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- Quand « du » et quand « de » ? 2 answers
I came to the following sentence in English:
Parts of the day
In French, it was written as follows:
Les parties du jour
Why wasn't du written as de?
In the example you give we do not use de on its own but it has to be followed by the definite article le. So it is le jour and not jour.
When partie has the meaning of "game" or designates an activity we do not use the definite article, and thus we have :
When partie has the meaning of "a part"/ "a portion" of something then we have to use the definite article (le, la or les accordingly) :
1 des ⇒ de les, compulsory elision.
When de is followed by le, they contract to form du.
So les parties "de le" (of the) jour becomes les parties du jour.
Similarly, if de is followed by les, it contracts to des.
However, de la does not contract and remains as is.
In parts of the day, "the day" is not a particular day, such as May 30, 2014. It is the concept day -- a day in the abstract. A day - any day -- has these parts, by definition.
In English we generally do not use a definite article for this. We typically use no article (or sometimes an indefinite article): Man is mortal. In French we generally use a definite article for this: L'homme est mortel.