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  5. "Des filles boivent du lait."

"Des filles boivent du lait."

Translation:Some girls are drinking milk.

December 15, 2012



It's really difficult to hear the difference between "des" and "les" especially in this case. I don't think it is just me, either...my french speaking wife couldnt hear it either...any one else have this problem??


To be able to hear any "s", you need that it is placed in front of a vowel.

In this example, there is no place for any liaison, so both "s" are obviously silent.

Here, the difference is to be heard in "des", which is a plural (would be "une" in the singular form).


Why does it translate "des" to only "some", I keep answering "des filles/des femmes" to "the girls/the women". Am I wrong??


Yes, you are wrong. "the" translates in "la/le/les" = definite article


My french to english larousse dictionary says "des" is a contraction of "du" and "les". Can you please explain why duolingo only translates "des" to "some"?


In English, you do not have many alternatives, in fact.

  1. "Some" is used for uncountable things, ie when you take a piece of (bread) or a portion of (soup, milk). In French, construction is preposition + article and the form changes with the noun used, in gender and in number.

ex: du lait (contraction of de-le), de la soupe, de l'eau (same as 'de la' but in front of a vowel).

  1. "Some" is also used for countable things, ie when you take 'a certain number' of things or people. In French, you will use the indefinite article "des" (which is masculine or feminine, and plural)

ex: il mange des bananes (he eats some bananas or he eats bananas); il voit des canards (he sees some ducks); elle parle avec des amis (she talks with some friends).


Thank you for your support! Now, if you are looking at a group of ducks, either you consider that you have a certain number of ducks in front of you and you say "je vois des canards" (some) or you want to distinguish them from, let's say swans also swimming there, and you say "je vois les canards" (the). To sum it up, it is very much a matter of context and of your intention at a certain time.


Sitesurf, first of all thank you. I see you helping in most of these questions. Question here. I get the eating 'some', or seeing 'some' and using the 'du' form........but........if you are looking at a group of ducks......aren't you seeing THE ducks, the ducks right there in front of you and not just 'some' ducks? So should it not be 'Il voit les canards'?


what is the trick for telling the difference between singular and plural when the words are spoken? It sounds like all the s's (all plurality) is silent when spoken.


You can usually tell by the context it is being used in.


Determiners and conjugations are usually different in singular and plural.


i clearly heard "les filles boivent du lait"


Why is the translation 'the boys' for 'des garcons' correct but when I write 'the girls' as a translation for 'des filles' it´s suddenly 'some girls'?


Unless there is a mistake in the program, you should not confuse "les" and "des".

"des filles boivent" = (some) girls drink milk = plural of "une fille" "des garçons boivent" = (some) boys drink milk = plural of "un garçon"

"le chien des garçons et des filles" = the boys' and girls' dog (lit. the dog of the boys and the girls) = possessive case where "des" is the contraction of preposition "de" + definite article "les"


Les filles = The girls and Des filles = some girls?

Did I understand that correctly?



The girls = les filles (always)

and "des filles" = some girls (plural of one girl) or "of the girls" (possessive meaning)


"the boys "is not a correct translation for "des garçons".
"the boys" = les garçons,
"des garçons" = "some boys" "des filles" = "some girls"


In translating the french audio to english, I put "des fils". I guess there is some subtle pronunciation difference between filles and fils, I just don't know what it is yet


fille = FIY fils = FISS

try it on Google/Translate


I just want to be clear: is there no present participle construction in French? When do you translate something into English present participle? Whenever there is "verb + du + noun", does that mean the sentence should be translated into present participle? Because this sentence might be translated to "Some girls drink (of) milk" but that could be a general statement.


So, let's be clear. There are two different concepts in your question.

Present participle:

  • we use it in specific constructions like "il part en chantant" (he leaves while singing) or "il réussit en prenant des risques" (he succeeds by taking risks).

  • we don't use it to build a present progressive tense : "I am singing" does NOT translate to "je suis chantant", but to "je chante" or "je suis en train de chanter".

Verb + du + noun:

The latter rule is valid, whether or not the verb has an object:

  • I am singing a song = je chante une chanson

  • I am eating jam and drinking milk = je mange ( je suis en train de manger) de la confiture et je bois (je suis en train de boire) du lait.


Thank you!

So if it were "Des filles boivent lait", would that be: "Some girls drink milk"? I am confused as to how "du" changes a sentence like this one.


"des filles boivent lait" is incomplete, you need something in front of the noun.

"des filles boivent le lait" = girls drink the milk (specific milk, identified)

"des filles boivent du lait" = girls drink some milk (like " some of the milk" = an undefined quantity of milk).

"Du" is the contraction of de+le since "lait" is masculine; it it were a feminine noun like "bière", you would get "de la bière".


How do I know whether "des filles boivent du lait" is your translation or Duolingo's? And then how would one say "Girls drink milk"?


What I read at the top of the page is: "des filles boivent du lait" / "some girls drink milk".

I think that the best translation of "des filles boivent du lait" is "girls drink milk" and the best translation of "some girls drink milk" is "certaines filles boivent du lait".

In other words, I would be stricter than Duo in translating form one language to the other.


I'm still confused about the difference between "eat" and "eating" or "drink" and "drinking". Can someone please explain?


Girls are drinking is a continuous present and it means that the girls are currently drinking.

Girls drink is a simple present and it means that it is a general trend or habit of theirs.

In French, there is no continuous tenses.

Therefore, "the girls are drinking" = "the girls drink" = les filles boivent


So basically there's only one tense when it comes talking in the present. It could be either or depending on the context? Am I understanding you correctly?


Yes, there is one present tense. However, if you want to express that an action is in progress at the time you speak, you can use a phrase: "être en train de + infinitive".

"les filles sont en train de boire" precisely means that they are currently in the process of drinking.


Its hard this one


How is the pronunciation of Boivent?


Thanks. Is there any explanation how a word like Boivent is pronunciated Bwav? Is there any rule, or is different in each word?


B = B

oi = wa

v = v

-ent, as the conjugation ending for 3rd person plural is mute.


Why does filles sound like a word starting with "s"?

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