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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia717_

Confused about the usage of the words un, du, and de

I am unsure which of the words to use because I have come across sentences such as;

L'homme mange un œuf

L'homme et la femme mangent du riz

Le garçon et l'homme boivent de l'eau


How do I know which one to use? It is getting quite confusing.

May 21, 2020

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168
  LINK:  Articles in french on Lingolia.

 
(Look for Partitive articles)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jimmy54103

"un œuf" would be "an egg" ー or "one egg" (countable)


"Je mange du riz" would mean ー "I eat some rice"

"Je bois de l'eau" would mean ー "I drink some water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia717_

Thanks for clarifying how to use un, but I still don't understand the difference between du and de since they both mean some.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jimmy54103

Je mange de le riz becomes "Je mange du riz"

de + le = du


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilesBaker5

To add on to that, if need to say "some" (if it is uncountable) then you use: du, unless the word starts with a vowel, then you use: de l'


[deactivated user]

    Almost! If the uncountable noun is masculine, yes.

    If the uncountable noun is feminine, use de la unless the word starts with a vowel or silent H when you use de l', (as with masculine)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilesBaker5

    Yes that is also true, I forgot to mention that thank you for correcting my mistake!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia717_

    I think I got it now, merci beaucoup!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eduardo_Carls

    Je mange un œuf: an entire egg

    Je mange un riz: an entire rice

    Je bois un eæu: an entire water (which makes no sense at all)

    Je mange du œuf: I eat IDK how many eggs

    Je mange du riz: I eat IDK how much rice


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

    Je mange du œuf: I eat IDK how many eggs

    No, it doesn't work, it would be Je mange de l'œuf, and that would mean I eat an unknown quantity of egg (uncountable).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilesBaker5

    Wouldn't you put an "s" at the end of oeuf then?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

    No, it is singular.

    Je mange de l'œuf I eat an unknown quantity of egg. (uncountable)

    Je mange des œufs I eat some eggs

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