Forum Rocket French French Grammar Lesson 4.3 - une table vs de table

Lesson 4.3 - une table vs de table

JackieC13

JackieC13

Bonjour !

In lesson 4.3, most of the phrases for booking things are “réserver une table” or “une chambre”, except for “Je n'ai pas le temps de réserver de table”.

I can't work out why it's changed from “une table” to “de table”. Is it because it's a negative?

Merci,

Jackie

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour Jackie,

 

Oui, exactement! When we switch to a negative sentence using structures like ne…pas, the article (un, une, du etc.) is replaced with ‘de’. In English, this is similar to ‘some’ being replaced with ‘any’ in the negative. Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

  • Je veux du pain. (I want some bread.)
  • Je ne veux pas de pain. (I don't want any bread.)
  • Avez-vous un stylo? (Do you have a pen?)
  • N'avez-vous pas de stylo? (You don't have any pens do you?)
  • J'ai le temps de réserver une table. (I have time to book a table.)
  • Je n'ai pas le temps de réserver de table. (I don't have time to book any table.)

The original English translation for your example doesn't include the word ‘any’ because in English we don't necessarily need it, but we could of course still translate it like that. Translating with the word ‘any’ is more consistent with the French structure, so perhaps that is something to keep in mind if you every have problems with negative sentences and articles again. 

 

I hope this helps. 

   -   Mitchell

JackieC13

JackieC13

Merci beaucoup Mitchell. Very helpful, thanks.

Jackie

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