The partitive articles are du (masculine singular), de la
singular), and des (masculine, feminine plural). The partitive article
agrees in number and (for the singular forms) in gender with the nouns
they modify (see Noun):
The partitive is used to refer to objects, people, and events which have
not been clearly defined by the speaker or the context.
de la glace
The nouns which they modify are generally not countable nouns
(unlike those modified by the indefinite
Instead, the partitive usually indicates an undetermined quantity. It is
frequently used after verbs expressing possession or consumption.
Est-ce que tu as de la patience? Do you have patience?
After expressions of quantity, the partitive is usually reduced to de:
Nous allons acheter du lait. We're going to buy some
However, if the quantified noun is modified by an adjective or by a relative
clause, then the partitive remains:
Les étudiants achètent beaucoup de pâtisseries.
Students buy a lot of pastries.
Aujourd'hui, les gens ont plus d'activités qu'avant.
Today people have more activities than before.
If a sentence is negative, the partitive article changes to de:
Elle a pris une tasse du café que j'ai préparé.
took a cup of the coffee I prepared.
Elegant French reduces des to de when it precedes a plural
adjective preceding a noun:
Nous n'avons plus de patience. We no longer have
except if there is a contrast:
Je ne prendrai pas de la tarte, mais des biscuits, s'il vous plaît.
I won't have any pie, but (I'll take) some
Ils ont fait de beaux dessins. They did some beautiful
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