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  5. "My generation does not eat f…

"My generation does not eat fish."

Translation:Ma génération ne mange pas de poisson.

February 9, 2013


  • 886

Because after a negative you use de instead of du


see I didn't know that because no one ever told me!!!!! :@ but thanks lexm :)


There was info about it in one of the lesson notes. I'll try to find out which one.


Thanks that's made it very clear to me


So helpful! Thanks.


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.

Note that 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


Thank you, this is a very complicated set of rules.

There is another situation where des becomes de, and it is if there is an adjective preceding the noun.

  • Ce sont des amis.

  • Ce sont de bons amis.

However, this only applies to the partitive article "des" and not to "du" or "de la."

  • C'est du bon vin.

  • C'est de la bonne nourriture.


Except for those sushi-eating hipsters


why not "du" poisson?


You dont use du in a negative


"Le poisson" translates to "the fish"--why can't a generation "not enjoy the fish?"


Why "de" rather than "les" if this is a generalization?


okay... but why not des poissons? is there no plural form of poisson?


Again, it's because of the negative.


Why is the plural of poisson used?


I don't understand your question. What I see at the top of the page is "Ma génération ne mange pas de poisson." - no plurals there. Since you only posted an hour ago, I imagine you saw the same sentence?


So if it wasn't negative it'd be "des poissons?"


I believe it'd be "du poisson" since we're talking about fish in general, not a specific number of fishes.


Is "generation" female? Is that why it won't accept "Mon"?


Yes, all nouns that end in -tion are feminine.


If you did not know these rules, would French speakers understand (if for example you said ".... ne mange pas du poisson)? If so one should, of course, strive to speak correctly, but perhaps prioritise widening one's vocabulary so as to speak about and understand a wider range of topics.


Could it be du poisson

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