"He knows women."
Translation:Il connaît les femmes.
"il sait les femmes" does not work here.
please refer to this page which may help you : http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/savoirconnaitre.htm
Sure, but it seems (in English at least) that the unspoken understanding of the sentence is not simply that he knows some women, but that he understands how women are, as in he "gets" women or understands the 'subject' of women. If one were intending to provide this sort of context to the sentence, would savoir be accurate?
Thanks for the very prompt reply . But wouldn't 'he knows fruit' be il connait des fruits? As in je mange des fruits/ If I say je mange les fruits that's very particular fruit, but as I understand it you can't say je mange fruits, although in English you say I eat fruit. Similarly with I know women, why is that je connais les femmes and not je connais des femmes. Surely je connais les femmes is I know the women?
If you know fruit (or any matter like astronomy...), you have knowledge in the category or matter as a whole.
Categories are introduced by a definite article to mean "fruit" or "astronomy" in general.
- je connais les fruits = I know fruit
- je connais l'astronomie = I know astronomy
The same applies with "like/love":
- j'aime les oranges = I like oranges
- j'aime la viande = I like meat
On the other hand, whenever you eat (a piece of fruit), you only eat one unit or several units or a portion of an uncountable thing.
- je mange un fruit, je mange des oranges (indefinite, singular or plural) = I eat a/one piece of fruit, I eat oranges
- je mange de la viande (partitive) = I eat (some) meat.
The French definite articles are used for generalities/categories and also for specific things:
- j'aime/je mange l'orange que tu m'as donnée = I like/eat the orange you gave me
- je connais les femmes dans cette pièce = I know the women in this room.
Strictly speaking (and as explained on the threads and Tips and Notes), "des" is not partitive, since partitive articles are reserved for uncountable things, which are singular mass nouns.
"Des" is the plural indefinite article that English does not have. "Des" is the plural of "un" or "une" and it is required to mean "more than one".
There are too many new words being introduced in this lesson much help available to refer which one to use when... Does anyone have these words in tabular format or any website that has this available? fait/faisons/faites aid/aides/aidons peut/peux/pouvez apprend/apprenons/ etc. etc.