FR: (ne pas) avoir du/de temps


Senior Member

I wondered if there is a rule when 'du temps' and 'de temps' is used.

Am I correct that 'du temps' is used to express:

J'ai du temps. Vous avez du temps?

and 'de temps' is used:

Je n'ai pas de temps. Vous n'avez pas de temps?

Is there any case where 'du temps' can be used with 'ne pas'?

For instance is this correct?: Non, nous n'avons pas du temps.

Looking forward to your comments :)
  • Oddmania

    Senior Member

    Most of the times, indefinite articles (un, une, des) and partitive articles (des, du, de la) become de when the sentence is negative. You can still use the regular article if you want to stress it, though. For instance, "Je n'ai pas une sœur. J'ai deux sœurs" (while Je n'ai pas de sœur would simply mean that you don't have any sisters). Or "Je n'ai pas vu un médecin. J'ai vu une médecin" (stressing the doctor's gender, although this is uncommon).

    I honestly can't think of a situation where I would stress du, though. Whether the "time" is qualified by an adjective doesn't change a thing either: I would say Je n'ai pas de temps libre and Je n'ai pas de temps à perdre.


    Senior Member
    Yes, for instance "Je n'ai pas de chance". However, it's just occurred to me that - somehow - the standard articles are still needed in the negative if the verb is "être" (especially the phrase "ce n'est pas...").

    For example, "Ce n'est pas du chocolat" or "Ce n'est pas un avion". You definitely cannot use "de" here.