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"She is eating bread."

Translation:Elle mange du pain.

April 7, 2013

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yekush

Why is it not Elle mange le pain, She is eating the bread?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

because "elle mange le pain/she is eating the bread" means something else.

the nuance is as follows:

  • she is eating the bread = this bread, the bread on the table, a defined bread => definite article THE/LE

  • she is eating bread = some bread, a piece of bread, an undefined quantity of bread => partitive DU


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yekush

Okay i get thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juha757388

Because then she'd be eating the bread, i.e. a specific loafor roll or piece in its entirety, not just "(an undefined amount of the substance) bread".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichelLemoine123

"Elle est en train de manger du pain." is accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thefriendlycat

why "du pain," vs, "de le pain?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

for whatever reason, we don't use "de+le", we replace it by "du", but in front of a noun starting with a vowel or a non-aspired H, "de l' " is used.

du pain

de l'alcool

de l'hydrogène


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thefriendlycat

Huh, I guess it's sort of like 'a' versus 'an' in English. Okay, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juha757388

Not really the same as that, a/an is just tied to whether the noun begins with a vowel (and as a sidenote the "n" in "an" has actually migrated in some cases with "a nadder" and "a napron" becoming "an adder" and "an apron").

But some other French prepositions contract as well: de+les =des, à+le =au, and à+les =aux.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tunabey_20

Where is SOME?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmyAboshel

Isn't there some in the sentence

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