"Les enfants mangent des bananes."
Translation:The children eat bananas.
In English, we say "the children eat bananas" in a general sense, as in they like bananas and are willing to eat them. If we say "the children are eating bananas," we are describing a specific activity happening right now. Are there different ways to express these two ideas in French, or is that just done by context?
The French sentence is the same for both meanings since French has no Continuous Present tense. In French, if you want to emphasize that the action is going on at this very moment, you could say "les enfants sont en train de manger des bananes". Otherwise, the French present tense may be translated as either "the children eat" or "the children are eating".
"Kids" is an informal word in English which has its own counterpart in French: gamin(e)s. Some people are always in an informal mode of speech and may not recognize that there are differences in both languages.
- l'enfant = the child
- le gamin, la gamine = the kid (informal for "a child"), not to be confused with « un chevreau » (a young goat).
You are referring to partitive articles (du, de la, des) which refer to an unspecified amount of something. Be careful not to confuse them with "of the". For example:
- du pain = bread or "some" bread. The French refers to an unspecified amount of bread. The "some" is almost always omitted in English, but the partitive article is required in French when this meaning is intended.
- de la viande = meat. Same explanation but this is an example of a feminine gender noun.
- "des" is used before plural nouns when there are more than one, but an unspecified number.