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  5. "Le chef mettait du beurre da…

"Le chef mettait du beurre dans tous les plats."

Translation:The chef used to put butter in all the dishes.

March 31, 2018



Why not "The chef used to put butter on all the dishes."


I think you would use "sur" for putting the butter on the plates; but "dans" is used because butter is an ingredient in the dish/plate.


There is a subtle, but important, difference in the semantics here. Putting butter in a dish is not the same as putting it on a plate.


I just hate it! You offer translations and tben don't accept them! Why not 'put' and 'plates'?!


The English simple past "put" would be translated into French with the passé composé "a mis". The imperfect is translated as "was putting" or "used to put".

The author of the sentence apparently intended "plat" not to mean the piece of tableware, but the food that is prepared and served. Calling menu items "plates" instead of "dishes" sounds a bit odd to me, but perhaps not to others.

  • 1154

Duo gave me the correct answer as "The chef would put butter in all the dishes.", which sounds off...


"would" can be used this way and is the same as "used to put". You may be thinking of the other use of "would" for the conditional. Some words have more than one meaning.


This is a good example of the flexibility of this tense. "The chef used to put butter in all the dishes is correct, but also marked correct was, "The chef was putting butter in all the dishes." The first is a habit of the chef and the second is something he was doing in the past.


Why not "the chef was putting butter on all the dishes"?


« Dans » means “in” and “on” would have been “sur”. It depends on the shape of the dish. I would use “in” for a bowl and “on” for a plate.



I think dish or plat refers to the food rather than a vessel in this case. Lasagne is a dish. Fried rice is a dish. Macaroni and cheese is a dish. That chef would put butter in all those dishes. How French!


You are right: “a plate” would be “une assiette.” I was trying to clarify when to use “dans” rather than “sur”.
You could also put butter on food as well as in it, but here the French is clear that it is “in” the dish.


I would like to understand why is it tous les plats and not tout les plats. I thought that tous is only for people. Can someone explain it to me


Adjectives which describe nouns must match the noun with endings for gender and number. So, “plats” is masculine plural and it requires “tous”. If you had a masculine singular noun, then you would use “tout”. Feminine singular takes “toute” and feminine plural takes “toutes.” How can you have “all” with a singular noun? Try a mass noun, for example water, food, time.



Thanks a lot for your explanation and link.


I thought "chef" meant "boss"?


That's its general meaning, but in this context 'chef' is short for 'chef de cuisine', 'boss of the kitchen', which is the sense of the term that was adopted into English.


thank you! that makes a lot of sense, I just didn't think about it like that. I also had no idea about the history of that phrase


In the absence of context, 'The chef was putting butter in all the dishes' should be accepted.


this excercise wont accept 'was putting' it keeps correcting me to say 'used to put'


Did you report it as also correct?

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