1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Nous mangeons du sucre."

"Nous mangeons du sucre."

Translation:We eat sugar.

February 8, 2013

128 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jctrichet

Nous avons des diabète.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duo149

Oui. Duolingo peut etre malsain...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShoshanaE

what does this mean?!! thanks :) (it sounds interesting)

My try: Yes. Duolingo is making us sick?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duo149

Close, "Yes. Duolingo can be unhealthy...". I actually used Google Translate. Your answer is basically the same though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

Le diabète !

But you are right, it appears that the French sit around eating sugar all day.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/camembert

The given translation is "We are eating the sugar", but isn't it more properly "We are eating sugar"? Wouldn't "We are eating the sugar" be "Nous mangeons le sucre"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FluentlySick26

Sugar has no amount like café. In order to add amount, you are taught du, which meams some. Du= de + le


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalyiah

That's exactly what I was thinking too. It confused me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaucerTod

I think it's because nous mangeons du sucre literally means 'we are eating of the sugar.' That's usually awkward wording in English, but it makes sense when you always have to use an article as in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShoshanaE

I got the options: carotte, fraise, the (tea) and sucre

My question is, I understand why we are not eating tea, but why can't carotte or fraise be used in this sentence? (from a grammar point of view, not a health one!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Quillsen

I think (and correct me if I'm wrong, please!) that it's because "carotte" and "fraise" are feminine nouns, and so can't be preceded by "du". On this list, the only masculine (edible) thing is "sucre".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/i_want_to_know

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/u83rmensch

These are the kinds of things that need to be in these Duolingo lessons. I can't learn from mistakes if I don't know why they're mistakes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaiz8

ya i think you are right.. i had the same doubt but after reading your comment it makes sense.. fraise and carotte must be preceded by "de la" as they are feminine. For masculine de le becomes "du".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheresaMMarin

THANK Y'ALL SO MUCH! I was really confused on how to get the correct answer. Y'all explained the use feminine and masculine perfectly. THANKS! (Now I need to remember which foods are feminine and masculine...... But it will be worth when I go France.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjquinta

Thanks for explaining


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erika24601

Yes my issue as well! Why should i assume we are eating straight up sugar when we could be eating carrots? (Which is the answer i put which of course was wrong)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

The stem of the form question was "du" so it can only be followed by a masculine gender noun. "Fraise" and "carotte" are both feminine gender nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArushiChop

I am confused, when to use de/du?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lemelisk

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sba80

Thanks for a good explanation! It helps me understanding the difference between de la and du. However, im still not sure the reason for the use of de in front of a word. For example, why je bois l'eau is wrong and why we should put de before l'eau??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/i_want_to_know

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LangtryFurbux

Why I can't say "Je mange du carote"? Why only sucre?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because carotte is a feminine noun, you can't use it with du, which only works with masculine nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lordc447

I said "We are eating sugar." Duolingo said "Another correct translation: We are eating THE sugar." Shouldn't that be incorrect? Shouldn't the other correct translation be "We are eating SOME sugar?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoshioFruit

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AwesomelyHumble

I was going to ask why "thé" is incorrect as it's masculine... But then I realized (too late of course) you don't eat tea. Duh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/armegyn

Why not we are eating fraise? Lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because fraise is feminine and can't be used with du. Sucre is the only masculine choice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sophantastic

Wait! I thought we would be eating a carrot...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

You could, but that's not how you would say it in French : carotte is a feminine noun, so it'd be Nous mangeons une carotte.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pinklover21

We eat sugar makes no sense. All I can say is diabetes right there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flandela

same here, how do I distinguish "we eat sugar" from "we are eating sugar" in this case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judezilla

If "we are eating the sugar" is correct, then "we eat the sugar" should also be correct, no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NtateNarin

Not exactly. For your first phrase, it's "Nous mangeons du sucre." For your second phrase, it's "Nous mangeons le sucre."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mnmahir

Why can't we eat carrots and strawberries? :..(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

No one said you can eat them, but you can't refer to them as if they were masculine words in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beckss2

Omg. It keeps happening. Is sucre masculine? I had to choose from words ending in "e" so I couldn't tell which one was the masculine one and I got it wrong. I choose "thé" even though I know you can't eat tea but I knew that it was masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Yes, sucre is masculine. There are almost as many words ending in 'e' that are masculine than there are feminine ones, don't use that as a rule.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ivaprce

How is du sucre some sugar?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShoshanaE

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BigMoney52

I didnt know that it wasnt possible to eat strawberries


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

No one said it wasn't possible to eat them, all Duo says is you can't say it this way in French, because the French word for strawberry (fraise) is feminine, and it needs a feminine article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grandmatalk

why can't it be carrot or strawberry?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because both carotte and fraise are feminine nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AwkwardPartyWolf

It never told me what the sentence was and gave me the option to say "we are eating the carrot", and being the somewhat sensible person I am I chose that. Then it told me I was wrong and should of picked "sugar". How. In THE hell. Was i supposed to know that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Sucre is the only edible masculine noun available. You're learning French, not logic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

Déscartes se retournerait dans sa tombe. C'est évidemment logique que sucre et le mot juste avec du. Les autres choix sont féminines, n'est-ce pas? By the way, I love your use of edible, though I did read it as eligible initially.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cajunking

Why wouldnt carrote work here too. It makes more sense than eating the butter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cajunking

I think (and correct me if I'm wrong, please!) that it's because "carotte" and "fraise" are feminine nouns, and so can't be preceded by "du". On this list, the only masculine (edible) thing is "sucre".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Welshiemad

It sounds about right it I think we should have a deeper lesson on feminine and masculine nouns as to avoid this confusion as my logic thought it can't be sugar we don't eat sugar lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

Since ALL French nouns have a gender, even abstract ideas and inanimate objects, we need to learn the gender of the noun at the same time we learn the noun itself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goprocozumel

Why couldnt we be eating the strawberry?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Une/de la fraise, du sucre.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamI.

