strict about capitalization, so I am not sure whether your translation would be rejected if you did not apply the rules.


Thank you Sitesurf. So it sounds without clear context cues we would assume dealing with the general 'people' case?

If a nationality ends in s, does it take always the same forms as Français for plurals? ie masc plural same as masc singular, like les Portugais, les Polonais, etc?

Without this exercise I would not have realized les Françaises had to be feminine, so curious if they are as gender-detailed in describing other nationalities as they are in describing their own?


The rules of agreement for nationality adjectives and nouns are the same as for other adjectives and nouns, so you add an -e in feminine and an -s in plural, plus:

  • if the masculine ends in -e, the feminine will be identical
  • if the masculine singular ends in -s , the masculine plural will be identical
  • if the masculine ends in -on, -en or -ien, the feminine will double the N

This is valid for countries, and also for regions and cities:

  • Un Belge, une Belge, des Belges (m/f)
  • Un Népalais, une Népalaise, des Népalais, des Népalaises
  • Un Lillois, une Lilloise, des Lillois, des Lilloises (from Lille, in the North of France)
  • Un Breton, une Bretonne, des Bretons, des Bretonnes (from Brittany, in the West of France)
  • Un Européen, une Européenne, des Européens, des Européennes
  • Un Italien, une Italienne, des Italiens, des Italiennes
  • Un Afghan, une Afghane, des Afghans, des Afghanes


I said "Les femmes françaises aiment le vin" and it was marked wrong.


You don't need "femmes" to refer to French women, since the single noun "Françaises" is used and meaningful.


I literally wrote "Les femmes françaises aiment le vin" and it didn't accept it


Get used to it: "les Françaises" is the translation for "the French women", as already explained several times on this thread.


What about belgian women? Les belges ? Or swiss women? Les femmes françaises is totally fine. Google search it, the results are french sites saying 'les femmes francaises'.


les femmes françaises aiment le vin

should be correct.


For you to get used to French nationality nouns, the only correct translation for "the French women" is "les Françaises".


i don't understand why they use de/du/des in some contexts, while in others that don't translate to anything specific they use le/la/les


1) Definite articles le/la/les are used either as specific or as generalities, and always with appreciation verbs (aimer, adorer, préférer, détester, haïr, apprécier)

So "les Françaises aiment le vin" can translate to "the French women like wine" (specific women) or to "French women like wine" (generality).

2) "du" (contraction of de+le / masculine) and "de la" (feminine) are partitive articles: "du pain, de la soupe", to mean "some bread, some soup"

3) "des" is the plural of "un" and "une": un chat, des chats (a/one cat, cats)

4) "des" can also be a contraction of preposition "de + les", when the verb is constructed with preposition "de": "je parle des fleurs" (= je parle de+les = I talk about the flowers)


Thank you once again Sitesurf. I recently read one of your explanation that had a tangent on the construction of verbs with either "a" or "de." And if i understood you correctly you said transitive verbs go with "a" and non-transitive verbs go with "de," right?


Maybe my explanation was sentence related. In general, unfortunately, some verbs are constructed with "à", others with "de", others with both (with different meanings), others with other prepositions.

Transitive verbs (or more exactly "directly transitive verbs") by nature do not need a preposition.

You therefore have to learn verbs with their prepositions and specific meanings.


Ah shoot! no easy way out. Thanks for your succinct explanations.


et pourquoi non: les dames de france aiment le vin?


Les dames de France = the ladies from/in France


Why not "aiment bien"?


Why not "aiment du vin"


The direct object of an appreciation verb (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, haïr, détester, préférer, respecter, admirer) is necessarily a category, which calls for a definite article to express a generality:

  • They like wine (any type of wine, the whole category, wine in general) = elles aiment le vin.


Why is les femmes francaises nor accepted??


Dose the capital F differentiate the meaning of "women" as opposed to including girls?


The capital F differentiates the noun "les Françaises" from the adjective "françaises".


Why" Le vin" not "du vin"


Is there any way to differentiate between saying they like wine generally and they like the wine, say at an event

[deactivated user]

    Wait, I thought "le" was masculine?

    If women are refereed to like something, should it always be la such as la vin, not le vin?


    Each noun has its own gender. "Le vin" is a masculine noun, whoever likes or drinks it.

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