"Les garçons boivent du lait."

Translation:The boys drink milk.

March 8, 2013

This discussion is locked.


why it's not correct the boys drink (some) water?


If you have to fill-in the blank "les garçons boivent du___", only a masculine noun starting with a consonant can work

  • les garçons boivent du lait
  • les garçons boivent de l'eau - feminine and starting with a vowel sound
  • les garçons boivent de la bière - feminine
  • les garçons boivent de l'alcool - masculine and starting with a vowel sound


It is incorrect to say, the boys drink (some) 'water,' because water is feminine, and du is the masc. form. For it to be the boys drink water, the sentence would need to be changed to, "Les garcons boivent de l'eau. Because de la is the feminine form.


Lait, is milk. Some water would be "de l'eau".


i completely agree, it said that for me too


I hear perfectly equal "Les garcons" and "Le garcon", the only way to tell the difference is by hearing the verb's conjugation?


"Les" and "Le" are slightly different. "Les" is more of a ending of the ay in hay, and "Le" is more of an "uh" sound


I just had one of those forehead smacking moments. Le sounds like Luh, and when you do the French Alphabet, E sounds like Uh. Thus 'Le' sounding like 'Luh' makes perfect sense!


Le is pronounced "leuh" while les is pronounced "lay" or "leh". It's subtle but with practice you'll be able to pick up on it.


why milk and not alcohol?

  • du lait
  • de l' alcool


At first, my mind crossed it out because they're boys. Children. But to be grammatically correct, it's because lait is masculine "du" and alcool is feminine, "de la." But because of the vowel it becomes "de l'alcool."


"Un alcool" is masculine. Both "le" and "la" change to "l'" before a noun starting with a vowel sound, to avoid the vowel sound conflict with the [uh] sound of "le" or the [ah] sound of "la".


Does Les, le ,la not equal to "the"?


Yes they do.


I answered this question with "The boys are drinking milk" instead of the correct answer of "Boys are drinking milk" does that mean the answers wrong?


If the French is given first: "Les garçons boivent du lait" = "The boys are drinking milk" (these boys, here close to us) or "Boys drink milk" (boys, in general, are used to drink milk).

If the English is given first: "Boys are drinking milk" = "Des garçons boivent du lait" (plural of "a boy is drinking milk" ="un garçon boit du lait").


Does the "des garçon " refer to some boys ? Compared to "les garçon " the boys.


Yes, "des garçons" is the plural of "un garçon", ie more than one boy = (some) boys


The verb is pronounced "bwav", is this correct? Surely the "-ent" is not silent


Yes, at the end of 3rd person plural conjugations -ent is always silent.

so, "boivent" indeed sounds "bwav"


why can't it be water or alcohol? I did't have the speaker and either one of these options work.


Because the partitive article would not be the same:

  • du lait (masculine noun starting with a consonant)
  • de l'eau (feminine noun starting with a vowel)
  • de l'alcool (masculine noun starting with a vowel)


Okay. So, just to be sure, you need the article "le" or "la" in front of the drink, and "du" is a contraction of "de le?"


In front of any uncountable noun (food, drinks but also love, money, etc.) the meaning of "some" (an undefined quantity of a mass thing) is rendered in French by a partitive article.

There are 3 of them:

  • du (de+le) in front of a masculine noun starting with a consonant sound = du vin, du temps (time), du vent (wind)
  • de la in front of a feminine noun starting with a consonant sound = de la bière, de la chance (luck), de la force (strength)
  • de l' in front of any noun starting with a vowel sound = de l'eau (feminine), de l'argent (masculine).

So, partitive articles are formed with the preposition "de" + a definite article.


Just curious as to why the answer cannot be beer? Thanks in advance!


"la bière" is a feminine noun.

After "du", the only type of noun you can place is masculine, singular and starting with a consonant.

"le lait" is masculine, singular and starts with a consonant.

Therefore, only "lait" can fit after "du".

With beer, you would get "les garçons boivent de la bière"


Les garçons boivent de l'eau ... boivent de l'alcool ... boivent du lait

DU = Consonant DE L'... = Vowel

Trust me, I am french.


I was here just to read someone remembering the Clockwork Orange's scene


Why isn't du lait some milk?


