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...du vieux château.

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

...du vieux château.

I was doing the exercise (https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/my-languages/french/exercises/judge/1833/14548249?response=4150265&;page=7) to answer a question and now have one of my own:

There's the phrase: visiter les ruines du vieux château.

How come the rule that the definite article is omitted if there's an adjective intervening between de and the noun is not applicable here? I would have thought this should be ...de vieux château.

Asked 1 year ago
Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Chris,  

My thoughts are that:

This is a possessive ‘de’, so it is appropriately followed by the definite article when a following adjective is a qualifying adjective and not a determiner. 

Therefore ‘de le’ giving the required contraction of the preposition ‘de’ and the definite article ‘le’ to ‘du’. 

It is not the partitive ‘du’ and does not remain or revert to just ‘de’.

"Des" becomes " de/d' " in front of adjectives preceding nouns (French Partitive Articles)

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

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

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/determiners/

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Salut Chris,

If we write "an old man" I would expect this to be written "un vieil homme"

So I'm thinking "visiter les ruines de le vieux château" would indeed be written "visiter les ruines du (de le) vieux château".

Maybe we need a staff expert's comment on this one.

Bonne journée

Jim

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Thanks guys!  Yes, I just realized that it is only for the partitive use of des. Clearly not the case here.

...du vieux château.

I was doing the exercise (https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/my-languages/french/exercises/judge/1833/14548249?response=4150265&;page=7) to answer a question and now have one of my own:

There's the phrase: visiter les ruines du vieux château.

How come the rule that the definite article is omitted if there's an adjective intervening between de and the noun is not applicable here? I would have thought this should be ...de vieux château.

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