"Un pain"

Translation:A loaf of bread

February 9, 2013



I thought it was un pomme.


The male sample seems alright to me, the female sample sounds a bit choked, but still nowhere close to "une pomme".

You can practice both here:



[deactivated user]

    A crucial yet overlooked skill for many learners of a foreign language is listening. Bonne chance.


    For "un" the "u" sounds similar to when we say "uh..." (when unsure.) For "une" the "u" sounds longer, similar to when we say "ooh..." (in admiration.)


    First mistook "Une pomme" for "Un pain", then read your advice, then mistook " Un pain" for "Une pomme"... Are the sound samples identical??


    Pomme is pronounced pɔm. Pain is pronounced pε̃.


    The audio on this one is almost completely indecipherable. Reported 27/3/18

    [deactivated user]

      Not at all identical. It is crucial to develop listening so as to understand French speakers. Pomme, the final consonant is pronounced, m. Pain, the last consonant, n, is not sounded in the usual way. The n helps the vowel before be pronounced in a nasal fashion.

      [deactivated user]

        Just a sidenote: hearing tests are often free. I went for one and discovered I have reduced hearing. I need to make sure there is little background noise yet I still learn languages.


        How do you distinguish between a slice or piece and a loaf of bread?


        un pain = a loaf of bread
        une tartine = a slice of bread (and butter) (note: tartiner is a verb meaning to spread)
        une tranche = a slice (in general)
        une tranche de pain = a slice of bread (internet source wordreference.com thread)
        une miche = a round loaf, a cob loaf (une miche de pain)
        du pain = some bread, a piece of bread

        (French is not my native language. Those not attributed to an internet source are from a Collins-Robert French School Dictionary.)


        And now on to a real question for those in the know French-wise. My answer was 'Some bread' is this not correct? In English 'A bread' is grammatically incorrect. Clarification please.

        Well they must have re-recorded since 95% of the comments were made it sounds like 'un pain' to me. The report problem button is marked clearly and is slightly to the left of the button you guys all pressed...... ;)


        According to the Duolingo grammar notes on partitive articles - no, some bread is not correct. That would be: du pain.

        For the correct English you asked for, rather than a bread, the French un pain means a loaf of bread or a bread loaf.


        So why is "a bread loaf" apparently incorrect?


        When an answer which seems valid is not accepted, please use the report button (if available in the Duolingo version you are using) to report the alternative answer.

        It is then up to the course contributors to decide whether or not to add the alternative answer. It may be the case that they simply overlooked it when the course was created, or it may be that they have a reason for not accepting it.

        In general, sometimes an answer is not admitted into the list of alternative answers because there is a closer alternative, or because not including it helps to reduce confusion about a concept which the course contributors are trying to communicate.

        In this case, I can't see why a bread loaf should not be accepted (but I'm not a course contributor, and there may be a reason which they have considered), and presuming it to be an oversight I would report it using the Report problem button to the bottom left of the question.


        If it were 'some bread' it would be 'du pain' but as it says 'un pain' it refers to an entire 'portion' of bread. This is why it translates to 'a loaf of bread'. I had a written test and so i was able to click the word 'pain' to tell me what it means in this context.

        [deactivated user]

          Yes, it clearly says pain and is pronounced correctly, unlike le porc and la soupe, which are incorrectly pronounced le porK and la soop, like the English word food


          The answer to why "a bread" is not an accepted answer is given above. Please read the posts before leaving a comment that has already been addressed.


          I'm a native English speaker and I do say "a bread" to mean the same thing as "a loaf of bread". I realize that in foreign language education one pretty much has to be prescriptivist about the language being taught, but to be prescriptivist about the native language of the student seems unnecessary.


          So you mean it to be "a loaf of bread" but shorten it to "a bread". "Bread" is an uncountable noun. Therefore, we insert the word(s) necessary to make it countable, i.e., "a loaf of".


          A bread is neither grammatically incorrect nor uncountable. 'Pumpernickel is a bread.' 'Rye and pumpernickel are two popular whole grain breads'

          [deactivated user]

            These breads are being described, therefore the short phrase a such-and-such bread is understood to mean the entire bread.


            I thought it said le pain. I find it very difficult to hear what she says, anyone else with the same problem? Maybe because I am a beginner?


            Yes, you are still training your ears (well brain, really) to learn how to recognize different sounds in French. It will come with practice.

            When I first learned Spanish I could never tell when a native speaker said "lo" versus "no"...which can really change the meaning of the sentence if you mix them up. A few months later I couldn't even understand how I ever confused them. My ears/brain finally figured out how to distinguish them.




            what is the difference between the definite and the indefinite?


            The definite article in French is "le" or "la." The indefinite is "un" or "une."


            The definite and indefinite articles work like this:

            • le pain = the bread (definite article). It may refer to some specific bread or the concept of bread in general.
            • un pain = a loaf of bread (indefinite article). Since English does not use "bread" as a countable noun, they use what is meant by the French to be "a loaf of bread". It is the single unit of the countable noun "bread". What is a single unit of bread? A loaf.



            I've never heard somebody say "One bread" That's apparently one of the translations for "Un pain"


            Pain ) means bread what is the wrong the loaf as i think it means the interior of the bread


            Bread, in French and in English, is uncoutable. However when you put an indefinite article in front, it makes it countable. How do we count bread? We have to add another word, i.e., "a loaf of" bread. Consider:

            • le pain = the bread (or) the loaf of bread
            • du pain = bread (an undetermined amount of it)
            • un pain = a loaf of bread


            There are repeated assertions in this thread that bread is uncountable in English and 'a bread' is grammatically incorrect. I would be grateful if a native Francophone could tell me how to express:

            'Pumpernickel is a bread.' 'Rye and pumpernickel are two popular whole grain breads'

            As a breadmaker, these occur to me as as-used language.


            I am a native Francophone who can tell you that "pain" can be countable or uncountable in French.

            "Le seigle et le pain noir sont deux pains complets populaires".

            Only Anglophones could or should support your own assertion about whether or not "bread" can be countable as well.

            [deactivated user]

              Why "a bread" is wrong??


              The answer to your question is already given on this page. Please read the comments before posting the same question again. Chances are good that you will find the answer is already there.


              the bread not a slice of bread

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