"Nous avons du café."

Translation:We have coffee.

6 years ago

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/niveoserenity

I put we are having some coffee. Why is it wrong?

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rednaxela4
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The meaning is different in English. In English, if you say you're having coffee, it means you're drinking coffee. You can say "I have a chair" but it sounds strange in English to say, "I am having a chair." The verb "to have" in English is not used in the present progressive tense to indicate possession, which is what the French verb avoir means here. For these reasons, "We have coffee" is acceptable but "We are having coffee" doesn't work. The English grammar isn't technically wrong, but the meaning is different. It seems like it would be correct, but we have to translate the meaning, not just the individual words. A friend of mine from Japan often makes this mistake when speaking English--trying to use the present progressive of "to have" to indicate possession (one would use the equivalent of the progressive form in Japanese in such a case), and it sounds strange. For example, "I am having an appointment." I used to teach ESL in Japan, by the way.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachel66E

I understand perfectly what you are saying about the usage of have in English but that is not the problem here . The problem is when you say that the french verb avoir indicates possession. Can you explain how you know that without being told the answer? This is why myself and possibly others have used the ing form.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rednaxela4
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Well, I've only specifically studied French for one semester in college before this, but going by how DuoLingo has built the French curriculum up to this point, it indicates possession. I honestly don't know whether the French word avoir can have the same idiomatic meaning as "having a drink" in English, but this is still a really low level lesson, and DuoLingo hasn't made any indication that it could have another meaning. Just seems like too much of a stretch.

Here are two dictionary citations for the word. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/avoir http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/dictionary/avoir.html

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ambientpsyche

in case you're still wondering: in order to say "i'm having (drinking) a coffee", the French use the verb 'prendre' as in "je prends un café". interestingly, this idiom also exists in english - "i am taking a coffee" - though i haven't heard it too often and it might be an expression that has slipped into english from romance language speakers

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachel66E

I hadn't really thought of it like that. I tend to write something if it makes sense in English. Interestingly this approach often leads to me getting things wrong. I just typed the English phrase into google and it uses sommes. So think you have hit the nail on the head there. Thank you.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rednaxela4
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You're welcome! I love how positive this DuoLingo community is. :) I've studied quite a lot of Japanese and a good bit of Russian and Latin too (though pretty rusty in those now), though my French (and now thanks to DuoLingo, German too) is still in the beginning stages. What has worked for me in the past is trying to give myself up to the target language, to wrap myself in the consciousness and context of the new language. Some people might call it a "sense" for language or an affinity for foreign languages, but I think it's a combination of an awareness of grammar and being actively open to the new language (and the culture/way of thinking that goes with it), no matter your level. Actually, with this approach, I often find myself surprised to discover that some idioms ARE in fact the same in one language or another.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

rachel, google is not good for translations. Try reverso.net

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

rachel- In French verb avoir doesn't have the meaning of drinking a coffee, it means that we have du café in stock, or on the table. I'm having a coffee, in French would be, je bois un café/je suis en train de boire/de prendre un café.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

rachel- I'm native and the comment of rednazela is perfect. If you're not sure about which tense to use, stay with the duo tense. the ing form in French is an expression : être en train de. If they were drinkink coffee, it would have been : nous sommes en train de boire un café or en train de prendre (to take) un café. So, if there's no ING form in the sentence, try to use the same tense, present.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nenad139322

What about "We are having a coffee"? Or maybe "We are having a cup of coffee?"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coconuit

put have

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aidan39125

I think it is wrong becasue it had 2 words but you put more.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aidan39125

I meant 4 words

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryJaneSk

As a former language teacher, I know that the present tense can be translated as I have, am having, do have!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ottavio
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She is saying 'des cafe' not 'du cafe'

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnoopVargh

I have to disagree. I can clearly hear it as 'du cafe'.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/M.A.Burnside

I also hear this. It's frustrating at times, but I can't complain since the results have been completely positive for me.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ishratdola

i want to know that is it pronounced as "ju" or "du"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Niseis

I think in French for uncountable nouns "du" is used, meaning "some". For countable nouns, "des" is used, also meaning "some" but in the sense "more than one". Am I correct?

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

yashowardhani- correct

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ishratdola

in English we don't use "some coffee" but here sometimes "some coffee" is used because "du" means some of. it is silent here all the times in English.so can i avoid "some coffee" and rather use only "coffee" in this place?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

ishratdola, if you omit some before coffee, it already means some, so don't use it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/intesar

It should be we have some coffee

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Niseis

We have coffee. We have some coffee. Both mean same in french - "Nous avons du cafe".

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aidan39125

Is it just me or does lots of French words sound the same as Englash words?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordysamazing

Can you be my friend please

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LadyLingua
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6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathonVogt

Why is "We are having some coffee" wrong? Isn't that also technically correct? Is the etre in front of avoir throwing it off?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/waphle
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As discussed in the thread above, the trick is recognizing that in English "to have" has different idiomatic meanings that don't translate directly to French (just as "avoir" is used idiomatically in ways that don't translate directly to English, e.g. "j'ai chaud").

