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indefinite ''des'' vs partitive ''des''

Luthien T.A0Kwiziq community member

indefinite ''des'' vs partitive ''des''

Ok, we know that: '' Partitive articles, du, de la, & de l' (some/any) are used with mass nouns. Definite articles (le, la, l', les) and indefinite articles (un/une/des) are used with countable nouns.

Then what partitive ''des'' is used for? What is the difference between those two ''des''? The indefinite ''des'' vs the partitive ''des''. Are not there any uncountable nouns that have any plural form or something like that?

Asked 3 years ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

 Bonjour Luthien,

‘des’ is a partitive article when it matches with the following singular forms: du, de la, de l’. As such it refers to mass / uncountable nouns. And it is used to answer the question: how much?

Je mange des épinards I am eating some spinach

Je bois de l’eau I drink some water

Je veux de l’argent = I want some money

 

‘des’ is an indefinite article when it matches with the following singular forms: un, une. As such it refers to countable nouns. And it is used to answer the question: how many?

Je mange des noix = I am eating some nuts

Je mange des crêpes = I am eating some pancakes

Je vois des chats = I see some cats

Je veux des euros I want some euros

Je veux des verres d’eau I want some glasses of water

 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée!

Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

If I understand the question, I think you are asking about  «des» as the obligatory contraction of 'de les' as in the example «des épinards» (les épinards plural and considered uncountable).

Guilherme S.B1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi understand this intuitively, however, I find your answer (Céline) quite confusing:

This lesson is about Partitive Articles. In the lesson, it is written that we use "des" to refer to countable nouns. Now, here, you state that we use the partitive article "des" to refer "to mass / uncountable nouns."

And that when we use "des" to refer to countable nouns, it is an "Indefinite Article", followed by this example: "Je vois des chats", which is similar to the example in the lesson "Il y a des chiens". 

So, is the example in the lesson about Partitive Articles or Indefinite Articles?

Or am I just too confused?

indefinite ''des'' vs partitive ''des''

Ok, we know that: '' Partitive articles, du, de la, & de l' (some/any) are used with mass nouns. Definite articles (le, la, l', les) and indefinite articles (un/une/des) are used with countable nouns.

Then what partitive ''des'' is used for? What is the difference between those two ''des''? The indefinite ''des'' vs the partitive ''des''. Are not there any uncountable nouns that have any plural form or something like that?

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