FR: écouter (de) la musique - article partitif / défini

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by unefemme1, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. unefemme1 Senior Member

    English, New Zealand
    hi, I'd like to know, do both the following phrases have the same meaning?

    "Ecoute de la musique"
    "Ecoute la musique"

    Do they both mean the same thing? Or are they used in different contexts? I've only heard of "ecoute de la musique", so perhaps "ecoute la musique isn't grammatically correct?
  2. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    same difference as listen to music (general) and listen to the music (specific music previously mentioned)
  3. veux savoir Member

    Ireland, English
    S'il vous plaît, est-ce qu'on dit:

    J'aime écouter de la musique.


    J'aime écouter la musique.

    Merci en avance,
    veux savoir
  4. Waninou Senior Member

    french (france)
    J'aime écouter de la musique.:tick: generic = I like listening to music

    J'aime écouter la musique. :cross: without "de", you need to qualify the noun

    J'aime écouter la musique des années 80.
  5. Dakota88 Member

    English - Australian
    Hi there

    I was wodnering if ecouter is followed by a preposition 'DE'? If I want to say, "I listen to music", is it "j'ecoute DE la musique" or is it "J'ecoute LA musique"???

    Merci beaucoup
  6. Guill Senior Member

    Français - France
    J'écoute de la musique : I listen/I'm listening to music.
    J'écoute la musique : I'm listening to the music (that you may hear or whatever but it's definite).
  7. marget Senior Member

    Guill's examples are perfect.

    When we say "J'écoute de la musique", de is not considered to be a preposition. De la is a form of the partitive article, the form used in front of feminine singular nouns that begin with a consonant sound.
  8. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    ... and so we can definitively say that no, écouter is not a verb that introduces its object with the preposition de. Although we listen "to" something in English, we simply "listen something" in French. The thing you listen to English is the indirect object; in French it is the direct object.

    If you pick a different thing to listen to in your example sentence, I think you will naturally (and correctly!) omit the de: j'écoute le prof, j'écoute un CD, j'écoute ma mère. The absence of de in these sentences (as compared to a different verb e.g., je parle du prof, d'un CD, de ma mère) is your clue that the de in j'écoute de la musique is a partitive article, and not a preposition. :)
  9. Wil_Estel Senior Member

    I agree with everyone before me. Jan's explanation, in particular, is of great details. I would like to add a few pointers I have already mentioned in other threads, but I feel that it might be helpful.

    There are a number of verbs in French that require no preposition whilst their English counterparts do. In other words, these verbs already have a preposition included. For example...

    écouter = to listen to
    attendre = to wait for

    If you think of them this way, then you will not say « J'écoute à la prof », which is "I'm listening to to the prof.

    I hope that helps.

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