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Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French

Paris-France-Marseille December 6, 2010, 6:53 am
While I was reviewing a Lesson Plan from Rocket French Premium I came upon a slight confusion. It was the use of de and du in French.

Are those de and du interchangeable? Or are there certain scenarios when it is grammatically correct to use de instead of du? Ex: Why is it: Une tranche de pain, instead of: Une tranche du pain. Or. Why is it: Le goût du vin, instead of: Le goût de vin. Merci!
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
Narissa-A December 19, 2010, 2:40 am
Now I am getting confused!
I thought when a word was masculine as in 'le pain' 'du' was used instead of 'de le pain' it became 'du pain'.

It would be nice to have some clarification
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
Marie-Claire-Riviere December 23, 2010, 11:31 pm
Hi Everyone, Thanks for your posts!

I will explain when to use de, and when to use du !

Firstly, DE and DU are not interchangeable.
  • 'Du' is used as a preposition meaning 'of' or as an adjective meaning 'any/some.'
  • 'De' means 'of/from' in when relating to a noun.
I hope this example sentences help to clarify the difference between du and de.
  • I'd like a slice of bread = Je voudrais une tranche de pain
  • I'd like some bread = Je voudrais du pain
  • L'eau a un goût de vin = The water tastes like (of) wine
  • J'aime le goût du vin = I like the taste of wine

Bon chance!
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
Andrew-C December 29, 2010, 1:42 pm
Sorry but i don't understand what you mean by 'Du' is used as a preposition

What preposition are you talking about?
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
Marie-Claire-Riviere January 13, 2011, 12:57 am
Salut Andrew,

All I mean by preposition is that it is the kind of word that doesn't have a real 'meaning' in a sense, but has to be used between or after certain words to make the sentence complete. It's just a little grammatical item.

Whereas when it's used as an adjective, it's describing the noun and does have a translatable meaning.

I hope this helps.

Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
naina-c March 2, 2011, 2:06 pm

can you please help me by telling me that while using 'de' and ' du' as prepositions then where le,la etc....and a,au etc....are used??are 'de' 'du' are upgraded form of la,le...a, au....????

please help me...hope you will help me out!

Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
Stellabelle March 18, 2011, 11:02 pm
You guys need a more detailed explanation in regards to de, du and de la.
I am including in this post a link that will help you from About.com
Make sure you sign up for the french newsletter. They are always answering questions and clarifying stuff like this. I'm findin that he more french I learn, the more confusing the grammar. Really, when I was a debutante I found it easier to express myself because I only knew one way to do it and I had a very small vocabulary with few choices. You'll see what I mean:


I want to know if you benefitted from the link and if so pass it on to others. I have other free resources if you need them.
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
Nikki-C3 May 7, 2013, 2:49 am
I found this old thread when searching clarification of 'de' and 'du'. I thought I found it helpful until I tested it on the following example which is found on the link you posted previously on about.com. From what I can see both the examples below are saying a similar thing (that the book / basket) belongs to the student(s) / dog). however one uses 'de' and the other 'du'. Can you please clarify. Thanks, Nikki

le livre de l'étudiant / le livre des étudiants
the student's / students' book (belongs to the student / students)

le panier du chien
the dog's basket (belongs to the dog)
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French
torusan May 8, 2013, 1:53 am
Hi - These rules are given in the partitive articles lesson (it's 14.5 in Premium Plus), but they work similarly:

du - Masculine singular
de la - Feminine singular
de l’ - Masculine or feminine in front of a vowel or silent H
des - Masculine or feminine plural

It's *de l'étudiant* because étudiant starts with a vowel, so you get the "de le" étudiant contracted to de l'étudiant.

It's *du chien* because it's formed from "de le" chien, which is not contracted, so "de le" becomes "du".
Du vs De in French | De vs Du in French

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