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 quiz yourself on how to negate partitive articles
  • how to practice with flashcards on how to negate partitive articles
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

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

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Definite articles (le, la, l’, and les) do not change in negations.

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.

Quiz Yourself on How to Negate Partitive Articles

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

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

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.

Fill in the Blank!Je mange du raisin. – Je ne mange pas raisin.

I eat grapes. – I don’t eat grapes.
Fill in the Blank!Tu veux un verre de vin ? Non, je ne bois pas alcool

Do you want a glass of wine? – No, I don’t drink (any) alcohol.
Fill in the Blank!J’ai les clés. Je n’ai pas clés.

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

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our French A1 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,764 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A1.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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