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Confusion with du, de la, de l', des

Yulyvrdcapbilvsyy Z.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Confusion with du, de la, de l', des

The partitive articles (du, de la, de l' and des) can be identical in form to the contraction of "de + definite article" when dealing with quantities, adjectives and prepositional phrases. But they are separate elements of grammar? Is this correct?

If so, I've been incorrectly thinking that the partitive articles WERE those contractions in action.

A few questions arise,

1) is it correct that there are three meanings of "des" (not just two)?

- des, the partitive article (and presumably not a contraction of "de les"?)

- des, the indefinite article (not a contraction)

- des, the contraction of a phrase/quantity/adjective involving "...de les (specific plural noun)..."

2) is it correct that there are two meanings of "du" (not just one)?

- du, the partitive article

- du, the contraction of a phrase/quantity/adjective involving "...de le (specific singular masculine noun)..."

...and likewise for de la, de l'?

3) are the partitive articles meant to be thought of as a single grammatical unit and not as a contraction of the preposition "de" + definite article?

For reference, I consulted

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/de-vs-du-de-la-des-quantity/

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/partitive-article/

Asked 3 years ago
Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Y

Without going into a line-by-line explanation, I think the key for you is to understand the differences between countable and uncountable nouns.

What you have detailed is correct, but depending upon what type of noun is being expressed.

It is tricky I agree but think about / study the categories of nouns and it will become clearer for you going forward.

Bonne continuation.

Jim

 

 

Yulyvrdcapbilvsyy Z.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci pour ta réponse. Je vais rechercher ces sujets.

Confusion with du, de la, de l', des

The partitive articles (du, de la, de l' and des) can be identical in form to the contraction of "de + definite article" when dealing with quantities, adjectives and prepositional phrases. But they are separate elements of grammar? Is this correct?

If so, I've been incorrectly thinking that the partitive articles WERE those contractions in action.

A few questions arise,

1) is it correct that there are three meanings of "des" (not just two)?

- des, the partitive article (and presumably not a contraction of "de les"?)

- des, the indefinite article (not a contraction)

- des, the contraction of a phrase/quantity/adjective involving "...de les (specific plural noun)..."

2) is it correct that there are two meanings of "du" (not just one)?

- du, the partitive article

- du, the contraction of a phrase/quantity/adjective involving "...de le (specific singular masculine noun)..."

...and likewise for de la, de l'?

3) are the partitive articles meant to be thought of as a single grammatical unit and not as a contraction of the preposition "de" + definite article?

For reference, I consulted

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/de-vs-du-de-la-des-quantity/

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/partitive-article/

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