FR: This is blackmail - article

Nero Wolf

New Member
English - US
Hi everyone!

1. "C'est un chantage."
2. "C'est de la chantage."

In English we just say "This is blackmail", zero article. So French non-countable nouns are tricky.

I see #1 all the time, but to me #2 (de la) also makes sense.

Is one of them preferable or altogether wrong?

Thank you!
  • Nero Wolf

    New Member
    English - US
    Thank you, Locape. :)

    I am very sorry: of course it's "du chantage". I missed it.

    Just to confirm: I can say either "c'est du chantage" or "c'est un chantage"?
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I can't think of any context where the indefinite article would make sense – unless the noun chantage is qualified with an adjective or a relative clause. In a nutshell:

    C'est du chantage. :thumbsup:
    C'est un chantage. :thumbsdown:
    C'est un chantage flagrant. :thumbsup:

    Nero Wolf

    New Member
    English - US
    Merci pour votre aide!

    P.S. Incidentally, I have heard a (educated) French person in an interview recently say, "C'est un chantage" (with respect to the pass sanitaire situation in France), hence my question. Perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue on his part.


    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    If not something along the lines of "C'est un véritable chantage"/ "C'est un chantage caractérisé/flagrant", they probably meant "C'est une forme de chantage".
    They also might have mixed it with "C'est un scandale" in the grip of emotion.