"David ne sait cuisiner que le chou."
Translation:David only knows how to cook cabbage.
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Excellent... .. the word the 'que' is in front of is what is being restricted... le chou.!!
But I kinda dont know if the syntax for edward's sentence would then contradict grammar rules word order. A negation like Personne ne can come totally before the verb. Can the 'restrictive' ne que follow that same pattern. David ne que sait cuisiner .... the only thing david knows is to cook....and then that would be different from David ne sait que cuisiner.... David only knows how to cook cabbage (he doesn't know how to eat or dice it or grow cabbage)
Sentence 1: David knows how to cook ONLY cabbage.(That is the exact meaning of this sentence ... the only thing David KNOWS TO COOK is cabbage...even though we say David only knows how to cook cabbage and get our meaning across(. Put ANY CABBAGE in the world and David knows how to cook it. So he knows how to cook ALL(types) cabbages in the world not some type(red for instance) cabbage. Hence LE(for generalization) not the partitive de+(le or la). But if I remember the other sentence. You will be hungry if all you eat is lettuce. He is not eating a SPECIFIC lettuce/he wont eat ALL the lettuce in the world/so it has to be the partitive de+(le or la).. All goes back to you can't have a naked noun in french. I m buying apples in ENGLISH must be I am buying 'qualifier' apples in FRENCH. The default qualifier is always 'de+(le/la) unless....like specificity/generalization/cardinal determiner...etc etc.