Les articles: Défini ou indéfini...

DrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Les articles: Défini ou indéfini...

"Je mange des algues et je nage souvent avec les poissons." There both indefinite and definite articles in this sentence. Why not, "Je mange les algues et je nage souvent avec les poissons," or "Je mange des algues et je nage souvent avec des poissons?" And also, "J'aime bien aussi collectionner les coquillages." Why not, "J'aime bien aussi collectionner des coquillages?"

Asked 4 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Drew, 

With the verb 'manger' you have to have the partitive 'des' as otherwise, it sounds as you are eating all the algae in the world. Strange but true!

When the mermaid says -

"Je nage avec les poissons" , it is the generic term for 'fish':

She swims with fish, not dolphins, not whales so the definite article 'les' is correct.

It is for the same reason that you say 'collectionner les coquillages' .

She collects shellfish, not fish, plants or algae

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Drew,

have a look at how you would say it in English:" I eat algeae and swim with the fish." I know, it would also work without the definite article in English, but you couldn't say, "I eat the algeae...". English isn't as strict with this, but you can use it to start get a feeling for the difference.

Les articles: Défini ou indéfini...

"Je mange des algues et je nage souvent avec les poissons." There both indefinite and definite articles in this sentence. Why not, "Je mange les algues et je nage souvent avec les poissons," or "Je mange des algues et je nage souvent avec des poissons?" And also, "J'aime bien aussi collectionner les coquillages." Why not, "J'aime bien aussi collectionner des coquillages?"

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