In my French learning book À Paris published by Cideb, p.126 we have

J'espère qu'à Noël, il y aura de la neige

Le principal, c'est qu'il n'y ait pas de pluie

Why is the definite article present in the first case but not the second? Is it context or is some rule at play here? I know there are some irregularities when reporting the weather, so perhaps this is another?



This is because the first sentence is affirmative, and the second one is negative.

In the negative form, the article will disappear. This is not restricted to words describing the weather.


Il y aura de la neige

Il n'y aura pas de neige

Il y a de la pluie

Il n'y a pas de pluie

J'ai bu de l'eau

Je n'ai pas bu d'eau

You will find some rules and more examples here.

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