"De" or "de la"

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SBack

Hello! Enclosing two examples from lesson 7.3
1. Montons au sommet de la montagne.
2. Descendons jusqu'au refuge de montagne.
The first sentence sounds right to me. The second does not. Should it not be "Descendons jusqu'au refuge de LA montagne"? Or if not, why not?
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MCK

MCK

Both phrases are correct as written, I believe. The first phrase refers to 'the summit of the mountain', not quite the same as saying the mountain's summit; the second to 'the mountain('s) hut', literally the hut belonging to the mountain, but not the same as the hut on the mountain. In English and in French, the phrases are subtly different.
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SBack

Thank you for your answer, but I do not quite follow. "The mountain's hut" where mountain is in genitive form must surely be translated to "la refuge de la montagne"? My grammar gives no alternative to "de la" to express genitive of a female noun starting with a consonant. The construction of both phrases (1 and 2) appears identical to me ans so I thought they should be expressed similarly?
MCK

MCK

Yes, looking at it again - I have got the reasoning quite wrong. My apologies - but as is often said, the best learning comes from trying to explain an idea to others! However, the phrases are both correct. Summit of the mountain is in possessive form, while mountain hut, is in a descriptive form ('mountain hut' essentially as a compound noun) and 'refuge de montagne' is correct in that setting. Indeed, 'sommet de montagne' can also be used in descriptive form as an alternative, according to DeepL translation site. Lawless French also covers the difference between 'de + article noun' versus 'de noun'. 
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SBack

So in essence then, you could say both "le sommet de montagne" and "la refuge de la montagne" in addition to the wording in the course, depending on whether it is regarded as a descriptive or a possessive. Great explanation, thanks!
MCK

MCK

Yes, that is my understanding. Small differences in meaning in this context, but in others it makes more difference between a specific possession or an item described in a general way (remembering of course, that translations are not always exact). And thanks again - I have (I think) embedded this idea in my memory too!
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SBack

Thanks also for the great resources you provided! Both Lawless french and DeepL are new to me but will certainly be of great value. I certainly learned something today!

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