When it comes to food and drink, you keep the article "la" or "le" and add the "de". So if it was "Ils boivent LA biere", then it translates to "They drink THE beer", but since it's "Ils boivent DE la biere", it is "They drink beer". Same with bread. if it was "Ils mangent LE pain", then it translates to "They eat THE bread", but if it's "Ils mangent DU (de+le) pain", then it's "They eat bread". Hope that makes some semblance of sense:)
The partitive article is used to show that it is an undetermined amount of something. "Du" is used with masculine nouns; "de la" is used with feminine nouns. Some people translate it as "some" but it is almost always omitted in English. The partitive article may not be omitted in French.
cgottsch, not exactly. "du" is a contraction for DE LE, not DE LA. There is no contraction for "de la." Du is a MASCULINE indefinite article. "De la" is an indefinite FEMININE article. Both translate to "some." You don't have to say "some beer" in your response, because the indefinite article "de la" implies that the quantity of beer that is drunk is not known.
"Du" (m) and "de la" (f) are called partitive articles. They refer to an undetermined amount of something. Note:
- le pain = the bread
- du pain = bread (an undetermined amount of bread)
- la bière = the beer
- de la bière = beer (an undetermined amount of beer)
Still struggling? Check out this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/introduction-to-french-verbs-1371059
First, there is no "il bois". The verb must agree with the subject, i.e., je bois, tu bois, il boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils boivent. "Bois" and "boit" sound the same, i.e., BWA. In the third person "ils boivent" (they drink, they are drinking), you will hear the "v" pronounced, but not "-ent" (which is never pronounced).