It is. But you ommit "some" even in English.


i didnt get how it was prononced, the verb part. was it bwavong-boivent?


What is the difference between "du" and "de"?


"de" is a preposition

"de + le" is contracted to "du" and it is a partitive article.


Thank you Sitesurf :)


Maybe someone would be too kind to explain the differences between (du - de l' - de - d') ?


This page is full of useful information about this; you should really take the time to read it.

Please also read the Tips and Notes in every lesson (from a PC if you don't see them on your screen).


How can I get tips and notes on my tablet, which is all I have. Am I just wasting my time if I can't do this on a computer? Thanks.


I put The boy is drinking some milk. How is that wrong???


"Les garçons boivent" is in plural, so your translation should also be in plural: "the boys drink" or "the boys are drinking"


why can't it be the boys drink milk


It is "the boys drink milk"


What is the difference between "du" and "le"


"du" is contracted from the preposition "de" and the article "le".


Why won`t it except 'alcool' instead of 'lait'?


Because "alcool" starts with a vowel and "du" has to become "de l'" in front of a word starting with a vowel.

The only noun matching "du" in the selection is "lait" because it is masculine and starts with a consonant.


why du alcool is wrong?


Because of the hiatus (vowel sound conflict) between U and A.

For a harmonious flow of sounds, such conflicts are conventionally avoided by the use of "de l'" instead of "du" or "de la".

  • de l'alcool (masculine), de l'eau (feminine)

A number of small words are elided (drop the vowel and replace it with an apostrophe) for this reason: je, de, me, te, se, ne, ce, que...


Why is it "boivent"? Why not "bois"?


"bois" is the conjugation for "je" or "tu".

in 3rd person plural (les garçons/ils/elles), you have to use "boivent".


this website also help more then just teaching you a language it in encourage's you to drink milk.Like this text


What is french for calcium if lait is french for milk


Same as in English, and masculine: le calcium


How do you pronouce boivent?


Why would they say boivent instead of bois?


For the same reason as "he/she/it drinks" is different from "they drink" - that is: conjugation.

French conjugations are more extensive than English ones.

This is the conjugation for "boire" in present: je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent.


Why is "du" there. Why cant it just be " les garcons boivent lait" ?


I put wine instead of milk


I said " the boy's drink milk". and it was wrong??????


The plural form of "the boy" is "the boys".

You used "boy's" which is the singular possessive form that you use in constructions like "the boy's milk is cold"'.


I find very easy but sometimes hard!!!


How do they expect a native english speaker to HEAR the difference between garçon and garçons they sound the same, how does anyond hear the difference, french people, help


There are clear differences in sound between the singular and the plural versions, not between "garçon" and "garçons" but between the matching determiners and verb conjugation:

  • singular: le [luh] garçon boit [bwa] du lait
  • plural: les [le] garçons boivent [bwav] du lait


Just drinking a cold one with the boys


Wouldn't this also mean "The boys are drinking milk"?


Why isn't it, "The boys are drinking the milk."


"The milk" has to be specific, the one mentioned before or showing on the table. In French "the milk" is "le lait".

The French sentence has "du lait", which means "some milk" as in "an unknown amount of an uncountable thing". In English, "the boys drink milk", with a bare noun has this meaning and you don't need to add "some" or anything else. But in French, the partitive article "du" is required.


wouldn't it be the boys DRANK milk for proper english? I know we are doing French but I keep getting it wrong because boys drink milk isn't a normal english statement


"The boys drank milk" is proper English, but it is not a correct translation for the French sentence whose verb is in present tense.

  • Les garçons boivent = the boys drink/are drinking
  • The boys drank = les garçons ont bu (compound past)


I put "The boys are drinking the milk" and it wasnt accpeted but this nevee taught me that it should be some instead of the and when i checjed to see what du ment it said the milk


"The boys are drinking the milk" has the definite article "the" for a specific milk = "les garçons boivent le lait."

"Les garçons boivent du lait" means that they are drinking "an unknow amount of a mass thing". This meaning translates either to "some milk" or to "milk" without a determiner = the boys are drinking (some) milk.


Why is there 'du' added to the sentence? What's the use of it? Sorry, I'm pretty confused.


In front of any uncountable noun (food, drinks but also love, money, etc.) the meaning of "some" (an undefined quantity of a mass thing) is rendered in French by a partitive article.

