How do we know when "de" refers to "from" or partitive article "some"?

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Kwiziq community member

9 January 2019

2 replies

How do we know when "de" refers to "from" or partitive article "some"?

For example: "Marie achète du café"

Le café is a location and a drink.

Couldn't this sentence means both "Marie buys a coffee" and "Marie buys from the cafe"?

How do we know when "de" refers to "from" and when it refers to "some"?

Thank you!

This question relates to:
French lesson "À + le = au, à + les = aux, de + le = du, de + les = des (contractions of articles)"


Kwiziq language super star

10 January 2019


Hi C,

‘Marie prend un café au Café ‘ would be ‘Marie is having  a coffee in a Café.’

The use of ‘acheter’ can only mean she is a shop and buying some coffee.


Kwiziq community member

31 March 2019


Think of what makes more sense in the context you, the exam, or the person you are talking with uses it. 

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