"je bois du lait" means I am drinking some milk, ie an undefined quantity of something I cannot count.
In French, there is a specific construction for that: preposition "de" + definite article "le/la"
-masculine: du lait (contraction of de+le)
-feminine: de la soupe
-masculine: de l'alcool (elision of "le" because alcool starts with a vowel)
- feminine: de l'eau (elision "la" because eau starts with a vowel)
"de" is simply a particle meaning "of", or "from", it's not the use there.
You have to put the partitive article, and it's always de+ definite article.
There's an exception with "du" (because it's the contraction of de+le) and with "des" (because it's the contraction of de+les)
Remember: "de" alone is a particle, not an article, to mean the partitive article, you need the whole block "de"+definite article, or the contracted forms.
"de" is a preposition (like "pour", "à", "sans"...) to link elements of a sentence together.
"de" is called "a particle" (une particule) when used in aristocrats' family names: Edmond de Rothschild, for example (= Van in Dutch and Von in German).
In filling the blank in "Je bois __ lait: wouldn't it also be correct to say "I drink the milk/ Je bois le lait" as well as using "du lait"? Aren't both technically correct?"
Why is "je bois le lait" incorrect? "I drink the milk in the morning" is proper grammar. All this time they make us say irregular stuff like "she eat the apple" no "s" yet I drink the milk is wrong? Hmmm
Yes. "I drink some milk" or "I drink milk", both mean an indefinite quantity of milk, and have the same French translation = "Je bois du lait".
The "some" is optional in English, but it can help you to translate the French partitive, de la, du, des, etc...
"Du" is some each time you mean an indefinite quantity (nothing to do with "of the", because it's not the way it has to translate)
It asked me to fill in the blank and I said je bois le lait. Instead of du lait. How is that wrong? I drink the milk.
Yes. Because "du" is indeed the mandatory contraction of "de"+"le", so it's masculine.
Can someone give me a 13 year olds answer for when to use du, de, etc? I dont know what definitive articles, particles, etc are. It would truly help me a lot if someone could explain all these things to me in a way I can understand it.
the milk = le lait
Whenever the English sentence has "the", the French sentence will use "le", "la", "l' " or "les" depending on the noun used:
- the milk = le lait (masculine singular)
- the beer = la bière (feminine singular)
- the water = l'eau (feminine singular, noun starting with a vowel sound)
- the alcohol = l'alcool (masculine singular, noun starting with a vowel sound)
- the drinks and the glasses = les boissons (feminine plural) et les verres (masculine plural)
No, it is not a past tense.
Past tenses would be, for example:
- j'ai bu (compound past)
- je buvais (imperfect)
- j'avais bu (pluperfect)
"le" is the translation for "the".
"du" is a partitive article that is required when the English meaning is "some" in front of a masculine mass noun.
je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent
"I am having milk" sounds close enough to me. Unless the speaker is Cleopatra and her "bains de lait d'ânesse".
Yes. The translation "drinking milk" can be "having milk" in English, since this expression mean "to drink", but in French, "having" is only to own, so it's easier and maybe more simple to translate "boire" with "drink", but it's correct.
So what would "Je bois lait." mean - that I drink milk in general? Or is that incorrect grammar?
"je bois lait" is incorrect because you need an article of some kind: either "le lait" (definite) or "du lait" (partitive)
You always have to put article in French. Here, the partitive is to mean you have an indefinite quantity of milk ("du")
I believe that that is incorrect grammer but I could definitely be wrong Sooo...
i got it spelled right, i just forgot to put a space in between de and lait. oops :)
I put mil instead of milk by accident and it didn't say typo it said wonrg
If this helps, your welcome. If any of you know Spanish, then you'll see that French sounds like Spanish
"le lait" is like "the milk": specific, for something already mentioned or on the table at the time you speak.
"du lait" is partitive, which means that "some milk" is considered, in an undetermined quantity or a mass thing.
Why is "je bois le lait" wrong if i happen to be talking about me generally drinking milk? Wouldn't "le" be used as opposed to "du"?
To move from "je bois du lait" to "je bois le lait", you would need some more context, like: "je bois le lait comme la bière, dans un verre".
So if i were to ask someone if they drink milk generally, its still "du"?
Yes, because every time you do, it is still "some milk" as an "unknow amount of a mass thing".
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Has anyone else experienced these issues. (may 31, 2019)