Is there a reason for the negative form being different? And if so, why doesn't it apply with the verb etre? Is it to do with tangible and intangible objects, as in, if I drink beer I am drinking THIS beer in my glass whereas if I don't drink beer, this refers to beer in general?
I guess you can think of it the way you mention: with the partitive article it is a specific (set) of things, a negation negates the thing in general.
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