"La femme mange de la viande."
Translation:The woman is eating meat.
Aidan is on to something. So, it's similar to translating "the woman is eating apples" to "la femme mange des pommes". There is an indefinite number of apples. In this instance, "de la viande" implies that the amount of meat is not defined. We don't know HOW MUCH meat she is eating, only that she is eating meat, so it takes the indefinite form of "de la viande." By no means am I an expert. It's just a hunch and I suspect that Aidan is correct.
My guess would be that your aswer is relating how much she ate to the total amount, whereas the french sentence only says that she ate some. Acording to the french sentence she might have eaten all that was there and not just a portion. However I am very new to french and this is a complete guess.
Let me try to clarify. de+le = du, de+la= de la, de + l' = de l', de + les = des. Use du to say de+le.
'The woman eats of the meat' ... would be the most literal translation... 'of the' ... can be interpreted as 'some' which apparently is optional (or in this case considered redundant -strange given my feelings regarding French and "some" of the rules).... all things considered the sentence remains logical in either regard... and I STRONGLY FEEL that 'The woman eats (some) meat' with or without 'some' should be accepted.
Not necessarily. "The woman is eating meat" is acceptable. See the discussion about "The Partitive Article" under "Tips and Notes" from the Food 1 skill. The formatting gets messed up when I cut and paste, so for clarity, check it out under the skill.
The Partitive Article
The partitive article is used for unspecified amounts of uncountable nouns. In English, it can translate to "some", but it's often just omitted. Remember that du is a contraction of de + le and that partitives can elide.
Gender Partitive Article Example Masculine du Je mange du poisson. — I am eating fish. Feminine de la Je mange de la viande. — I am eating meat. Elided Masc. de l' Je mange de l'ananas. — I am eating pineapple. Elided Fem. de l' Je bois de l'eau. — I am drinking water.
Nouns almost never appear without articles in French, so articles must be repeated in serial lists.
Il cuisine du poisson et de la viande — He cooks fish and meat.