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  5. "We have coffee."

"We have coffee."

Translation:Nous avons du café.

February 28, 2013



Why is "du" necessary here?


Coffee is uncountable. You drink "some" coffee, ie a portion of it (cup, sip, whatever).

So in French it is called a partitive case where you have to use the equivalent of "some":

  • nous avons du café (= contraction of de-le)
  • nous avons de la soupe


Does it mean 'du' and 'de la' are interchangeable?


"du" is masculine and "de la" is feminine, so they cannot be interchanged.


I used: 'Nous avons un café' and it was accepted as correct. Is this really correct, or has it to be 'du'?


de+le = du de+la = de la de + l' = de l' de + les = des

This is what I learnt in French class at school


What is On? I haven't heard of it an


On is kind of like one or the royal we in english. It can also mean you not refering to a specific person as in "you can't smoke indoors in england" but duo doesn't seem to accept this


Some will get marked wrong for using the verb 'boire' here because in English this can have two meanings:

We have coffee (in our possession) We have coffee (drink it together somewhere, sometime)

Am I correct in thinking that for the latter meaning one uses the verb 'prendre' instead of 'avoir'?

i.e On prend du café. Nous prenons du café. (de temps en temps)

Would this be an acceptable translation as well for 'we have coffee' in this context?


Yes, in common French "prendre" is often used for food or drinks.

However, we would more likely use "Nous prenons un café.", when we talk about having coffee with someone. "Prendre du café" means more that we're already at the table, and we serve ourselves some coffee.


For me it said: Nous avons 1 café. Is that really neccessary?


No, of course not. This is just a glitch in the system, which replaces "one" or "un/une" by "1".

Initially, this was meant to accepte numbers in digits in translations, but it covers all numbers which is a bit weird with "one".


why cant we say de la café.


Because "café" is masculine.


Why can't you use the combination "Avons-nous"?


"Avons-nous" is used for questions.


I type nous avons cafe. It says you missed a word. nous avons 1 cafe. Wow.


In French, you have to use articles in front of nouns.

we have coffee actually means "we have some coffee", ie an undefined quantity of a mass thing (uncountable).

In French, you have to translate this concept with a partitive article:

  • "du" in front of a masculine noun starting with a consonant: du pain, du lait, du beurre (= some...)
  • "de la" in front of a feminine noun starting with a consonant: de la bière, de la viande (= some...)
  • "de l' " in front of any noun starting with a vowel sound: de l'eau (feminine), de l'alcool (masculine).


is it possible "nous boivons du café?"


No, "Nous buvons du café." is the correct form. But it can't be used for this exercise.


I just got this answer as the correct answer after incorrectly putting "nous sommes du café". Is this a glitch?


I don't think it should be a correct answer.


I wrote 'Nous sommes du café' but the correction is 'Nous buvons du café'. Please explain this


(nous) sommes = (we) are (nous) avon = (we) have


It said the same thing for me. Is buvons a way of conjugating the verb boire with nous?


Couldn't "coffee" be seen as a plural in "We have coffee"? Why does it have to be singular? I wrote 'Nous avons des cafes' but was marked incorrect because it was plural.

But "coffee" here seems to refer to the general supply they possess. Like, if you invite someone to your home and offer them a drink, and say "we have coffee", coffee is plural here because you have a supply of it, right? I guess it would be singular if they were referring to the act of drinking coffee, as in "We are having coffee" which would refer to the finite supply the consume... but wouldn't that translate to "Nous bouvens du cafe"?


In this sentence "coffee/du café" are mass things, singular and uncountable.

In this context "un café, des cafés" is of course possible as countable, but it would rather be a shorter version of "des tasses de café" (cups of coffee).

The context is just about possession here, not necessarily about consumption. "Nous avons du café" means that you have some available, not that you are drinking any.


i dont really think that we need "du" it doesnt specifically say "some"


Yet you do, partitive articles are required, whether or not the English sentence has "some".


I answered "Nous a du café" and it was marked incorrect with the correction "On a du café." When do I need to use On instead of Nous? This is the first time I've seen On and when I hover over We it shows both nous and on.


"on" is originally an impersonal pronoun. In common French, it often replaces "nous", because "nous" is often perceived as too formal.

Your issue wasn't that you couldn't use "nous", it's perfectly accepted for this exercise, your issue is that you used "nous" with the incorrect conjugation.

It's either "on a" or "nous avons". You cannot say "nous a".


When do you use du??

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