"The French women like wine."
Translation:Les Françaises aiment le vin.
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.
"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],
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)
- 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.
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
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)
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.
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.