"Good boys eat vegetables."

Translation:Les bons garçons mangent des légumes.

February 20, 2013

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/blaire01

Why is "des garcons bons mangent des legumes" incorrect and "des garcons bien mangent des legumes" the correct answer??

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RadicalNik

Your first problem is the bon is an adjective that belongs in front of the noun that it is describing. The rule is BANGS- beauty, age, number, goodness and size. Adjectives that fall into any of these catagories are placed in front of the noun being descibed and others are placed after said noun. Though there are acceptions to this rule

May 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahSachs

So helpful! Been struggling with sentence order for weeks now!

May 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CR.Olivia

GÉNIAL! Merci!

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kozechka

The first is incorrect because the adjective "bon" normally precedes the noun. The second is (to my knowledge) incorrect, because "bien" (adverb) translates to "well", therefore it would mean "Boys eat vegetables well."

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Please read my comments below, about the use of "bon(s)" and "bien".

Indeed and in theory, "bien" is an adverb (goes with a verb) but "bien" can sometimes be used as an adjective (qualifying, describing, a noun).

  • De(s) bons garçons = nice / well-behaved boys.

(I write "de(s)" because in this case, you can either say "des bons garçons" or "de bons garçons", which is due to the presence of the adjective "bons" between article "des" and noun "garçons". It sounds nicer, but it's not a mistake to say "des bons garçons").

  • des garçons bons = generous boys, boys with good intentions, with a good heart

(here, with adjective "bons" placed after the noun, you have no choice and can NOT say "de garçons bons", you must use the usual "des")

  • des garçons bien = nice, serious, reliable boys.

This one has roughly the same meaning, the same nuance, as "de bons garçons" ; it's just more colloquial French, more informal maybe, but certainly not a mistake.

"Bon" is sometimes seen as a bit derogatory, like when you say to a dog "Good boy", i.e. "Bon chien!". It has more that aspect of "well-behaved, politically correct", whereas "bien" used as adjective generally means more that the person is reliable, serious, has good manners, but without the "doggy" nuance, if you know what I mean.

Typically, you often hear about a guy or a girl: "C'est un mec bien" or "C'est une fille bien" (He's a nice guy / She's a nice girl). You would never hear from a native French speaker: "C'est un bon mec" or "C'est une bonne fille", which could mean something else in certain contexts... (i.e. "good in bed"!) :-)

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/penelope.p9

Thanks for clarifying

May 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidSaete

Est-ce que ce sont autres adverbes qui sont les adjectifs aussi? I am practicing my French so please give me feedback wherever it's possible.

The original question is: Are there other adverbs used like adjectives too?

¿Existen otros adverbios que tengan también la función de adjetivos?

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

As far as I know (and without deep investigation), there is no other (common) adverb used as an adjective - if any other French speaker can give another example, please do.

This is specific to "bien" (probably because it's a very basic word), and it actually is the case in English too; "well" is theoretically the adverb for "good" ("a good job" ;"to work well"), still you can perfectly say:

  • "This is very well"

whereas you couldn't use that phrasing with other adverbs:

  • "This is very often / this is very actually / this is very seldom" : these are all grammatically wrong.

What's different in French with "bien" is that you can use it as direct attribute to a noun (as opposed to the construction "to be +well"), like in "des garçons bien". The word keeps its characteristics of an adverb, i.e. does not agree in gender or number : un garçon bien, des filles bien, des gens bien, etc. That particular use is only with people ; for other nouns, you generally use the "to be / appearance verbs / state verbs + adjective" phrasing:

  • "Ce film est bien", "Cet appartement me semble bien" (This apartment looks good to me), "Les animaux ici se sentent bien" (Animals here feel good), etc.

So again, as you can see, this is very specific and I dare to say unique to "bien".

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sholden1970

I wrote Les garcons bon mangent des legumes. It says it should be "bien", but I don't understand why either.

