"Le professeur de français aime parler de crêpes."

Translation:The French teacher likes to talk about crepes.

December 23, 2012

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"parler de crêpes" is talking about crepes in general. "parler des crêpes" (= contraction of 'de les' crêpes - singular: de la crêpe) is about some specific crepes.


Sitesurf est le professeur de français.


... and I have had to talk about crepes quite a lot in the past months... ;-)


This certainly is one of the weirder phrases on Duolingo


thanks for the explanation. However if I may ask, how do we differentiate this orally? I find that the 'de' or 'des' is barely distinguishable when listening to everyday conversation


'de' is pronounced like "duh" like in "demain". "des" is pronounced like "day"


During training the difference should be audible. In day-to-day conversation you will have context to derive the proper meaning.


In des-to-des conversation?


I didn't get your point at first but you are pointing out that the "de" comes from the expression "parler de" - to talk about rather than the partitive use of de in the context of "de la" or in this plural case "des" ("de les"). Out of curiousity how would you say "He is talking about SOME crepes?".


"il parle de crêpes" = talks about crepes (in general)

"il parle des crêpes" = talks about the crepes (= de + les = specific ones)


thanks, that's really helpful, I was really confused about that


The reason it is so confusing is that in French when the preposition "de" is followed by the indefinite articles (des, du, de la, de l') the indefinite article is omitted.


1-indefinite articles: un, une, des

singular: il aime parler d'une crêpe

plural: il aime parler de crêpes

2-definite articles: le, la, les

singular: il aime parler de la crêpe

plural: il aime parler des (=de+les) crêpes



L'identité de l'article indéfini massif (dit traditionnellement, mais à tort, partitif) dans je veux de la viande et du groupe réellement partitif "de + article défini" dans je veux de la viande de ce boeuf ne signifie pas que l'on perde le sentiment de leur différence, puisqu'à la forme négative on oppose je ne veux pas de viande (avec amuïssement de l'article indéfini massif ou pluriel après de) à je ne veux pas de la viande de ce boeuf


on constate que quand le verbe se construit avec de, l’article indéfini pluriel (des) ou l’article indéfini massif (du) « disparaissent »

"Il aime parler de des crêpes" becomes "Il aime parler de crêpes"

"Il aime parler de les crêpes" becomes "Il aime parler des crêpes".


Cette règle d'effacement existe bel et bien. Il s'agit de la règle de cacophonie énoncée par les Grammairiens de Port Royal: Les articles indéfinis(des, du, de la, de l') s'effacent après la préposition "de"


En grammaire, un article partitif est une sous-catégorie de déterminant indéfini, plus proche de l'article indéfini singulier, employée devant les noms exprimant une quantité massive (les linguistes parlent également de notion continue), c'est-à-dire une partie d'un référent (l'objet dont on parle), ne pouvant être comptée.

Tout comme l'article indéfini, l'article partitif participe à l'actualisation du nom noyau en indiquant simplement que le représenté (le référent) existe bien, mais demeure inconnu des actants de l'énonciation. Ainsi, il s'oppose lui aussi à l'article défini.


La Grammaire méthodique du français (Riegel) affirme en effet que "selon une règle générale, appelée "règle de cacophonie" par les grammairiens de Port-Royal, les formes des et du, de la, des articles indéfini et partitif s'effacent régulièrement après la préposition de, qu'il s'agisse de compléments de verbes, de noms ou d'adjectifs. Si l'une des deux conditions n'est pas satisfaite (autre préposition ou autre forme d'article) l'effacement est impossible : Ils sont venus de pays lointains [réduction de venus de des pays lointains, à comparer à venus d'un pays lointain] – une tasse de café [= une tasse de du café / une tasse de ce bon café]"


Hi Sitesurf. It helped me to better understand all of this by looking at it this way. But perhaps it would be too confusing for others. I posted this concept on this dicussion http://www.duolingo.com/#/comment/388238 and SherylMill responded:

If I'd had this one line when prepositions were introduced, it would have made all the difference: "But in French when the preposition "de" is followed by the indefinite articles (des, du, de la, de l') the indefinite article is omitted." Great explanation - thanks!


