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  5. "Il aime boire son café sans …

"Il aime boire son café sans sucre."

Translation:He likes to drink his coffee without sugar.

March 3, 2013



To me "son" and "sans" sounded exactly the same here.


I think you may want to work on nasal sounds : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB4PNP72nPw


I've always heard that every word in french appears with some article. Any explanation for "sucre" here?


Without exceptions, French would be too simple!

avec du sucre / sans sucre

Pretty mysterious, but you just have to remember it.


Does this mean that "Sans" removes all articles of the noun to which it refers.? "Medecins sans frontieres" springs to mind.


Indeed, Médecins sans Frontières should help you remember that "sans" drops articles! Good tip.


Because the phrase is; "He likes TO drink...." rather than "He is drinking...." and so the infinitive Boire=To Drink is used here.


I would've thought you'd need a word that is similar to "any" in order for "He likes to drink his coffee without any sugar" to be correct. This is probably one of those sentences you have to actually hear by a live person to get the context like how we might say in English, "I don't like country music. At. All." Dodgy grammar but it gets the point across.


"He drinks coffee without sugar" is acceptable. What you're thinking of is emphasizing expression, because adding "any" would emphasize how much he dislikes coffee with sugar in a spoken sentence but it's not necessary.

Another eg. "Le lait sans lactose" -> lactose-free milk, or literally milk without lactose


Just now, 25/12/13, the translation included "any".


"Son" and "sont", how different do they sound?


Go to Google Translate. Find the little microphone icon and replay them both. If you think there might be a difference you can hear, you can decide for yourself. If you can't hear a difference and wonder if you might just be missing it, then that's a good time to ask.

Google Translate has unreliable translation but reasonable sound.


the question before about a glass a of water gave the only correct answer as sans eau. It cannot be both only sans eau. with this statement therefore it should be sans sucre only. Which question is correct??


Either you put water in your glass or you don't (uncountable) When it comes to sugar, you may put one or two lumps (countable) or a little or not any (like water).

  • for sugar, you have a choice: avec un sucre, avec deux sucres ou sans sucre(s)
  • for water, no choice: avec de l'eau ou sans eau


So, one doesn't use any partitive? I put: il aime boire son cafe sans des sucre. Same for the 'water' sentence. I put that it was a glass 'sans l'eau'. Of course, both incorrect. But I'm almost paranoid about needing a partitive. :)


"avec du sucre, avec de l'eau, avec du pain..." but "sans sucre, sans eau, sans pain..." I know, that is not logical.

  • 2344

"Sucre" may refer to a lump of sugar, but it is common to refer to it as uncountable. I.e., while "un sucre" or "deux sucres" are possible (one lump or two lumps), the concept of "sugar" is not uniquely countable.


Can you say "He likes his coffee without sugar"? Why or why not?


You can say that in English with no problem. However the sentence that you are being asked to translate says he likes to drink his coffee without sugar. Leaving out the word drink still leaves a sentence that makes sense in English. It just isn't what the French sentence actually means.


I get it now! Thanks!


why cannot this also be translated as: he likes to drink her coffee without sugar?


You know that "son" can be his or her, now up to you to imagine complex stories if simple ones are not exciting enough... ;-)


Just wondering because both sentences were given as options in the "click all correct translations" questions. When I clicked both of them, this one was marked wrong. I understand that it wouldn't be the norm for him to drink her coffee, but I wondered if there was another reason why it was marked wrong. Thanks. :)


You are correct. It is a possibility and reasonable to think that he would drink her coffee (that she made rather than coffee made by someone else) but if he does, he requires that it be without sugar. However, the Duo programmers failed to instruct the computer on that turn of events, thinking that most people, in this case, would translate son as her only because they were confused about son.

It's a good thing to test Duo once in a while since lost hearts can easily be retrieved.

  • 2344

Grammatically, "son" (or "sa") may be either "his" or "her", but it will be understood as referring to the subject of the sentence. Examples:

  • Il lit son livre = he is reading his book
  • Il lit son livre à elle = he is reading her book
  • Elle lit son livre = she is reading her book
  • Elle lit son livre à lui = she is reading his book


Wouldn't "sugarless coffee"be correct?



Sugarless coffee is an unusual construction because coffee is sugar free by definition. We add sugar to coffee after it is prepared. It is grammatically correct but unusual.

If someone said they liked sugarless coffee I would think they were talking about possible trace elements of sugar, at a molecular level, that many plants and living things contain as part of the life process. I would think they talking about coffee where the bean had been chemically treated to extract whatever minute quantities of sugar there might be in natural coffee. Like decaffeinated has the natural caffeine removed.


Yes. In a science lab but not in a cafe.

  • 2344

The primary reason is that it is not at all idiomatic English. Coffee by itself does not contain "sugar", per se. Only if you add it. Coffee without sugar and cream (or milk/creamer) is "black coffee". But here is it simply "sans sucre" (without sugar). No tricks.


why is it boire and not boit please ?


Because "He likes TO DRINK..... " is in the infinitive form and "Boire" translates in the infinitive as "To Drink". "Il boit........" translates to "He drinks....." or "He is drinking......."


Honestly at this point I just guess the correct conjugation of boivent and hope I'm right

  • 2344

The verb "boire" is not conjugated but left in infinitive form since it follows the verb "aimer" which is already conjugated. We do not conjugate more than one verb in the sentence.

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