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I would need help in order not to mix up de and le or un

(What article can I use to refer to a thing correctly?)

I came across this sentence

Il n'y a pas de bus direct?

But I couldn't understand why le wasn't used (or for that matter un, if you don't want to refer to a particular bus). Y avoir doesn't seem to be in this list of verbs that are succeeded by «de» here http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/preposition_de_3.htm

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“Pas un bus” would be possible, but it is rare and conveys emphasis: “not a single bus”. See french.stackexchange.com/questions/5684/… –  Gilles Sep 5 '13 at 11:17
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are some situations, and negative sentences are one of them, where de is used instead of des (which is in this context the plural of un, there may be several direct busses).

Il y a des bus directs.

Il n'y a pas de bus directs.

(Note the plural for directs in both sentences).

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Unless it's a misprint «direct» is not in plural. Sorry. But thanks for the tip –  Abhimanyu Arora Sep 5 '13 at 9:00
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Actually, you would do the same with “un”. “Il y a un bus direct” becomes “Il n’y a pas de bus direct”. –  Édouard Sep 5 '13 at 10:33
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