Why is only sucre correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kirstieclark

I get confused on these. They could be eating any of these items. I chose carrots and i was wrong. Can someone pretty please explain this to me? :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Carotte and fraise are feminine. Du is a masculine partitive article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MegDavis0

does it have to be sugar. Some carrot or some strawberry would also fit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

They would fit if the article proposed was feminine : une. Here, we have a masculine partitive article (du), so only a masculine noun can be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samuel783566

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sama1604

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erika24601

How am i supposed to know what we are eating? You say "nous mangeons du..." and give me multiple food items how am I supposes to know which is correct???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Welshiemad

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BellieShell_

I'm confused, I don't know which one I should put. Why of all of them is it sugar???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because sucre is the only edible masculine noun (you can only put a masculine noun after du).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gorbeck

I do not understand why strawberry or carrots are wrong answers? Cant we eat carrots?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/i_want_to_know

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanoSolgreno

Well grammatically, one can eat tea, right? ._.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

Grammar helps but it does not overrule the fact that "sucre" is masculine and is otherwise the only noun that agrees with the stem "nous mangeons du....".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie117309

Why is this sugar and not carrots?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because sucre is masculine, while fraise is feminine. We have du, the masculine partitive article as a hint.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThreeKiwi

Why would fraise or carrote not be right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because they are both feminine in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanOwens2

I don't understand what it is that makes the correct answer sucre. I answered fraise but i have no idea what makes the right answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Check their gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thales-Machado

Why can " Nous mangeons du sucre" be we are eating sugar and we eat sugar ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Don't forget the elision : Je suis en train d'écrire.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

Oops! Thats what I get for being in a hurry. I'll fix it now! Thanks, Sebastién.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faux3

Why not carrots?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because carottes are feminine in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alyssa826766

How can i tell when theyre using "du" as a contraction or "du" as the word some ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaasunii

I don't exactly understand this one! Can someone please help? :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ademainalors

Does du have the same connotation that it has of "less" that it does in (American) English? For example if I say I'll have some sugar it would be a little bit of sugar, whereas if I ask for the sugar I am consuming all of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mvineetmenon

Why were other options wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because they are either feminine or inedible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charles_25

Please, could you explain me why it is wrong ' Nous mangeons du carotte'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Carotte is a feminine noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justs3

i cant record with computer. what do i do???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LunaAngelE

Firstly, turn off the speaking exercises in your settings, so you won't miss out just because you can't answer the speaking questions. If you have a smart phone or tablet, go get the app, since every android/iPhone have a mic, and a lot of tablets probably do too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olivanii

Why isnt "we are eating the carrot" correct? Why do these need a specific item of food?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/csherm2002

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

One does not eat tea. You drink it. The only correct choice is the masculine gender noun that you can eat: sucre. Öf course, it is usually used "in" other things, but still....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/csherm2002

Ah clearly I didn't think that through logically, I must've just looked at the ends. I guess sucre is just one that breaks the usual rule.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hg3994

Why not fraise? Why sucre?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Because du, being a contraction of de + le, can only be used with uncountable masculine nouns. Fraise is feminine and countable, although if we wanted to treat it as uncountable (speaking about an undetermined quantity of strawberry flesh), we'd say de la fraise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/preyatejas

why can't we use ''du the''


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KianKyars

What is sugar non plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

"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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AharonKhac

Who eating Sugar ? Why not carot ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2081

The answer to your question has been answered many times above. Please read the posts before asking the same question again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArthurClar2

The information I'm gathering from these discussion boards have helped me greatly to understand the grammatical aspects of learning the French language!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZainabxE

Stop the clutter! Please do not report mistakes here and read the comments below before posting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaGindis

How do you say 'some' for a feminine noun beggining with a vowel? By this I mean what is the feminine counterpart to "de l'"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

De l' works with both masculine and feminine nouns starting with vowels. For those starting with consonants, it's either du or de la, respectively.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlfredThom

Du is for masculine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Yes, du is a (mandatory) contraction of de + le and is the singular masculine partitive article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AwesomeGirl2367

I just realised that 'du' and 'de la' mean 'some'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/al3xis.j

Why is it sucre and not the other ones? What can it not be the others?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuoStudyAcc

Ugh It's so annoying because you can never tell if it's 'we eat' or 'we are eating' do we just guess? They are two completely different things though.. hmm someone help thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaime31301

Do people really eat sugar in groups?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

Funny how the French in this course appear to sit around eating sugar, lemons, and onions. Weird. Never seen that even in France.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatherineSakurai

How is that healthy? What happened to all the healthy food, we could be eating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cecileca

Why is sucre masculine when it ends in a vowel?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark695841

Why is sucre the correct answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark695841

Why is this the answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alekillo10

So French cuisine is compromised primarily of sugar and butter, no wonder it's so tasty

Related Discussions

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.