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

Can you explain this ?!

In earlier lessons I've learned that whenever there's a negation we use the article de

So how can this scentenc here could be right?

On n'est pas des robots

Shouldn't be

On n'est pas de robots ?

February 4, 2016

13 Comments


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

The rule that negated verbs command "de" excludes the verb "être".

Just change this sentence to a singular:

  • je ne suis pas un robot.

The plural of "un robot" is "des robots". So, the plural of "je ne suis pas un robot" is:

  • nous ne sommes pas des robots.

With another verb now:

  • je n'ai pas de robot(s) - meaning that otherwise, I would have one or several. In both cases, "de" drops the article and the noun can be singular or plural, depending on context.
February 4, 2016

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

Thanks Sitesurf. Another grammar rule to memorize! :D

February 4, 2016

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

Thank you for explaining!

February 4, 2016

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

Ça été très claire ! Merci !

February 4, 2016

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

It's still the same de but it has to agree with the number of the noun. So if it's "robots" then the de becomes des, which is its plural form.

On n'est pas de robot. / On n'est pas des robots. | Both of these are correct.

On n'est pas de robots. | This one is not.

ETA: I stand corrected! It should always be de in negations. Thank you, guys.

February 4, 2016

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

I don't think so. My understanding is that you use "de" in negative sentences always. Perhaps there are exceptions that I'm not aware of. Here's a page on this:- https://www.french-test.com/revision/grammar/the-partitive-article-in-negative-sentences

February 4, 2016

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

That's a very useful page! Seems like I was wrong, so thank you for the correction!

February 4, 2016

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

But when a sentence is negated in French, des changes to de. So I'm not entirely sure. I will ask Sitesurf. :)

February 4, 2016

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

Really? Hmmm. Please do and get back to me! :D

February 4, 2016

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

I've contacted her, so she will post here(hopefully). Yes, and the same applies when the adjective goes before the noun.

So, instead of "Nous avons des jolies filles," it would be "Nous avons de jolies filles".

February 4, 2016

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

And here I was, making sure it always agrees with the number and gender! Thanks, PJMCD. I'll keep an eye on this dicussion for Sitesurf's contribution.

February 4, 2016

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

De rien! Just another unnecessary complication in a language! But of course completely necessary. :)

February 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amber630711

the french thought it sounded weird

February 5, 2016
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