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"You have a chocolate sandwich and a fish sandwich."

Translation:Tu as un sandwich au chocolat et un sandwich au poisson.

March 14, 2013

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PapaLingo

Maybe someone can explain this one? Why could you not use "un sandwich de chocolat" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"a <ingredient> sandwich" is a sandwich containing a specific ingredient, to be translated in "sandwich à" + definite article + ingredient:

  • sandwich à la viande (meat sandwich)
  • sandwich au chocolat/saumon : au is the contraction of à-le
  • sandwich aux crevettes/anchois (shrimp/anchovy sandwich) : aux is the contraction of à-les, feminine (une crevette) or masculine (un anchois)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PapaLingo

Thanks for the reply. I read some of your other responses, so I knew I was dealing with a smart cookie! Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

C'est très aimable à vous !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dieuadieu

the way I'm tentatively thinking about the use of noun + à + le/la + noun is as a way of combining two nouns in a descriptive fashion. In English, we just shove them together--chocolate sandwich, power shovel, steam engine, electric light--but I'm guessing (hoping) that French consistently does things like sandwich au chocolat, poisson au citron, machine à vapeur (I looked that one up, don't know why there's no definite article).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Very interesting question, actually.

We will use prepositions "à" or "de", depending on the meaning:

  • une machine à vapeur, une tasse à thé, un fer à repasser = usage, function

  • un sandwich au fromage = addition of an ingredient

  • une feuille de papier, un mur de pierre(s), une tasse de thé, un litre de lait, une heure de réunion = material, content, measure, duration

That is when there is no adjective available: une lumière électrique (and not une lumière d'électricité), du riz épicé / aux épices (you have the choice here)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benryan10

Interesting! Does the following pattern always apply?

"a <container>" (typically empty) vs "a <container filled with its expected contents>"

"a teacup" = "une tasse à thé" vs "a cup of tea" = "une tasse de thé"

"a wine bottle" = "une bouteille à vin" vs "a bottle of wine" = "une bouteille de vin"

If I wanted to say (because I have run out of mugs, so I am giving you your coffee in a teacup, perhaps) "a teacup of coffee" I could translate it as "une tasse à thé de café"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Mais oui, your guess is right!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pir_anha

This is the sort of thing for which I return here every day, not the lessons. ;) Thanks to Sitesurf and you I'll now be able to deal with these prepositions much better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roloxx2

Maybe because it's explaining that the machine is doing a job? The job being "vapeur."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KathrynFowler

but yuck! stomach churning combination!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hdk1026

Why is "du" not correct? Doesn't it mean "of the"? And doesn't "à + le = au" mean "to the"? I keep getting these confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blunket

In French, does the word "have" ever imply eating?

Like in English, if someone says "I am having a sandwich" it's basically synonymous with "I am eating a sandwich"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No "avoir" does not mean "eat". "Avoir" is about possession.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Smilez-Inga

that just made me hungry :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Weirdstormtroopr

Is chocolate sandwiches an american thing or a french thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamOng

I'm pretty sure it's a Duolingo thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noncoupable

in french we say "un pain avec du chocolat" i never heard chocolate sandwich, we also say "tartine au chocolat" for bread with chocolate spread


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeStern

I've seen pain au chocolat in Paris...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamOng

A 'pain au chocolat' is not a chocolate sandwich, but a chocolate-filled pastry.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamOng

I wrote 'Tu as un sandwich au chocolat et un sandwich aux poissons.' and was told I should have used the singular, 'poisson'. Is there any reason for that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In the case of a "fish sandwich", it would be more logical to consider that there is "some fish" in the sandwich (not several fish). So in French, a singular would be more suitable to that meaning, with "au poisson".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamOng

Well, I had the right idea. I was thinking of a sardine sandwich (In British English I could just as well say 'sardines sandwich'.), with individual sardines, so 'aux poissons' would be the correct translation. If I had been thinking of tuna chunks instead of sardines or anchovies, I'd have put 'au poisson'. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oteske1

Has anyone else seen the sentence repeated 3 times, been told to select the right awnsers and been called wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelLan780021

Someone already asked this question, but I don't see that she got an answer. Why is it " au poisson" and not " du poisson" it just seems to me that du would make more sense because it's a sandwich made of fish, not a sandwich eaten with fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is above, though.

We use the prepositions "à" or "de", depending on the meaning:

  • une machine à vapeur, une tasse à thé, un fer à repasser = usage, function

  • un sandwich au fromage = addition of an ingredient

  • une feuille de papier, un mur de pierre(s), une tasse de thé, un litre de lait, une heure de réunion = material, content, measure, duration


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelLan780021

A fish sandwich is a sandwich in which the primary ingredient is fish. The fish isn't being added to the sandwich. It is the sandwich. I could understand the logic here if we were talking about lettuce, cheese, mayonnaise, or some other secondary ingredient that one might add to a sandwich, but in this case, that's not what we are talking about. I understand the distinction that you're making between a and de, but I don't see how it applies in this case. Thanks for your reply!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Un sandwich au poisson" has fish as the primary ingredient. Secondary ingredients are indicated with "avec", like "un sandwich (au poisson) avec de la salade, du fromage et de la mayonnaise".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelLan780021

Okay thanks. I think I was confused by your example of: un sandwich au fromage = addition of an ingredient, in your previous reply, but I think I'm getting it now. At least a little bit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I assume that my explanation was not clear enough, as I was implicitly considering bread as the main ingredient in a sandwich... Sorry for that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AeronM

But "omelette du fromage"....... I'm confused!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

« Omelette du fromage » does not mean a thing. Only « omelette au fromage » does.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AeronM

OMG really?? Steve Martin LIED to us!!!! haha :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnChristi278985

But they are all the same

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