Partitive articles used with prepositions in French

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Partitive articles used with prepositions

Reminder: The ‘partitive’ articles du, de la, de l’, des are used to denote an undefined, unspecified quantity, similar to ‘some’ in English.
Je veux de l’eau I want some water.
Je veux de la moutarde I want some mustard.
Following the preposition de, partitive articles are contracted to de or d’. This is the case for expressions like avoir besoin de, avoir envie de, parler de, rêver de, manquer de, s’occuper de or expressions indicating quantity such as un kilo/un litre de, en cas de etc.

Il me faut du calme
I need some calm
J’ai besoin de calme(avoir besoin de du calme)
I need some calm
de + du → de
J’ai de la pratique
I’ve had practice
Je manque de pratique (manquer de de la pratique)
I lack practice
de + de la → de
Je bois de l’alcool
I’m drinking some alcohol
J’ai envie d’alcool(avoir envie d’ de l’alcool)
I want some alcohol
de + de l’ → d’
J’ai des tomates
I have some tomatoes
Un kilo de tomates(un kilo de des tomates)
A kilo of tomatoes
de + des → de
Notes:
•  The expression avoir peur de (to be scared) is an exception to this general rule. We keep the partitive article.
J’ai peur du noir. I’m scared of the dark.
J’ai peur de l’ eau. I’m scared of (the) water.
•  We can add an article after the de preposition when indicating a specific object. In this case, we follow the rules when adding the preposition de with a definite article ARTICLES DEFINIS.
Elle parle de l’argent qui est sur la table (She’s talking about the money on the table) ; Elle parle d’argent (She’s talking about money in general)
J’ai envie du chocolat qui est dans le frigo (I want the chocolate in the fridge); J’ai envie de chocolat (I want some chocolate in general)
J’ai besoin de la voiture cet après-midi (I need the car, that particular one, this afternoon).

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