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La phrase « I like cheese » se traduit « j'aime le fromage » et « J'aime du fromage ». Quelle est la différence ?

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I am a beginner in French so pardon if I have some mistakes in my questions. Feel free to correct, I am very much willing to learn –  gelolopez Dec 20 '13 at 7:06
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"J'aime du fromage ne se dit pas". I like cheese c'est "J'aime le fromage". –  Laure Dec 20 '13 at 7:23
    
@Laure SO it is only by convention? Are there any rules when to use du/de la/des and le/las/les. i know the following though: "J'aime les garcons" se traduit "I like THE boy" "J'aime des garcons" se traduit "I like boys" (sans l'article THE) –  gelolopez Dec 20 '13 at 7:27
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You just don't use de after aime, it's J'aime *les garçons*. You'd say je veux du pain (du->de le) because of using vouloir. Yes there are rules about using du, de la, des, I'm sure this has been dealt before here. I just can't find it. Someone else will and give you the link. In the meantime try this to see if it helps. –  Laure Dec 20 '13 at 7:53
    
Side note: if you use the conditional here, "du" is perfectly acceptable: J'aimerais du from age means I would like some cheese. –  Jubobs Jan 1 at 19:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

"J'aime du fromage" would be translated as "I like some cheese", which can be said in English, but usually the correct expression would be "I like cheese".

In French, using "du", "de la", "des" with aimer usually won't work when you try to designate something in general:

J'aime les filles → I like girls
J'aime les forêts → I like forests

If you want to express that you like some things of a 'category' and not all of them, you can use "certain(e)s":

J'aime certains fromage → I like some (specific) cheeses
J'aime certaines boissons → I like some (specific) beverages

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J'aime du fromage n'est pas à employer car on aime un substantif dans son entier ou non : on aime le pain et le fromage, ou au contraire on n'aime pas le pain et le fromage. –  cl-r Dec 20 '13 at 10:02
  • de / du / de la / des often mean "a part of something". In this case, they are partitive articles.

The partitive article indicates an unknown quantity of something, usually food or drink:

  • Je veux du lait. I want some milk.

  • Nous avons mangé de la glace. We ate some ice cream.

(Source: Partitive Articles and Indefinite Articles: De vs Du, De la, Des)

  • le, la means "something in whole". If you love cheese in general, you say j'aime le fromage.
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