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For the sentence "Nous aimons écouter de la musique", why must it be "de la musique"? Why can't I just say "Nouse aimons écouter la musique"?

 

Also, please explain when to use "de la/de l'/du". It is confusing, as sometimes "la/l'/le" is used whereas "de la/de l'/du" is used sometimes too.

 

Thankss!

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You can say "Nous aimons écouter la musique de ce compositeur". You qualify the kind of music.

Without any direct or indirect qualification, you are obliged to use "de". By indirect, I think of this  example : "J'ai vu cet opéra ; j'ai vraiment aimé écouter la musique". You should say "la musique de cet opéra" but it's an ellipsis.

 

But you can say "J'aime écouter la radio" and you can't add "de" in this phrase.

 

 

I believe the "de" in this aspect is not used as "of" or "by", but more like "some"--the partitive use.  In wanting to simply say "We like to listen to music", you really need to say "we like to listen to some music."  It's the difference between asking "Voulez-vous une verre de vin?" or "Voulez-vous du vin?".  At least that's how I have come to undeestand this very French usage.

Yes, I think you can see it that way. It's a subtle difference, but if you say e.g. "J'aime la musique", you're effectively saying-- unless, as Erwan says, there is some context that indicates which specific music is being talked about-- that you like "all music in the universe" or "the concept of music". I suppose the underlying logic is something like that this is more plausible for liking than for listening-- you can't simultaneously listen to "all music in the universe/the concept of music".

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