March 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/elmottaki

c'est un traduction litterale

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/michiethefishie

Could one also write "Des bons garçons mangent des légumes"

March 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

You could write that.

In the sentence "Good boys eat vegetables", it could be "des bons garçons mangent des légumes"... theoretically and grammatically speaking. But there is no context and I suppose Duolingo makes you choose the answer with the definite article, so that you learn and remember that "no article in English" does not automatically mean "indefinite article in French".

Plus, this sentence sounds as a generality, i.e. "a feature of good boys is the fact they eat vegetables" (contrary to bad boys who only eat candies and burgers). In which case, you must use "les" in French.

What makes me think that is the use of present simple "eat" and not the present continuous "are eating" ; if the English "good boys" meant "[some] good boys that I'm seeing now", then the verb should be "are eating" : "Good boys are eating vegetables" would be a description, an explanation about a situation, which would be in French "Des bons garçons mangent (/sont en train de manger) des légumes".

But if you mean "Des bons garçons mangent des légumes" as a statement that not all boys eat vegetables, then the English must contain "some" or such a word : "Some / Certain boys eat vegetables".

So : "no article + noun + present simple" in English is likely to be "definite article (le, la, les) + noun" in French.

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LouisNC

I wrote the same and got it wrong :/

March 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kao2127

That's what I wrote and I got it right

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sierrajeff

March 2017, that's what I wrote and it's wrong - it wants "De bons garcons...", not "Des bons garcons..."

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/anilaltinoz

I wonder the same question, did you get the answer ?

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/orzechod

why does this sentence require a definite article?

February 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Sorry Lentille d'eau, but that is not totally correct.

I could perfectly say: "Je mange LES légumes" and "J'aime DES légumes". Example:

  • "Je mange les légumes, mais je laisse la viande, je n'en ai pas envie": I'm eating the vegetables (those in my plate, in front of me, we're talking about, etc.), but I leave the meat (which is in my plate, in front of me, we're talking about, etc.), I don't feel like it.

  • "J'aime des légumes, mais vraiment pas beaucoup, je préfère les fruits": I like some vegetables, but really not a lot, I prefer fruits.

Although in the second example, you'd rather use "J'aime certains légumes" (literally, some vegetables), grammatically speaking, you could perfectly use an indefinite article with "aimer" (and a definite article with "manger").

I think Orzechod's question was about the definite article before "bons garçons".

First, you gotta know (and you probably do) that in French, you virtually always must use an article with a noun ; whereas in English, you generally drop that article when speaking generally:

  • Kittens are cute = les chatons sont mignons (les chatons en général, tous les chatons de l'univers, miaaaaaou!).

But if you speak of (some) kittens that you've seen, certain but "indefinite" kittens, you still don't have to use an article in English, while using the "indefinite" article in French:

  • I've seen cute kittens on my way back home = J'ai vu des chatons mignons en rentrant à la maison.

In the sentence "Good boys eat vegetables", it could be "des bons garçons mangent des légumes", but there is no context and I suppose Duolingo makes you choose the answer with the definite article, so that you learn and remember that "no article in English" does not automatically mean "indefinite article in French".

Plus, this sentence sounds as a generality, i.e. "a feature of good boys is the fact they eat vegetables" (contrary to bad boys who only eat candies and burgers). In which case, you must use "les" in French.

As for "vegetables", you could also say in French "Les bons garçons mangent les légumes" (= les légumes en général), but that would imply that "all" good boys eat "all" vegetables. The meaning is slightly different, but grammatically, it is correct.

December 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/toberdaly

many thanks for being so helpful!

January 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pnitish

So is the definite article used in this sentence out of context and the use of indefinite article instead is also grammatically correct here?

April 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ndrew23

Explain someone please? I wrote "les garçons bons mangent des legumes" my question is why bien instead of bons?

March 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

I hope you've read comments above, cause there are some elements of answer.

