articles partitifs

On Alphab TV, we are offering you a new class for beginners with Patrice!

Several months ago, we released his first lesson on definite and indefinite articles and this time, he will talk to you about partitive articles.

Do you know what a partitive article is?

 

These are the partitive articles:

  • DU
  • DE L’
  • DE LA

Like definite and indefinite articles, partitive articles come before a noun.

DU is used before a masculine noun:

DU pain (some bread)

DE LA is used before a feminine noun:

DE LA guitare (guitar)

DE L’ is used in front of a masculine or feminine noun starting with a vowel or a silent H:

DE L’huile (f) (some oil)

DE L’eau (f) (some water)

DE L’air (m) (some air)

DE l’hélium (m) (some helium)

 

DES is used in front of a plural noun:

 

DES légumes (m) (some vegetables)

DES livres (m) (some books)

 

When do we use partitive articles?

  1. We use partitive articles before a concrete or abstract noun that we cannot count.

For example: “Je mange une pomme ou je mange deux pommes.” (I eat an apple or I eat two apples)

I can count the apples: 1 or 2

But I say: “Je mange du riz” (I eat some rice)

I cannot count the rice on my plate, there is too much rice.

So I use the partitive article.

We generally use them with food or liquids.

articles partitifs

“Marie mange de la salade et boit du vin.” (Marie eats some salad and drinks some wine)

“Paul achète du lait et de l’huile au supermarché.”(Paul buys some milk and some oil at the supermarket)

“Thomas a du riz, de la viande, du poisson et des œufs dans son frigo.” (Thomas has some rice, some meat, some fish and some eggs in his fridge)

 

  1. We also use partitive articles with activities like sport and music, with the verb FAIRE

“Marie fait du tennis” (Marie plays tennis)

“Paul fait de la guitare” (Paul plays the guitar)

“Thomas fait de l’aviron et de l’accordéon.” (Thomas rows and plays the accordion)

  1. Finally, we can use partitive articles with the weather

“Il y a” + partitive article + the weather

À Nice il y a du soleil” (In Nice it is sunny)

À Paris il y a de la pluie” (In Paris it is rainy)

  1. Careful with the negative form of partitive articles

DU/DE LA -> DE

DE L’ -> D’

Je mange du riz -> Je ne mange pas de riz

(I eat rice -> I don’t eat rice)

articles partitifs

Je bois de la bière -> Je ne bois pas de bière

(I drink beer -> I don’t drink beer)

There is an exception with the verb “être”:

C’est du riz –> Ce n’est pas du riz

(It is rice -> It is not rice)

C’est de la bière –> Ce n’est pas de la bière

(It is beer -> It is not beer)

To summarise:

We use partitive articles:

  1. To describe a quantity that we cannot count
  2. With certain activities like sport or music
  3. With the weather

Watch the whole video here:

To find out about our language courses online please click here.

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