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  5. "Wine, please!"

"Wine, please!"

Translation:Le vin, s'il vous plaît !

February 24, 2013



Why is "le vin" an acceptable answer, after all the other questions where "le/la" is only applicable for definite nouns and not where "some" is implied? This isn't asking for "The wine, please!"


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".


Except that, in English, we would always say "the wine, please" the second time. I still don't see how "Le vin" can be correct here for the given English sentence.


Yeah, I agree with you. "Wine, please" is not the same as "The wine, please".


Also, given the exclamation mark if I were the waiter, or servant I'd drop something in it that taught politeness.


ha! Perhaps a question mark would indicate a more gentle request. ;)


Ditto! Supply more detailed sentences Duo, s'il vous plaît!


but in that same context, wouldn't you have to say, in english, "the wine, please", instead of "wine, please"? The sentence we should translate does not match that idea, it seems to talk about some of whatever wine they have...


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!"


true. one friend i met traveling knew only how to say i love the beer, the women and the football! He made lots of friends ;)


That's what I was thinking. I didn't do le, because, hey, it didn't say 'THE WINE' it said 'WINE' but I don't really know if it is proper French Grammar or not because I'm only Level 4 on French....


In french the food item is always accompanied my a definite article. Its always 'some wine' or 'the wine'. Once you know that, you can follow the rule stated below for when you put in a nee order or are referring to a previous order.


Absolutely agree that le vin is not acceptable. They spent so much time marking me wrong if I used le vin for some wine and now they mark me wrong when I don't use it.


I totally agree with you as well. Du is silent in English, therefore, it translates into, "Wine, please", not "The wine please.". Le vin is not an acceptable answer.


I've been marked wrong a few times as well for using le, so this time I lost a heart because I didn't use it.


That is the tricky part of really learning a language - to know exactly how to use the right words depending on the situation and the nuances.


Just when i think im improving, that bloody owl kicks me right in the balls!


come on! Le is The ... if it doesn't have "The" how "Le" is correct??!


Why do we have to include the definite article in the translation. In my opinion the English translation should then be: "The wine, please" not, "Wine, Please"


if you are in a restaurant, you order "(some) wine" = "du vin".

"the wine" is "le vin"


Just sharing, I tried "S'il vous plait, du vin." and Duolingo accepts it as correct.


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.


You are correct. That is the situation summed up very nicely.


Why is "du vin, s'il vous plait" wrong?


Did you forget the circumflex on the i? Otherwise, that's what I put and it was right...


It's their multiple choice that marked me wrong


i think its a glitch. report it if you want


Will it be correct to imply : S'il vous plait = You (Plural) and S'il te plait = You (Singular)


Yes and no. You can only choose the vous-version to a group, but you can choose either of the two versions for one person. Then it is a question of formality; vous is the formal version and tu is the informal one.


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.'



In what context do you use s'l te plaît and s'l vous plaît?


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.


Just one small detail: "tu" is the "familiar you", in the sense that it is indeed used with people you know well. But it is not "informal" per se to say "s'il te plaît", since that phrase is just as polite and formal as "s'il vous plaît".


Yes, I agree with Sitesurf. I misspoke above. Thanks for the correction!


Politeness and formality is not the same, is it? I mean, you can be polite while informal and while formal, and you can be impolite while informal and while formal.


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...


What is wrong with "Vin, s'il te plait!"?


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!


Why couldn't we use "Un vin"? "One wine, please"- seems like a standard request. I read all the thread and couldn't find this answer.


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.


I AGREE with the below comments! Most times before we used du, not le unless it said the wine!


I just hate it when I am aiming for a lingot for a lesson completed without losing hearts when I answer a question that should be correct and then isn't.


I agree. What did you write and what did Duolingo say about it?


It just says wine! It doesn't say the wine! It just says wine!



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.


Is there a difference between "s'il vous plait" and "s'il vous plaît"? Notice the missing accent in the first plait.


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.


Yes, the circumflexe! It is part of the spelling, even when it does not have any real function.


I had used "Vin, s'il te plait" as the English form seems rather more of a command. Why was I marked wrong for not using an article?


It's explained above and below your post


Because all nouns always need some kind of article in French. You cannot omit it, even if you can omit it in English.


they want me to write "le vin" or "Du vin" why cant it be just 'vin, s'il vous plaît" ?


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!


What is the difference in s'il vous plait and s'il te plait?


The answer is just above your question.


Yes please just READ THE THREAD before asking stuff. You will learn so much and wont have to write anything. Otherwise youre just cluttering repeated comments and these threads will end up completely useless.


S'il vous plaît is used to address someone you are formal with or to address a group.

S'il te plaît is used to address someone you are familliar with.


Type it up on Google translate Their answer is wrong



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.


northernguy for U.N. Secretary General. The gentlest of all giants. While we all slag off goo/trans who else but the excellent northernguy points positive toward them. Brilliant!


It's the usual issue!!! In real communication we ope with situations. "the wine , please" is ok if I have ordered some wine and I am still waiting for it.


Google translate said "vin, s'il vous plait" I demand my heart back!


Hi Juan, take care with googletranslate. It is good for pronunciation but can be wrong, sometimes very wrong in translation. It is in this case as nouns in French Must Always come with an article. They Never stand alone in correct French.


"vin s'il vous plaît" is simply incorrect, because French nouns are hardly ever used without a determiner. In this case, since "wine" means "some wine / an undefined quantity of wine", you have to use the partitive article "du".


And if you think you are right you can always report a problem to make sure the developers see your suggestion. They do not read here.


Yes, we 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. :-)


OK Songbird, thank you for your patience, tolerance and understanding.


le vin does not mean "the wine" i think it just means wine. thats why the picture shows you a bottle of wine and it says le vin to indicate WINE


jambe7 is incorrect.

le = the

vin = wine

le vin = the wine.


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.


If I use "du" I must use "s'il du plaît" ? or whatever?


No. You don't use Du=De Le (of the/some) so="If of the/some please" Doesn't work. S'il vous plaît or S'il te plaît are the options.


Yes this is unfair and i think should be more specified


Yes this is unfair and i think should be more specified

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