I'm a beginner in French and I am confused with these two sentences:

  1. j'ai de la bière (I have some beer)
  2. je n'ai pas de bière (I have no beer)

I've heard that 'de' can be translated as 'some' or 'any'. So why these two are different? Why there is no 'la' in the second sentence?


1 Answer 1


There is no "la" in the second sentence because it has a negative form. It will always be the same:

"J'ai du café / Je n'ai pas de café"

please notice that "du" is the contraction of "de le", and therefore, "de le" cannot be used in French, except when the following noun begins with a vowel, so "du" becomes " de l'" because in French we must avoid as much as possible that a syllable ending with a vowel be followed by another vowel, so we can't say "du argent" then we go back to "de le", but erase the "e" to avoid that double wowel, like in this example :

"J'ai de l'argent / Je n'ai pas d'argent"

"J'ai de la chance / je n'ai pas de chance "

  • What was wrong with the answer to that question?
    – None
    Nov 23, 2021 at 10:37
  • I just didn't see there had been an answer, but I guess it surely was a good answer.
    – BBBreiz
    Nov 23, 2021 at 10:58

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