"Je n'ai pas de carte."

Translation:I do not have a map.

March 27, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why is it "de carte" and not "une carte" here?


In my case, I got it wrong because I wrote "the map." I think it's just trying to emphasize that "des" is an indefinite article.


It is emphasizing that the expression is "pas de" + noun when you mean that you don't have any of whatever it is, i.e., no article.


So, "I do not have the map" would be translated as "Je n'ai pas la carte" then?


I have no map is valid


Yes, it is.


why can't it be "de cartes"? similar constructions exist for the likes of "beaucoup de mots" if i'm not mistaken. is there a rule to identify what goes when?


I also wrote "de cartes," typing from the French audio; I thought she was saying "I don't have any cards" (as in playing cards). Isn't this possible?


Suzanne, You are correct. Mine came back as wrong because I used the plural; but a correct English translation requires usage of the plural :"any maps." Duolingo needs to allow "any maps" or "any cards". That is what "pas de" means in English.


Why is "I don't have any map" wrong?


I have the same question, though I phrased it "any maps." Semantically to me it has the same meaning.


Using "any" in English would require the addition of aucune: i.e., Je n'ai aucune carte = "I do not have any map" or "I have no map". ne...aucun(e) can be translated simply as "no" or "any" (negative sense, i.e., meaning "not any") in English. http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/aucune


Your weblink appears to disagree with the introductory textbook I currently teach from (T'es branché, 1A: EMC Publishing, 2014). Here's the textbook explanation (p. 229) of the negated indefinite article and how it should be translated:

Indefinite Articles in Negative Sentences The indefinite articles un, une, and des become de or d’ (a, an, any) in a negative sentence.

Tu as une soeur? Non, je n’ai pas de soeur.

Mme Blondel a des enfants? Non, elle n’a pas d’enfants.

However, un, une, and des do not change after a form of the verb être in a negative sentence.

Ce ne sont pas des maillots de l’équipe.

They’re not the team’s jerseys.

I think my translation ("I don't have any maps") would still be wrong because the noun in the original sentence was singular and I made it plural, but I do not think "aucun" is the only correct way to translate "any".


Thanks for the information!


"Any" is used for plural, "a/an" is used for singular.


Cannot "carte" also translate as "menu"? As in " à la carte".


Certainly, card, menu, map, chart, and a few more.


Carte can be translated map, card, or menu. I used menu and still got it wrong? Please explain.


It has been added.


Is 'Je n'ai pas une carte' a valid translation, or is there some other rule followed here? Explanation greatly appreciated. Thanks.


I think when you want to say that you don't have something, "pas de" + noun is the standard construction. I don't know if "je n'ai pas une carte" is a grammatically correct sentence in French. If it is, perhaps it would be taken to mean that I don't have one map, but that I could have more than one? A French speaker will need to clarify.


When the verb is negated, the direct object loses its indefinite or partitive article:

  • J'ai une carte -- Je n'ai pas de carte
  • J'ai des chaussettes -- Je n'ai pas de chaussettes
  • J'ai du vin -- Je n'ai pas de vin
  • J'ai de la chance -- Je n'ai pas de chance

If you say "Je n'ai pas une carte", "une" is no longer an article but the numeral "1", and the sentence means "I do not have one card but I have two/plenty".


Further to your point, Sitesurf, I came to the "number-to-article" conclusion by my own rationalisation. This permits me to think of the "pas de" as meaning "NONE of." I find this little trick is helpful. (Whatever works, huh?)


The logic of the negative construction "pas de ..." is clear. However I wonder whether "pas de cartes", which is phonetically identical, might also be grammatically correct.


To understand why "pas de" is followed by a singular or plural noun, you have to consider the reverse.

This is how to proceed: "Je n'ai pas de [noun or nounS]" + otherwise, I would have [one or several].

"Je n'ai pas de carte" implies that otherwise I would have one.


I dont understand why it says cards is wrong. Cards in the plural should be the correct translation.


"Carte" is in the singular for a reason: otherwise, I would have a/one.

If the sentence were referring to things that you are supposed to get in numbers (like playing cards), the French sentence would have "cartes" in plural.


There is more than one "correct translation". With British/American English variants aside, one may say "I have no map", "I don't have a map", "I don't have any map", or "I don't have any maps". Plus the variants for "have got", map/card/chart/ etc.


I'm frustrated because the audio sounded like "deux cartes."


There is a real difference in sound between "de" = [də] and "deux" = [dø]

IPA for French: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA/French


confused that de is used for "a"


As already explained above, the direct object of a negated verb loses its indefinite or partitive article and "de" introduces it.

  • J'ai une carte -- Je n'ai pas de carte
  • J'ai des chaussettes -- Je n'ai pas de chaussettes
  • J'ai du vin -- Je n'ai pas de vin
  • J'ai de la chance -- Je n'ai pas de chance


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