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Pads

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Pads

Only the context will tell you.  For example, if you say "le train de Paris", that could be just as confusing as saying "the Paris train" as it could be "of" or "from"!

Someone whose French is better than mine, please come to my rescue, and Pads', as I'm not sure I can explain this very well!

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Ah, well that depends, Pads!  If you were saying "I have lots of them"  It would be "j'en ai beaucoup"  for instance - then you're getting into en territory which is a nightmare.   Don't want to scare you or anything.... And there are plurals.  I come from the Alps "je viens des Alpes".  There are loads more.  Bet you're glad you asked.[:-))]

This is when you need a real virtual French person.

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[quote user="Pads"]Isnt du the masc of any/some ?[/quote]

du = de + le  just as des = de + les  and its meaning varies but basically de means of

I have a lot of tomatos  J'ai beaucoup de tomates.   But : I have some cheese : j'ai du fromage

In fact du doesn't mean any or some it means of because the French say "I have of the cheese!"

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The point is Pads that you get into extremely deep water if you translate these words direct.  As said above du is simply a contraction of de le -  I come from Le Mans (or more correctly I am coming from Le Mans)  - je viens du Mans - quite clearly doesn't mean I come any/some Mans!!
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[quote user="Pads"]so its not, Any/some : de la (fem) du (masc) des (pl) de'l (vowel) [:-))] [/quote] Well, yes and no - we would say I have some...whatever; where the French say "j'ai du../de la/des etc" but the translation misleads you.  In fact it is much better if you think of the French construction as completely different  I have of the... as said above!
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Prepositions are a nightmare in any language!

Here you go "De"

la provenance : arriver de France

le point de depart : de la maison

l'emplacement : loin de

introduit le complement de beaucoup de verbes : parler de

introduit le complement d'un adjectif : content de  as in "ils sont content de leur nouvel appartement

pour etablir un lien entre deux noms et exprimer... la possession - la veste de ma soeur

la categorie une table de cuisine

 

There's more, but that should get you going for now!

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You can also think of things in terms of non specific quantities as being "of the"

For example if you offered me a cup of tea you might say do you want milk, but how much? A bottle, a gallon, or some milk? So in French it is voulez-vous du lait? Je voudrais du pain, du fromage etc.

But if for instance you were giving someone the choice of a loaf of bread or a pint of milk you could say "soit le pain, soit le lait"

"soit" being both either and or!

Someone please correct me if I am wrong as I am still learning like most of us and like to read these threads to learn,as much as to help.

I have just been phoning round various Brico-Depots to see if they have some "fin de series" windows in stock. I had to use my dictionary to double check the gender of rayon and menuiserie so I knew whether to say "de la" or "du"

It went something like "Bonsoir Madame, puis-je parler avec quelq'un du rayon de la menuiserie?"

I got put through and my question was answered but it would be nice to know whether I made the grammatically correct enquiry.

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Thank you both.

I guess I was trying to say "speak to someone from the rayon of menuiserie, I am sure that in normal conversation I would not have used both prepositions but of course I had time to rehearse (wrongly)[:)]

I learn something every time I read this section, no matter how basic the initial enquiry, I would like to thank Pads for kickstarting this section and hope that she will continue.

I had always thought I was using the contraction "pweedge" for "puis-je", "pourrais je" makes much more sense but without these discussions I may never have known.

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