Follow-up on responses to use of partitive before a singular adjective...

AndreaB2Kwiziq community member

Follow-up on responses to use of partitive before a singular adjective...

Thanks to Maarten and Alan, I had 4 responses all of which were marked as "select this as correct answer". There is ambiguity, and how do I resolve this as a learner. My reference was related to Cliffs Quick Review French 1 (ch3 under Articles). A definitive answer would be great!

Asked 1 year ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Andrea,

I would concur with Maarten's previous response (and his wife's, of course !!! ;-) ) :

C'est un bon gâteau  (this one cake you are referring to)

Ce sont de bons gâteaux (all the cakes you are referring to)

C'est du bon gâteau ('gâteau' considered as uncountable) 

I would never say or write : C'est de bon gâteau

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Andrea - at this stage, I will give the lesson you linked a plug. As long as you note that, as Alan states, cake can be countable or uncountable, and apply that section of the lesson you will be correct. Your examples also covered articles for indefinite and partitive use.

If you then follow the links to changes with negation, or nouns preceded by plural adjectives, you will cover the change to the partitive and indefinite articles.

Most commonly you will hear/see/use "je/j' mange/voudrais (etc) du {bon} gateau" (as an uncountable noun)

"Je mange de bon gâteau" is not modern usage, spoken or written. 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You already got great replies to your question, Andrea. I just wanted to add a bit of perspective by pointing out that in English, too, "cake" can at one time be countable and uncountable:

This is really good cake! (uncountable)
This is a really good cake! (countable)

It becomes even more obvious, when you use it with uncountable nouns, such as, e.g., water:

This is great water! (uncountable)
This is a great water! (sounds wrong, since water is inherently uncountable).

It doesn't parallel the French use truthfully, but at least you can glean some feeling for what it means to be countable or uncountable in your native language.

Follow-up on responses to use of partitive before a singular adjective...

Thanks to Maarten and Alan, I had 4 responses all of which were marked as "select this as correct answer". There is ambiguity, and how do I resolve this as a learner. My reference was related to Cliffs Quick Review French 1 (ch3 under Articles). A definitive answer would be great!

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