Nevertheless, you're theoretically right as "bons" is correct translation of "good". The issue is its place in the noun phrase (i.e. the group made of article + adjective + noun).

In this case, it should be "les bons garçons" or "les garçons bien":

  • use of "bien" in this example: please read my comments above. As for its place, just remember that as an "adjective" (not grammatically but in meaning, intention), "bien" can NEVER be placed before the noun.

  • use of "bon": it can be placed before or after the noun it describes, but if you place it after the noun you give it another sense. Anyway, with this example (good boys), it sounds weird - not a mistake per se, but I still can't imagine a native would say that. If you want to understand, let me take another (simple) word: president. "Un président bon" doesn't really mean the same as "un bon président": the former means that president is good as in "generous, good for his people, well-intentioned", whereas the latter (probably more frequently used and sounding more "natural") would mean that it's a good president as in "effective" - he can be a good president in the function, but not a good man in the heart.

So here, in this example with the context of "vegetables", "bon" means that the boys are well-educated, behave well, etc. It's not their "good intentions" that matter, but the results.

You don't have to remember those subtleties, you know: just remember to use "bon" before the noun: "un bon repas" (a good meal), "bon voyage!" (have a nice trip), "bonne année!" (happy new year!), "de bonnes vacances" (pleasant holidays), "un bon mari" (a good husband), etc. The other use ("bon" after the noun) is rarer and more "formal" anyway.

March 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryPyee

I just wrote "Bons garçons mangent des légumes" instead of writing des or les at the beginning and I got it wrong, but why was that????

April 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Level 5 in French... By now, you should've noticed that nouns/noun groups in French ALWAYS come with an article, right?!

Dropping "the" is very typical to English, in order to distinguish a very specific subject/object by using "the", and a more general one without using "the":

  • Cats are independent animals: this is a general statement.

  • The cats are hungry: this is probably about your cats or cats we've talked about before.

However, in French, you'd use the article in both cases:

  • Les chats sont des animaux indépendants.

  • Les chats ont faim.

Only context / logic indicates whether it's general or specific.

So here, no matter if you consider (without any given context, since it's an exercise) that "good boys in the whole world, in general" are the ones who eat vegetables, or that "the good boys" (and not those, over there, who are bad!) are eating vegetables, either way in French you MUST use an article.

An article can be definite (the) or indefinite (a / an). The English indefinite article in plural is... nothing:

  • I can see a cat.

  • I can see cats (you could also say "I see some cats", but not necessarily).

Again, in French, you MUST use an indefinite article in both cases, singular and plural:

  • Je vois un chat.

  • Je vois des chats.

So, in this exercise, you might be saying that (some) good boys are eating vegetables; but even in this case, you'd have to say "De(s) bons garçons mangent des légumes" (I wrote "de(s)" because here, with "bons" put before "garçons", you can say "de bons garçons". That's a nuance, no need to focus on this at this level).

The only possibility when you wouldn't use any article is when you use a noun/noun group as if you were saying someone's name; something like (imagine you talk to your dog):

  • "Sssh, good boy, calm down"

  • "Chut, gentil garçon, du calme" (don't mind that here "good" is "gentil", it just sounds more natural with this example).

April 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kassco410

Agggghhh! I'm so confused. Why isn't it les légumes? It's vegetables in general right? It's les garçons. But des légumes. Grrr.

May 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Please read previous comments about that.

Without a context, both could be correct, there's no 'it should be des'.

Les bons garcons garçons mangent les légumes : this implies that they eat all of them in general.

Les bons garçons mangent des légumes : this means that don't only eat sweets, meat and fries, but they eat some vegetables too. It's not likely that all 'good' boys like all vegetables, there are probably one or more you don't eat...

'nothing' + noun in English is not always general 'les', nor always indefinite 'des'!

May 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Coralie60683

Ye

June 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/deactived

Why not "biens"?

