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"Je ne veux jamais manger de sandwichs."

Translation:I never want to eat sandwiches.

April 8, 2013

41 Comments


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

Why is it "de sandwichs" here and not "des sandwichs"?


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

The article disappears in a negative sentence.

  • je veux toujours manger des sandwichs
  • je ne veux jamais manger de sandwichs

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

But it was "je ne peux pas boire du lait". But "manger de sandwichs." Is this one of those weird inconsistencies you just have to learn?


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

"lait" in uncountable so either you drink milk or you don't "boire du lait" - "ne pas boire de lait" (cu changed to de in a negative sentence).

Sandwich is countable, you could eat one or several if you wanted to. In that case, I think that both singular or plural are acceptable, depending whether it is a punctual fact or a generality (more probably with "jamais").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piscean59

What if one wants to have one sandwich?


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

on veut manger un sandwich


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

It accepted my "des." I take it that should be reported?


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

I fixed it, it was incorrect. Thanks.


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

Quite confusing, but thank you !


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

One can not tell if it is sandwich or sandwichs by pronunciation.


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

My guess is that if you didn't want to eat A sandwich, it would be "je ne veux jamais manger un sandwich"


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

No, the only change would be "sandwich" is singular. The issue here is to understand that "pas de" may introduce either a plural or a singular. The question you may ask yourself is "if the sentence was in positive, rather than negative, would the object be plural or singular?".

Sometimes, the answer is clear: - je n'ai pas de voiture (otherwise I would have one) - je n'ai pas de fleurs dans mon jardin (otherwise, I would have more than one)


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

Fair enough, but what is the resolution to the original statement?


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

the correct French sentence would be "je ne veux jamais manger de sandwich(s)" because the case is less clear than with the examples I previously gave...


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

Ok so I was needlessly penalised for writing "Je ne veux jamais manger de sandwich." as I understand it? Reported.


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

Why does it have to be plural? I could also never want to eat A sandwich, or THE sandwich.


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

My guess is that if you didn't want to eat A sandwich, it would be "je ne veux jamais manger un sandwich"


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

I cannot understand why "Je ne veux jamais manger de sandwich" - i.e. in singular - is not accepted


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

I do not understand why "Je ne veux jamais manger de sandwich" - i.e a single sandwich - is not accepted. It seems that the comments below support that it should be?


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

To add to what Sitesurf said, it's basically because of the "never." While in English you might say, "I never want to eat a sandwich," you're still really talking about more then one sandwich (any sandwich that comes along ever) because of the use if the indefinite article along with never. It's a tricky subtlety. French requires that you express this with a plural rather than literally translating it.


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

Basically, because "sandwichs" is a countable noun and the opposite of that sentence would be: je veux toujours manger des sandwichs.


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

i have written: je ne veux jamais manger de sandwich and I was marked wrongly, but is it??


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

It's plural. 'De sandwiches'. I didn't hear it either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petit-ours

I googled both "pas manger de sandwich" and "pas manger de sandwichs," and got 70 hits for the former and 9 hits for the latter. That means most French-speaking people prefer to say "pas manger de sandwich"!


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

It is not merely a matter of preference but of context as well.

I usually eat sandwiches for lunch, but today "je ne veux pas manger de sandwich" (one, today)

He has bad teeth, so "il ne peut jamais manger de sandwichs" (in general)


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

Would it be correct to translate it as; I don't ever want to eat sandwiches


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

Yes, it accepted that answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wucberg.luthion

Why not " Je ne veux jamais manger des sandwichs" or just " Je ne veux jamais manger sandwich"? What is DE for?


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

When the sentence is not negative, this is what you get:

  • je veux manger un sandwich (singular) -> je veux manger des sandwichs (plural)

In a negative sentence, "des" (plural of "un") is changed to "de".

  • je ne veux pas manger de sandwich (singular = right now) -> je ne veux pas manger de sandwichs (plural = in general).

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W960216

Isn't there a double negative here? Je veux jamais manger .... 'I want never to eat' whereas 'Je ne veux jamais manger' would be 'i don't want never to eat ...' Literal translations i know but they give the appropriate comparison.


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

French negatives come in tandems:

ne... pas (not) - ne... plus (no more/not anymore) - ne... jamais (never/not even)- rien... ne (nothing) - personne... ne (nobody)- aucun... ne (not any one)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W960216

Thanks Sitesurf. Cleared that up perfectly and clarified some other niggles. Thanks again. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianJohns278255

The pronounce model here is off. One does not pronounce is sand whitches, as there are no affricatives in "pure" French. Sand weeeesh.


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

"I don't want to ever eat sandwiches" was reported incorrect, though the correct answer was suggested as "I don't want to eat sandwiches ever."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianJohns278255

The alternative answers are approved and added on a case by case basis. But you did split the infinitive....


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

Because it's English, not Latin. The rule against splitting infinitives was invented out of whole cloth by Robert Lowth and other grammarians in the 18th century because they wanted to revise English to be more like Latin, not because they were recording the rules of actual English. Splitting infinitives in Latin is literally impossible; they're single words. It makes no sense in English morphology to prohibit it (English uses auxiliary prepositions), except to fulfill that revisionist goal. In any case, it's not how people actually use English.


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

Ahh makes sense. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianJohns278255

It has nothing to do with Latin. It has to do with "exceptions" requiring by hand approval from site surf or the (newly added?) other admin (sorry. Forgetting name right now). The people who "base code" the English are native French speakers, with a distaste for split infinitive via their schooling. They have no ability to fix things from the forum. You have to report the issue inside the question (my answer should have been accepted).


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

Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was only referring to the rule that one shouldn't split infinitives in English, not the approval process for answers in Duolingo. That a native French speaker would find it strange is certainly understandable, but that only seems to underscore the fact that Romance language rules applied to English aren't always indicative of what's correct or what should be acceptable. If the reason that a split infinitive form of the sentence hasn't been added has more to do with a distaste for split infinitives than it does with (what I'm sure is) the slow, iterative process of covering all the bases, then I'm saying that reason should be put aside.


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

Why? What's wrong with sandwiches?

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