Forum Rocket French French Grammar Elle se prépare le petit déjeuner. 4.8

Elle se prépare le petit déjeuner. 4.8


Elle se prépare le petit déjeuner.  (from 4.8 lesson and test)
The English translation given was: She makes herself SOME breakfast.

My understanding of le is the definite article which corresponds to the English "the"; du is the partitive article which corresponds to "some". So shouldn't the translation be "She makes herself THE breakfast"? 

Elle se prépare du petit déjeuner. As a beginner I would have used du for some breakfast or even skipping the partitive article in translation: "She makes herself breakfast." skipping the du all together. Am I wrong? 

toru e

I wonder if this is more of a regional English thing (maybe, the British or New Zealanders say "some breakfast" all the time). I would also just have translated it as "She made herself breakfast", skipping any qualifier. There's definitely not a partitive specified in the sentence to have to use "some". It's pretty clear that she's not making *all* the breakfasts that one can posibly make. :)


Certainly, RF often has a British slant to the English.  As where Torusan lives, here in western Canada, we also would say, "She made herself breakfast."  But we would more likely say, "She made her breakfast," or even, "She made breakfast," depending on the exact meaning of the sentence.  The article, definite or indefinite, is omitted altogether.  However, to add confusion to the learner's brain, French wants an article so it can't be skipped.


Diana-S1 said, "...French wants an article so it can't be skipped."

Yes, that's the minimal French grammar I have learned so far. Since we can't say/write "Elle se prépare xx petit déjeuner" leaving petit déjeuner with an article, I would have used du as opposed to le as torusan pointed out that "she's not making *all* the breakfasts that one can posibly make." Is there a 3rd option besides le and du grammatically speaking? 

Let me be so bold as a beginner to assume "Elle se prépare DU petit déjeuner" is correct; then the translation would be "She made herself breakfast" for the purpose of the learning process unless there is a 3rd option that I haven't learned yet.  

In living language I would have said, "She made breakfast." and I live on the opposite coast of Diana-S1 in the US. 


toru e

Hmm...I hesitate to use du at all, and here's why.

As a partitive, it would really be saying "some of the (whole, uncountable) breakfast", and to me, that would only make sense in the context of sharing "breakfast preparation responsibilities" (i.e. several people are making breakfast, and she is making some of it). However, because it's reflexive, there is no other person. She is making herself breakfast. So, to me, that doesn't work.

Going back to intent, when we say we make "some breakfast", do we really mean a little or light breakfast...maybe just toast and coffee, not an elaborate meal? In that case, it would be «Elle se prépare un petit déjeuner léger». We need an indefinite article (un) because we are qualifying what sort of breakfast it is, but not a partitive.

The same construction would apply to "some unidentified random breakfast" which is what I think the intent is here. So, I'd write write it as: Elle se prépare un petit déjeuner.



I knew there was something else but I forgot about the "un" and that's why I was pondering if there was a 3rd option because du just didn't sound right even to my untrained ears. 

Thanks for taking the time to explain. 

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