"Les femmes boivent du thé."

Translation:The women are drinking tea.

April 3, 2013

74 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Faith.Worth

TO ALL THOSE UNABLE TO FIGURE OUT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LES AND LE:

So in a previous class, there was a discussion I followed, where a person said that "Les" sounds like "lay" and "Le" sounds like "Leu". This has been helpful, since verbs (like boivent) sound the same in singular as well as plural, and so figuring out les or le helps me figure out which number the sentence is in-- singular or plural.

Hope that helps! :)

July 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/msorawiec

Merci beaucoup!!!!

January 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/kasra
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Why is "Women drink tea" listed as a correct answer here? Isn't "Les" the definite article? Doesn't it mean "The"? "Women drink tea" and "The women drink tea" are two different sentences...

August 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
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Les femmes boivent du thé can be translated in all of the following ways:

  • Women drink tea
  • Women are drinking tea
  • Women are drinking some tea
  • The women drink tea
  • The women drink some tea
  • The women are drinking tea
  • The women are drinking some tea
December 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/josh.ramirez500
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merci

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ClarkeHayt

There are a lot of different things something can mean based on context in French, isn't there?

July 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
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Yes, there are. And not only in French, but other languages too.

July 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Piascentini

One question: is there a kind of "Present Continuous Tense" in French, like the -ing in English? Or does the Simple Present have this conotation?

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, there is no continuous tense in French.

So, either you translate with simple present:

  • women are drinking = des femmes boivent

Or, you use a special phrase "en train de + infinitive" with verb "être" to express that the action is in progress at the time you speak:

  • women are (in the process of) drinking = des femmes sont en train de boire du thé.
September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Glenn588103

When should I use du?

November 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Whenever the meaning is "some" in front of a masculine, uncountable noun starting with a consonant sound.

  • I drink (some) tea = je bois du thé
November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nikki709816

And de?

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoFrenchDuolingo

"Woman drink tea" is broken english.

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinPasca

Hi. I am having trouble distinguishing between singular and plural in french. Can anyone help me please?

October 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/San_Marino_301

With regards to nouns, the majority of nouns are pronounced the same in the singular and plural, but spelled differently. There is a substantial minority of nouns that are both pronounced and spelled differently in the singular and plural. With regards to verbs, the pronunciation is a bit more irregular. For many verbs (but not boire) in this example, the nous and vous forms are different from each other and the other 4 forms. In the ils/elles form if there is an -ent suffix, it is silent. In many cases the je, tu, il/elle, and ils/elles forms are pronounced the same. With this verb (boire), the je, tu, and il/elle forms are pronounced the same (spelled je bois, tu bois, and il/elle boit), whereas the ils/elles form is boivent, which is pronounced with a /v/ on the end. I recommend getting a fair grasp of which consonants are silent at the end of words and using WordReference to find the pronunciation, plural, and meaning of nouns, and also the conjugation of verbs. Also, as I am on my phone, I don't know how old your first comment is so I don't know whether my comment is still relevant. Anyway, I wish you well on your language learning journey!

August 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/steve.robe
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"Femmes" can't be "ladies"?

March 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vivalish999

It is woman probably an error

November 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, your error:

la femme = the woman, in singular

les femmes = the women, in plural.

November 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Magicalas1

Le sounds like la but it's not

August 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/stefymene

I think the sentence does not have a general meaning as if all women drink tea… the women are drinking tea= they do, right now women drink tea= in general, women are used to drink tea am I wrong?

April 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The nuance will depend on context:

  • In this room, a woman is drinking tea -> in this room, (some) women drink tea = dans cette pièce, une femme boit du thé -> dans cette pièce, DES femmes boivent du thé (a number of women, more than just "a woman")

  • THE women I know drink tea = LES femmes que je connais boivent du thé (definite women: the ones I know)

  • Generally speaking, women drink tea = en général, LES femmes boivent du thé (generality)

April 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Gordon964264

Sitesurf: I wrote "women drink tea" and was marked wrong. DL said it should be "THE women etc". Why was I marked wrong?

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Women drink tea" means that all women do, which is most probably untrue.

"The women drink tea" means that a definite group of women I know do, which is much more probable.

In French "les femmes" can be either "women in general" or "the specific women", depending on context.

