The other day I was reading a French comic when I noticed one of the characters said this:

Vous mentez! C'est du piment rouge!

Note the use of the partitive. This strikes me as a little odd, since I would think red peppers would be countable (like bananas, for instance). Shouldn't it be

C'est un piment rouge!

instead? I'm not a native French speaker, so I'm not entirely certain.

3 Answers 3


"C'est un piment rouge" implies that you are speaking about a whole red pepper whereas "C'est du piment rouge" implies a more vague amount of pepper.

It's the equivalent of "It's red pepper" vs "It's a red pepper".

  • All right, thanks. At first when I saw this answer I wasn't quite certain why the writer would do this, but after considering the context I can see why (it's rather subtle). Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 19:27

Sur l'étal d'un marché de plein vent, c'est un piment rouge.

Au rayon des épices du supermarché, c'est du piment rouge.


As a native french speaker, I can assure you that both sentences are correct, although "C'est du piment rouge!" sounds more natural to me.

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