"I like calm men."
Translation:J'aime les hommes calmes.
The phrase wasn't "I like THE calm men, it was "I like calm men". Why is the answer LES hommes, instead of DES hommes
The French definite articles le, la, les are used as in English to specify the object, but also and unlike in English for generalities.
- I like (the) calm men = j'aime les hommes calmes
In any event, with appreciation verbs (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, haïr, détester, préférer, respecter, admirer), the direct object is always considered as a generality, be it a category of things or a concept in singular:
- I like horses (in general) and nature (in general) = j'aime les chevaux et la nature.
So by saying "j'aime des hommes calmes" you're saying specifically "I like some calm men"?
"I like some calm men" would mean you like a limited number of calm men, or even many of them, but not all of them, and the French would be "J'aime bien certains hommes calmes".
When the direct object is a human being, "aimer bien" means "to like" as opposed to "aimer" which means "to love".
Oh.... so if it was just "J'aime les hommes calmes" you are saying "I love calm men" because it's about human beings. That's why we have to use "J'aime bien les hommes calmes"?
The sooner you learn the basics, the better. Using the verbs "aimer, aimer bien, adorer" is essential to basic communication.
In french lots of adjectives go after the noun they describe. It goes over exceptions in later lessons.
So if you wanted to say "I like men calm" instead of "I like calm men" you would write "J'aimes les calmes hommes" ? As in: I like men when they are calm. As opposed to: I like men (who are by nature) calm.
The word "calm" looks very strange to me now that I've written it out so many times...
No, this does not work.
I like men (when they are) calm = j'aime les hommes calmes / j'aime les hommes quand ils sont calmes.
Or you would need an emphatic construction like: c'est calmes que j'aime les hommes.
There are a few specific types of adjectives that go before the noun, but most go after it in French. Actually, in English we still have this in some old-fashioned and formal constructions, especially in things like government or religion where traditions tend to stick, due to influence from French way back in the middle ages.
"l'homme" is singular - with "le" elided to l' in front of a vowel sound (the H is mute).
The plural of "le, la and l'" is "les": les hommes.
Elisions apply to vowel sound conflicts.
In plural, "les" ends with a consonant and liaises with the next vowel sound: les hommes = LEZOM
So is it incorrect to write "le homme" instead of "l'homme" even though while speaking you would probably say "l'homme"?
Yes, it is incorrect because the elision is compulsory with the following words: le, la, ne, je, me, te, se, que, puisque, lorsque, quoique.
The reason is that all of these words end with a [uh] vowel sound.
"hommes" is a plural word, which should go with the plural "the" as in "les hommes". The apostrophe (L') is used when the masculine/feminine singular "the" as in "le" and "la" is follow by a vowel sound. E.g. L'orange & Les oranges, L'homme & Les hommes, etc.
I hope you find this helpful.
Why is "j'aime hommes calmes" wrong?
I thought because "les" means plural "the" in English and "j'aime les hommes calmes is supossed to translate to " I like the calm men".
Somebody please explain this to me.
The plural of "un" or "une" is "des", the plural indefinite article that English does not have:
- un homme, des hommes
- une femme, des femmes
The plural of "le" or "la" is "les":
- l'homme, les hommes
- la femme, les femmes
The plural of "le" and "la" is "les".
"le" and "la" need to change to l' when there is a vowel sound conflict with the next word:
- l'homme [lom] replaces le homme [luh-om]
- l'eau [lo] replaces la eau [lah-o]
In plural, there is no vowel sound conflict since "les" is pronounced LEZ with the next vowel sound.
- the men = les hommes [lezom]
- the waters = les eaux [lezo]
It was saying "I like calm men" in general, not "I like the calm men", so why is it "les" instead of "des"
"Les" is used for generalities and specificities.
"I like calm men" is a generality, as "men" refers to a whole category = j'aime les hommes calmes
"I like the calm men" has specific men = j'aime les hommes calmes.
Besides, the direct object of an appreciation verb (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, détester, préférer, apprécier, haïr, respecter, admirer) is preceded by a definite article (le, la, les).
This sentence is a generality: if you like "calm men", you like them all, as a whole category.
The use of the "general article" is automatic with appreciation verbs (aimer, aimer bien adorer, détester, haïr, préférer, admirer, respecter):
- j'adore le chocolat
- je déteste la soupe
- j'aime bien les hommes calmes.
