"The elephants eat an apple."
Translation:Les éléphants mangent une pomme.
They must have either much bigger apples or much smaller elephants in France than they have here.
I peeked at the word for elephant to check the spelling, and it showed "éléphants" as well as "éléphantes". I used the latter form and got it wrong, but wouldn't each work without any other context suggesting gender?
As you probably have found out since, éléphantes is for female elephant.
Only "le" and "la" contract to "l'" when followed by a vowel sound; "les" does not.
I guess a good way to think about it is that these contractions occur to make the language sound and flow better, avoiding the awkwardness of two consecutive two vowel sounds (same principle behind using "an" instead of "a"), and with "les," there is a different principle at play to help the language sound and flow better, which is the liaison.
I agree with you in principle about the reason for contractions and you are perfectly correct with the a/an analogy. However in "les elephants" you are repeating a vowel sound anyway "les" = 'lay' and "elephants" = 'aylay' so in this case it does not function to smooth the double vowel.
A comparison might be the way some people in English stubbornly write "an history" even though that makes no sense unless you have a Cockney accent.
The pronunciation of les éléphants is not 'lay aylay...' but 'layz aylay...'. Hence there are no double vowels.
No, le, la and l' are singular, les is plural. In this phrase, it's "éléphants" plural.
Because the conjugation of manger for third person plural is mangent.
The verbs in French change according to the subject. This is called conjugation. It goes as "Je mange, Tu manges, Il/Elle/On mange, Nous mangeons, Vous mangez, Ils/Elles mangent". Here Les éléphants is third person plural so we use mangent.
On doit apprendre la conjugaison pour chaque verbe. Ne vous inquiétes pas! Il y a un motif.
How would you indicate that multiple elephants are sharing one apple versus them having an apple each?
Think of it as each of the elephants eat apples. Its just how the french express the idea of every one in a group having or doing the same thing. Another example Les femmes portent une robe - Each woman wears a dress.
If the elephants are all female, would they be "Les éléphanttes" or "éléphantes" or is it spelled the same as the masculine form?
It's a grammatical rule in french you cannot change, we add " ent " without "s" to plural verbs of ( ils and elles ). But of course not always, there are "drôle/irregular" verbs in french as well.
It doesn’t exist in French at all. « Ils mangent. »
Isn't haricots the word for beans? So that option says "The beans eat an apple" !! France has some pretty dangerous beans, if they're eating anything.
when les before vowel the "s" is pronounced? also i hear it mag the n is not pronounced?
The plural 3rd person (which is ils/elles = they) have -nt at the end (usually), while the singular 3rd person (which is il/elle = he/she/it) doesn’t.
« L’éléphant mange », « il mange », « il joue » (=he plays), « il aime » (he likes)
« Les éléphants mangent », « ils mangent », « ils jouent », « ils aiment ».
(Note that the -nt ending isn’t pronounced.)
I laughed at this sentence. It's just a bit random to me. Two elephants vs. One apple.
One could imagine multiple elephants eating an apple; however, outside of the realm of imagination, this is simply not feasible and extremely unlikely. Elephants eating apples—now that makes sense.