"I drink wine."
Translation:Je bois du vin.
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?
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.
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".
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
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?
Because, as indicated just above, the English would have to be "I drink the wine"
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?