85% of French adjectives come after the noun they modify.
A group of irregular adjectives have to be placed before the noun they modify and a number of adjectives can be placed before or after the noun to add a nuance in meaning.
"calme(s)" is a regular adjective.
So is the French sentence here translated to "like" instead of "love" because it's not about a specific person but a class of people?
Your assumption is right.
"J'aime les hommes calmes" and "j'aime bien les hommes calmes" are both accepted and mean the same thing. Since common sense tells me I cannot feel true love for a whole class of people, "j'aime" should be "I like".
However, "I love (the) calm men" is accepted as well because it is not impossible.
Hi, please use the button to report problems. The course creators don't read every comment to every sentence discussion, but they do get the reports. Thanks!
Why is "J'aime des hommes calmes" not correct? Is it only because of using "aimer"?
Yes, it is because with "aimer" or any other appreciation verb (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, préférer, détester, haïr, respecter, admirer), the direct object is a "category".
If you like calm men, you like them all, the full category of calm men.
So, the direct object of an appreciation verb is always a generality and generalities in French need a definite article (le, la, l', les).
Thank you for asking this question!! I was wondering the same thing. I felt pretty good using the partitive ("des") here, and was confused about being marked wrong.
My second language is German, BTW... coming from English, I've almost never been wrong about whether to use an article, and if so which, as that usage are almost identical to that of English. (For instance, there's no partitive article in German, just as there isn't in English.) This is something that it's easy not to realise one takes for granted. French is a challenge on this front!
The answer that is given ....is wrong......it should be J'aime hommes calmes
French nouns usually need determiners, even when the English sentence does not have any.
"men" in general is "les hommes"
"calm men" in general (as a category) is "les hommes calmes".
I am asked to translate "I like calm men" and not "I like THE calm men".So,why is les mentioned here?
Since you like all and any calm men, as a category, the object "hommes calmes" is a generalization.
Generalizations use the definite articles "le, la, les".
With verbs of appreciation (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, préférer, apprécier, détester, haïr, respected, admirer), the direct object is automatically general and it gets a definite article.
"Since you like all and any calm men, as a category"
It's perhaps verging on philosophy but ... "I like calm men" doesn't mean "I like all and any calm men" it means that you like "some men who are calm [because of their calmness]". It's a description of an attribute of some men that you admire. Perhaps this is part of the problem in comprehending such sentences for the [British-] English native (and others?).
Because of this meaning in English, we want to use "some" (des), because the English phrase "I like calm men" certainly does NOT mean "I like all calm men", so using the generality of "les hommes" seems wrong given descriptions such as that you've given. The meaning you ascribe, and so are translating, is not the meaning of the sentence in English (to at least this native British-English speaker) and so there is a mismatch.
Perhaps it's better for us as we learn to realise that translation is just slightly mismatched and never perfect; learn and regurgitate the last sentence and we should do alright.
Your last paragraph has it spot-on. If it helps to know, Old English (like other ancestral Germanic languages) had no indefinite article, while Latin (closely related to though not the direct ancestor of the Romance languages) had no articles at all. So articles developed independently in both language groups; it shouldn't be surprising, then, that they aren't used in the same ways.
Appreciation verbs have "general" objects with a definite article: "Elle aime les livres."
This is valid for aimer, aimer bien, adorer, apprécier, préférer, détester, haïr, respecter, admirer.
The direct object can be a category, a concept, a countable or uncountable noun, in singular or plural.
- Elle aime... le chocolat, la philosophie, les livres...
First of all, you are the most patient sitesurf in the universe - Merçi!
I think I have this but perhaps you could confirm. Les is plural of le, la , l' Les hommes refers not to men, but to a specific group of men.
Des is plural of un, une Des hommes refers to men - or all men, correct?
So any time hommes is accompanied by an adjective - hommes calmes, hommes riches, hommes joyeaux, that automatically prescribes the pronoun les instead of des?
So j'aime les hommes calmes, but j'aime des hommes ?
I know it is rather difficult for English speakers to rely on context to pick the correct French article, but this brain gym becomes easier with practice.
"Le, la, l' and les" are definite articles. They can be general or specific.
- If the English sentence has "the", the object is specific and the French translation will include "le, la, l', les".
-- The teacher is speaking = Le professeur parle
- If the English noun does not have an article, you will need to determine whether the object is general or not. If it is general (a whole category or thing, a concept), the French translation will include "le, la, l', les".
