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How can I know with which verbs DE is contracted and with which ones it isn't?

I mean when we use

Penser de

We contract DE:

Je pense de la vie

When in :

Etre dingue de qn/qch

We don't contract DE :

Je suis dingue de voyages

Also, why do we say “gain de temps” and not “gain du temps”?

  • Je pense de la vie is not correct. You can say Je pense à la vie or Ce que je pense de la vie. And we say gain de temps because it means gain of time and not gain of a time – Paul Lemarchand Oct 15 '17 at 20:02
  • Why gain du temps means gain of A time? A time is in French un temps. – user10544 Oct 15 '17 at 21:10
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    Your question isn't really about verbs (as you note below jcm's answer). The contrast you're asking about can show up whether or not verbs are involved. Unfortunately, the rules about it are very detailed and hard to put into few words. Here's a thread that might give you a good start. – Luke Sawczak Oct 15 '17 at 21:42
  • @user10544 did you read my comment ? I said it does NOT mean gain of A time... – Paul Lemarchand Oct 16 '17 at 1:45
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The verb penser can be used in its transitive form or the intransitive one.
Intransitive :

Je pense à la vie, à l'univers et à toutes ces étoiles.

The transitive form is more complex and the verb can be used for different meanings but speaking about "de" :

Je pense de lui que c'est un abruti

just means I think he is stupid : je pense de quelque chose que quelque chose:

Je pense de la vie que c'est de la merde.

About être dingue de, it's just like être fou de etc. when you want to express that you love voyages, chocolats etc.
You can say :

Je suis dingue à Lyon

to express that when you are in Lyon you become crazy.. Why not ? :)
You also can say :

Je suis fou des chocolats de chez Bernachon à Lyon.

Finally, gain de temps or gain en temps refers to the gain you can enjoy, de qualifies your gain. But gain du propriétaire refers to the gain of the proprietary of your apartment. You can say :

Le chien de couleur rouge
Le chien du voisin
Le chien des Baskervilles

  • Yes but I dont mean here the Verb Penser. I have a problem with DE. Which verbs has du de la and which dont. Why we say je suis dingue de voyages and not je suis dingue des voyages? – user10544 Oct 15 '17 at 21:08
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    As noted by luke, the general answer is complicated. There are some rules and many exceptions. The verb penser may give you some some simple hints and tracks (???) to follow. Hope this helps. Sorry for my english... – jcm69 Oct 16 '17 at 20:14

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