"Tu bois du lait ?"

Translation:Do you drink milk?

December 21, 2012

23 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

process of elimination makes this question is too easy: i would never drink rice or a newspaper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cherry1081

Same, I dont drink groceries or schools


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bilos14

Why du lait and not le lait? The question is do you drink milk in general not did you drink some milk.
I could guess this could be a time when du lait would be are you drinking some milk where le lait would be do you drink milk. That's some context.


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

"Le lait" is the translation for "the milk".

"You drink milk" or "You drink some milk" translate to "tu bois du lait" as "an unknown amount of a mass thing".


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

Would "bois-tu du lait" work for "Do you drink milk" as well?


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

yes, this is perfectly correct (even more correct than " tu bois du lait?" )


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

Sure, but you might drink pastis, coconut juice... And you are not supposed to answer these questions, just to translate them, aren't you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

it depends on the hour & the Duo saturation level


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

It says something like ''shu'' instead of ''tu'', it makes it confusable with ''je''


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

It might be a bit of lag when you you click play, it sounds pretty clear to me. Most French I hear sort or pronounce "tu" with a bit of a "ch" tossed in. Almost like an Irishman counting to three. "One, tchoo, tchree"


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

So there is no distinction between "Do you drink milk" and "Are you drinking milk"?


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

Context would tell.


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

I myself don't see a difference between "You drink milk?" and "Do you drink milk?" Is this just me?


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

tu bois du lait= bois-tu du lait. The only difference is that the former is more formal. Hope I make it clear for you.


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

did for me, thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IvoryFr96

Wait, actually, isn't the latter more formal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CREATEYOUR20

'You drink milk?' is incorrect grammar. It is used only in American conversational speech.


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

funny. I chose "Do you drink milk?" but the correct answer shown is "do you drink milk?" or "Are you drinking milk?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frenchapple723

le lait est bon pour toi


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

I'm confused between (in English): some milk and milk in general, or some chocolate and chocolate in general. If I like chocolate, I say, "J'aime le chocolate". If I want some now, I say, "Je veux du chocolate". If I drink milk now and then, why should I say, "Je bois du lait" instead of "Je bois le lait". Is this just idiomatic or is there a rule to follow.


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

English speakers routinely drop the article or even use them incorrectly and leave it up to the listener/reader to figure out what was meant. One way to figure out the French is usage is to follow their rule and insert the appropriate article if you were speaking/writing English. That is because when you say I like music both you and your listener know you don't mean it. You both know that there are all kinds of music that you don't like so much that you can barely concede it is music. Chinese opera, Eskimo throat singing, Buddhist chanting are all music but many English speakers would not include at least one of those in their assertion that they like music, despite what they just said.

With this procedure of using article in English, you can't say I drink milk. You have to insert the correct article in the French manner.

So......

I drink the milk meaning the milk right there or that we already understand I am talking about

I drink the milk meaning all the milk that was and is available to me. The whole category of milk. All the milk that exists.

I drink some milk. meaning I drink of the milk. Not just the milk on the table, not all the milk in the world if I could I get my hands on it but of all the milk in the world whenever I am in the mood and it is there for me to consume.

If you want to say water is good for you and have to include an article then the appropriate article is the. The water is good for you. The category of water is good for you. Any water that isn't good for you is because there is something else in the water that isn't good or there is something suddenly wrong with you that makes it not good. Either way the water itself is good.

Practice inserting the and some in English. Just remember that when English speakers say I want a piece of the cake French speakers just say I want of the cake. They leave out the whole piece thing unless they want to emphasize piece.

Le/la/les = specific

Le/la/les = general as in really general

du/de la = of the = taken in English to mean some.

Appreciation verbs in French such as like are assumed to be either general (I like all....) or specific (I like that particular thing that we are talking about)

So appreciation verbs take le/la/les at all times. If you want to say you like only some of that item you have to reconstruct your sentence to include words like certain examples ...fresh milk, cold milk, chocolate milk.

Appreciation verb rules make the/some choices in French appear random to students of French. The solution is to get really good at using articles in English instead of dropping them as is customary. Once that happens, the appreciation exception becomes just another thing that you have to get used to.


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

Thanks! I see the difference now between the appreciation verbs and consumption verbs.


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

Not only consumption verbs but action verbs in general.

Appreciation verbs have an object on which no action is performed. This explains why the feeling towards something is generalized. The direct object of an appreciation verb is considered as a whole thing, material or not (I like chocolate and history = j'aime le chocolat et l'histoire) or a category of things (I hate spiders/cowards = je déteste les araignées/les lâches).

What you have to remember is that "I drink milk" and "I am drinking milk" translate to "je bois du lait", either as a habit or as an action in progress. The reason is that what is "general" in "I drink milk" is "drink", not "milk". Be it now or every morning, what you are drinking/drink is "some milk", not the whole milk category.

What is true for milk is true for everything else:

  • The man likes cars = L'homme aime les voitures.
  • The man sells cars = L'homme vend des voitures.
  • The man is selling cars = L'homme vend/est en train de vendre des voitures.
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