"Des filles boivent du lait."

Translation:Some girls are drinking milk.

December 15, 2012

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/msussman

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??

December 22, 2012

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

December 18, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/ruppert

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

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, you are wrong. "the" translates in "la/le/les" = definite article

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ruppert

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"?

January 9, 2013

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

January 9, 2013

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

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DuFarge

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'?

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/holderbm1

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.

December 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Sam00

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

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Determiners and conjugations are usually different in singular and plural.

October 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mamode

i clearly heard "les filles boivent du lait"

December 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Powerforce

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'?

June 20, 2013

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

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Powerforce

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

Did I understand that correctly?

June 20, 2013

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

The girls = les filles (always)

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

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mcortel
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"the boys "is not a correct translation for "des garçons".
"the boys" = les garçons,
"des garçons" = "some boys" "des filles" = "some girls"

January 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rkent

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

June 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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fille = FIY fils = FISS

try it on Google/Translate

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kosheryosher

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.

August 23, 2013

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

August 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kosheryosher

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.

August 23, 2013

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

August 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kosheryosher

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"?

August 24, 2013

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

August 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dawndawn772

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

October 17, 2016

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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

October 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dawndawn772

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?

October 23, 2016

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

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LunaSpark101

Its hard this one

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gsazbon
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How is the pronunciation of Boivent?

July 10, 2017

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

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gsazbon
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Thanks. Is there any explanation how a word like Boivent is pronunciated Bwav? Is there any rule, or is different in each word?

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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B = B

oi = wa

v = v

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

July 12, 2017
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