"We have coffee."
Translation:Nous avons du café.
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?
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).
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.
"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".