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"Nous voulons manger le poulet."

Translation:We want to eat the chicken.

February 12, 2013



An easy way to remember "voulons" is to think of Lady Marmalade. "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi".


I learned in school that vouloir is "would like to".


Yes, that can be another correct translation when vouloir is used as a semi-auxiliary verb (as it is above). However, note that "would like to" is an idiomatic semi-auxiliary in English, so if you're translating from English to French, you should translate the entire thing as vouloir instead of translating each word separately.

[deactivated user]

    Voulons = volition as my mnemonic.


    Why is 'manger' used instead of 'mangeons'?


    Manger is the infinitive form which means 'to eat'. While mangeons would be used with a group, like 'nous', it means 'are eat'. In this situation it would turn out as "We want are eat chicken". Hope this helped.


    When two verbs are together it is like English - I want to eat, I like to drink, etc. Conjugation then infinitive. We don't say "I want I eat" in English, and nor would you say in French "Je veux je manges."


    Snofferol, "manger" can be translated to "eat" or "to eat" whereas "mangeons" can be translated to either "eat" or "are eating".

    As it is not grammatically correct to write "Nous voulons mangeons le poulet." in French, and the literal translations of this incorrect French sentence ("We want eat the chicken", "We want are eating the chicken.") to English are also grammatically unsound, we therefore have to use "manger" instead of "mangeons" in "Nous voulons manger le poulet.".

    Another easy way to remember is whenever you see a modal verb ("voulons", "pouvons", "doivons"), this modal verb is almost always followed by a verb in its infinitive form (e.g. manger, boire).


    Poor chicken...


    'would like' isn't correct?


    No, "would like" is a conditional phrase which, in French, is a different verb conjugation. That would be:

    "Nous voudrions manger le poulet"


    patlaf, is that the politer form (as in English) when asking for something - say - in a shop: I would like to buy some chicken - je voudrai acheter du poulet - rather than I want to buy...? Or wouldn't it matter?


    Yes, it is the politer way much like English.

    • Je voudrais une bière

    Is politely asking for a beer. Note voudrai is actually "I will want."

    From what I've seen je voudrais is also interchangeable with j'amerais - which more literally means "I would like" rather than "I would want." but je voudrais seems more popular.


    ok thank you :)

    (voudrais... voudrais... damn... mutter mutter...!!)

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