-- Cats can see in the dark = Les chats voient dans le noir: universal truth, all cats can.
-- Meat is less expensive than fish = La viande est moins chère que le poisson: whole categories "meat" and "fish" in general.
-- Life is tough these days = La vie est dure ces temps-ci: concept, life in general.
Again, see above what I explained for appreciation verbs which automatically have a general object modified by "le, la, l', les":
-- I like/hate calm/rich/happy men means I like/hate all and each individual in the category "calm men" or "rich men" or "happy men" = J'aime/je déteste les hommes calmes/riches/joyeux
"Un, une and des" are indefinite articles. "Des" is the plural of "un/une" and it is required with the meaning of "more than one".
- If you can add "more than one" or "some/a few/several" before an English bare noun in the plural, and the sentence keeps its meaning, the French translation will include "des".
-- I have [more than one/some] coins in my pocket = J'ai des pièces dans ma poche.
-- I agree to speak to [more than one/some] calm men = Je suis d'accord pour parler avec des hommes calmes.
-- There are [more than one/some] rich men in this hotel = Il y a des hommes riches dans cet hôtel.
@sitesurf Thank you for your very patient and comprehensive explanations!
Why is "J'aime les hommes calms," incorrect? Why does it take the feminine form of calm?
There is only one form of calme/calmes. There is not a separate masculine and feminine form.
I think French allows for a distinction between "calm men" and "the calm men." "Les..." conveys the idea of "the." Does "des" convey the idea of "men in general"?
"des hommes calmes" is the plural of "un homme calme", so "des" means "more than one".
Men in general = Les hommes
OK, I see that some French constructions don't have parallels in English. It reminds me of when I was in grad school in Quebec where they objected to the word "remorquage" (literally "removal") for "towing" arguing that there is no French word for towing! It seems that similarly there is no parallel distinction between "calm men" and "the calm men." Apparently as in some English expressions one would need to know the context to make the distinction.
With verbs of appreciation (aimer, aimer bien, adorer, apprécier, détester, haïr, préférer, admirer, respecter), the direct object is automatically generalized and needs a definite article.
If you were to only like "some calm men" as opposed to "all calm men", the pair of sentences would look like this:
- I like some calm men = J'aime certains hommes calmes.
Is there a way in French to indicate that I like "the" calm men in a group of men, rather than just calm men in general?
Yes, demonstrative adjectives are just meant for that: "Ces hommes calmes" (these/those calm men).
Because it is the translation for "I like men who are calm", which is not the sentence you were given.
The is not supposed to be in this sentence my answer should be accepted as j'aime bien hommes calmes
Why is there a "les" in French when there is no "the" in the question??
What exactly is the difference between "J'aime bien les hommes calmes" and "J'aime les hommes calmes"?
I finally got ot right. Why isn't there Je not J'? Please somebody tell me I am comfused.
Because "to like someone" is "aimer bien quelqu'un".
"Aimer quelqu'un" is "to love someone".
I realise that French uses a definite article where English does not, but how would you translate the English "I like the calm men" into French? Would you have to use "ceux"?
Remember: "the" is a definite article, which translates to "le, la, les".
- The calm men = Les hommes calmes.
first i made a mistake in men writing it in singular then the correction it showed was "je'aime hommes calmes" next time when i wrote this it showed correction "je'aime les hommes calmes" like what is the need of the and they haven't mentioned it anywhere in english sentence.
Duolingo could not show you "je'aime" because it is improper French.
"Je" must elide before a verb starting with a vowel sound (vowel or mute H): "J'aime".
"Les hommes calmes" can translate to 2 meanings:
- the calm men, as specific men (those in this room)
- calm men in general, as a category of men - it is a generality.
In any event, the direct object of an appreciation verb (aimer, aimer bien, préférer, détester, haïr, respecter, admirer) always gets a definite article.
If the thing you are referring to is the apostrophe, you can't be correct without it.
"J'aime" is the proper spelling.
J'aime is correct but remember that firstly you need the little word le/la/les or du/de la/des before the thing you are talking about (like la pomme rather than just pomme), and that the describing word comes after the thing (la pomme rouge) but also that the endings must agree (les pommes rouges).
In French as in English, when they are supposed to be there, you need them and should not leave them out. They are as much a part of the word as any letter. If you leave them out, the word is spelled wrong and you may change the meaning.