"pour les ordonnances" - another trap!

HerbC1Kwiziq community member

"pour les ordonnances" - another trap!

Well, I did it again, and my frustration is really mounting.

I went with "des ordannances" thinking that 1) "some" is implied here (one goes to the pharmacy for some/any prescriptions) and 2) prescriptions are countable.

Since the answer is "les", I have to ask: does the use of "on" (instead of "nous") automatically imply the statement is general and thus the use of le/la/l'/les?

Would these then be correct? Nous servons du café. -and- On serve le café. That does not seem right to me.

Or, is it just because I translated just the part of the sentence ("or for prescriptions at the pharmacy") and not that part of the sentence as part of the whole sentence...?

Maybe I need clarification on how to distinguish "general" statements from "some/any" statements or learn if there is some additional concept that I need to consider when deciding between les and des.


Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Herb,

When to use 'les' or 'des' is very difficult as in English you do away with the article.

This is a text describing how the healthcare system works in France so it is general and therefore 'les ordonnances' is correct for when you go to the pharmacy to collect prescriptions. It would have been the same if you had said.

Pour les médicaments, il faut aller à la pharmacie = For medicine/medication, you have to go to the pharmacy

 

For you example with  'café' it would depend whether it was a general statement or a specific one  - 

En France on boit le café le matin et après le déjeuner = In France we drink coffee in the morning and after lunch 
Je me suis resservi/e du café  = I had a second helping of coffee

Hope this helps!

 

 

"pour les ordonnances" - another trap!

Well, I did it again, and my frustration is really mounting.

I went with "des ordannances" thinking that 1) "some" is implied here (one goes to the pharmacy for some/any prescriptions) and 2) prescriptions are countable.

Since the answer is "les", I have to ask: does the use of "on" (instead of "nous") automatically imply the statement is general and thus the use of le/la/l'/les?

Would these then be correct? Nous servons du café. -and- On serve le café. That does not seem right to me.

Or, is it just because I translated just the part of the sentence ("or for prescriptions at the pharmacy") and not that part of the sentence as part of the whole sentence...?

Maybe I need clarification on how to distinguish "general" statements from "some/any" statements or learn if there is some additional concept that I need to consider when deciding between les and des.


Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level
Getting that for you now...