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"You are a man who eats lemons."

Translation:Tu es un homme qui mange des citrons.

1
4 years ago

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lilybugkd

I swear I just had a similar sentence about strawberries, and it was "les fraises" - why is it "des" citrons here?

40
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
ThanKwee
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Actually in that example it was "You are a woman who likes strawberries". I think the reason that you're confused is that "aimer" is a conceptual verb which introduces a generality.

Des means some, so that cannot be used. In French les can mean either "the strawberries" or strawberries in general. In English, a plural generality => no article. In French, a plural generality => definite article (les)

If you are a woman who eats strawberries, some is implied, so it's "des fraises".

To summarize:

  • I like strawberries = J'aime les fraises (I like strawberries in general, not just some strawberries.

  • I eat strawberries = Je mange des fraises (I eat some strawberries)

33
Reply34 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vnn
vnn
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Why one can't eat (or don't eat) lemons in general? I, personally, don't eat lemos (at all). Is this phrase still translated with 'des'? Je ne mange pas des citrons. ou Je ne mange pas les citrons.

9
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The verb prompts the article.

All non appreciative verbs use indefinite articles :

  • je mange un citron (countable) des citrons (an undefined number of lemons).

or partitives with uncountable nouns:

  • je mange du boeuf (partitive).

In negative sentences, "des" becomes "de" in both cases:

  • je ne mange pas de citron(s), je ne mange pas de boeuf.

With appreciative verbs, generalities are systematic and introduced by definite articles:

  • je n'aime pas les citrons (generalities in plural with countables), je n'aime pas le boeuf (singular with uncountables)
26
Reply54 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ggeordiee

How could I possibly make any sense of these intricacies without you, Sitesurf!

8
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DesertGlass

Can partitives not be used with countable nouns, such as "tomate" ?

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Let's start from scratch again:

1) verbs expressing likes and and dislikes (aimer, adorer, préférer, détester, haïr, apprécier) use the definite articles to introduce their direct object (countable or uncountable, singular or plural), because the meaning is that of a generality:

  • j'aime les citrons (countable/plural) = lemons, in general
  • j'adore la viande (uncountable/singular) = meat, in general

2) partitive articles are made of preposition "de" (=of) and definite articles. They correspond to "some", with the meaning of "an undefined quantity of a mass thing".

  • je respire de l'air (masc + vowel sound) = (some) air
  • je voudrais du bois (masc) = (some) wood
  • je mets de la tomate sur la pizza (fem) = some tomato = not one tomato or a precise number of tomatoes, but an undefined quantity of tomato sauce or pulp: in this case "tomato" becomes uncountable as a substance and can get "some/de la".

So DXLI's Tips&Notes on this matter are correct.

3) indefinite articles are used in cases where objects are countable:

  • j'ai acheté une tomate = I bought one/a tomato
  • j'ai acheté des tomates = I bought (some) tomatoes = an indefinite number of countable objects (I have not counted them, but I could).
  • j'ai mangé des pâtes = I ate (some) pasta = same as above (I could count them).
8
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Reminder: "partitive" means "a part of an uncountable mass".

For countables, you have definite or indefinite articles:

  • une/la tomate - des/les tomates
4
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Yes, you can say "de la tomate" if you mean that the quantity is not defined, as in "there is some tomato on my pizza".

I thought you were referring to plural countables.

2
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DesertGlass

Oh I didn't know that. So we can't say "je mange de la tomate" ? In English we can say "I am eating some tomato" (neither "a" tomato, nor "the" tomato, just some of an undefined quantity of tomato. Does French not have that concept?

This page has a heap of countable nouns shown as "partitive" constructions: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_4.htm

I'm worried you're going to say that's wrong, and then I won't know what to think! :-)

1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DesertGlass

Ahhh and I misunderstood when you said

  • All non appreciative verbs use indefinite articles
  • or partitives with uncountable nouns

I thought you meant that partitives can only be used with uncountable nouns, which seemed unfortunate to me. I think now that you were just saying what could be done, not what was required.

However on this other thread, moderator DXLi says "only uncountable nouns can take partitive articles"

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3683850 (scroll down)

1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DesertGlass

Thanks. It seems that I understood this rule in the first place, but I became confused when people seemed to be saying that words like tomate were permanently ineligible for the partitive because they were the wrong type of noun.

I am glad to see that it is the sense of the word that is the important thing. Not an immutable categorisation.

