"We are going to Bordeaux in order to buy some red wine."
Translation:Nous allons à Bordeaux pour acheter du vin rouge.
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!
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)
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