5

Would we say

Trois derniers bulletins de salaire du mois de juillet, d’ août et de septembre.

or

Trois derniers bulletins de salaire du mois de juillet, août et septembre.

What is the rule here ? For example, perhaps I am wrong but I tend to think that

J'ai besoin de toi, Louis et ton cousin.

and not

J'ai besoin de toi, de Louis et de ton cousin.

but at the same time

J'ai besoin du lait, du pain et du légume.

  • Now you make me confuse a bit as well. Apparently besoin has more hits than besoins in Google. – Kenny Oct 6 '15 at 14:32
  • Sorry for the confusion! I was trying to say that I was surprised to find even one hit for "J'ai besoins" (not to mention 130K), because I was (and still am) pretty sure that it's always "J'ai besoin." But because of finding all those hits for "besoins" I'm not confident enough (as a non-native speaker) about it to edit another person's post. – Papa Poule Oct 6 '15 at 14:48
  • @PapaPoule,Kenny: You should use ngram instead. – Stéphane Gimenez Oct 6 '15 at 16:09
3

In fact you can say both (source), but I find plural nicer .
Also, I think you should use plural (if anyone can confirm ?) :

Trois derniers bulletins de salaire des mois de juillet, août et septembre
Trois derniers bulletins de salaire du mois de juillet, d'août et de septembre

EDIT
This is different with

J'ai besoin du lait, du pain et du légume

Actually, it means

J'ai besoin de le lait, de le pain et de le légume

but we use "du" to contract "de le", so if you remove from the enumeration "de", the rule would say

J'ai besoin de le lait, le pain et le légume

which becomes

J'ai besoin du lait, le pain et le légume

so we don't understand anymore which word is ommited ("de" here, which is not really in the first part of the sentence).

So you have to say :

J'ai besoin du lait, du pain et du légume

or

J'ai besoin de lait, pain et légumes

Note that légumes takes an "s" in the last sentence, because it is countable.

  • Note that you must uppercase the first letter of months… not in French. And du mois sounds acceptable to me in the second phrasing with ellipses. – Stéphane Gimenez Oct 6 '15 at 9:12
  • Uh, don't know were do my rule comes from, I was sure you had to uppercase... About plural, it seems to be at writter's will, but it sounds nicer with plural – Random Oct 6 '15 at 9:22
  • Is it required to have des in your first phrase instead of de ? Also, you mentioned that both ways are possible, yet I have the impression that we don't say J'ai besoins du lait, pain et légume , no? – Kenny Oct 6 '15 at 14:26
  • @Kenny I edited my answer to answer you. – Random Oct 6 '15 at 14:42
  • I would expect “J'ai besoin du lait, du pain et des légumes”. Le légume is utterly weird. One would use the specific name for that vegetable instead. – Stéphane Gimenez Oct 6 '15 at 16:14
1

I would say months are numerable quantities (you can count them, and parse a series of name as you would for numbers 4,5,6). But if you want to insist on the individuality of each, them you treat them as objects with "de" or "du mois de".

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