https://www.duolingo.com/Dogbark10

Help with De and Du

I'm not sure when to use both. I'm better with du, but de I find difficult to know when to use. Any helpful comments?

1 month ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/angus390025
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De is "of". Du is a contraction for "of the". Here are examples for "of" and "of the" from the course. These can all be found under Present 1, which you should probably be able to access by now.

  • You speak of his book: Tu parles de son livre.
  • You speak of the book: Tu parles du livre.
  • I speak of their elephants: Je parle de leurs éléphants.

Du also works as a partitive article (for masculine nouns.) The partitive article for feminine nouns is "de la". For plurals it is "des". The partitive article can usually be approximated with the English word "some".

Here are (some) examples of the partitive article from the course:

  • You are making coffee: Vous faites du café.
  • She makes (some) cheese: Elle fait du fromage.
  • The children choose (some) books: Les enfants choisissent des livres.
  • She cuts (some) meat: Elle coupe de la viande.
  • Gloves are needed: Il faut des gants.

Notice the unusual construction of the last example. It could be translated in several ways. The original French sentence uses "il" as the subject and "gants" as an object. The duolingo English translation uses the passive voice with gloves as a subject, but you could make it "you need gloves" or "gloves are necessary", etc., depending upon context.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ljredux

Please don't talk about my elephants. They are a little sensitive.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogbark10

Thanks! That was extremely helpful!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanna-Louise
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Great summary, thanks a lot! Merci, Angus!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogbark10

Merci beaucoup!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dany650m
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Je vous en prie, c'est bien normal :)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/01LearnFrench01
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This practice may help.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dany650m
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Let me tell you that your sources are always extraordinary!

1 month ago

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