1
13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchFireBird

This actually really helped me. I didn't really understand fully about this because sometimes I would see something like "les mots" and the translation wouldn't want "the words"

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thuvvik
thuvvik
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the strawberries = les fraises (definite)

some strawberries = quelques fraises/ des fraises (indefinite)

(Can't say much about your ears ^^)

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/samikshas

What is the difference between "qui" and "que"?

5
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"Qui" and "que" are relative pronouns when they link a main clause to a relative clause.

Both represent a part of the main clause (= antecedent).

"Qui" is subject of the relative clause's verb - "Que" is object of the relative clause's verb:

"c'est un homme qui aime les fraises":

  • main clause "c'est un homme"; relative clause "qui aime les fraises".
  • "qui" = relative pronoun, representing "homme" (3rd person singular)
  • "qui" is subject of verb "aime" (who likes strawberries? = "qui")

"ce sont les fraises que j'ai vues":

  • main clause "ce sont les fraises"; relative clause "que j'ai vues".
  • "que" = relative pronoun, representing "fraises" (fem plural)
  • "que" is direct object of verb "ai vues" (what did I see? = "que")
8
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/astronautbarbie

I wrote this sentence as "Tu es un homme qui manges des citrons" "manges" was incorrect and "mange" is the right answer. But it said the answer is "mange" in "il/elle" form and "manges" in "tu" form. How was I wrong then if I wrote Tu…..manges?

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
ThanKwee
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"mange" agrees with "homme" (un homme qui mange)

12
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jesuisuneananas

thanks, was wondering about that one too

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ingridinciso

Thank you so much :)

0
Reply1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deementia

It says "Tu es un homme qui mange des citrons." is correct, but not also "Vous êtes un homme qu' mange des citrons." What's wrong with the latter?

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The mistake was "qu'" instead of "qui".

2
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/caro.ramos

why yo can't say?: T'es un homme qui mange des citrons?

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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No, because "t'es" should not be used in writing.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Lyrics writers (your link points to a song by Edith Piaf) often use incorrect language because their words are meant to be sung. When rewriting them down, you cannot expand contractions again because of the tempo.

Still, "t'es" should not be written.

4
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wavier
wavier
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Then the answer to the original question is "yes, you can say it".

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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To be accurate: "yes, you can say it in colloquial discussions".

3
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geertjevanberlo

So normally the French wouldn't use this in written text, thanks for explaining that to me! (I read in online forums though, that it can be / is used in sms/whatsapp/informal letters to friends and family.)

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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You shouldn't write it. It's colloquial so you'll hear it a lot when French people speak with friends and can see it on forums, texto etc...

But you shouldn't say it except to your friends and not write it, never. Except, of course if you're writing a dialog where you transcribe a colloquial discussion.

4
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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It seems to me that it's very similar to "gonna" or "wanna" in English. They're (very) common in spoken language, but it does not look good in writing.

2
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elhh82

I got this as a translation question for "you are a man who eats lemons.

Can someone clarify why it is not acceptable to use les citrons, but it should be des citrons here, but it is ok to use les fraises and not ok to use des fraises

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Simple explanation:

  • Singular: tu es un homme qui mange un citron/une fraise (one lemon, one strawberry)

  • Plural: tu es un homme qui mange des citrons/des fraises (more than one, undefined number)

To get "tu es un homme qui mange les citrons/les fraises", you would miss something like "qui sont sur la table" (which are on the table), ie information specifying which lemons/strawberries you are talking about.

To sum it up, with numerable objects:

  • indefinite article "un/une" (a/an, one) in singular, "des" in plural (in English, there is no plural word for a/an).

  • definite article "le/la/les" (the) in singular/plural, when the object is defined.

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coolmama

Can you explain further please why for strawberries it is les fraises but for lemons it is des fraises. Thank you

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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That's not what Sitesurf said.

- the lemons, the strawberries <-> les citrons, les fraises
- (some) lemons, (some) strawberries <-> des citrons, des fraises

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wavier
wavier
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I think the problem is not what Sitesurf said, but the question before, to which by the way Sitedurf did not answer properly. I would have started by saying that whether it is "fraises" or "citrons" it is the same, and I wonder actually why does elhh82 think that it should be different (it is not: same rules apply for lemons and strawberries).

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michelle.ko

There's a sentence previously in this lesson "La femme qui aime les fraises". I think elhh82 is asking why in that case it was les and not des.

1
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"manger" and "aimer" are not constructed the same way.

1) "aimer, adorer, détester, préférer, apprécier, haïr" are appreciation verbs which have an intrinsic general meaning.

  • "j'aime les fraises et les citrons" is a generality in French.

French generalities are constructed with definite articles le, la or les depending on the gender and number of the object.

