"The cats eat fish."

Translation:Les chats mangent du poisson.

September 23, 2013



"du" is used when there is no specific quantity such as "some" in English. du beurre (some butter), du sel (some salt), du vent (some wind)..

des is used when you can count the subject... des hommes (which is more than one man) des fraises (more than one strawberry), des jours (more than one day).

October 5, 2013


Whats the difference between mange, manges, mangez, etc.?

September 16, 2017


Those are the endings related to the verb infinitives: I, You, He/She/It, We, You, They. i was taught to remember the endings as "E,Es,E,Ons,Ez,Ent. So if you would go with the I form, speaking about yourself your verb or word should end with e. if you are speaking about You, someone else, you would use ES at the end and so on. Example: "Habiter- to live" -j'habite- (i) -tu habites - (you) -il/elle habite (he/she) -nous habitons (we) -vous habitez (you/plural) -ils/elles habitent (they)

September 18, 2017


Thanks. It was helpful

September 18, 2017


Great insight thank you

July 1, 2018


They're all conjugations for the word manger. Je mange, tu manges, etc. The ending changes depending on the vowel.

September 30, 2017


... depending on the grammatical person

September 30, 2017


I have no idea

October 3, 2017


great lesson, Nilliam ! tu es incroyable !

October 5, 2017


I answered Les chats mangent des poissons , and it was corrected but now I see the right answer is du poisson, I read the comment about wether the fish are countable or unknown, I just want to know which answer is more correct?

November 15, 2017


Is "du" always used before words when it is unclear whether they are singular or plural? I'm trying to understand why "des" wouldn't work.

September 23, 2013


It isn't unclear whether 'poisson' is singular or plural. It's singular because otherwise it would have been 'poissons'. And because 'poisson' is singular 'des' doesn't work, but 'du' does.

However, it is unclear how much fish the cats eat is, and because this is unclear you use the partitive article (du, de l', de la, des). If you want to you can translate the partitive article with 'some':

  • Les chats mangent du poisson - The cats (some) eat fish. (The amount of fish is unspecified.)
  • Les chats boivent de l'eau - The cats (some) drink water. (The amount of water is unspecified.)
  • Les chats mangent de la viande - The cats (some) eat meat. (Idem dito)

Usually these things are singular (eg poisson, eau, viande) but sometimes things that are singular in English are plural in French and then you use 'des':

  • Nous mangent des épinards - We eat (some) spinach.

There are some more rules and exceptions and other things you might want to know listed here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/de-vs-du-de-la-des_2.htm

September 23, 2013


On your second point, "nous mangeons des épinards" is just the plural of "nous mangeons un épinard".

With plural nouns, there is no point using any partitive, since they are countable.

September 23, 2013


What abouts pâtes though? Shouldnt that be proceeded with du instead of des?

May 23, 2018


it never tells us if its one fish or some fish.

September 26, 2017


I wrote - Les chats mangent des poissons and it was given as correct.

October 2, 2017


what is the difference between des and du

October 3, 2017


"du poisson" is partitive for an uncountable noun, meaning some fish, as an unknown amount of a mass thing).

"des poissons" is the plural of "un poisson", a countable noun, meaning one fish in singular, and more than one fish/various fishes in plural.

October 3, 2017


how would you say the cats are eating lots of fish

October 8, 2017


Les chats mangent beaucoup de poisson(s).

October 10, 2017


Why must one write "du"? Why isn't "Les chats mangent poisson" acceptable? The English sentence isn't "the cats eat some fish" or "the cats eat some fishes," after all.

January 4, 2018


I have the same question, it's not clear for me when and why I have to put "du" before a noun (food in this case).

January 5, 2018


"Some" is not necessary in English, but "du" is required in French, when the noun is uncountable, masculine and starts with a consonant sound.

Also, please read the rest of the thread where explanations and comments have already answered your question a number of times.

January 6, 2018


What is the difference between mange and mangent and how are the pronounced?

May 30, 2018


They are different conjugations of the verb Manger which means to eat.

Je mange: I am eating

Ils/elles mangent: They are eating.

Hope that helps :]

May 30, 2018


The difference between "le chat mange" and "les chats mangent" is not to be heard in the noun or verb but in the article:

  • le = LUH
  • les = LAY

So focus on determiners because they never sound the same in singular and plural.

May 30, 2018


Why isn't 'les chattes' acceptable?

August 28, 2018
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