"The drink is coffee."

Translation:La boisson est du café.

April 25, 2018

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Why do we use du in front of café?


French requires an article in front of the nouns (with extremely few exceptions), whereas that isn't necessarily the case in English. To say you have an indeterminate amount of something, "some/any" you use "du, de la, des." These are the partitive articles.

J'ai du beurre. / I have (some) butter.
Il mange de la viande. / He's eating (some) meat.
Elle achète des fraîches. / She is buying (some) strawberries.

Here's a useful link.


I don't know why, why there has to be a "du" when the drink is a thing not the amount of something


If you wrote instead: "the drink is a coffee" that would translate as "la boisson est un café." Either way, café needs an article in front of it.


I think I know what Nicolas means - I would also like to put "La boisson est le café" because to me this sentence would refer to the specific substance in the cup (i.e. coffee, not tea) as opposed to an amount of it. Just trying to wrap my head around this one. So one would also say "Le repas est des pâtes"?


What about the "c', ce, and c'est"?


In what context?


This does not make sense as it re translates back as The drink is some coffee


Please do not automatically translate de la or du as "some." While it is possible to interpret it as some in particular cases, there really isn't an English equivalent and typically English doesn't have anything there at all.

Je veux du lait. → I want milk
Il achète de la viande. → He buys meat.

Yes, in these cases, you can add "some" and it still makes sense (though the meaning changes slightly), but as you can see it doesn't always work in English.


I would agree with everything above, but sadly, there are questions in which Duo insists that "some" must be used in the English translation; otherwise, Duo marks the English sentence wrong, even though it does indeed cover the same meaning/nuance giving in French.


If you find a sentence with a problem, please report it. The contributors DO read the reports and try to improve the course, though it may take time to sift through all the reports and make the corrections.


I wrote "du" and thus received a correct answer, but I really wanted so much to write "le" --

to present coffee as a kind of classic generic drink. You know, many sentences are translated "Le vin" out of respect for wine as an important generic substance? As kind of a Personality of its own?I know that I am expressing this poorly and in an eccentric manner, and (from a grammarian's point of view) incorrectly -- does any of my comment ring a bell for you, Moderator?


Why is "le bois" not accepted?


"Bois" as a verb means drink : je bois, tu bois → I drink, you drink
"Bois" as a noun means wood : le bois → the wood

Une boisson is the noun for a drink.

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