FR: ne pas <verbe> + article : partitif (du, de la, de l'), défini (le, la, l', les), indéfini (un, une, des) ou "de" ?

Oddmania

Senior Member
French
Can I say Je ne porte pas un jean even if I don't go on to say Je porte une jupe ?Does using the indefinite article suggest that I am wearing something other than jeans?
It sounds okay to me :thumbsup:

Now that I think of it, does Je ne porte pas de jean mean that I am wearing nothing over my culotte​?
No, because the word jeans is specific enough. On the other hand, Je ne porte pas de pantalon is much more likely to be understood as I'm not wearing anything over my underpants / I'm not wearing pants.

Language is not an "exact science", though. I can definitely imagine a situation where a girl would be talking to her boyfriend on the phone, saying "Je ne porte pas de pantalon". Her friend could ask "Tu es nue ?!" and then she would cool him down saying "Non. Je porte une jupe". You can perfectly play with this ambiguity.

Note that Je ne porte pas de jean might be understood as a habit: I (usually) don't wear jeans.

If a friend of mine made a compliment on my "jeans" (which actually aren't jeans), and I wanted to correct him (however unfriendly it might sound!), I would say (in order of preference):

.....1. Ce n'est pas un jean que je porte.
.....2. Je ne porte pas de jean, là (= "maintenant").
.....3. Je ne porte pas un jean.
 
  • Elusive Eleven

    New Member
    Polish
    Bonjour à tous,


    Pourriez vous m'expliquer la difference entre ces deux phrases [en ce qui concerne l'article defini et partitif en negation]
    parce que je ne suis pas sure si les deux signifient la meme chose?


    example:

    1] Je n'ai pas d'eau courante
    2] Je n'ai pas l'eau courante

    3] Je n'ai pas de farine
    4] Je n'ai pas la farine


    Merci beaucoup!
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    C'est une règle grammaticale.
    Quand il y a une négation on ne utilise pas du, de la, des mais simplement de.
    Quand on dit Je n'ai pas l'eau courante, il signifie qu'il n'y a pas un aqueduc qui porte l'eau dans votre maison.
    Je n'ai pas de farine est la phrase exacte.






     
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    Polilotte

    Senior Member
    Polish - Warsaw, Poland
    Je n'ai pas de l'eau courante, but "Je n'ai pas de farine" (in general)
    avoir l'eau courante -have running water - neg. n'avoir pas de l'eau courante;
     

    snarkhunter

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Hello, and welcome to this forum!

    I'm afraid the previous replies are mainly correct, but still deserve some extra bits of information.

    "1] Je n'ai pas d'eau courante" may be considered correct if that means you usually do, but it's not working at the moment. Otherwise (i.e. if it's a permanent condition), option <2> is needed.

    "4] Je n'ai pas la farine" should be basically wrong... unless we're talking about some specific use for said flour.

    For instance ("... to cook that cake you asked me to.").
     

    AnneSoSFO

    New Member
    French
    "Je ne veux pas du café que vous m'offrez. (I don't want any of the coffee you are offering me.)
    "Je ne mage pas du gâteau qui se trouve sur la table." (I'm not eating any of that cake on the table.)
    Hello, since no one commented on this post I wanted to make sure that y'all knew it was incorrect...

    "Je ne veux pas du café que vous m'offrez." would be "Je ne veux pas le café que vous m'offrez." because with the defining of the coffee being the one that you offered me, it becomes definite/ defined so to speak and thus needs a definite article.

    Same exact thing with "Je ne mange pas du gâteau qui se trouve sur la table." It should be "Je ne mange pas le gâteau qui se trouve sur la table."

    Hope that's helpful! Cheers :)
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Welcome to the forum.

    Are you sure about that? To me the sentence means I don't want any of the cake that is on the table. It has been specified, so it is definite. The same logic applies to the first sentence. I think the use of du is correct in both cases.

    Cheers!
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Geostan is correct: Jaysocrates's sentences are fine. Even more so, they are more appropriate than your own suggestions, AnneSoSFO, as there is a nuance between vouloir qqch and vouloir de qqch, respectively manger qqch and manger de qqch.

    Je ne veux pas du café que vous m'offrez. :tick:
    Je ne mange pas du gâteau qui se trouve sur la table. :tick:
     

    mavemax

    New Member
    English UK
    The article is maintained in negative constructions even when the verb is not être when the following noun is modified or restricted.
    hello - ELROY is right -
    I've got one question however : when you talk about 'modified' and 'restricted', is that also the case with just one adjective ...?
    eg J'ai un velo. --> je n'ai pas de velo.
    mais : j'ai un velo vert --> je n'ai pas un velo vert OR je n'ai pas de velo vert ??
    merci
     
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    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    I would say Je n'ai pas de vélo vert. I would only say un vélo vert if I were contrasting it with a colour I do have.
     

    ipman1608

    New Member
    German
    Moi j'ai appris que dans une construction infinitive on a le choix entre "de" et l'article indéfini, est-ce correct ?

    Donc on peut dire "Il n'a pas pu trouver une solution" ou bien "Il n'a pas pu trouver de solution"
     

    linda_evangelista

    New Member
    English
    Trop d'enfants ne prennent pas de petit-déjeuner.
    Est-ce que c'est correcte de dire 'ne pas de' ou est-ce qu'il faut que j'écrive 'trop d'enfants ne prennent pas le petit déjeuner'?

    Merci d'avance :)
     
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    jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    hi Linda,

    It sounds like your context is some sort of health survey results. In that situation, both options are grammatically possible.