Thanks for these references. Experts love to confuse basic notions, which is not good for beginners. Introducing the notion of "indéfini massif" is not welcome, in my opinion, as it confuses the basic notion of "défini" (le, la, les) and "indéfini" (un une, des). When it comes to the "partitive" case, I believe that in spite of what they say, its direct relation with "a part of something" is transparent enough to help learners find their way to the meaning of it. In other words, I don't think we should give over technical explanations. What think?


It would be great if this explanation was in English for the benefit of us learners.


Thanks, that's very helpful! I didn't know/remember that "des" means "de les". So "parler des crepes" means "talking about specific crepes", rather than crepes in general.


Careful, because des also is the plural form of the indefinite articles (un chien, des chiens). It's easy to confuse these two.


Don't you use les in those situations for generality?


Duolingo loves to talk about crepes....and baguettes also! :)


So I thought the word "crap" existed in french too... -1 heart


why is crepes plural?


because it is not about one specific crêpe but crêpes in general


Does the singular make any sense in this sentence? There's no sound difference between "de crêpe" and "de crêpes" (as far as I understand), so I am wondering if transcribing the audio using the singular makes a valid sentence? Le professeur de français aime parler de crêpe?


Not much sense in my opinion, since "crêpe" is countable and the teacher would not have much to say about one single crêpe.

However, you can get: - le professeur aime parler de religion/s, ie singular or plural, depending on the scope of his speech: in singular it would be "religion" as a concept and in plural, probably about comparisons between various religions.


This strange professor talks not about one crepe but about lots of crepes.... ❤❤❤


Shouldn't it be "des crepes"?


No, because "des" would be "of the" crepes, When you're saying "about" you just use de.


aren't "crepes" pancakes???


Pancakes generally are raised with baking soda or baking powder and some kind of acid like buttermilk or sour cream or yoghurt or even vinegar. Although they may have an egg or two, and the egg whites may be beaten before adding for further leavening, rather like making a cake only cooked on top of the stove. Crepes are made with flour, eggs and milk and are not particularly leavened and are very thin.


yes, but thinner and larger (try Google/Images)


My pancakes (UK) are big and thin, like crepes. They can be rolled and served with sugar and lemon juice. It's the same in the Netherlands. I believe in the US pancakes are smaller (in diameter) and thicker


Delightfully off-topic :)


Are you kidding me?!? I was in the middle of a very productive study session, and now I have to go eat. Thanks a lot.


Same in Germany, but our pancakes are still not as thin as crepes.^^


In the Netherlands we call the thicker ones pannekoeken and the thinner ones flensjes. Pannekoeken are bigger and thinner than american pancakes, but flensjes are even thinner, more like crepes, except smaller. Although pannekoeken are much more common/popular than flensjes. I wish you could get crepes everywhere on the street like you do in France, Switserland and Germany, I love them!


Sounds great. I wish I could learn Deutsch in Duolingo too.


One of the first youtube videos I saw was about the British version of pancakes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnCVZozHTG8


The translation "pancakes" is also acceptable.


My first thought: the French professor likes to talk crap :-)


Why there is no artcile in “le professeur de francais"? Why not "le professeur du francais"?


"Le professeur du français..." would mean "the teacher of the French...", i.e. something would be missing, like "le professeur du français qu'on parle en France" (the teacher of the French spoken in France)

Otherwise, the construction is "noun of noun" like "la fille du maire" (possessive), "la feuille de papier" (substance), "la bouteille de lait" (content), with only preposition "de" to add information to the first noun.


What about the pronouncing "de francais aime"? Is it not any liaison ?


No liaison (with the liaison, "français" could be mistaken for "française")


this is a funny sentence aime still hunts me!


How does one differentiate between the teacher of French (as in language) and the French teacher? ( concerning the nationality)?


Un professeur de français

Un professeur français.


Likes to talk about,loves to talk about... is it really that big of difference? Cost me a heart and irl no one would trip over it... :-\


like and love are different in meaning and their respective translations are not straightforward in French, unfortunately:

aimer + object, concept, wild animal = like

aimer + human being, pet = love

aimer bien + any object = like

love + object, concept, wild animal = adorer

  • le professeur aime (bien) parler de crêpes = the teacher likes to talk about crêpes
  • the teacher loves to talk about crêpes = le professeur adore parler de crêpes


Thanks for clearing that out Sitesurf, what would we do without you?! :-)


I thought they said greek


Crêpes > French grammar This professor really has his teaching style sorted out.

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