Since the phrase says "du lait" instead of "le lait", should it translate to "some milk" or are le and du interchangeable?
No, they're not interchangeable. I agree it's confusing. Here's how I understand it; hopefully it's correct:
If you want to say "I like milk", you use "le", as in, "J'aime le lait," but if you want to say "I have milk" you use "du" as in "J'ai du lait". (Or if the noun is feminine, like the word for "meat" which is "viande", it's "J'aime la viande" vs "J'ai de la viande".) I guess it's because when you like milk, you are talking about milk in general, so you use "le lait" (or "la viande" for meat). But when you have milk, you can't say that milk in general belongs to you. Only a certain quantity of milk belongs to you, so you use "du lait" (or "de la viande" for meat).
Very good guess, you've noticed that you can't say "J'aime de la viande".
Use of the partitive = to mean you have an indefinite quantity.
The partitive in French are de+ definite article ("du" being the mandatory contraction of "de"+"le", it's a partitive)
Partitive are translated in English with "some", or no article. Example:
J'ai du lait = I have some milk = I have milk.
If I say J'ai le lait = It means you have THE milk, a definite milk, for instance the milk you've bought.
The "aimer" verb is an exeption to know. It won't accept the partitive. The rule is that you can't use any partitive with this verb. So, you will only say "J'aime le fromage", "J'aime les fromages".
Ahh. I was confused about that. I thought.."well, wait. what about what i just 'de la'" So, "du" is for masculine abstract and "de la" is for feminine abstract.
It's for indefinite quantity here.
But, you are perfectly right, it can be used with abstract nouns. (that's one of the rules of usages for partitives)
J'ai de la chance (luck), j'ai du bonheur (happiness), j'ai de l'énergie, etc...
In French grammar, thinking in terms of countable/uncontable nouns is wrong, but thinking in terms of indefinite quantity or abstract nouns is right.
they do ! but, contrary to english we diferentiate between mascul,ine and feminine words or articles, etc.
"Are having milk" in English implies consumption, so that would be the same as drinking the milk but that isn't want this sentence means. This is just saying that we own milk.
In this sentence, the verb form "avons" only refers to the possesion of the sustantive, in this case, the milk. They only own the milk, they aren't drinking it.
Not only the "nous avons" form. The verb "avoir" (to have), is never used in French in this expression, drinking or eating something. It's only to own something.
The audio is ok (except of the pronounciation of "lait", that is pronounced "lé" instead of "lè". If you're not a native, you can't really tell if the audio sounds good or bad.
In listening to the pronunciation, ai in lait sounds different from ai in pain. In lait, it sounds like a in able; in pain it sounds like ah. Intentional? If yes, why?
Don't translate only the verb, in French, you won't translate only the verb. It's a bad habit since several verb form can have the "have" translation.
Nous avons = we have. And Il/elle a = he/she has.
So where does "avez" come in? & are those three (a, avons, avez) the only forms of "have"?
La conjugaison du verbe AVOIR ( to have) au present de l;indicatf est : J'AI I have TU AS you have IL./ELLE A . he, she has NOUS AVONS : we have VOUS AVEZ : you have ILS/ELLES ONT : they have
Du means de le. Nous avons du lait=we have milk. It is non descriptive, encompassing all milk. Nous avons le lait=we have the milk. It is an exclusive milk, describing one specific milk.
Is there any way to practice to improve the way I hear French? And by that I mean I'm struggling to hear things like plurals and gender.
I don't know for sure, but i think the French would assume you mean plural by context clues, such as using "sont" and other words to support the sound.
As for gender, if you are talking about someone, they should be able to assume that person is a boy or a girl (also based on context clues and the name of that person).
Also, if you are talking about someTHING, the french person should know if the word is masculine or feminine. And if they don't, well... does it even matter??? In all honesty i don't believe one will criticize you for improper use of articles.
Just try to pronounce the word and its article over and over again to get them both in your mind. It's the least you can do to help with those little articles that can make an answer wrong, at least on Duolingo.
I hope this was a little helpful! I am a beginner too :)
Je is used before words with consonants as their first letter. J' is used before words with a vowel as their first letter. For example, you would say "Je mange" instead of "J'mange," and "J'aime" instead of "Je aime."
AVEZ IS USED WITH VOUS ( YOU PLURAL OR POLITE FORM) VOUS AVEZ. AVONS IS USED WITH NOUS ( WE) NOUS AVONS * we have)
What does du in french mean?
it is a partitive article, contraction of DE LE = DU. it means a part of something. JE VEUX DU PAIN = I WANT SOME BREAD or I WANT BREAD. i.e A PART OF THE BREAD, NOT ALL THE BREAD OF THE WORLD.