"Nous ne voulons pas de violence."

Translation:We do not want violence.

September 12, 2015

9 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awefulwaffle

Here's an excerpt from a grammar text explaining that, after an adverb of negation or in a negative sentence, the preposition "de" replaces the indefinite article and the partitif article, but not the definite article:

[paragraphe] 126. Il faut observer que, après un adverbe de négation, ou autrement dit, dans une phrase négative, la préposition de remplace l’article indéfini un ou l’article partitif, mais non l’article défini. Ex.

  • J'ai un crayon. Je n'ai pas de crayon.
  • J'ai de l'argent. Je n'ai pas d'argent.
  • J'ai le temps. Je n'ai pas le temps.

The Essentials of French Grammar for English Speaking Students, page 87, James Henry Worman, ‎Amédé Rougemont, 1883.

However, the verb être is an exception. The indefinite article does not change in the negative form:

  • C'est un jeu. Ce n'est pas un jeu.
  • Ce sont des amis. Ce ne sont pas des amis.

Also, after the verb être, the partitive article does not change in the negative form:

  • C'est du vin. Ce n'est pas du vin.
  • C'est de la musique. Ce n'est pas de la musique.

Also, French uses the definite article (le, la, les) to express preferences with verbs such as: admirer, adorer, aimer, mieux aimer, détester, préférer. However, the definite article does not change after a negative.

  • J'aime le plastique; Je n'aime pas le plastique
  • Tu adores la salade; Tu n'adores pas la salade
  • Vous détestez les champignons; Vous ne détestez pas les champignons
August 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicholas_ashley

Additional note to your explanation

Replacing an indefinite article or partitive article (un, une, du, de la, and des) with de in a negative sentence only applies when the noun is the direct object of the verb being negated

For example:

je n’ai jamais couru de marathon (here the noun marathon acts as a direct object)

je n’ai jamais participé à un marathon (here the noun marathon is an indirect object)

Another example:

Je n’ai jamais assisté à un concert de rock.

Je n’ai jamais écouté de concert de rock.

September 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/apawari

why 'de' rather than 'de la' or 'la'?

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miacomet

It's a weird relic from Latin. In negative sentences, you're supposed to say "pas de..." and then the noun. "Je ne veux pas de poisson." "Il n'y a pas d'eau." "Nous n'avons pas de pommes."

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thequeenma

Why I get this wrong? I wrote We don't want violence... then it says that the right answer was: "We don't want any violence." When I wrote that one instead, it gave me as an alternative answer: "We don't want violence." The one that it said first it was wrong... I really don't get it

March 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1806

They are both correct. When you put in an accepted answer, Duolingo will often show you another accepted answer. This is normal.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RinoSrbin

Lol every politician says that

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Serbia15

Thats what I wrote

April 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sousclef

"We do not want any violence” would be more natural in English.

December 1, 2018
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