1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I drink wine."

"I drink wine."

Translation:Je bois du vin.

February 27, 2013

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Unschooling

I know that this question has already been asked and answered but I thought that you could use "Le" instead of "Du" in situations like this, why not here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Czas04

I understand why you're confused. Le can't be used since 'wine' is uncountable but you can say "Je bois le verre de vin" I'm drinking the glass of wine instead of "Je bois le vin" I'm drinking the wine, which is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Je bois le vin" is possible if this wine is specific, on the table, mentioned before, etc. and its translation as well: "I drink the wine" is a perfect translation when the wine is specific.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

Ah! Thanks, Sitesurf. I have just read another of your comments elsewhere about using le only with "verbs of appreciation" like aimer, apprécier or détester. It sort of makes sense now. The appreciation/non-appreciation split does not quite overlap with the English distinction between simple present and present continuous where we are used to using le (S.P) or du (P.C.).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I know, all the more because English has a distinction between "stative" and "dynamic" verbs, which does not exist in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Because, as indicated just above, the English would have to be "I drink the wine"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PStringfellow

Surely "i drink wine" can mean two things depending on context? If it was general i drink wine sometimes but i drink beer sometimes then wouldn't it be "le vin", while i drink wine thank you for offering (at a dinner table) would be "du vin"? Am I missing something here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loveformatt

I still don't see where it's appropriate to use 'bois' and where it's appropriate to use 'boit'. I think it has something to do with referring to 1st person / 2nd person?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes that's it.

A huge tip for you: since you are at Basics 1 on the Tree, please browse the Discussion page before asking your next questions because chances are that they will already have been answered to, and at length.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/L.u.z.i.a

Can someone please explain why "Je bois le vin" is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

je bois le vin = I drink the wine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne2428

why is le vin incorrect and la soupe correc t


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bleuhawk

why is it "je bois du vin" and not just "je bois vin"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Direct objects need an article in French.

There are 3 classes of articles: indefinite, definite and partitive.

"I drink wine" means "I drink some wine", ie an undefined quantity of a mass thing.

In French, this translates to a partitive article: "du" with masculine nouns, "de la" with feminine nouns and "de l' " with masculine or feminine nouns starting with a vowel sound:

  • je bois du vin (masculine)
  • je bois de la bière (feminine)
  • je bois de l'alcool (masculine)
  • je bois de l'eau (feminine)

Note: "du" is the contraction of preposition "de" and definite article "le".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vehg

Why its wrong to write ' je bois vin ' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

French nouns need an article. This rule has a few exceptions you will know about in next lessons.

Many English sentences cannot be translated word for word and you have to understand the meaning before translating.

"I drink wine" means "I drink some wine", an undefined quantity of wine, which is an uncountable noun.

This is a "partitive case" (part of mass thing), which needs a "partitive" article in French.

Partitive articles are: du (masculine), de la (feminine) or de l' (in front of a word starting with a vowel sound).

Note: "du" is a required contraction of preposition "de" + definite article.

  • je bois du vin (masculine) = I drink (some) wine
  • je bois de la bière (feminine) = I drink (some) beer
  • je mange de l'edam (masculine) = I eat (some) Edam cheese
  • je verse de l'huile (feminine) = I pour (some) oil

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maverick766300

I read through these questions and replies,and the answers were confusing as to why i cant say le vin instead of du vin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Je bois le vin" = I drink the wine: specific wine
"Je bois du vin" = I drink (some) wine: an unknown amount of a mass thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ydniwid

From my understanding, we were taught that "des" means some for plural nouns. But since vin is uncountable, we use du (de + le) vin (singular.) Like English, we say "I'm drinking some wine." you wouldn't be saying "I'm drinking the wine" which is "je bois le vine." I'm also trying to understand the use of it as with "je mange de la salade" vs "je mange la salade."

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