"Je bois du café."

Translation:I drink coffee.

March 11, 2013

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ALL of the options are drinkable liquids, so how am I to know which one is correct?


Du - masculine (MALE) De la - feminine (FEMALE) De l' - vowel


"Exactly! I am really confused by this. I chose "beer" but the correct answer is "coffee". Why? Duolingo glitch or a special grammar rule?



une bière => de la bière.

un café => du café


Thanks Sitesurf!


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 do I get to know feminine from masculine?


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)


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


Isn't cafe' cafe in english


It is when it is a place, like a pub or coffee-house.


How do I know which one is correct?


"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".


The selection consist of beverages. How are you supposed to know which?


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.


why can't it be alcool why coffee only .. all of them are liquids


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 i also say "je bois un cafe" like i drink a coffee?


Yes, you can, when the English sentence is "I drink/am drinking a coffee".


How would one say "I drank coffee" ?


J'ai bu du café: compound past for a past and complete action.


Merci! Assuming J'ai is a contraction of I (je) and have ( avoir). Is there a direct translation for "bu"?


"bu" is the past participle of the verb "boire" = drunk

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