FR: faire les/des/ses courses - article

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iaatf

Senior Member
USA - english
I am referring to going to Carrefour to buy food/supplies for a picnic.
Is it: "faire LES courses" or "faire DES courses"?
I've seen both. Is there a difference between them?
Thanks.

Moderator note: Multiple threads merged to create this one. See also this thread in the Français Seulement forum.
 
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  • melu85

    Senior Member
    France/French
    Actually

    for occasional shopping it's "faire des courses"
    for regular shopping (the one i usually do on saturday when the fridge is empty) it's "faire les courses"
    but in this case you can also say " faire Les courses" (if you infer that your going shopping for this very pic nic)

    Does it make sense? :confused:
     

    Franglais1969

    Senior Member
    English English, français rouillé
    Is that regional? I ask because I have always used, and heard used des. I have never heard anybody say faire le shopping, faire les achats etc.
     

    melu85

    Senior Member
    France/French
    I don't think it's regional. It only works with "faire les courses" (you're right we wouldn't say faire les achats, faire les provisions")
     

    assistante87

    Member
    English - England
    I'm trying to translate the idea of doing your regular weekly shopping in a supermarket and I have seen faire les courses, faire des courses and faire ses courses.... Is there any difference and which of these would be most appropriate?

    Many thanks
     

    mroth

    Senior Member
    U.S.A english
    "Faire des courses" simply means to shop. (Not for anything in particular).

    You use the partitive article "des" to convey that you are doing SOME shopping, not a specific type of shopping.

    "Faire les courses" is a bit tricky, but I assume it means to shop for something SPECIFIC. Might wanna have a native speaker confirm this.

    "Faire ses courses" means to do ONE'S shopping. I think you would use it in a context like "I do my shopping online." --> "Je fais mes courses sur internet."

    Hope that helps.
     

    renardor

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    When you say to someone "je vais faire des courses": it means you are going to the supermarket (generally), in order to buy some items or food, but you don't know precisely what you are going to buy.

    When you say to someone (generally someone you live with) "je vais faire les courses": it means you are going to the supermarket in order to buy items or food, and you have a list of what you are going to buy (or at least a good idea of what you are going to buy). The person you talked to knows what you are going to buy (you may have wrote the list together).

    When you say to someone (anyone) "je vais faire mes courses": it means you are going to the supermarket in order to buy items or food, and you have a list of what you are going to buy (or at least a good idea of what you are going to buy). The person you talked to is not involved or concernel about what you are going to buy.

    But, mind you, these have a very close meaning, and anyone can understand you even though you don't use the most appropriate form in a given situation.

    hope this helps.
     

    dcx97

    Banned
    Hindi - India
    A third possiblity is "faire mes courses".
    E.g. Je fais mes courses au supermarché. I do my shopping in the supermarket.
     
    I have been trying to get a better understanding of all the phrases used for shopping, but there are some things that still confuse me.

    "Faire des courses" seems to mean to go shopping for some food but nothing in particular?

    "Faire les courses" seems to mean more like an actual errand, when you need to go do the weekly grocery shopping?

    "Faire des shopping" seems to mean shopping in a very general sense. Could be for clothing, or food, or anything?

    The other confusing part to me is the "des" vs "du" is there a time to use one versus the other?

    Thank you for any and all help!
    Merci!
     

    arundhati

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Hello,
    "Faire des courses" = food or anything else.
    "Faire les courses" = mostly weekly grocery shopping (cleaning products included)
    "Faire du shopping" = "pleasure shopping", I'm not sure I really need what I'm going to buy ;)
    "faire des shoppings" :thumbsdown: (in France at least)
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I agree with arundhati:

    faire des courses = to run errands for specific needs (may not include any food at all)
    faire les courses = to go shopping for essential products (food and other consumables, e.g., soap, tooth paste, paper towels, etc.)
     

    djweaverbeaver

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English Atlanta, GA USA
    I agree with @arundhati and @Maître Capello .

    Faire des courses makes me think of running errands, it doesn't have to be for food or essentials per se.
    Faire les courses makes me think more of "weekly shopping" more essential food and household products that need to be replenished. For instance, if I'm planning to do some one-stop shopping at a big-box store (une grande surface ou un hypermarché in France), then I'd most likely say faire les courses here.
     
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