FR: beaucoup de chance

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Coco120

Member
English, UK
Bonjour
I am trying to say I am very lucky,
I know it is j'ai beaucoup de chance, but why is it not beaucoup de la chance, why is the 'la' omitted?
Thanks
 
  • enJoanet

    Senior Member
    Français
    salut!
    bonne question...
    I'd say it's an idiomatic expression but I can't assure you anything...
    If you run a quick comparison with other similar words, you'll find that the structure is basically the same...
    J'ai beacoup de mal à comprendre.
    J'ai beacoup de retard dans mon travail. [alors que l'on dit "avoir du (de+le) retard]

    il faudrait te référer à une grammaire explicative..
    :)
     

    janpol

    Senior Member
    France - français
    C'est vrai également si l'on emploie des mots qui, comme "chance", sont féminins :
    il a de la peine/veine/fièvre/mémoire/force = il a beaucoup de peine/de veine/de fièvre/de mémoire/de force ...
     

    jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    Coco120 said:
    but why is it not beaucoup de la chance, why is the 'la' omitted?
    The "la" is omitted because the definite article is not used in expressions of quantity that end with de:
    beaucoup de chance, (un) peu de chagrin, trop de travail, un tas de linge, une gorgée de vin, une cuillerée de sirop, etc...

    This is even true for expressions of quantity that work with countable items: une liste de noms, une vingtaine d'années, un certain nombre de candidats, etc.

    The only time you will add the definite article back into an expression of quantity with de is when you need to indicate which specific item you are talking about... and these are the times when we add a "the" back into the sentence in English as well:

    J'ai mis beaucoup de vanille - I put in a lot of vanilla.
    J'ai mis beaucoup de la vanille que ma mère a achetée à Madagascar. - I put in a lot of the vanilla that my mother bought in Madagascar.

    Does that help?

    You might be interested in some of our other threads on the subject. :)
     
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