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ALL of the options are drinkable liquids, so how am I to know which one is correct?
Grammatical genders are masculine and feminine.
You have to learn every new noun together with its own gender.
coffee = un/le café (masculine). soupe = une/la soupe (feminine).
There are a few patterns based on noun endings, but it is faster to start learning individual new nouns with their determiner.
If you look at the article (du) you can recognize the gender:
le and la are the determinative articles respectively for the masculin and the feminine;
the partitive article de (means like "some") + le becomes du for the masculin, the feminine is de la .
To the plural you have to know the genders (take a dictionary for this) because they have the same article which is des
Yes, they are, but "alcool" starts with a vowel.
So you have to use "de l'alcool"
"Exactly! I am really confused by this. I chose "beer" but the correct answer is "coffee". Why? Duolingo glitch or a special grammar rule?
If the exercise is "fill-in the blank" and you get "je bois du___", you have to remember that "du" is the partitive article you need with masculine nouns starting with a consonant.
Therefore, among the options you are offered, you have to pick the "masculine noun starting with a consonant" to fill-in the blank.
You can proceed by elimination:
- alcool is masculine but starts with a vowel: de l'alcool"
- bière is feminine: de la bière
- eau is feminine and starts with a vowel: de l'eau
- femme is feminine and does not make any sense in this sentence
- café is masculine and starts with a consonant, so "du café" is the correct answer.
there are ways to know, read the above comments of gendered words and du/de la/d'/des. there was only one correct answer in that list.
The first time you see a new word, it will have a determiner, and in early lessons, this determiner will be an article.
- masculine articles: le (definite), un (indefinite) and du (partitive, contracted from "de+le")
- feminine articles: la (definite), une (indefinite) and de la (partitive)
Therefore, the first time you see the word "café", it will show as "le café", "un café" or "du café".
You will then have to memorize it as "coffee = [un café], as if the article were a prefix.
This should help you remember each word's gender.
why cant this be i am drinking some coffee and not i drink coffee but when i type both it shows as correct but both are different sentences in actual and are used in diffewrent situations
French does not have continuous tenses. This is why "I drink" and "I am drinking" both translate to "je bois". Further context would clarify the different situations that are conveyed in English.
"du" is a partitive article (think of it as "part of a mass").
Partitive articles are required in French when the meaning is some in front of a mass noun, even if the English sentence does not have "some".
If the following noun is masculine singular, the partitive article is "du" (= the contraction of "de" + "le").
If the following noun is feminine singular, the partitive article is "de la".
If the following noun starts with a vowel sound, the partitive article is "de l'".
- je bois du café means I am drinking some coffee (masculine)
- je mange de la soupe means I am eating some soup (feminine)
- je bois de l'eau means I am drinking some water (feminine)
- je bois de l'alcool means I am drinking some alcohol (masculine)
The de la vs du posts really helped but can some one explain why bois and not boire?
"boire" = to drink, in the infinitive, non-conjugated form.
Verbs are extensively conjugated in French, so in indicative present, you get:
je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent
How is one to tell the tense in this situation? Whether it is "I drink" or "I am drinking"? Because it could be stated as an affirmation to a question instead of a statement of present action.
In french there isn't a difference between a present tense and a present continuous tense....je bois le thé can mean i drink the tea or i am drinking the tea
"Eau" and "bière" are feminine and the partitive article would therefore be "de l'eau" and "de la bière".
Only "café", because it is masculine and starts with a consonant, can get the partitive article "du".
As already said several times, it is not a matter of beverages but of grammatical gender and form of the article:
Je bois :
- du café (masculine, noun starting with a consonant)
- de la bière (feminine, noun starting with a consonant)
- de l'alcool (masculine, noun starting with a vowel)
- de l'eau (feminine, noun starting with a vowel)
Why is it that in certain phrases, when you use du, it translates to some, while others, such as this one, translate to simply "I drink coffee"? Because I keep putting, "I drink some coffee" and though it doesn't say I am wrong, I'm still confused by it.
"some" is optional in English whereas "du, de la, de l'" (= partitive articles) are required in French.
It's not an IQ test, but a grammar test. If you are requested to pick a word to fill in a blank, make sure you know what is expected:
- "du" expects a masculine noun starting with a consonant.
