"Does he eat vegetables?"
Translation:Mange-t-il des légumes ?
"Mange-t-il les légumes ?" is about specific vegetables = Does he eat the vegetables?
"Mange-t-il des légumes ?" is the plural of "Mange-t-il un légume ?" = Does he eat vegetables? as the plural of "Does he eat a/one vegetable?"
"Aime-t-il les légumes ?" (appreciation verb) is about vegetables in general = Does he like vegetables?
Your answer still leaves me confused. I got the answer correct and used 'des' and I know he cannot eat every vegetable but I thought when referring to a general concept the definite article was used rather than the partitive one. This same lesson contains a sentence about "il" liking chocolate and it was written "le chocolat" rather than "du chocolat". I understood this to mean he likes chocolate (le chocolat) rather than just a fraction of chocolate (du chocolat). So I do not grasp why in this sentence "il" likes vegetables as general thing is not "les Iegumes but des legumes as if he only likes some vegetables. am just left more confused about this than before.
Okay, according to this the sentence should use the definite article, as "Does he eat vegetables in general" replaces it with the same meaning. "Does he eat some vegetables" would use "des".
Edit: Adding "some" to "Does he eat vegetables" distinctly changes its original meaning. Again, in accordance with the guide and what you are saying it should use "les". If he can not "eat vegetables in general" than Duolingo shouldn't use an English sentence that says he can.
Please take the time to fully understand the explanations given:
If you can add "some" without changing the meaning of the sentence, you need a partitive article with a mass noun and "des" with a plural, countable noun.
- He is eating (some) chocolate = Il mange du chocolat (an unknown amount of a mass thing)
- He loves chocolate = Il adore le chocolat (chocolate in general, as a food category)
- He is eating (some) vegetables = Il mange des légumes (an unknow number of countable things)
- He hates vegetables = Il déteste les légumes (vegetables in general, as a food category).
And again, he can "like/hate vegetables in general" but he does not "eat vegetables in general".
This is an adjustment made necessary by the vowel sound conflict between the verb ending in a vowel and the pronoun starting with a vowel.
The insertion of [-t-] creates a T sound liaison and makes the inversion easier to utter and understand.
This T does not mean anything and the hyphens are required.
You will have to add [-t-] whenever the verb ends with an -e or -a and the pronoun is "il, elle, on":
- mange-t-il ?
- cherche-t-elle ?
- va-t-on ?
It is a convention for proper pronunciation.
Whenever the verb ends with a vowel, you will add a dummy "t", between hyphens, to liaise it with the pronouns "il", "elle" and "on":
- mange-t-il ?
- va-t-elle ?
- aime-t-on ?
This is the most formal interrogative construction using an inversion between the verb and its subject.