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  5. "Only women drink tea."

"Only women drink tea."

Translation:Seules les femmes boivent du thé.

March 22, 2013

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZhanB

Can't I say 'Seules des femmes boivent du thé'? There is no THE is front of women.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No, "women" here is a generality (=women in general or the women present in this room). So you have to add the definite article LES.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RozaMoRashid

Actually no, you can say 'Des femmes', I had that and it was correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nbrugge

I put "Des femmes" and it was wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suchiththa

Isn't it because it's a generality and not a specificity that we can use des? I used des and it accepted it. I would go as far as to say that les would be wrong :/

I must be missing something here, so please do enlighten :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The presence of "only" is enough to point to the need for a definite article. As I said before, either as a generality (universal truth, women drink tea in general) or to specify that in this room, the women present drink tea.

If you absolutely want to use "des", you will need something different, both in French and in English:

  • Il y a des femmes qui boivent du thé (not all of them) = there are women who drink tea.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suchiththa

Oh I see. In light of your previous answer in the case of writing names, would you be able to use certain here as well? Seules des certain femmes boivent du thé = only certain women drink/are drinking tea?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

then it would be:

seules certaines femmes (no article needed) boivent du thé = only some women drink/are drinking tea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helbino

Well, that's a rather interesting sentence in itself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/balletslippers

isn't it though? actually sounds rather condescending but, what do I know? better put my feminist hat away.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KnownSelf

The best way for me to think about it is 'only THE women (of the world)' somewhat like how one can refer to the human race by says 'THE man only does as he....' If that makes any sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eliricarte

There is no THE in front of ONLY but the correct answer has LES. Does someone know why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In French, it is quite rare that nouns do not have an article.

"only women..." means that men don't drink tea. Therefore, it is a generality which is expressed by definite article "les", which is compulsory.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaviero

I think that the correct translation should be "Seulement les femmes boivent du thé". But I am not sure...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Here "seules" means "only".

You could also have "seulement les femmes boivent du thé" (less elegant than "seules les femmes" but correct) meaning that in this room only women drink tea, while men drink something else (bourbon?).

if you say "women only drink tea", the French would be "les femmes boivent seulement du thé" or "les femmes ne boivent que du thé" (= they drink tea and no other drink).

3rd possibility: "les femmes seules boivent du thé" = lonely (or single) women drink tea.

4th possibility : "les femmes boivent du thé seules" = women drink tea by themselves (alone).

5th possibility (further fetched!): "les femmes boivent du thé seul" = women drink plain tea (no milk, no sugar).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulQi

Really impressive explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lw2000

when can I use de and when should i use du?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freakologie

Am I the only one to think that the Eng sentence is quite weird?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rkogeyama

I had the same doubt. The issue is not clear for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garasaratnam

Is it correct to say "des femmes boivent du the seulement"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

correct yes, but not what is meant, because with the adverb at the end, the restriction bears on "thé", meaning that they are drinking tea, but no other drink.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tierra.terrell

would it be correct to say "seulement les femmes boivent du the" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

yes, it would mean the same thing with adverb "seulement"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RKSMT

Only women drink tea, suposedly is Seules les femmes boivent du the. Now wouldn't tea be treated in the same way as women, in that their both spoken of in general. So just as women has les before it, shouldn't tea have le before it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

no because it is "boire" that commands the partitive "du", even in a sentence which contains a generality.

"only women love tea" with the change of drink to love: "seules les femmes aiment le thé".

appreciation verbs naturally introduce generalities (aimer, détester, préférer...), but active verbs (prendre, manger, boire, avaler, utiliser...) are all about doing something with only part of the mass object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaydotkaydot

i dont understand the formation of this sentence? is seules an adjective here? why is it in front of les femmes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OMGBikes

you didn't show me that seules could be used as only you tricky owl


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanteGeorgette

I put in "qui" ...Seulment les femmes QUI boivent du thé. COME ON!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rafaelmdias

please ... that's not true xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikajiang

why isn't it seulment?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikajiang

I would have put "seulment les femmes boivent du the"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thinkmoore

The word "only" in this English sentence appears to be acting as an adverb, which Duolingo hasn't covered yet. "Only" can be an adjective, but not in the sense it is used here.

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