Ils n'ont pas de l'habitude / pas "d'habitude" or pas "l'habitude"?

HelenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ils n'ont pas de l'habitude / pas "d'habitude" or pas "l'habitude"?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Helen,

As the expression is - 'avoir l'habitude de faire quelque chose', the le is maintained after the pas or it would not make any sense...

but I can understand your confusion...

HelenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I'm not sure why when I post questions, the body doesn't post but here's the rest of the question: I'm thinking that "de" follows pas before nouns( except when using etre.) So would this sentence be correct: "Ils n'ont pas d'habitude de parler francais." Or should it be "ils n'ont pas de l'habitude de parler francais"? I actually had a French speaker tell me there is no "de" and it's "Ils n'ont pas l'habitude de parler francais. Help!:)
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Helen,

"Ils n'ont pas l'habitude de parler français" -- They are not in the habit of speaking French.

You don't use "de" in this case because that would signifiy that what comes after is part of a bigger thing (e.g. "un morceau du gâteau" -- a piece of the cake). Since there isn't something like a "bigger piece of habit" you don't use the preposition "de".

Hope that helps, -- Chris  (not a native speaker).

HelenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Chris, thank you for this. I love the logic about it not being "part of a bigger thing". Would you say the majority of time, we would use "pas de" before a noun?
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, definitely. According to this pattern:

"Tu as du lait?" - "Non, je n'ai plus de lait." -- "Do you have some milk?" - No, I have no more milk."

-- Chris. 

Ils n'ont pas de l'habitude / pas "d'habitude" or pas "l'habitude"?

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