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MabG86

I speak french fluently. I have been testing out everything just for fun. I didnt realize it was teaching "bon" so I said "sage" caude thats all I could thing of in the moment. I was a little thrown when it said garcons bien. it sounds wrong and I would have never said that. weird.

May 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

'des garçons bien' is totally correct colloquial, oral French (though you can see that in literature as well).

There are mostly fixed, commonly used expressions such as 'c'est un mec bien'.

But indeed using 'de gentils / sages / bons garçons' sounds nicer, more polite and is really about behaving correctly (eg eating your vegetables and not just your fries...).

May 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eliebarbar

why is "Bons garçons mangent des légumes" wrong? And why is there a "de" before garçons? Please I want to know

July 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/thesweetestdee

I wrote "des bons garçons mangent des legumes" and it said it was "de" instead of "des" but I dont understand why

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Blixxyn

How do you know which accents to use. Is it just a memory thing?

August 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dbarrie

I wrote 'de bons garçons mangent des légumes.' and was marked incorrect because i used DE instead of DES, i thought the rule was DE instead of DES in the case of adjectives before nouns in plural form, am i wrong or is DL wrong in this case?

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/englishivy

I have the same problem. This is so confusing to me, and I have seen so many people raised this same question elsewhere in the forum, that I am too embarrassed to even raise the issue again lest someone thinks I sound like a broken record. I wish someone would settle this once and for all for us.

August 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/felipe.tur

The answer written is les garçons bien mangent. And then here is les bons garçons, wich I agree with. So, duolingo is making crazy mistakes

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

Where did you see "Les garçons bien mangent des légumes" ?

Just out of curiosity, because in fact that wouldn't be a real mistake: although 'bien' is learnt theoretically as an adverb (a word that 'goes with a verb, "that's a good job: you work well " = "c'est du BON travail: tu travailles BIEN"), you can still use 'bien' as an adjective AFTER some nouns.

It basically has the same meaning as 'bon', with a slight nuance: 'bon' will sometimes refer more to generosity, kindness, etc., while 'bien' will more imply 'of good morals, behaviour'...

But, roughly, 'un bon garçon' and 'un garçon bien' are the same and can be both translated into 'a good boy'.

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

If you don't mind, I would like to add here to yours otherwise excellent posts on this thread just one further remark on adverb "bien" used as an adjective.

If someone is wondering here (as I did myself) why not "biens" instead of "bien" after the plural noun "Les garçons", answer to that is pretty simple: "When French adverbs are used as adjectives, they are invariable." (french.about.com)

"In French, there are a number of words which are not actually adjectives but may be used as adjectives. These "faux adjectives" or "occasional adjectives" are always invariable - they do not agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify." (french.about.com)

There are three different types of words that may be used as adjectives: adverbs, nouns and prefixes. For further information, here is a link to about.com article:

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_faux.htm

May 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/charm22

I wrote "de légumes" (one of the options) and was marked wrong. Or is it des légumes?

March 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/michael.si991310

Why can't I write "mangers" ?

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

"manger" is a verb, i.e. "to eat". Just like in English, verbs don't take the same plural form as a noun, they have their proper form:

I eat, you eat, he eats, we eat, etc. The "s" you put at the end of "he eats" is not the mark of the plural, that's how you form verbs with "he", "she" or "it" in English. But even if "we" are several persons, you won't say "we eats", just like you'd say "one cat, several cats".

Well, in French, it's more complicated, but the same principle applies. "Un garçon" (singular) becomes "des garçons" (plural), but if you use a verb with that plural subject, you don't just add an "-s" to the verb, it's not a noun. You must conjugate, and that's something you need to learn by heart. And third person plural ("they") verbs take a final "-ent":

  • to eat = manger

  • I eat = je mange

  • they (the good boys) eat = ils (les bons garçons) mangent

April 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cacherecherche

wow! you are a patient presenter. I didn't need this one, but all your explanations are just exemplary... many thanks for cruising with us on Duo!

