"I like soup."
Translation:J'aime la soupe.
Adding "bien" and other modifying adverbs does affect the direct translation. Usually, adding "bien" is a way of emphasizing the phrase. So, "J'aime bien la soupe." would translate more closely to "I really like soup." than simply "I like soup." I think it would be helpful for duolingo to make this point clearer to beginners.
This is a tricky situation. It has to do with how the French use articles differently than us. First of all, the standard article comparison is:
le/la/les - the du/de la/des - some
Now, while this comparison stands most of the time, the French have a slightly different conception of them than we do, so it works out that the usage is different, consider these examples:
J'aime la soupe Je mange de la soupe
In the first one, only /la/ is used. When you only use the definite article (le/la/les), it means you are referring to everything that noun applies to. You're talking about the idea of soup, or whatever, that you have in your head. In English, the way we say this is "I like soup" because "I like the soup" sounds weird and doesn't really mean anything special. This is why the French use le/la/les way more than us.
If you're interested, du/de la/des is used to refer to actual stuff in the real world. That's why I used it with manger. You can't eat "la soupe" because it isn't real. "De la soupe" on the other hand can be any amount of soup at all.
I hope that helped you out.
I'm sure DuFarge meant to write he thought it should de la suope since, as you correctly point out, soupe is feminine.
As to the broader issue, you simply cannot invoke de la when you are using an appreciation verb such as aimer.
In English. you can't say ..it aint any good.
In french, you can't say ...j'aime de la soupe, j'aime du vin.
You can join an appreciation verb to an action verb and then use du/de la. I like to drink some wine or I like to eat some soup. But you can't say simply I like some wine/soup etc. in French.
As Mcgurker pointed out above, when you talk about eating wheat you are discussing something real. Consequently you use du (de le).
If you put le there you are saying you are eating all examples of something, all the wheat in the world.
Another place you use le is when referring to something very specific such as the wheat on the table.
Only context can make you sure of which use of le is appropriate.
If it isn't known to be the wheat on the table or all the wheat in the world use du.
Doesn't mean you will always keep your heart but it is a low risk approach.
Aimer/like is an appreciation verb which in French is covered by its own set of rules. You can like specific soup. You also can like all soup. But you can't use an appreciation verb by itself to refer to some soup
J'aime de la soupe = incorrect.
You can use an action verb with some but not an appreciation verb.
Je mange le blé/I eat the (particular) wheat = correct
Je mange du blé/I eat some wheat = correct
i don't think this is so. It is not consistent with DLs other usages. I eat bread, can be eating imaginary or all bread or it can be all the bread in front of me, but DL only accepts "je mange du pan" whereas in English "I eat bread" can have different nuances. I accept your explanation of French, but not of English.
I'm not sure which explanation you are referring to but I can sum up the difference between French and English usage this way.
English grammar accepts dropped articles. This places the burden of determining the intended meaning on the listener/reader. When English speakers do this, it is because much of the time precision is not required so it is not provided. When precision is required the speaker/writer inserts the appropriate article.
An unfortunate consequence of this is that some English speakers grow complacent about articles and come to believe that their intended meaning is the only possible meaning.
French grammar requires the placement of articles much more than English. That places the burden of intended meaning on the speaker/writer. Because he is required to place the article, he has to select the correct one that communicates the precision that the sentence warrants.
An unintended outcome of this is that some English speakers want to throw their hands up in the air and say ....what difference does it make?
In French, the speaker must almost always make it clear if he is speaking of the particular, some or the general. In English, the speaker has to make it clear whether he is talking about the particular, some or the general, only when he wants to.
In French nouns almost always require some kind of modifier such as an adjective or an article. That being the case soup must have some kind of modifier. Since there is no adjective given you must use an article. The only issue is which article.
La/the usually refers to something specific but in French it can also mean all examples of something. Consequently la is used in this question because the speaker likes all examples of soupe . He likes not just some soup but all soup. He likes the totality of soup hence he likes la soupe.
What I am saying is that French differs from English and when using Duo you will necessarily be exposed to things that don't conform to your past experience. Undoubtedly you will find this surprising at times.
Certainly, I have found it to be so.
In English if you say I like wheat you are saying: I like wheat, all wheat, the smell of wheat, the sound of wheat etc.
But in French you can not say: J'aime blé because there must be an article attached to blé . There is no article in French that directly translates into the meaning stated in English by the absence of the.
So what to do? The French have decided to give another meaning to le/ la that conveys what in English is done simply by dropping the from in front of wheat.
Thus J'aime le blé means either the wheat known to be on the table, or on display or whatever -or- all the wheat in the world, the idea of wheat or whatever. The only way to know for sure what is meant is by context.
In your example the speaker is eating the wheat. We can assume that he is not trying to eat all the wheat in the world or the idea of wheat or the smell of wheat therefore le used in that context is not appropriate.
