Plural partitive?

Tom RuneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Plural partitive?

Some sources name a "plural partitive" - des. This lesson doesn't though. I can't really see how something could be uncountable and plural at the same time. Would you agree?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

It has taken me a while to understand what the problem is here...

The exemple you give is incorrect , in French if  you want to express different types of things, you will not use the partitive "Des" but something like , 

Vous avez essayé plusieurs/différentes sortes de thé or  vous avez essayé des thés différents/ divers ?  

you can't simply say des thés, this would be the same for any kind of food stuff.

 

Not sure if this helps? 

NigelA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Other articles in this course describe des as a partitive e.g. Du, de la, de l', des all become de or d' in negative sentences (partitive articles) , or describe des as a partitive article. I think that using "uncountable" as the definition sends us on the wrong track. I think that saying partitive singular is for when the number is not relevant, or not inferred, rather than uncountable e.g. "some tea". Partitive plural is for when there is clearly more than one of the object referred to e.g "some teas". For example: Did you try some tea? Singular partitive, uncountable (or more exactly, counting is a meaningless concept in the context) Essayez vous du the? Did you try some teas? i.e. different types of tea, and you could count the number of teas you tried. Essayez vous des thes?
NigelA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Avez vous essaye du the? Avez vous essaye des thes? :(
Tom RuneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
On the contrary, I believe the difference between uncountable (or mass) nouns vs count nouns is key here. The former use the partitive article, the latter the indefinite article, which can be singular or plural. Both types of nouns, of course, use the definite article. All examples I've seen so far with "des", including in the lesson you refer to, could interpret "des" as the plural indefinite article, rather than the "plural partitive" article. Which is why I wonder if the latter concept actually exists at all. Even in your example with "des thés", it's very clear that we're talking about TYPES of tea, or different tea flavors, rather than an indefinite amount of the liquid tea. I'll be happy to be proven wrong if someone can come up with a good example of the plural partitive.

Plural partitive?

Some sources name a "plural partitive" - des. This lesson doesn't though. I can't really see how something could be uncountable and plural at the same time. Would you agree?

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