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AbiqwRTy

I think the most important thing is to understand the sentence not to do mechanically Creo que la cosa mas importante es que entendamos la oración no que las hagamos mecánicamente

May 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/EslamAbbas

Why should we use (de) bon Not bons garcons

June 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ellenbutcher

I agree with des legumes but word "des" was not a choice available to select am wking from a tablet? is this why some words are missing?

July 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lukas280

Why is "des bons garçons mangent des legumes" wrong? The translation is Good boys are eating vegetables, so it shouldnt translate les.....

August 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlQuzMar

I wonder why this could not be interpreted as partitive case, 'du legumes'?

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso
  1. 'du légumes' is absolutely impossible : you can't have 'du' followed by a plural.

  2. Even 'du légume' (singular) does not work, precisely because A vegetable (UN légume) is not partitive as you say, it IS countable. You can say 'UN légume' like you can say 'une courgette', 'une carotte' or 'un oignon'.

  3. Imagine what you suggest in English: 'they eat vegetable' like you'd say 'they eat butter', 'I drink water' or 'we need time'... Sounds weird, no? Same principle in French: 'un légume' is a specific countable object, not a matter, an element, a concept, etc.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlQuzMar

That makes sense. In my mother tongue things are little more fuzzy... Btw you are awesome. Thank you very much!

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Christina-10

Why: De bons garcons

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sugahhuney

I answered gentils garçons mangent des légumes, It said the correct answer was de gentils garçons mangent des légumes, why the DE?

July 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ElGusso

The answer is already in the comments above.

Roughly, there always must be an article in French. The plural undetermined is des (or de in front of some adjectives, like here : "bons" is placed before "garçons"), while in English its equivalent is an absence of articles. Watch out : the absence of article in English does not always mean the noun is undetermined, it can precisely refer to a generality. Check it ou with another adjective:

  • I saw cute boys on the street = J'ai vu des garçons mignons en rue (most common option) = J'ai vu de mignons garçons en rue (a bit formal, literary, somewhat unnatural in spoken colloquial French, but correct grammatically).

This is purely undetermined. Tip : most of the time you could insert "some" in English (I saw some cute boys on the street)

  • Cute boys are not always kind = Les garçons mignons ne sont pas toujours gentils.

This is "false" undetermined: it is a generality, so no specific cute boys but all of them precisely. In French you must use "les" (for plural), either for generality or specificity (like the last example here below).

  • I know the cute boys over there = Je connais les garçons mignons là-bas.

This is purely determined (those cute boys, no other ones, not all of them in the universe).

July 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JesseWayne3

Why do you repeat with a different word each time .; over & over????

July 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ProfJimenez

"Des bonnes garçons mangent des legumes" how can that be wrong?

September 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt417144

i'm having a little confusion with this. in this same practice, they asked for the translation of GOOD APPLES, which i thought would have to have des or les in front of it, but they said it is just BONNES POMMES, so why does GOOD BOYS need les before it, and not GOOD APPLES? both are nouns with adjectives.

May 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/pauleon

You say the translation is "Les bons...". But the correction I got was "Des bons..." Don't understand. Why start with 'Des'?

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/pauleon

Sorry. I was wrong. In rechecking, I got "De bons garçons... " as correct. Really?

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/D.DeGregorio

This site explains that 'bien' does translate to the adverb 'well' in English, but can also be used as an adjective when used when describing a state of being (être).

https://www.thoughtco.com/bon-vs-bien-1368817

July 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rocteur

It should be les garçons sages mangent des legumes. Les bons gaçcons is ridiculous and I wonder what kind of person would invent this ? Probably translated from Google Translate..

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GaryGornik1

The help needs to be corrected to indicte bon and not bien as the correct response. In fact bon was not even mentioned in the help!

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Victor120532

Good boys I translate as BONS and you mark it incorrect.; If I write Bien, you mark it incorrect. Please DECIDE and do n ot confuse students

January 5, 2019
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