1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Avoir du beurre"

"Avoir du beurre"

Translation:Have butter

April 3, 2013



What does this phrase mean? doesn't "TO have butter" make more sense?


I was wondering the same thing as you VarunSridh1. Wouldn't "have butter" have been "avez/as du beurre"?


Actually, it should really be 'aie du beurre' or 'ayez beurre', as it would be in the imperative.


Your suggestions are not wrong, (well, Ayez du beurre); but the infinitive, as shown here, does work just as well: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/givingorders.htm


Sorry for the missing 'du'! I had always been told that the infinitive could only take the place of the imperative in the case of a generalisation, not a command to a specific subject -- which I assumed this would be, but I suppose I'm wrong about that. Thanks! :)


avoir means to have so it's "have some butter or have butter". got some butter is wrong


I wrote to have butter and got it correct, but I still don't know what this means. It's not even a proper phrase.


What a difference a few months make! The sentence does not seem as strange to me as it did 5 months ago. I believe it is an invitation to help yourself to some butter. I would have translated it as "have some butter" as that sounds better to me.


Yes, have some butter would make sense. I'll try that next time. Thanks.


That would be in the imperative, though, not the infinitive. Really, 'have some butter' (or 'have butter') isn't a particularly correct translation, even though Duo currently accepts it. @Cyndiluwho -- you're right, it's not a complete sentence, but it is a proper phrase (in the English sense of the word). For example, if you put something with a conjugated verb and a subject in front of it -- such as 'je peut' / 'I can' -- it works perfectly fine ('je peut avoir du beurre' / 'I can have butter').


The infinitive can be used to give commands just like the imperative: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/infinitive.htm


I mean -- I'm not sure about 'just like the imperative'; the imperative and the infinitive-command structures aren't totally interchangeable. But, yes, I see what you're saying. Although I still can't imagine any situation in which the concept of having butter would be best expressed in the infinitive-command ...


Well, Laura Lawless does say at one of the links I provided that the French infinitive...

... can be used several different ways without any conjugation [such as] in place of the imperative for impersonal commands (as in instructions or warnings).

Mettre toujours la ceinture de sécurité. Always wear (your) seatbelt.

Ajouter les oignons à la sauce. Add the onions to the sauce.

So in the case of impersonal commands, it appears that the infinitive CAN be used interchangeably with the imperative.


@mere_des_chats: by 'the imperative and infinitive-command structures aren't totally interchangeable', what I meant was that they aren't totally interchangeable, i.e., while there are situations in which they're interchangeable, it doesn't always make sense to swap out one for the other. This struck me as one of those cases where the infinitve-command didn't make sense; but I never suggested that there were no cases in which it would make sense.


get some butter is wrong?


Have and get are used interchangably but if im not mistaken they arnt ment to be … and duoling does tend to prefer grammer over commen use …


"du" is "de"+"le", so way is "to have the butter" wrong?


yes. "du" means either "of the" or "some". In this case it means "some" (which is implied sometimes in English). If it were "to have the butter" it would be "avoir LE beurre" without the "de" but you can't just ignore that word.


Have butter, will travel.


avoir de lait?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.