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  5. "I do not have a cat."

"I do not have a cat."

Translation:Je n'ai pas de chat.

March 16, 2013



Why doesn't "un chat" work as well? Any language reason?


the direct object of a verb in negative does not have an indefinite or partitive article:

  • je n'ai pas de chat
  • je n'ai plus de chat
  • je n'ai jamais (eu) de chat


But why do you use 'de' here? So far, I've only really seen that used with food.


"de" is a common preposition and very versatile. You will see it a lot, and in various usages.

The point here is that the direct object of a verb in the negative form loses its article and "de" is used instead. This is valid for any noun, be it countable or not, singular or plural.

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