No, "du" here does not mean "of the". It is a partitive article used when referring to an unspecified quantity of something (generally food or drink). It has no direct counterpart in English but can be translated as "some". Although the partitive article is required in this context in French, the "some" is often safely omitted in English. Ex: nous mangeons de la soupe = we are eating (some) soup. It is correct both * with and without* the word "some". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
I think (though do not know for sure -you may want to check) that also "fraise" and "carotte" are countable nouns whereas "sucre" is not countable. that is why you can say "du" (some) for "sucre" but not "de la" (the corresponding feminine form of the word) for "carotte" or "fraise." you cannot say "eating some strawberry" or "eating some carrot" the way you can say "eating some sugar". you would have to say "des fraises" (some strawberries) or "des carottes" (some carrotss) because they are countable nouns.
It has only to do with the fact that "fraise" and "carotte" are feminine gender nouns. "Sucre" is masculine gender. Quillsen is correct. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
you use de/du for some
for feminine nouns you use de la
ex: de la bière (which means "some beer", or just "beer")
you use du for most masculine nouns
ex:du sucre (which means "some sugar", or just "sugar")
There is one exeption though - if the masculine noun following it starts with a vowel (a,e,i,o, or u), you would use de l'
ex:de l'eau (which means "some water", or just "water") - (eau is a masculine noun)
de = from de + le = some (lit. "from the")
you conjugate this as follows (depending on the noun you are talking about):
(masc.) de + le = du ex. du fromage (some cheese/ cheese) (fem.) de +la = de la ex. de la viande (some meat/ meat) (pl.) de + les = des ex. des sandwichs (some sandwiches/ sandwiches)
the exception is if the noun begins in a vowel and then you say de l' ex. de l'eau (some water/ water)
"We are eating the sugar" is grammatically correct. It would mean one would be referring to a specific pile of sugar, for example, if there was a container full of sugar, but then someone noticed the sugar which is normally in the container is not there, and then they asked someone if they ate the sugar in the container, they would reply "Yes, I ate the sugar," not "Yes, I ate sugar," as that could refer to any pile of sugar, not the one in the container.
Nous mangeons du sucre = We are eating (some) sugar (NOT "the sugar") since the partitive articles refer to an unspecified quantity of something (usually to eat or drink). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
French does not have a present continuous tense. So "Je mange une carotte" = I eat a carrot (or) I am eating a carrot. When the French want to emphasize that the action is going on at this very moment, you may use "Je suis en train de manger une carotte". Note that the "en train de" only means that the sentence MUST be translated with the present continuous tense.
Not at all. There is no "the" in "Nous mangeons du sucre" = we eat (or ) are eating (some) sugar. The answer of "we are eating the sugar" that had been given in incorrect. and has been removed. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
we don't really have an equivalent to "du" in english, but the closest word is "some".
If it's not specific sugar that we are eating, (as opposed to saying "le sucre" or "the sugar") then you just say "Nous mangeons du sucre" which means "We are eating sugar/We are eating some sugar" Both of those English translations are correct.
Excellent answer by ShoshanaE. Please see this link for more information: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
If the options are "sucre" "thé" and "fraise", why must it be sucre (not quite making sense to why you would eat just sugar as a normal thing) it clearly isn't eating tea so what would it be if we are eating strawberries.
While writing, is my answer "Nous mangeons UNE fraise" and "Nous mangeons des fraiseS" as to why it is sugar?
So, "carotte - fem", "fraise - fem", "sucre - mas" & "thé - mas" ... So, what I've learned so far it's that "du" is for masculine so, we only have thé and sucre, but we can't eat "thé" because we drink it, and the only one left it's "sucre" and the other ones are feminines. I'm bad at explaining but I hope you get an idea.
How would we know for sure as it claims I'm 25% fluent obviously not. Its still not clear to me about feminine and male almost impossible to remember mostly guessing it was obviously not water but I also thought well we dont eat sugar either, perhaps some lessons could concentrate on those points
All French nouns have a gender that we need to learn at the same time we learn the noun itself. When using partitive articles (du/de la/de l'), we are referring to an unspecified quantity of something (usually food or drink) and we need to know the gender of the noun that follows. The stem of the question was "Nous mangeons du....". "Du" is the masculine partitive article and can only be followed by a masculine noun. "Carotte" and "fraise" are both feminine nouns. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
"fraise" is a feminine noun, as is "carrote" therefore you cannot say "du", you would say "de la". tea is incorrect because you can't EAT tea. Thus, sugar is the only other option, and though it doesn't make much sense in practical everyday use, it does, grammatically speaking.
French has no present continuous tense. So "j'écris" can be "I write" or "I am writing". When the French want to emphasize that the action is going on at this very moment, you may use the expression "en train de", e.g., Je suis en train d'écrire. This sentence MUST be translated to the present continuous tense.
Context. When you see it in the context of somebody eating xxxx food, the du/de la/de l' is a partitive article. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
Maybe you are thinking of "peu de sucre" (a little sugar) but "moins de sucre" = less sugar. The English word "some" here is the closest we can come to the French partitive articles (du/de la/de l'). They are required in French but the English "some" can usually be safely ignored in this context. Example: nous mangeons de la soupe = "we are eating (some) soup" may be used either with or without the word "some". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm
I have the multiple choice-- Nous mangeons du____ My choices were carotte, Sucre, thé, and Fraise I think. I knew it wasnt carotte or fraise because theyre clearly feminine, but I thought thé was masculine because of the accent, and sucre feminine because of the e at the end, but when I answered thé, it said sucre was correct. Why?
"Sucre" is uncountable. The partitive article is used to refer to eating "some" of it. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/Du-De-La-Deshellip-Expressing-Unspecified-Quantities-In-French.htm