Translation:Le vin, s'il vous plaît !
I agree with you. Those too short sentences seem to confuse learners and require too wide an interpretation span to be perfectly useful.
Context is one of the keys of correctly translating an idea (not a bunch of words).
And I confirm that in certain context, you can say "le vin, s'il vous plaît" (the one I ordered) = "the wine, please"
Thank you. That makes sense. So when initially ordering, one would ask for "Du vin, s'il vous plaît" (In reality we would all ask for a particular wine..). However, the server forgets to bring the wine and as they're passing by your table, you say "Le vin, s'il vous plaît".
Although we can go on going on finding ways to make sense of Duo's sentences the test is: Are We Getting The Hang Of Dropped Articles In English Whilst French Always Must Have One? Anyroad, third time I won the Euromillions Jackpot I went to the pub and shouted "Drinks All Round!" Nobody was upset that I dropped the article and even spookier; nobody cared that I didn't even say Please!"
In the context of being in a restaurant and asking for wine it is perfectly acceptable to ask (more informally) "The wine, please" as well as "Wine, please" ... Both Le and Du are acceptable in that context. Don't get too caught up in being perfect, be human for a moment and think about the ways you can ask in English.
yes, we all know that both, du and Le, ARE CORRECT SENTENCES, but is not correct to mark wrong our answer, and to correct us as LE VIN, as the correct one, if the question has no article at the beggining, the question is not to say THE WINE. SO YES, ITS A BAD ANSWER AND CORRECTION. to say it had to be LE VIN.
We've all done it Aasa. As we've all been corrected by sitesurf below, "TU" is the Familiar form of singular "Vous" not the Informal. One can be most formal using Tu to someone with whom one is familiar. I post this not to correct you because I'm sure you know this, but so that folk who don't read the whole thread don't get misled.
But how do we then describe the way to employ vous with people we know well but are formal with, if we cannot use the words formal and informal? If we work together and have done so for decades but still address each other vous, then we are not exactly unfamilliar ...
Polite/impolite is not any good idea either as we can be both polite and impolite by addressing someone tu and we can be both polite and impolite by addressing someone vous.
I do take your points raised here Aasal. Please may I refer you to sitesurf's explanations and the about.com on this subject. I have not enough substantial knowledge to further this discussion. AlI I can do is re-iterate that both sitesurf and about.com insist that Tu is familiar and not informal. Yes, Vous is formal singular but not unfamiliar and may I suggest that this is the crux of the confusion. With respect. JJ
This is intresting, and difficult!
When I discussed this matter with my equally language interested husband, he suggested that tu is used to address those one has the permission to address by first name, and vous is used to address those one addresses by title and/or last name.
Quite an elegant way of solving the naming problem, I think!
Would be interesting to hear what native French speakers say about this definition.
I have now read what french.about.com sais, and I honestly do not see that informal/formal would be wrong to say, even if the author uses familiar/formal.
'Tu is the familiar "you," which demonstrates a certain closeness and informality.'
'Vous is the formal "you." It is used to show respect or maintain a certain distance or formality with someone.'
S'il te plaît is the informal version, used with people you have a casual relationship with. S'il vous plaît is the formal version, which tends to be used with strangers, authoritative figures, older people; generally, anyone you wish to show a higher level of respect to. It's the same with other uses of "tu" and "vous". Here, "tu" is represented as "te".
CORRECTION: As Sitesurf noted below, I misspoke. I meant to refer to "tu"/"te" as familiar, not informal. See their note below.
You are right. Politeness is about social "protocole" and formality is about language "processing" (my definitions, others may disagree with my views).
- polite & formal: "Pourrais-je avoir du vin, s'il te plaît ?"
- polite & informal: "J'pourrais avoir du vin, s'te plaît ?" (j'pourrais and s'te are the fast pronunciation of "je pourrais" and "s'il te plaît")
- impolite & formal: "Si je ne vous dérange pas trop dans votre conversation personnelle avec votre collègue, peut-être pourriez-vous m'apporter du vin ?"
- impolite & informal: "C'est quand vous voulez, le vin !" (made is soft... though)
Maybe you or some English speaker will kindly translate those...
In French, and all of the romantic languages, one may not leave out the article. It is "Le" vin or "du" vin but never just "vin". It just IS. (I do not speak for the 11-15 year-olds in France. Align with them if you wish, or, alternatively, learn French.) I mean.... tx0ux!.4sx0r! L8erG8er! lolomgbtylmaolmhour2mx!
I've read the thread and found this all very helpful. I think DL is actually being quite useful in tripping us up on this phrase (even if giving 'le vin' as a correct answer is misleading). You may lose a lingot, but you'll gain a lot from this mistake. I feel like celebrating! Du vin s'il te plait!
If that was meant, it would be there; "one" or "a" in English or "un" in French. The article is left out in English but cannot be left out in French and as it is uncountable in the phrase "Le" is our only French option. However if we were translating from French to English we could say either "The wine please" or just "Wine please"......depending upon which side of the bed Duo got out this morning.
The English phrase says wine, please!
The issue is, what is the correct French to use when saying the same thing in the same circumstances. The fact that English speakers drop the article is irrelevant if French speakers don't. Duo is teaching that French requires an article in this phrase.
Well lea..... This is a circumflex and I wont wage world war 3 over it but it really isn't necessary for Plaît: Here it is "saying" that there used to be a letter S there and now there isn't. In other uses it has its place.... it distinguishes between homographs as in the contraction DU=DE+LE and DÛ=Past participle of Devoir. To my limited knowledge there is no word in French Plait with no circumflex.
Because that's how French works. Either you use a definite article, an indefinite article, or a partitive article (du and its cousins). You just don't say nouns on their own.
I presume this rule exists, because if the articles were omitted, it would be even harder to work out what people were saying! For example, the -les- of les femmes v -la- femme is the only difference I can pick up. And I find that hard!
You are correct. Google Translate is wrong.
However, they are not wrong in what they want to do. They want to just give an understandable translation. They don't concern themselves with grammar etc., except where necessary to convey the meaning. It may look wrong and sound wrong because it isn't correct but with simple translations Google Translate can give you some understanding of what was typed.
That is all they claim to do.
I was thinking after reading why my answer was wrong (Du vin, s'il vous plait!) that it makes sense to pair "du" with "te." The only reason you would ask a person to pass you some "unspecified" wine would be if you were in an informal setting with some friends and asked them to pass you some (unspecified) wine. If you were out at a restaurant, you would want to speak more politely and with more formality when addressing a waiter whom you've never met before. You would probably also want to add "Pardon" or "excuse me" first which is a little kinder and have it be a question instead of a demand.
Yes. However I fathom that what Duo is up to here is to focus on the need for an article in French, when there is none in English; indeed the appropriate article and not to try to make sense of a sentence where there is no context. We are learning French via grammar rather than manners. However, I'm with you on that score and had I been the waiter I'd likely have spat in the wine and then very VERY politely presented it all smiles!
(I have to reply here; cannot reply directly, due to reply limit).
I understand- I had those same stupid (American) English textbooks (why do governments allow such mangling of history?).
Don't be embarrassed about your post- we all learn new things from each other. :-)
When learning French vocabulary it is common to be shown an item or a picture of the item and hearing/reading the noun together with its determined article. It is a choice made, between undetermined article (un/une/des) and determined article (le/la/l'/les), but some kind of article is always needed in French. And it is usefult for learning the gender of the noun.
When learning English vocabulary, the article is not needed. The nouns can stand alone.
This makes it weird when translating words instead of complete sentences. The two systems do not match.
So no, le vin does not normally mean just wine, but the wine.