Acheter de la pomme, manger du pain, bois du vin


Acheter une tasse, boire un verre du vin.

Am I understanding correctly?

  • You understand correctly about the use of de or du here, but it has nothing to do with the verb. You will find the answer here. – None Sep 20 '19 at 9:58

"Vin" and "pain" are uncountable ("nom massifs") as in English and that means that you can't normally use the indefinite article or numbers to determine them and instead that you can use partitives (de, un peu de, etc.). So, "du pain" and "du vin" is correct.
However "pomme" is countable and so that's the opposite that is true: you can use the indefinite article and Numbers (une pommes, des pommes, trois pommes,…) but in no way partitives; you can't say "de la pomme".

You should say this:

"acheteter des pommes".

You can't say "un verre du vin" unless you add a complement or an adjective. The function of those addition is to determine the noun so that a definite article can be used (le, la, les).

  • boire un verre du vin qui est sur la table (de le vin)
  • boire un verre du vin vieux et pas du nouveau
  • boire un verre du vin frais (this means "a glass from that wine that is cool and not a glass from another wine that is also there but that hasn't been refrigerated. "Du", here, stands for "de le".)

You can also say "boire un verre de vin frais" and in that case there is no caracterisation of the wine with respect to another wine but a simple caracterisation in itself; in that way there is no indication that you should be thinking about another kind of wine.

Otherwise, that is without the presence of a determiner, you say "un verre de vin", because you do not speak about a specific "occurrence" of wine but about any wine; that's why you use the partitive "de".

and if I want to use le I should say acheter du vin rouge or une bouteille du vin rouge?

"Acheter du vin rouge" is correct and "du" is a form of the partitive "de" (contraction de "de le").

If you use a construction in which "vin" is a complement of a noun, the noun being that of a container you can use "de" meaning "filled with" and "de" is not the partitive here but a preposition.

  • acheter une bouteille de vin

If, however you want to specify that wine further and therefore add some words to achieve that there are three possibilities.


  • Elle achètera une bouteille de vin.
  • Il va acheter une bouteille de vin d'Alsace.
  • Ils achèteront une bouteille de vin à 10 euros.
    (In those sentences you use "de" because there is no need to mention a referent: the category is self-determined.)


  • Il va acheter une bouteille du vin dont il parlait hier. (In the present sentence, there is a referent (after the determiner "le", which is in "du" since "du" stands for "de le") and this referent is "that wine he was talking about yesterday"; therefore you need to add "le", a simple "de" is not sufficient for referring to that particular wine.)


— Il y a deux sortes de vin dans nos prix, du rouge et du blanc.
— Lequel tu préfères ?
— Je n'en préfère aucun mais nos amis aiment le rouge.
— Alors je vais acheter une bouteille du vin rouge.(de le, preposition)
(In this case the referent is in what precedes, in the dialogue (deux sortes, le vin rouge et le vin blanc).)

autre cas pour le féminin

— Voilà une fleur et une feuille et vous devez choisir l'une des deux comme modèle.
— Laquelle choisis-tu Jacques ?
— Je vais dessiner une image de la fleur.
— Jacques a choisi de dessiner une image de fleur.

  • So, to say I want to buy a bottle of vine I should say Je veux acheter une bouteille de vin, and if I want to use le I should say acheter du vin rouge or une bouteille du vin rouge? – Artur Sep 20 '19 at 15:00
  • And otherwise, acheter de vin, right? – Artur Sep 20 '19 at 15:01
  • or perhapsss no? – Artur Sep 20 '19 at 15:12
  • @Artur No, only "acheter du vin" is correct, unless you speak about a particular buy, and then you have to say "acheter le vin"; you might be talking about the regular quantity of 10 liters you buy every week, then that's "le vin" or you might be talking about a special wine you wanted to have for your birthday; then again you say "le vin". etc. You must remember also that "de le " becomes "du" for masculine words: "du vin, du pain, du fromage, …" but "de la sauce, de la crème, de la soupe, …". – LPH Sep 20 '19 at 15:25
  • But why acheter une bouteille de vin is incorrect? acheter une bouteille du vin? And why du vin rouge incorrect, if I specified that it is exactly the red wine? You also wrote that de vin correct as well – Artur Sep 20 '19 at 15:37

In general use : Your understanding is correct.

Take care with some nouns that are, in particular, strictly countable, but can convey some uncountable general meaning :

With currencies for instance :

  • Currencies are strictly countable, and, in a bank, tu échanges des euros contre des dollars
  • However, when used with the general meaning of money (which is uncountable) tu achètes de l'euro et vends du dollar

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