1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Their pig eats rice."

"Their pig eats rice."

Translation:Leur cochon mange du riz.

March 5, 2018

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P1N3APPLZ

It says "their pig eats rice" not "their pig eats SOME rice".


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

Point 1

In English, the word some in the construct some of something may be dropped but in French it usually cannot be dropped.

examples

Je mange du pain avec de la confiture. - I am eating bread with jam.
Il y a des fourmis partout. - There are ants everywhere.

Point 2

des is either:

an idefinite article associated with plural countable nouns.
the contraction of the preposition de + the definitive article les

Therefore, des can mean some or of the or from the, etc.

examples

Je vais manger des fraises. - I am going to eat (some) strawberries.
Il arrive des √Čtats-Unis. - He's coming from the United States.
Aimeriez-vous des pommes ? Would you like (some) apples ?
ce sont des soldats - they are soldiers
ce ne sont pas des amis. - they are not friends

Point 3

Now here comes the tricky bit. In English you cannot always drop the word some in constructs some + noun

For example, consider the sentence Some people like marmite. In such a construct you cannot drop the word some because if you did it implies people in general like marmite which is definitely not the case.

Another example where the word some cannot be dropped is: Some days I don't feel at all well

When the word some means a certain proportion rather than an indefinite number then you use the french word certain(e)

examples

Certains hommes sont mauvais. - Some men are bad.
Certains jours je ne me sens vraiment pas bien - some days I don't feel at all well
Voulez-vous certaines des pommes ? - Do you want some of the apples ?


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

In this last example, with the apples, do you thing "certaines" is too "particularising", too specific?
Might "quelques-unes des pommes" be more neutral?

Maybe native speakers don't, normally, perceive a difference?


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

It took me a while to understand this as well. In simple terms, 'rice' is an item of 'some' unknown quantity being consumed because they come in individual kernels of rice. So you wanna use 'du', because it doesn't state what amount the pig eats. "Their pig eats some rice" and "Their pig eats rice" is the same in French. If its "Their pig eats 'the' rice" then its a specified amount and refers to the whole rice available, which translates into "Leur cochon mange le riz". Its quite confusing and the best way to learn this is repetition in your studies until it becomes second hand nature.


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

the diffrence between "they" and "their" here's the bottle neck for me i think.!! i was using "leur cochon mangent du riz" but the correct answer says "leur cochon mange du riz" - any light on this please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manuel599019

I suggest that you learn the conjugation of the verb "manger" in the present tense. "mangent" is used with the third person plural; like this: "leurs cochons mangent du riz".


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

Why leur instead of leurs?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BWilson418109

Why leur instead of leurs?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.