A French partitive article is used before a noun. There is no strict equivalent in English, but sometimes it is translated as “some.” Unlike in English, in French you will need an article before a noun 99 percent of the time.
Du, de l’, de la, and des designate an uncertain quantity or things that cannot be quantified like air, coffee, or jam.
De is used with a specific quantity, negation, or with generalities introduced by a verb followed by de.
Je veux bien du café. I’d gladly have some coffee.
Je mange des pâtes mais pas de riz. I eat pasta but not rice.
J’ai beaucoup de travail. I have a lot of work.
J’ai besoin de temps. I need time.