"We have coffee" uses "to have" in the sense of "to possess," whereas "we are having coffee" uses "to have" in the sense of "to eat or drink." In French, "avoir" doesn't have this latter meaning, which is why "we are having (some) coffee" is not a valid answer here.

Perhaps the French parallel would be "prendre," which means "to take," but is also used idiomatically to mean "to eat or drink." "We are having (some) coffee" would thus translate to "nous prenons du café" (which would also mean "we drink coffee" in the general sense), though it seems in French it's a bit more common to say "we are having a coffee" – "nous prenons un café."

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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Someone asks you what there is in the kitchen to drink. You look and say we have coffee.

Someone calls you on your cell phone and asks what you and your friend are doing and you say we are having coffee.

There is a big difference.

Nous avons du café translates to We have coffee.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

jonathon- we aren,t drinking coffee here, we just possess some

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moonious

While causally speaking, would most native French people say "On a du cafe" ?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

moonious- yes we could, on can mean we sometimes

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sangokhan99

Hello, is there anyone who can explain the difference between "du" et "de"?? Merci d'avance

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

sangokhan- du means some , also de la means some for feminine. De means OF, sometimes FROM. je viens de France/I come from France. Sors DE la maison, get out OF the house.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BurakMandira

I always heard 'r' sound when "avons" and "du" come together. Like this: "evondRi". Why there is 'r' sound when we pronounce?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

burak- there's no sound r, maybe it's the computer.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/camilaces
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Ok

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AisaMuffin

what's wrong with 'we have cafe' like you manage a shop

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hi Aisa. In English Café (A Café, pronounced Kaff) is the place where one goes to sit down and drink COFFEE. So that is what didn't work for you. If you manage the shop/own it, then you have missed out the article: "We have A café". Trouble is, this task does not refer to a shop because of the French use of the article Du, which although may be dropped in translation to English, actually means Some or Some Of. So what you were intending to express is "We Have Some Shop"/"We Have Some Of Shop". Does that sound like sense to you? With respect JJ.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AisaMuffin

Thanks, now I understand it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Manyata5

its wrong as we have coffe or we have some coffe

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraRow6

it's better to say "We are having coffee"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kadyn642157

hi i love duolingo

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kadyn642157

hi

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/terrymoyer

I also wrote we are having SOME coffee, as the word DU was used, and the most recent previous lessons indicated using DU to indicate 'some'. Also if you put the cursor on each word of the sentence the word DU is defined as some in the drop down. I am not arguing that We are having some coffee 'has to be' correct. Just that the sentence structure is somewhat misleading in the context of the most recent previous lessons.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joanne661159

I put: We are having coffee

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Joanne, were you marked correct? You should have been. There is no real context. It is a muggy night here in the marina and I'm going to the pontoon to practise some more Shuffle Dance so I may not get back to you until tomorrow because it is well gone 11pm here in the UK.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joanne661159

I was marked incorrect.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

OK Joanne. I think in that case the "En Train De" form would be used to express that "We are having coffee." Do you you know of this structure? I think that is the problem. Strange.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EastonP2

IT FRICKIN KIcked my freind out of the website

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Why, Easton? Which Moderator was the "It?"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shiro828685

What does "du" mean?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hiya Shiro. Du (preceding a masculine noun) De La (preceding a feminine noun) and Des (preceding any plural nouns) can mean Of The, Some or dropped altogether when translated to English. Think context. This sentence task may be correct translated either as We have Some coffee, or just We Have coffee. French only extremely rarely doesn't require an article. Bonne chance, JJ.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shiro828685

Merci beaucoup. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VahlentineGrim
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It is heard "des" instead of "du".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IvanFlack

I think we are having coffee is also a correct translation

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/artistkatie

I understand completely about what the words mean, but when i accidentally put caffee instead of coffee it counted it wrong even though it was a typo. It is easy to see it was a typo because caffee is not a real word.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

So on a language learning course Spullong Coffee Wring can be "Seens" buy a campootur prgimm?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmosEzeme

Why isn't it just "Nous avons cafe" why do we have to put "du", and how does one determine when to use du.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hiya Amos. With very few exceptions all French nouns require an article. Now, please look through this thread, it has been addressed and I have posted just the fourth below.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmosEzeme

Merci bien

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OpticPhantom

Yo i said it write and this dumb page told me im wrong

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-EnChanTedMAma-

I SAID DAT @0@

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-EnChanTedMAma-

i said that why it wrong IT HATE ME @0@

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Princess.C862489

I put I have coffee like omg.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hello Princess, "I"=Je. Nous=We. Why use Text-speak on a language course by the way?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Donald798622

"We are having a coffee" is a perfectly reasonable response.

2 months ago
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