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Beginning a sentence with a single word noun clause

Cindy B.C1Kwiziq community member

Beginning a sentence with a single word noun clause

How would you translate the sentence, "Wine, we don't drink much of it." I wasn't sure about "Le vin, ..." so I asked Google Translate, which said it should be "Du vin, ..." But Duolingo marked that wrong and said it should be, "Le vin, ..." Which is correct? "Du vin, ..." actually feels more correct to me, because what you're really saying is, "On the subject of wine, we..." And wouldn't that be, "Au sujet du vin, nous ..." ? (Sorry, I don't know how to classify this type of sentence.)

Asked 11 months ago
Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Bonjour Cindy,

The sentence "Wine, we don't drink much it" is making reference to a type of drink. We could just as well have written "Milk,  ....."

The reference is in a general sense so "Le vin (definite article) ....." is the most appropriate way to express this.

With your second example (on the subject of ..), you are expressing "of the" --> (Du) de le definite article, not partitive.

If you were dining in a restaurant and you were asked if you would like wine with your meal then I would expect "du vin" (partitive article) to be appropriate because the inference would be "some wine" in this context.

French articles are a tricky aspect of grammar  --  above is my understanding. I hope it helps.

Bonne Journée

Jim 

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

As I understand it, both versions work -- with and without the initial article. There's a slight stylistic difference between them but I don't know whether I'm reading too much into it: the version with the article sounds a bit more formal.

Beginning a sentence with a single word noun clause

How would you translate the sentence, "Wine, we don't drink much of it." I wasn't sure about "Le vin, ..." so I asked Google Translate, which said it should be "Du vin, ..." But Duolingo marked that wrong and said it should be, "Le vin, ..." Which is correct? "Du vin, ..." actually feels more correct to me, because what you're really saying is, "On the subject of wine, we..." And wouldn't that be, "Au sujet du vin, nous ..." ? (Sorry, I don't know how to classify this type of sentence.)

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