    If you use "le," there's a slight orientation towards the action/habit (of not eating breakfast), whereas if you use "de," there's a slight orientation towards the quantity of food eaten for breakfast (none, not eating any breakfast). Generally speaking, the definite article is probably more frequent.
     

    manbrasil

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Hi!
    I would like to know the difference between the negation with "pas le" and with "pas de" in these examples.

    So, in these cases, what's the difference between
    "Nous n'avons pas l'eau courante / l'electricité / le gaz de ville / le chauffage"
    and
    "Nous n'avons pas d'eau courante / d'electricité / de gaz de ville / de chauffage"

    Thank you so much in advance!
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    In those examples, the definite article implies that running water, electricity, etc. is not installed at your place, maybe because you are living in a hut lost in the woods.

    The partitive implies that running water, electricity, etc. is not working at your place, maybe because of maintenance work or a temporary shortage.
     

    jacques songo'o

    Member
    spanish
    I was wondering if there is any way an indefinite article "des" can remain "des" in the negative to express something specific like you can with "du" and "de la"?

    I know it seems like an oxymoron as indefinites are non specific , but I've seen the following sentences on linguee.fr.


    Je n'ai plus des maux de tete

    Je n'ai plus des infections aux sinus qui m'affaiblissaient à tous les trois mois.


    Can the above translate as "the" or "(not) any of the"+noun?
     

    OLN

    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    Both sentences sound wrong and were certainly not written by French native speakers.
    You cannot use de (du, de la) as you would in "Je ne veux pas du café que vous m'offrez" or in the positive sentence "Je veux bien du café que vous m'offrez".

    1.-"Je n'ai plus des maux de tete"
    Je n'ai plus de maux de tête. J'ai encore des maux de tête. (indefinite)​
    Je n'ai plus les maux de tête dont j'ai souffert pendant des années. J'ai toujours le mal de tête que j'avais hier. (definite article)​
    2.- "Je n'ai plus des infections aux sinus qui m'affaiblissaient à (sic) tous les trois mois"
    Je n'ai plus les sinusites qui m'affectaient tous les trois mois (definite article) or simply : Je ne souffre plus de sinusite tous les trois mois.​
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    While I agree the second sentence is clearly not written by a French native, the first would certainly not be impossible, although it would be more common to use de instead of des.

    Je n'ai plus de maux de tête.​
    Je n'ai plus de/des maux de tête tous les soirs / lorsque je bois de l'alcool.​

    By the way, in the second sentence you could also use de (or the indefinite article if you tweak the sentence a bit):

    Je n'ai plus les sinusites qui m'affectaient tous les trois mois.
    Je n'ai plus de sinusites, qui m'affectaient tous les trois mois.
    Je n'ai plus des sinusites comme j'en avais autrefois.
     
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    OLN

    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    I'm not sure I understand the question « Is there any way an indefinite article "des" can remain "des" in the negative to express something specific like you can with "du" and "de la"? ».
    What would be the affirmative forms using the specific "du/de la" if not partitive?

    By the way:
    Can the above translate as "the" or "(not) any of the"+noun?
    No.
    I don't have the headaches any more (specific ones): You'd have to say Je n'ai plus les maux de têtes
    I don't have the sinus infections/headaches I used to have
    : Je n'ai plus les sinusites/les céphalées dont je souffrais.

    I don't have any of the pills I used to take: Je n'ai (plus) aucun des comprimés que j'avais l'habitude de prendre.

    des = de (préposition)+les
     

    jacques songo'o

    Member
    spanish
    I don't have any of the pills I used to take: Je n'ai (plus) aucun des comprimés que j'avais l'habitude de prendre.
    des = de (préposition)+les

    I think the problem is I am confusing the contraction of "de" and "les" with the indefinite article "des".

    So if I wanted say "I don't have any of the pills" in reply to "avez-vous les comprimés(que je vous ai donnés?)

    Would it not be possible to say

    "je n'ai pas des comprimés".

    If possible, I'm not sure if the above is a contraction of "de+les" or the indefinite article "des".

    Quote Reply
    While I agree the second sentence is clearly not written by a French native, the first would certainly not be impossible, although it would be more common to use de instead of des.

    Je n'ai plus de maux de tête.
    Je n'ai plus de/des maux de tête tous les soirs / lorsque je bois de l'alcool.
    Is the "des" above a contraction of "de"+"les"?

    By the way, in the second sentence you could also use de (or the indefinite article if you tweak the sentence a bit):

    Je n'ai plus les sinusites qui m'affectaient tous les trois mois.
    Je n'ai plus de sinusites, qui m'affectaient tous les trois mois.
    Je n'ai plus des sinusites comme j'en avais autrefois.
    Why is an indefinite article possible in the final sentence? If this isn't a contraction of "de"+"les", what would the direct translation for this sentence be?

    Thanks in advance for any responses and previous replies.
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Is the "des" above a contraction of "de"+"les"?
    No, in all those examples, des is the indefinite article, not the contraction of the preposition de with the definite article les.

    Why is an indefinite article possible in the final sentence? If this isn't a contraction of "de"+"les", what would the direct translation for this sentence be?
    Both articles are possible in this case but des seems more natural than in other examples, although I'm afraid I can't tell why… The meanings are however the same:

    Je n'ai plus de/des sinusites comme j'en avais autrefois. → I no longer have sinusitis as I used to have in the past, i.e., unlike in the past.
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    So if I wanted say "I don't have any of the pills" in reply to "avez-vous les comprimés (que je vous ai donnés?)
    Would it not be possible to say
    "je n'ai pas des comprimés".
    That would be 'I don't have pills', 'any' would be 'aucun' : (non) 'je n'en ai aucun', or 'je n'ai aucun des (de + les) comprimés (que vous m'avez donnés)
     
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