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How and when to use de la / du ?

When do I have to add "de" to the definite article? I thought it was only when the English translation is "some" or nothing, like I eat bread. - Je mange du pain.

Is that true, or do I have to add it also in other cases? For example how would I translate "I have eaten the apple."? "J'ai mangé la pomme" or "J'ai mangé de la pomme" ?

Thanks a lot. :)

For learning: French
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting

    When you're not expressing an especific quantity, or subject you gotta use yor "de". For example, if you say "J'ai mangé la pomme" you're meaning that you ate an apple whom was already mentioned in the discution, wich is substituted by "la". But if you say "J'ai mangé de la pomme" means that you ate apples, maybe you don't remember how many, but they were apples, not an especific one, and not in specific quantity.

    "I have eaten the apple" would be translated as "J'avais mangé la pomme", meaning that you already mentioned that specific apple before.

    Another examples:

    - Je joue DU (de+) piano = I play piano (in general)

    -J'ai joué LE piano bleu dont je t'avais parlé = I played the blue piano that I talked to you about.

    -Ma mère m'a acheté DES (de+les) vêtements pour l'hiver = My mom bought me winter clothes.

    -Ma mère m'a acheté LES vêtements d'hiver que j'avais vu aux galléries.

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