Therefore, any feminine noun and any masculine noun starting with a vowel sound will be wrong.
Je bois... du café, de l'alcool, de la bière, de l'eau
Can't you also put 'I drink the coffee' because that would mean actually finishing it, whereas '...some coffee' would be classed as not finishing it.
Not in french. Unless you have earlier sentences to specify which coffee you are drinking (the coffee that lucy gave me, the coffee on the table etc) saying the coffee means all the coffee in the world. When talking about eating or drinking you always use some unless you have prior context.
Can someone explain this to me? This isn't making much sense to me. Is there a page on Duolingo that would help me understand this? Please go slow.
There are Tips and Notes on grammar with each lesson. If you can't access them from your screen, please use a PC.
Yes, you can, when the English sentence is "I drink/am drinking a coffee".
Merci! Assuming J'ai is a contraction of I (je) and have ( avoir). Is there a direct translation for "bu"?
what's the difference between du and de? is that one of them has to be used with masculine and the other with feminine? please help!
"du", "de la" and "de l' " are the 3 partitive articles in French.
"du" is the contraction of preposition "de" + "le", masculine singular
"de la" is feminine singular
"de l'" is used in front of any masculine or feminine singular noun starting with a vowel sound (vowel or non aspirate H):
- je bois du vin (masculine) = I drink (some) wine
- je bois de la bière (feminine) = I drink (some) beer
- je bois de l'alcool (masculine) = I drink (some) alcohol
- je bois de l'eau (feminine) = I drink (some) water.
Partitive articles are required whenever the meaning is "some + mass noun" = an undefined quantity of an uncountable thing.
- je bois de l' alcool (masculine noun, starting with a vowel sound)
- je bois du café (masculine noun, starting with a consonant sound)
"I am drinking" is a continuous present and French does not have any continuous tenses.
Therefore, whenever you get "to be + gerund", you can be sure that the French translation will not be "être + gerund".
I am drinking therefore translates to "je bois", simple present.
if you want to insist that the action is on-going at the time you speak, you can use a verbal phrase: "je suis en train de boire", where "en train de + infinitive" means "in the process of + gerund".
The drop-down menu offers a few possible translations, but it does not clarify context, it does not propose specific translations for the sentence you are working on nor the actual meaning of the words proposed. It is by no means a dictionary and if you want to be more accurate in your learning, I suggest you open another tab on a good online dictionary, which you can refer to as you go.
Therefore, "bois" is 1st or second person singular of verb "boire" in the present tense: je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez (polite singular and plural), ils/elles boivent.
But i can't understand how to say "to drink" in french?? Is "boire"a correct answer for this question??!!
"boire" is the infinitive form (= to drink)
conjugation in indicative present:
je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent.
the drop-down bar shows all the correct answers, you pick which one fits the setting.
So if I wanted to say "you're having coffee" it would be "Tu bois cafe" or "vous bois cafe" , is that correct?
"You're having coffee"= "Yu're drinking coffee"?
The correct translation is : Tu bois du café/ tu bois le café; vous buvez du café/vous buvez du café
Je bois- tu bois- il boit- nous buvons- vous buvez- ils boivent
I put alcool, because isn't "bois" masculine?? I'm not sure how this is wrong!
"bois" is the conjugated, active verb. It is not a noun so it does not have a gender.
But the nouns you were proposed as objects of this verb do have a gender that needs a specific partitive article:
- café is masculine: DU café
- alcool is masculine as well, but it starts with a vowel: DE L'alcool
- bière is feminine and starts with a consonant: DE LA bière
- eau is feminine and starts with a vowel: DE L'eau
cafe (') is an exception because it has an accent on the end. anything with an accent at the end is aways masculine.
No, that is not right: "liberté, égalité, fraternité" and many others are feminine.
ALL French nouns have a grammatical gender, irrespective of what they represent. For the most part, these nouns come from Latin, that used to have 3 genders. So, be happy, French has only 2! ;-)
So in French I drink and I am drinking is Je bois? There's no distinction for present tense and present continuous?
Correct. French does not have specialized continuous/progressive tenses. However, you can use the idiomatic phrase être en train de to emphasize that an action is in progress.