"Nous avons du lait."

Translation:We have milk.

February 18, 2013

74 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/celemew2

Since the phrase says "du lait" instead of "le lait", should it translate to "some milk" or are le and du interchangeable?

August 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/allburningup

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).

August 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

Very good guess, you've noticed that you can't say "J'aime de la viande".

Sum up:

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.

BUT:

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".

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ketan_B

So one can't say "J'aime du lait"!

November 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

no. seulement j'aime le lait.

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/celemew2

Thanks, that explanation makes sense.

August 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ataoldotcom

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.

January 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

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.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Revilio

Merci :)

October 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/adelejoon

thanks a lot

May 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/l_gustavo

Thanks! Flat helped me a lot

September 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

je vous felicite. vous avez tout compris.

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AbbyWellington4

I thought 'le' and 'la' meant the

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

they do ! but, contrary to english we diferentiate between mascul,ine and feminine words or articles, etc.

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CoconutFudge

does anyone else realize that this is the answer to the slogan 'got milk?'

May 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

Yes. We got milk.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/codacorgi

milk not bread, i have to remember that

October 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ArielAnanas

Join us... we have milk.

January 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkTafoya

Next nous avons du fromage

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Npwarren

Why is it we have some milk and not we are having some milk?

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/patlaf

"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.

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/allburningup

Very clear explanation!

May 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Pelusteriano

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.

April 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

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.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/exemerson

Why ''du''?

September 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/emieshaw

Why is "du" there if it means "of?"

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Feeniqs

I really heard 'delay' instead of 'du lait'...hehe... :D

September 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JaimeraisU

Imagine an english word in a french sentence supposed to be all french...

March 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lilycat321

du sounds like je. Audio is wrong for me

February 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

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.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DonMartin1

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?

August 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lilycat321

Thanks a lot,that was so long ago! wow..

February 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ryanzorz

Avons = have. A = has? Am I understanding this right?

April 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

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.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KayleeB.

So where does "avez" come in? & are those three (a, avons, avez) the only forms of "have"?

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JaimeraisU

vous avez--- you have tu as--- you have j'ai---i have

March 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

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

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/adelejoon

yes

May 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HannahRi

Why is 'we have the milk' not correct?

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jem_morgue

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.

September 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GenelleCon

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.

September 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ArielesAwesomes

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 :)

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Guglielmo-Elmo

"We're having milk" was not accepted...is that right?

October 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rominahamidi

What is different between je or j?

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/codacorgi

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."

November 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KayleeB.

Does the same apply for l' vs. le?

December 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bigd199709

nous avons Julie

December 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/balugaspar

Don't understand why 'we have the milk ' is not correct

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/itamarsgl

When sould i use" du" or " de la/le/ l'? Thanks

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nazanin87

What does du means here? Shouldn't we use de lait?

March 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ArielesAwesomes

Where does the "di" come in?

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ArielesAwesomes

"Du" *

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/theofillos101

why u always lying u killed all the jedi u were the chosen one

October 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkTafoya

Is this a hold up phrase?

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JaimeraisU

We are having milk is wrong? Help me...

March 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bokoyo2201

Tit milk

May 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KLZX121

I need some milk

August 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/allhailbready

we need some milk

September 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CykaMeesieBlyat

HE NEED SOME MILK xD

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dearv2

Fuckkkkk

December 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Edna677254

Thanks a lot but I do not like it so I do not care.

March 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Saxone1

Please when do we use avez and avons?

April 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

AVEZ IS USED WITH VOUS ( YOU PLURAL OR POLITE FORM) VOUS AVEZ. AVONS IS USED WITH NOUS ( WE) NOUS AVONS * we have)

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BeardedDragon111

he need some milk

May 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/allhailbready

got milk?

May 23, 2017

[deactivated user]

    What does du in french mean?

    July 24, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

    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.

    December 28, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/jmee17

    we are having some milk. same difference.

    August 3, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/marlonisdabest

    we have mmmmiiiilllkkk

    November 10, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sibese03

    MANS NOT HOT PUPUPUKUKU BOM

    November 13, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/panda.jacket

    lol

    November 28, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/panda.jacket

    hello

    November 28, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bridget955991

    bull ❤❤❤❤

    December 15, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/ketoacidosis

    Peut-on dire : Nous avons du lait de soya ?

    August 16, 2018

    Related Discussions

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