jouer de + instrument and negation

JudeC1Kwiziq community member

jouer de + instrument and negation

Why do you say je ne joue pas du piano instead of je ne joue pas de piano? Is this correct and if so why, please?


Asked 6 months ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Jude,

Maarten is correct in explaining that when you wish to express you are playing a musical instrument: "‘de’ in ‘jouer de’ is prepositional [...] not a partitive expression". Therefore, in a negative sentence, you will use "ne pas jouer du / de la / de l' / des + [musical instrument]".

Je ne joue pas du piano I don't play the piano

Je joue du piano = I play the piano 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Jude, can’t help you as whatever I may think (I do have a view on which is correct and why), the attached wordreference forum link shows there is significant debate amongst native French speakers, and other contributors. 

Note at least one native speaker on the forum, who is also a musician, insists it is ‘jouer pas de piano’, and others point out that as the ‘de’ in ‘jouer de’ is prepositional, the contraction of ‘de le piano’ is to ‘du’, as this is not a partitive expression.  Very interested to see the answer provided here !

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/fr-ne-pas-jouer-de-du-piano-de-la-guitare-de-article-partitif.612951/

jouer de + instrument and negation

Why do you say je ne joue pas du piano instead of je ne joue pas de piano? Is this correct and if so why, please?


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