"There isn't either oil or vinegar in the sauce?"
Translation:Il n'y a ni huile ni vinaigre dans la sauce ?
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Thanks for your answer. I understand the constructions quite well because they’re identical in Spanish - (no) ... ni ... ni ... / no ... ni ....
The difference is that there isn’t the compulsory usage of articles we’ve observed in French. In that respect it behaves almost identical to English.
My question was about the usage with or without the articles partitifs (du, de la, de l', des) and possibly the indéfinis (un, une), which could be, in the case of the latter, a way to emphasise?
Then, in the sentence I gave du is used after a ni.
So, to make sure I understood.
In a double nI … ni … construction only articles définis are allowed.
While in a single ni … construction, partitifs and indéfinis articles are allowed, but usually don’t have to be.
Did I get it right?
It's not as simple as that.
"Is there neither oil nor vinegar in the sauce?" => "Il n'y a ni huile ni vinaigre dans le sauce ?" (as demonstrated here).
If you are correct, then why doesn't "Il y a ni huile ni vinaigre dans le sauce ?" also mean "Is there neither oil nor vinegar in the sauce?"?
Perhaps the problem here is the way that Duo has structured the question and has also assumed that this is a spoken statement where the query is implied by raising the voice at the end, rather than a written question where it might be stated differently.
If you reverse "There is" to "Is there" and back-translate "Is there neither oil not vinegar in the sauce?" then the French form would probably be "N’y a-t-il ni huile ni vinaigre dans la sauce?" - which may also be more natural French - but I'm only learning too!