Why is there no « de » after pas in this exam with languages?

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Jocelyn

Kwiziq community member

23 February 2018

4 replies

Why is there no « de » after pas in this exam with languages?

Is there not a rule « ne pas de »? How comes you don’t use « de » in this example: Ils ne parlent pas espagnol/ l’espagnol. ?

This relates to:
Using le, la, les with titles, languages and academic subjects (definite articles) -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 February 2018

23/02/18

Hi Jocelyn,


the "de" after "pas" is used when you are expressing, e.g., that you don't have something of something. For example:


Il n'y a plus de sucre. -- There is no more (of) sugar.
Elle ne boit pas d'alcool. -- She drinks not of the alcohol. (literally)


But in the example you quote, "Ils ne parlent pas l'espagnol." There is no larger thing of which the language Spanish would be part of. It is an indivisible entity. Hence no "de".


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

23 February 2018

23/02/18

Bonjour Jocelyn !


To complete Chris's answer, only partitive articles (du, de la, de l', des) and indefinite articles (un, une, des) become de or d' in a negative sentence.


It doesn't apply to definite articles (le, la, l', les) or zero articles, hence: 


Je parle espagnol / l'espagnol.   ->  Je ne parle pas espagnol / l'espagnol.

Have a look at our related lessons:


https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/the-partitive-article-in-negative-sentences


https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/un-and-une-become-de-or-d-in-negative-sentences-indefinite-article


Bonne journée !

Jocelyn

Kwiziq community member

13 March 2018

13/03/18

Thank you Chris

Jocelyn

Kwiziq community member

13 March 2018

13/03/18

Thank you Aurélie

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