Il n'y a pas du pain: Avoid This Common French Mistake

French mistakes analyzed and explained

Learn from this common French-language mistake.

  • Wrong: Il n'y a pas du pain
  • Right: Il n'y a pas de pain

Explanation: One of the first things you learn about French vocabulary related to food is that you need to use partitive articles with it, as in je vais acheter du pain (I'm going to buy some bread). You also learn that the partitive article changes to de after a negation, but many French students forget that part. So "there is some bread" is il y a du pain, but "there isn't any bread" is il n'y a pas de pain, not "il n'y a pas du pain."

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