"Nous ne voulons pas de violence."

Translation:We do not want violence.

September 12, 2015


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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


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


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

September 12, 2015


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


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

  • 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


Lol every politician says that

August 17, 2018


Thats what I wrote

April 12, 2019


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

December 1, 2018
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