Du/de la/de l'/des = Some/any (French Partitive Articles)

In French, there are words that express a part of something (some or any in questions).

Learn how to say "some" in French

Look at the examples: 

Tu veux du café ?Do you want some coffee?

Je mets de la confiture sur ma tartine.I put (some) jam on my toast.

Tu as de l'argent ?Do you have (any) money?

Tu veux des épinards ?Do you want some spinach?

Est-ce que tu as de la farine ?Do you have any flour?

When things are countable (dogs, cars etc.) and you want to say some things, you use des.
Il y a des chiens dans ce parc.There are some dogs in that park.
There are dogs in that park.
Notice how in English you can omit the some: but NOT in French! See Plurals of the and a = les and des (articles) in French.
 
 
However, with uncountable things, we use du, de la, de l', des to say some, as such:
 
Feminine noun la confiture de la
Je mange de la confiture.
(I eat some jam.)

Masculine noun le pain du

Il achète du pain.
(He buys some bread.)

Noun starting with a vowel
or mute h

l'huile de l'
Tu achètes de l'huile.
(You buy some oil.)

Plural uncountable noun

les épinards des
Tu manges des épinards.
(You eat some spinach.)

Note: Some words can be both countable and not countable, for example chocolat, can mean chocolate (in general) or chocolates (individual sweets). Depending on which it is, use the correct article, like this:

 

J'ai des chocolats dans ma poche. (I have some chocolates in my pocket.)
Je veux du chocolat tout de suite. (I want some chocolate right now.) 
ATTENTION: Partitive articles behave differently in negative sentences (ne...pas) See the related lesson: Du/de la/de l'/des all become de/d' in negative sentences (French Partitive Articles).
Grammar jargon: Names for uncountable things like milk are sometimes called mass nouns as well as uncountable nouns
Partitive articlesdu, de la, & de l' (some/any) are used with mass nouns. Definite articles (le, la, l', les) and indefinite articles (un/une/des) are used with countable nouns.

Want to make sure your French sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tu veux des épinards ?Do you want some spinach?
Il y a des chiens dans ce parc.There are some dogs in that park.
There are dogs in that park.
Est-ce que tu as de la farine ?Do you have any flour?
Tu as de l'argent ?Do you have (any) money?
Tu veux du café ?Do you want some coffee?
Tu vas commander des pâtes.You're going to order some pasta.

=
Je mets de la confiture sur ma tartine.I put (some) jam on my toast.
Thinking...