"Carrots and beans are vegetables."
Translation:Les carottes et les haricots sont des légumes.
When you are making a generalization about things or people, use les. Here is an excellent link: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3683850/Les-or-Des
The use of 'Les carottes" and 'les haricots' is little confusing, since there is no 'The carrots' and 'the beans'. But this might be the language exceptions, and a little learning clarifies the issue that, while making a generalization, we should use the French article "Les" before noun, even if there is no "The" article before the noun in English.
Exactly! French requires an article almost all the time, whereas you wouldn't use an article when referring to things in general in English.
Les chats sont des animaux. = Cats are animals.
Till now they would ask me to put "the" when I see some "le/la/les" and out of blue they come with this phrase omitting the article in the English translation. I'm so confused.
Hello, sometimes we do not use an article in English. When referring to things in general, it is not necessary to use an article. Indeed it "sounds" a bit strange. Here in this sentence we are not talking about particular carrots and beans or certain types of carrots and beans, but carrots and beans in general.
This link may help you understand when not to use an article. http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/grammar-when-not-to-use-the-definite-article/
Not only are French article numerous, but they are everywhere, and repeated in a short series. Even when you list 3 items and more, you may repeat the articles, and you must do it if they change from one item to the other:
- les carottes, les haricots et les épinards sont des légumes.
- les carottes, (les) haricots, (les) épinards, (les) choux et (les) petits pois sont des légumes.
- la carotte, le haricot, le chou et l'endive sont des légumes
Why is the les needed at all here when it is not asking for "the carrots" but just carrots?
Most of the time you must have an article with nouns in French. Here it is referring to carrots in general so you'd use les.
Les carottes et les haricots make up a part of "legumes," but vegetables encompass more than just beans and carrots so here instead of the general "les" legumes you'd write "des" legumes (some) vegetables.
In other words ALL carrots and ALL beans are vegetables (use the general les) but NOT ALL vegetables are carrots and beans, just some of them, des.
And the "...sont DES légumes" means "are OF vegetables" rather than "are SOME vegetables"?
- la carotte est un légume
- le haricot est un légume
- les carottes sont des légumes
- les haricots sont des légumes
- les carottes et les haricots sont des légumes.
"Des" is the plural indefinite article that English does not have.
- "Des" is the plural of "un" or "une".
- "Des" does not have a direct translation (there is no plural version of "a/an") and does not need one, even "some".
- "Des" means "more than one"
This sentence is a typical generality, hence the definite articles "les" to introduce the two categories "carottes" and "haricots".
The suggestion Duolingo gives has it as "des haricots", while the right one is "les".