There’s a book named “Recueil de Types de Ponts Pour Routes...”

I’m confused here that, if “types” is in plural form, shouldn’t “des” be used instead of “de”?

1 Answer 1


"Des" is also possible, but with a slightly different meaning :

  • Recueil des types de ponts existant en France.
  • Recueil des types de ponts que j'ai vus pendant mes vacances.

One would expect these books to contain all the bridges matching the title. I interpret des in this case as the de+les contraction, not the partitive des.

Recueil de type de ponts is more generic. It's just a book containing types of bridges.

One cannot imagine a book simply called : Recueil des ponts, without raising the question "lesquels ?" While a book called simply Recueil de ponts seems quite plausible.

In my understanding Recueil de types de ponts is equivalent to

compilation of bridge types

while Recueil des types de pont is equivalent to

compilation of the bridge types...

  • Why don't you think of des as partitive here? I think I have a feeling for it, but articles trip me up all the time in French so I want to make sure. Is it because it'd be more natural to express it more like «Recueil de quelques types ...»?
    – wjandrea
    Nov 28, 2022 at 22:09
  • 1
    @wjandrea De is a preposition here. It is mandatory after Recueil. There is no article before type (or there is the article zéro if you prefer calling it that way) because you can't write Recueil de des types de ponts (of some types of bridge). The indefinite plural article disappears by haplology. On the other hand, De + les becomes des when all the types of bridges are listed.
    – jlliagre
    Nov 29, 2022 at 15:32
  • @jlliagre So, effectively, it's already a partitive construction?
    – wjandrea
    Nov 30, 2022 at 21:53
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    @wjandrea The unexpressed des is an undefinite article. L'ouvrage présente un type de pontL'ouvrage présente des types de pontsC'est un recueil de [des] types de ponts. Bridges types are countable. De is a preposition.
    – jlliagre
    Nov 30, 2022 at 22:49

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