"Tu bois de l'alcool."

Translation:You drink alcohol.

April 14, 2018

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RaheelJamil

Why it cannot be "You are drinking the alcohol" instead of "You drink alcohol"? How can I differentiate drink and drinking?

November 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Tu bois de l'alcool" has the partitive article "de l'" (standing for "du" before a vowel sound) which means "(some) alcool". You cannot translate "de l'alcool" to "the alcohol" which would be specific and "l'alcool" in French.

French does not have continuous tenses, so context would tell if "tu bois" means "you drink" or "you are drinking". Of course, these alternative translations are both accepted (if the rest of the sentence is correct as well).

November 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RaheelJamil

Got it. So "You are drinking alcohol" and "You drink alcohol" both are right? (Its correct to use 'drinking' and 'drink' as long as I eliminate 'the' from the sentence?

November 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

You can use "drink" or "are drinking" and "alcool" or "some alcohol", but not "the alcohol".

November 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CityofKlompton

But then how come "Tu bois de l'eau" translate to You are drinking water" and that is acceptable? I am so confused.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bonner532375

i agree. I don't think this is a proper translation. if you translate directly then it would be you drink alcohol. But we don't say that in english. we say you are drinking the alcohol.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Tu bois de l'alcool" can mean two things:

  • this is what you are doing at this very moment: you are drinking alcohol
  • this is a habit of yours: you drink alcohol.

In both cases, "de l'alcool" means "some alcohol", as in "an unknown amount of a mass thing", and it translates to "alcohol".

December 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DjAzPaz

Why can't this be "drinking the alcohol "?

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"the alcohol" = l'alcool

"(some) alcohol" = de l'alcool

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Duo12341

I hate alcohol

June 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/OMDC7

I have trouble with "are drinking" and "drinks."

April 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

With "tu/you" as a subject, "drinks" is not possible (only for he/she/it).

April 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thebubblyhead

In the present tense, all verbs can translate as both of those.

April 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Suppremer

Can some tell me why "de" before alcool is wrong ?

May 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The sentence is given to you in proper French where "de l'" is a partitive article meaning "an unknown amount of a mass thing".

"Alcool" starts with a vowel, so you have to use "de l'" instead of "du" as you would with "du vin" or "de la" as you would with "de la bière".

The same applies to "de l'eau", feminine.

May 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate_Joy

Can one make the distinction between 'you drink alcohol' which doubles up as you are drinking alcohol,- due to our present tenses, as clarified by Thebubblyhead,- and you are drinking/you drink some alcohol. I can only think of context and 'un peu de', etc.

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/po___

Why we use in this case de l'alcool but we use l'eau in other examples and not de l'eau?

July 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

L'eau = The water
L'alcool = The alcohol

De l'eau = (some) water
De l'alcool = (some) alcohol

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Minuete1

That. I think another thing to add is that for "de la" or "de l'" don't think of the "le/l'" part separately, but rather as a whole. If you think of it separately you may mistake the "la/l'" as "the" which shouldn't be the case. It acts like "de" but except it just happens to contain "le/l'".

September 1, 2018
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