There is nothing to indicate he is referring to a bowl of wheat that was just handed to him or the wheat he has in his pocket or whatever so it doesn't seem likely that le is applicable in that way.
Sooooo....We can assume there is a quantity of wheat available in some way and that he is eating a portion of it. He is eating of the wheat. Je mange du blé. Du equals of the/ de le.
In this case we are talking about liking soup. He could very well mean that he likes soup in general, all soup. He could also mean he likes the soup on the table or on the menu etc. La is appropriate in French in either case. But in English you have to drop the article to convey the global sense of liking soup. I like soup
By sometimes insisting on one usage of la/ le in translation and sometimes another, Duo is ensuring that you learn the difference between the two uses.
Of course, that means you will lose a heart in an arbitrary way and feel abused but Duo seems to believe that this will help you remember.
That is correct.
In English, we can say I like soup and it could mean some soup or all soup.
In French, we can say J'aime la soupe and it could mean that soup or all soup.
In French, it is against the rules to say J'aime de la soupe/I like some soup because aimer is an appreciation verb and French doesn't allow appreciating just some items. It has to very specific or totally general. It can't be restricted to just some.
So the English I like soup could be possibly translated as all or some, but only all or that particular is allowed in French. De la is not allowed, la general and la particular is allowed.
Until you run into the exceptions you can assume that all French nouns require a modifier of some kind. Absent anything else there must be an article somewhere near the noun. One advantage of this is that while many nouns are pronounced in such a way that it is hard to tell their number and gender, all articles clearly indicate whether they are singular or plural. They also indicate gender where necessary.
J'aime soupe does not have an article in front of soupe or any modifier that might qualify to replace one. This is a big no-no in French. Of course, in English you can just drop articles any time you want but not in French.
Of course, you are correct. As you point out, du would be incorrect with soupe under any circumstances.
I am so used to writing about wine to illustrate the point that I forgot to change the article when changing the noun to soup.
I should have written that you can't use de la soupe with an appreciation verb. Nor can you use du vin with verbs like aimer. You have to join the appreciation verb to an action verb to use either du or de la.
J'aime boire du vin ...not ...j'aime du vin.
J'aime manger de la soupe ....not ...j'aime de la soupe.
Maybe this will help you understand.
It is the case that using aint in English is regarded as bad. It doesn't really make any difference why. That's just how it is.
In French, there is a certain class of verbs called appreciation verbs. They are verbs such as like, love, adore etc. It is the case in French that using du/de la with stand alone appreciation verbs is bad. From your point of view, it doesn't really make any difference why. That's just how it is.
aint = bad
am not = good
aime + du/de la = stand alone appreciation verb + du/de la = bad.
aime + boire + du/de la = appreciation verb + action verb + du/de la = good.
It's pretty straightforward really. You just have to remember. The only tricky part is noticing when the verb is a standalone appreciation verb.
In some past example says "I love food" the correct was "j'aime de la nourriture". Some explanation was "I LOVE FOOD=I love SOME food" and traslate with "DE LA" "J'aime de la nourriture". Just if the sentence is "i love THE food= j'aime LA nourriture" is correct Why in this case " i like food/ j'aime de la nourriture" is wrong?
Doing a search of Duo I found many instances of J'aime la nourriture, but I could not find any that were constructed j'aime de la nourriture. That is because you can not join an appreciation verb such as aimer to du/de la + noun.
If you find such an example please post it right away.
Assuming that what you really mean is that you believe that J'aime soupe is a direct translation of I like soup, then yes, that was your mistake. Almost all French nouns require a modifier of some kind. Soupe is one of those. The appropriate modifier in this context is la.
As to why de la soupe is not appropriate, that is because aimer is an appreciation verb. The implications of that have been covered extensively in other comments on this page.
Earlier in the lesson, "l'homme mange de la viande" was translated as either "the man is eating some meat" or "the man eats meat". Does this mean I should use 'mange de' to mean a person, as a rule, eats something? I mean in the sense that the man is not a vegetarian; the woman is not a coeliac.
The man eats some meat means only that the man is eating some meat. He may never have before or again. The speaker/writer is simply describing something.
Manger is a verb meaning to eat
De la = of the (fem.) usually taken to mean some in English.
L'hibou mange de la viande = The owl eats some meat. Again, the speaker is simply describing something. There is nothing to indicate anything other than the owl is eating some meat.
de la/of the (some) is used in both examples because it is the feminine form which is in agreement feminine viande.
The man eats meat and the man eats some meat are the same thing in English. Some English speakers will assume that the man eats meat means more than simply that he is eating some meat. But without context, there is nothing to justify assuming more than a simple description.
English speakers routinely drop the article and leave it up to the listener/reader to figure out from the context whether some or all is intended but the French do not. They require the article to be present to make it clear.