Yes you are exactly right. With appreciation verbs such as "aimer", "détester", "préférer", "apprécier" etc - we use the definite article (le, la, les).
With action verbs such as "manger", "boire" etc - we use (du, de la, des)
"I like apples" = "j'aime les pommes"
"I am eating apples" = "Je mange des pommes"
French does not have a present continuous tense - so "tu manges du bœuf" can mean both "you eat beef" and "you are eating beef".
From a single sentence we can not tell which is intended so both are accepted as correct.
In a real life case we would have more information and so know which translation is best.
le français n'a pas de présent continue mais il a un équivalent. Le français utilise la forme: "en train de". Donc "you are eating beef" se traduit par "tu es en train de manger du bœuf" ou "vous êtes en train de manger du bœuf" et "you eat beef" par "tu/vous manges/ez du bœuf".
French has no present continuous but has an equivalent . The French used the form "en train de" . So "you are eating beef" translates to "tu es en train de manger du bœuf" or "vous êtes en train de manger du bœuf" and " you eat beef" with "tu/vous manges/ez du bœuf" .
Yes of course you are right. We can use "être en train de ..." to express the present continuous but usually this will be when the situation is not clear from the context or if we have some reason to emphasise the situation - "I am eating beef right now".
Most of the time "I am eating beef" translates as "Je mange du bœuf".
So, without any context to help us, the French sentence "Tu manges du bœuf" can be translated as either:-
"You eat beef" or "You are eating beef"
Don't you agree? ;)
I hope a moderator responds to my comment. I studied French for 6 years in primary school and also took a college class. Never was I told that there is a "smushed together" "oe" character in the French language. In fact, we used to sing "the alphabet song" in French. I'm convinced that French uses the same 26 letters that English uses, plus some accent characters. But I used the spelling b-o-e-u-f in my answer and it was marked wrong, with the correction shown having the "smushed together" "oe" character. I'm convinced this query is wrongly programmed. What do you think?