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"There isn't either oil or vinegar in the cupboard."

Translation:Il n'y a ni huile ni vinaigre dans le placard.

June 27, 2020

10 Comments


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

Why are the articles dropped for 'huile' and 'vinaigre'?


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

That's a good question, I never thought about that.

"Il n'y a ni d'huile, ni de vinaigre" also sounds perfectly fine to me and has exactly the same meaning as far as I can tell. That might be a bit easier to remember and a bit more regular for a foreign learner I suppose, since it matches the negative construct: "Il n'y a pas d'huile, il n'y a pas de vinaigre, il n'y a ni d'huile, ni de vinaigre".

"Il n'y a pas l'huile, ni le vinaigre" also works, but that's a different sentence: "there isn't either the oil, or the vinegar..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noklip1

'When using ni, you omit the article after ni, unless you're talking about general things and using le, la, l', les.' https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/how-to-use-ne-ni-ni-neither-nor-negation#:~:text=When%20using%20ni%2C%20you%20omit,brothers%20nor%20sisters%20nor%20cousins.


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

Thanks for sharing this, it's very helpful! I am still wondering why the use of definite articles wouldn't work in this instance (ni l'huile ni le vinaigre).

This link gives the example:

*Tu aimes le fromage ? - Je n'aime ni le fromage ni le lait.

*(Do you like cheese ? - I like neither cheese nor milk.)

Isn't the sentence about no oil/vinegar in the cupboard also making a general statement?


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

The English sentence means that only one of the two is not in the cupboard while the French means that both are not there.


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

Yes. It should be reported. The correct translation would be, "There is neither oil nor vinegar in the cupboard".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

Not the way I use it. I mean there isn't either one or the other, there isn't either one of them. Plainly, "not either" is exactly the same as "neither". I think the vast majority of English speakers worldwide agree with me, and so do all the grammar/usage references.

I have already linked to several grammar resources. Below are two additional links. I notice that not even one reference has been shown to dispute this. I don't think you'll be able to find expert support either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeJarvis4

I agree completely. "There is not either oil or vinegar," means that they are both absent. The inverse, "There is either oil or vinegar," means one or the other is present (or maybe both). To say that only one of them is absent but you're not sure which, you would have to say "There is either no oil or no vinegar in the cupboard."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maryqc26

I am getting annoyed.. do you use the le, la les or not. Some say yes some say no. I see that you dont use the un or du or des in the ni ni sentences. And i do not want to hear what is used in english. Just what is used in french .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen583510

I don't understand why I was wrong when I DIDN'T use le and la on a previous question (je n'aime ni...) but then I was wrong when I DID use le and la for this one. What is the difference and what is the rule?

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