you could, it'd mean "we're eating the meat". if you drop the article in English it becomes a general statement and it's not about any particular piece of meat, it's about all the meat. In French that makes you have to use the "de".
Note that the French sentence can also be understood as "We're eating some meat", but the lack of distinction comes from the tense in this case.
A very comprehensive explanation, I would just like to clarify for myself; so "de" is basically required with some verbs ? similiarly how in portuguse you need "de" after certain verbs for it to make sense? like "gostar" (to like) you need "de" after Ex. : Eu gosto de ( I like) . Would you be able to give me any insight as to wether or not this is the same idea in french? Merci beaucoup
I don't think so. Not a native speaker, but from the usage I have noticed that it is used with eating ('manger') when the object is uncountable (for instance: milk, bread, soup).
Je mange une pomme.
But: Je mange de la soupe.
Another instance when du/ de la/ des is used is when you mean 'of the':
Je parle du cinéma. (I am talking about movie.)
Hope this helps.
i'm brazilian so i speak portuguese .. and no, it has nothing to do with what we say in portuguese (de). in english it would be like saying: I like "of" this. (of=de) did you get it? I think that in french "de" is actually a substantive (is this how its written?) de=some.. isnt it? ...Any doubt about portuguese you can ask me :)
Duo introduces new things exactly this way, no? You just stumble onto it, make a mistake for that very reason, and that helps you memorizing it.
The trick with this one is that 'de + article + noun' does not always mean 'some + noun', as 'de' is also a preposition used after a whole bunch of verbs and as mark of genitive (so that's why it's generally translated as 'of' out of context).
Are you a native French speaker? I ask because everything I've read so far in the discussion threads here at DL and elsewhere indicates that "Nous mangeons de la viande" is how you express the idea "We eat meat (in general)" and that "Nous mangeons la viande" can only mean "We are eating THE meat" - i.e., some specific meat that the speaker is referring to, and not meat in general. I believe that "Nous mangeons de la viande" can mean both "We are eating some meat" and "We eat meat."
Because this issue is quite confusing for English speakers (myself included), I would like to confirm if possible my understanding that "Nous mangeons la viande" only means "We eat the meat" and not "We eat meat (in general)."
Not a native speaker but I believe it is context dependent.
If someone asked "Vous êtes végétariens?" ("Are you vegetarian?") Then you could say "Non, nous mangeons la viande" to mean "No, we eat meat".
However, if someone asks "Vous mangez les legumes?" (Are you eating the vegetables?) Then a response of "Non, nous mangeons la viande" means "no, we are eating the meat".
I researched the issue a while back and commented on it more extensively in other threads (ex. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29205663 and https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30596431) but "Nous mangeons la viande" would not mean "We eat meat (in general)" regardless of context. You would have to say "Nous mangeons de la viande."
In this case don't think of it as "la". What is being used here is "de la".
There is a big difference between "de la" and just "la"
"La" is the definite article - it means "the"
"La viande" means "the meat"
"De la" is the partitive article - it means an unspecified amount of a non-countable noun. English does not have partitive articles - so there is no direct English equivalent. However we can usually use "some" as the translation if we want to.
So - "nous mangeons de la viande" translates as:-
"We are eating meat"
"We are eating some meat"
Checkout link for more information on French partitive articles.
"We eat the meat" would be "Nous mangeons la viande"
In this exercise the French sentence given is "..... de la viande"
So it is "we eat meat" or "we eat some meat".
Also it could be "we are eating meat" or "we are eating some meat"
But it cannot be ".... the meat"
The sentence is complete without "de" but it would have a different meaning.
"La viande" = "the meat"
"De la viande" = "some meat".
Don't think of it as "de" instead see it as a single entity "de la". It is the partitive article used to express an unspecified amount of a feminine non-countable noun. The partitive article for masculine nouns is "du".
Checkout link for more information on French partitive articles.
"Du" is the equivalent of "some" with masculine uncountable nouns.
"De la" is equivalent of "some" with feminine noun uncountable nouns.
"Des" is the equivalent of "some" with plural nouns.
"I am eating some bread" = "Je mange du pain"
"I am eating some meat" = "Je mange de la viande"
"I am eating some apples" = "Je mange des pommes"
"We are eating the meat" is not correct. Are you sure that Duo told you that?
The correct answers are either - "we are eating some meat" or "we are eating meat"
"We are eating some of the meat" is not correct.
In this French sentence "de la" = "some".
In the English sentence "some" is optional so we can leave it in or take it out - it makes no difference.
Checkout link for more information on the use of "de la"
Duo is testing and teaching you the genders of the nouns. When you see "la" as an article, it means that the following word is a feminine gender noun. "La viande" is the only feminine gender noun on that list. "Homme" and "garçon" are masculine gender nouns so they cannot be used in the sentence.
In the phrase, "de la viande", "de la" is called a partitive article. French requires some kind of article but English does not. So when French says "nous mangeons de la viande", it means "we are eating meat". The term "de la" can be translated as "some" but it is usually omitted in English, but "de la" may not be omitted in French. Note that "de la" is used for a feminine gender noun (food item); the form used for masculine gender nouns is "du". "Du" is the mandatory contraction of "de" + "le". Take a masculine gender food item, e.g., "pain" (bread). Je mange du pain = I am eating bread (or) I am eating some bread. Je mange le pain = I am eating THE bread. Je mange la viande = I am eating the meat.
"De la" used in this way is what is called a partitive article. It is the feminine form used when the following noun is feminine. When the following noun is masculine, use "du". There is no direct translation to English. Je mange de la viande = I am eating meat (or) I am eating some meat. Je mange du pain = I am eating bread (or) I am eating some bread.
So this would be the same as "Comemos de la carne" in spanish. In English it is just translated as we eat meat but a literal translation would be "We eat of the meat". I suppose that in French the distinction has been lost between "Nous mangeons viande" and "Nous mangeons de la viande"?
Not sure where you're coming from with this but i am afraid you may be overthinking this one.
In French you can almost never skip the article altogether, like English does. Moreover, English does it relatively inconsistently, and on top of the top of it French doesn't treat everything the same way, and you have to deal with concepts like countables and uncountables.
"viande" is considered uncountable, meaning you need a metric to convey how much meat we're talking about, like pounds or kilograms, as opposed to just a number, like 2 apples and 3 oranges.
So we get:
la viande = the meat
de la viande = some meat, any given amount of meat, or simply, "meat"
It's a tough one, just do it the duolingo way and keep at it until you get the idea on your own terms