There are 3 of them:

  • du (de+le) in front of a masculine noun starting with a consonant sound = du vin, du temps (time), du vent (wind)
  • de la in front of a feminine noun starting with a consonant sound = de la bière, de la chance (luck), de la force (strength)
  • de l' in front of any noun starting with a vowel sound = de l'eau (feminine), de l'argent (masculine).

So, partitive articles are formed with the preposition "de" + a definite article.


Isn't boivent means "are drinking"??


cet exercice est inaudible sur chaque phrase !


Les hommes boivent du vin


Garcon and garcons are hard to tell them apart in this sentence


You should focus on the determiners which never sound the same in singular and plural:

  • le garçon = LUH
  • les garçons = LAY

The difference in the vowel sound between "le" and "les" is the same as between "the" and "they".


I wish Duo had Customer Services, or something. Due to an account complication, I'm starting to feel very disheartened. Basically, I did something unanticipated. I changed my user name. This was not a problem until days before the new tree, when I was locked out of the discussion pages. Unable to contact anyone, well through my second lap of the French tree, all I could do was pick up an abandoned user name from years ago (I had been very ill). I had no intention of doing anything 'illegal'. My new random user name was a fresh start but it was complicated. Sometimes both names would end up on a discussion page, a situation that I tried to resolve with Duo. You cannot have a conversation with a computer program. As Sally410, still struggling with health issues, I loved my Duolingo French. We got along very well. Everything was golden. With the new tree looming, I was locked out of discussion pages, so dug deep to find my old account. That unleashed the new tree on me as quite a new user. I will now take some days out. I do not think that I like the structure of the first lessons. The teaching seems poorer. I can write je suis un garçon thirty times, sure, but a chimp could probably do that. One beginner was umpteen lessons in without any real understanding of être and Avoir. That is bad. I mean hours and hours of lessons in but not knowing how to say present tense:- (être) I am, you are (X2), he is, we are, they are; (Avoir) I have, you have (X2), he has, we have, they have. So, here we go:-

Être = to be I am = je suis You are = Tu es (always singular, and informal) He is = Il est (this can also refer to it, when it stands in place of a masculine noun, you'll learn this as things progress). Elle est = she is (and it, as above, but a feminine noun stand-in). We are = nous sommes You are = vous êtes (you when plural always, and you either sing or plural when formal) They are = ils/elles sont

Avoir = to have J'ai = I have (j' is short for je) Tu as = you have (remember tu above) Il / Elle a he/she/it has (remember Il/Elle above) Nous avons = we have Vous avez = you have remember vous in être above) Ils/elles ont = they have

I am absolutely battling my spellcheck. I hope this helps. It all opens out, as you learn, I promise and the moderators are fab. Sally 410


I am a biologist. Having milk and eggs as masculine nouns hurts my brain. :P


Grammatical genders mostly come from Latin. Most neuter Latin nouns (including "lac, lactis" and "ovum, ovi") have become masculine in French.


How can you tell of something is masuculine or feminine?


You know when you have learned them in this way:

  • milk = [le lait]

If you learn each noun with its gendered article, as if it were a prefix, you will memorize then remember it with its gender.


Why doesn’t this translate to “The boys drink SOME milk”

Also, I was under the impression that when discussing food and drink you always keep the ‘le’ or ‘la’ even if you use ‘de’ or ‘du’

Someone please explain


You don't need "some" to translate "du lait". The partitive articles "du", "de la" and "de l'" are required in French only.

"Du" is the contraction of "de"+"le", so "le" is not added on top.

"De la" is used with feminine, uncountable nouns.

"De l'" is used before any uncountable noun starting with a vowel sound.


Why is "the boys are drinking milk" incorrect? Is that not just another way of expressing the present tense?


I had to translate "Les garçons boivent du lait" I wrote "Boys drink milk." as I thought it could equally be with or without the article in English. i.e. it could be The boys drink milk. or Boys drink milk.

Anyone know why that is not a correct translation?


"Boys drink milk" is a generalization where "all boys in the world" would be drinking milk, which is probably not true.

Which is more probable is that specific boys drink or are drinking milk. This is why "the boys" is better.


I can't hear the du lait

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