2) all other verbs like manger, boire, couper, respirer, prendre... follow the general rule:

  • "je mange un citron et une fraise => je mange des citrons et des fraises, where "des" is the plural of "un" or "une".

In English: I eat a/one lemon and a/one strawberry => I eate (some) lemons and (some) strawberries.

Have I answered properly?

1
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
ThanKwee
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Actually in that example it was "You are a woman who likes strawberries. I think the reason that you're confused is that "aimer" is a conceptual verb which introduces a generality.

Des means some, so that cannot be used. In French les can mean either "the strawberries" or strawberries in general. In English, a plural generality => no article. In French, a plural generality => definite article (les)

If you are a woman who eats strawberries, some is implied, so it's "des fraises".

To summarize:

  • I like strawberries = J'aime les fraises (I like strawberries in general, not just some strawberries.)

  • I eat strawberries = Je mange des fraises (I eat some strawberries)

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LJSulli
LJSulli
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eat can be a concept, in general I eat lemons (but maybe I don't eat other citrus fruits) - that means the concept of lemons, not any specific lemons. Surely that would be les citrons? In that case 'some lemons/des citrons' wouldn't make any sense.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"eat" is not a concept, nor "lemons".

"tu es un homme qui mange des citrons" is the plural of "tu es un homme qui mange un citron".

keep in mind that there is no plural form for "a" in English and that adding "some" in front of "lemons" is optional, whereas "des" is required.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArnieRoss

What is a conceptual verb?

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
ThanKwee
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https://www.duolingo.com/mathwizard1232
mathwizard1232
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I liked the explanation on the other direction of this sentence explaining the situation where this sentence was useful.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dylanwil

Oh dear, the multiple choice form of this question asked me whether I was a man who eats dogs :o

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doostane

Can someone provide me the exact meaning of de, des

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"de" is a preposition which can be the translation for "of", "from", "to"... It is used in a variety of constructions, including possessive cases (le chien de la fille = the girl's dog) and partitive articles (du pain, de la soupe, de l'eau = (some) bread, (some) soup, (some water).

"des" is the plural indefinite article that English does not have: it is the plural of "un" or "une" (a/an).

  • l'homme qui mange un citron = the man who eats a/one lemon
  • l'homme qui mange des citrons = the man who eats lemons (more than one)
2
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Greenowl586342
Greenowl586342
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Why can't it be Tu es un homme qui mange citrons. Why does it have to be Tu es un homme qui mange des citrons?

1
Reply11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Because the plural indefinite article "des" is required when there is more than one object:

  • "un citron" is the singular form and "des citrons" is the plural form.
0
Reply11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bouchka1
Bouchka1
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Vous êtes un homme qui mangez des citrons : devrait être accepté. Formule employée si l'on vouvoie la personne.

1
Reply3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Madeleine812316

Why is it 'un homme qui mange' (je/il/elle/on) and not 'manges' (tu)?

0
Reply8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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There is one person in this sentence: a man. Therefore, the conjugation is in 3rd person singular.

In other cases, this is how it works:

  • C'est moi qui ai/suis/mange: "moi" drives the verb to the 1st person singular
  • Je suis celui qui a/est/mange: "celui" drives the verb to the 3rd person singular
1
Reply8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lesleyannpoulter

your page is wrong. check (but you won't)

0
Reply6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeeptiChau7

Why isn't it manges

0
Reply6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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In both languages, the subject of the verb is "qui/who", of which antecedent (the noun refered to) is "homme/man", 3rd person singular.

In 3rd person singular, "eats" has an S, but "mange" does not.

0
Reply6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Baibin2
Baibin2
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Why is a response using 'vous' instead of 'tu' deemed incorrect on this?

0
Reply5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The full response would be useful to know what exactly was wrong (not "vous" vs "tu")

0
Reply5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AubreyNico12

Why is "Vous etes un homme qui mangez des citrons" marked as wrong? Is it not the more formal (and perhaps more universal) way of saying "Tu es un homme qui mange des citrons" ?

0
Reply3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"un homme qui mange" is straight, because "qui" represents "homme", 3rd person singular, and the whole clause "un homme qui mange des citrons" defines/describes what "vous" represents for the speaker, as one block.

"tu es un homme qui manges" looks odd, because "qui" does not represent "tu" but "homme", a real noun and said for a reason.

It would be different if instead of "homme" you had a pronoun or adjective used as a noun:

  • vous êtes ceux/celles qui mangent/mangez
  • vous êtes les seuls qui mangent/mangez
1
Reply3 months ago