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gordon964264

So it seems to me that, given the fact that there is no context, "women drink tea" (however unlikely it is that ALL women on the planet drink tea) is still grammatically correct and should be accepted.

September 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Your translations must demonstrate that you have understood the precise meaning of French sentence, not just what is grammatically possible.

September 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/reg_ray
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Apart from context, is there a definite way to determine whether we are talking about women in general or this particular set of women?

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
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Apart from context, there is no way to tell.

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Damico113
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How do you hear the difference between le and les?

May 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/joestrouth1

Les sounds like "lay" where as le had the soud close to the word for egg, "oeuf"

June 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoanneChan1

the pronounciation of boivent or boire sounds just beautiful, ramantic French, you know

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MadisonBGreen

I know this was added in the precious lesson but why exactly are we using du before a food or specific drink? Is it just for foods and drinks?

January 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Partitive articles are used for any uncountable noun:

  • du thé, du brouillard (fog), du tissu (fabric)
  • de la bière, de la chance (luck), de la terre (soil)
  • de l'alcool, de l'argent (money), de l'honneur (honor)
January 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/anurag20j

One doubt: When do we use "de" and when to use "du" before a word?

April 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/bandtank

du is de + le. You can't say de le because it sounds wrong, so you say du.

December 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shilpa152747

Why 'du' is used in a sentence it means some right?

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Please read above.

December 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/its_kodiii

I dont get it! I typed the women are drinking some tea, and said i got it wrond, and should not but some, but the... I tried again, and put the instead of some, but now says i shouldnt put anything there at all! This is confusing! Doulingo should fix this glitch.

January 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The only "the" you need in this sentence is before "women".

For the rest, you can use "drink" or "are drinking" and "tea" or "some tea".

If the exercise was an MCQ, you might have to pick more than one correct translation.

January 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JanieGonza4

This is wrong because it says that, "the woman is drinking the tea" not woman drink tea

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, this is not what is said:

"les [leh] femmes" is plural = the women

"boivent ['bwaV] is plural as well = are drinking

du is partitive and means "some"; "'the tea" would be "le [luh] thé"

The singular version in French would be: la [lah] femme boit [bwa] du thé.

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/akhileshs1405

'thé' is masculine or feminine?

March 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"thé" is masculine, so is "du" (= de+le)

March 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alison803887

Not sure why ladies is not an acceptable translation for femmes.

May 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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ladies = les dames

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alison803887

Fair enough - merci

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ThomasJ.Herlihy

Would it also translate as "The wives are drinking some tea"?

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, because there is no family context.

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ThomasJ.Herlihy

D'accord, merci.

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesBurge

it should be the women drinkS tea not the women drink tea

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The -s ending is reserved for 3rd person singular:

  • he, she, it, the woman drinks tea.
July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nikki709816

When does one use "de", "de la" and "du"?

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Have you read the whole thread?

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/banishdemons

The male and female voice (on android) sound very different - 7 syllables vs. 5. I'm not sure which one we should try to emulate

January 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The man has very clear enunciation and the woman does not pronounce the mute -e- as "uh".

Both are possible, so it's good you can hear one voice or the other.

January 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/emma829439

Why isn't ladies correct here? I am sure i have been allowed to translate les femmes as "the ladies" in other exercises.

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JuliaunPha

i always mistake the speaker for saying "du lait" instead of "du thé".

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/lucy90170

So whats wrong with this sentence ?

April 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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We can't say unless we know what "this sentence" is. Remember, we can't see what exercise you were given, what you answered, or what the computer said.

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Anushka420759

I did it correct,how say me good job I tell them thank you☺☺

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bluey05

Let femme Bois du the and Les femmes boivent du the sound identical to me

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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They don't sound alike because the determiner and the verb are quite different:

Singular: La [LAH] femme boit [BWA] du thé

Plural: Les [LAY] femmes boivent [BWAV] du thé

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/9Kmp

Spilling the tea, sis

October 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Frenchstar1069

Why isn't "The women drinks tea." right?

November 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BobbyOzoh

The wives are drinking tea.....why is this translation wrong?

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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"Les femmes" is "the women" as female human beings because we don't know they are married.

For the noun "femme" to mean "wife", you need a family context, like "sa femme" (his/her wife) or "le mari et la femme" (husband and wife).

December 5, 2018
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