"We are going to Bordeaux in order to buy some red wine."

Translation:Nous allons à Bordeaux pour acheter du vin rouge.

March 26, 2013

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Why is this "du vin rouge" and not "de vin rouge"? Merci.


It is a partitive case, built with "de" + definite article "le", contracted in "du":

  • pour acheter du vin (= de-le)
  • pour acheter de la bière (better go to Strasburg in that case...)


Is this because you are speaking of a particular category of wine from a particular region, that we use du (de plus le) To indicate the definate article? (Some of the wine from Bordeux... or strasburg) If we were just going out to the store to buy any generic kind of wine from anywhere could we use de vin? Some wine from anywhere? Everytime I think I understand de vs. De la/du I get confused again


Partitive articles are not easy because they do not exist in English.

All of them mean "an unknown amount of a mass thing". You use "du" if the noun is masculine and starts with a consonant sound, "de la" if the noun is feminine and starts with a consonant sound, and "de l'" if the noun starts with a vowel: du vin, de la bière, de l'eau.

You can use "du Bordeaux", "du Champagne", "du Bourgogne", "du Château-Margaux", "du Brouilly", etc. all short from "du vin de...", either from the wine region or from the designation of origin.

I assume you have already drunk (some) Champagne, haven't you?


Thanks Sitesurf! I see (or think I do)... so you never use “de” alone. It is always “du” “de la” or “de l’? Thankyou, of all the tricky things in french this is the aspect that seems to keep tripping me up the most. Alas, I don’t think I have ever drunk true Champagne from the Champagne region, I have been drinking cheap(er) knockoffs... maybe champagne will help me understand french thinking! Thanks again for your clear explanation!


To mean "an unknown amount of a mass thing", you use "du, de la, de l'".

Except when the sentence is negative:

  • Tu n'as jamais bu de Champagne.


Sitesurf: my question is why the English sentence has the word some which is translated as du and not des vins rouges?


Thanks again Sitesurf! Hopefully I will eventually get this right with practice


There are three types of articles in french, definite, indefinite, and partitive. Partitive is strange, but I think of it as, in english, when the word is singular but the article is plural; and its technical usage is when the noun is an indefinite quantity (eg. 30l of wine). Some (pl.) water (sg.)

"De vin rouge" is not correct, as the verb "acheter" requires a direct object, and "de vin rouge" implies it is either negative, or indirect without an article.

Sincle acheter requires a direct object, there needs to be an article behind vin. Since vin is an indefinite quantity, you must use the corresponding partitive article. Vin is masculine, so the part. article is "du".

  • Masc. Sg. = Du
  • Fem. Sg. = De la
  • Pl. = Des

(Note: plural indefinite is not as important, as it the word is plural, just use des for indefinite. It doesn't really matter, as the partitive and indefinite are equivalent)


"pour", "afin", "dans le but" have the same meaning, but they aren't accepted.


"afin d'acheter" was already accepted. I added "dans le but d'acheter". Thanks.


Nous allons a Bordeaux pour acheter des vins rouges. I thought this might not be accepted but gave it a go as there are surely many types of fine red wine in la belle France


Nous allons aller?


"We are going to go to Bordeaux..."


Why isn't "On va dans Bordeaux pour acheter du vin rouge." not accepted as a correct answer?


To go to a city is "aller à"


pour some red wine, il traduit du vin rouge. Je pensais que c'était "un peu de vin rouge" vu que on peut traduire aussi "some" par quelque.


Why not au bordeaux?


Bordeaux is a city. With cities, the preposition is "à" and there is no article: à Paris, à Bordeaux, à New York...


Why DL inserts the word some and later translates it as du when du is de + le?


Because "wine" and "vin" are both mass nouns in this pair of sentences.

"Wine" or "some wine" mean the same: "an unknown amount of a mass"; and both translate to "du vin", where "du" is the contraction of "de" + "le" and it a partitive article (taught in Food 1).

Des vins rouges = red wines

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