How to Negate Partitive Articles (du/de la/de l’/des become de/d’)

How to Negate Partitive Articles

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In this French grammar lesson you will learn how to negate partitive articles.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how to negate partitive articles in French
  • exceptions to the rule
  • how negations of partitive articles are used sentences
  • how you can immediately test your knowledge on how to negate partitive articles
  • the way you can download Anki files for how to negate partitive articles

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this negation fits in French A1 grammar.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to negate partitive articles!

Table of Contents

How to Negate Partitive Articles

In French, you can use partitive articles (du/de la/de l’/des) to say some/any.

Il veut du lait.

He want some milk

Elle veut de l’eau.

She wants some water.

However, how do you negate partitive articles?

  • You can negate partitive articles (du/de la/de l’/des) by changing them to de or d’ (in front of a vowel or mute h).

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Je mange du raisin. – Je ne mange pas de raisin.

I eat grapes. – I don’t eat grapes.

Tu veux un verre de vin ? Non, je ne bois pas d’alcool

Do you want a glass of wine? – No, I don’t drink (any) alcohol.

Pourrais-je emprunter de l’argent ? – Je suis désolé, mais je n’ai pas d’argent.

Could I borrow some money? – I am sorry, but I don’t have any money.

Avez-vous du pain? – Je n’ai pas de pain.

Do you have some bread. – I don’t have any bread.

Avez-vous du lait ? – Je n’ai pas de lait.

Do you have some milk? – I don’t have any milk.

Ont-ils de la confiture ? Non, ils n’ont pas de confiture.

Do they have some jam? No, they don’t have any jam.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are only two expections to this rule.

  • You don’t change du/de la/de l’/des to de or d’ in negations with the following verbs 
  • avoir l’air
  • devenir
  • demeurer
  • être
  • paraître
  • rester
  • sembler

These are called verbs of state.

There’s no need to memorise them all.

The most important ones are être (to be) and devenir (to become), as they are the verbs most often used in French.

être

C’est du sucre ? – Non, ce n’est pas du sucre.

Is that sugar? – No it’s not sugar.

devenir

Le poivre devient du caramel. – Non, le poivre ne devient pas du caramel.

Pepper become caramel. – No, pepper doesn’t become caramel.

J’ai les clés. Je n’ai pas les clés.

I have the keys. I don’t have the keys.

Definite articles are not partitive articles, but I wanted to have this in here to make sure you don’t make any mistakes with them.

Examples Sentences on How to Negate Partitive Articles

The final section of this lesson on how to negate partitive articles is about seeing the negations in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how to negate partitive articles through examples.

Je mange du raisin. – Je ne mange pas de raisin.

I eat grapes. – I don’t eat grapes.

Pourrais-je emprunter de l’argent ? – Je suis désolé, mais je n’ai pas d’argent.

Could I borrow some money? – I am sorry, but I don’t have any money.

J’ai les clés. Je n’ai pas les clés.

I have the keys. I don’t have the keys.

Tu veux un verre de vin ? Non, je ne bois pas d’alcool

Do you want a glass of wine? – No, I don’t drink (any) alcohol.

Il veut du lait.

He want some milk

Elle veut de l’eau.

She wants some water.

être

C’est du sucre ? – Non, ce n’est pas du sucre.

Is that sugar? – No it’s not sugar.

devenir

Le poivre devient du caramel. – Non, le poivre ne devient pas du caramel.

Pepper become caramel. – No, pepper doesn’t become caramel.

Nous buvons du vin. Nous ne buvons pas de vin.

We are drinking wine. We aren’t drinking any wine.

Avez-vous du pain? – Je n’ai pas de pain.

Do you have some bread. – I don’t have any bread.

Avez-vous du lait ? – Je n’ai pas de lait.

Do you have some milk? – I don’t have any milk.

Ont-ils de la confiture ? Non, ils n’ont pas de confiture.

Do they have some jam? No, they don’t have any jam.

Test Your Knowledge on How to Negate Partitive Articles

It’s not enough just to read the article on this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Anki File for How to Negate Partitive Articles

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A1 you can practice every French A1 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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