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In this sentence “de” is an article partitif:

Il ne boit pas de café au petit déjeuner.

Why? Is there any préposition de négation generally?


In negations “ne … plus”, “ne … jamais”, … like “ne … pas”, does the indefinite article become “de”?

What about the partitive articles in:

  1. J'ai mis de l'essence dans la voiture.
  2. C'est de l'or pur.

The respective negations are:

  1. Je n'ai pas mis d'essence dans la voiture .
  2. Ce n'est pas de l'or pur.

Why does “de l' ” become “d' ” in 1. and “de l' ” remains “de l' ” in 2.?

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1 Answer 1

Yes. The partitive article du/de la/de l'/des becomes de after negations such as ne ... pas, ne ... plus, ne ... jamais, ..., or after adverbs that indicate a quantity: un peu de café, beaucoup de café, ...

See the article in the Trésor de la langue française, “de² (art. partitif)”, final remark.

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:It means that the indefinite articles that becomes de after negation is partitive articles?préposition de négation does not exist? –  une personne Dec 5 '11 at 6:51

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