Steven Williams wrote:

> > Due to that, my French class tests are usually more
> > read than blue when I get them back. I also needed
> > to get used to "dont" = de que, "du" = de le
> > and "des" = de les.

Are you sure about "dont"? I think you can use it when you could say "de 
qui", "de laquelle", "duquel", or "desquel(le)s"...

>Oh, dear God, I _still_ haven't figured out what
>construction to use in what case! 'Je n'ai pas de
>fromage' or 'je n'ai pas du fromage'? Frustrating!

It's strange that I never noticed that, "J'ai DU fromage" but "Je n'ai pas 
DE fromage", "J'ai DE LA soupe" but "JE n'ai pas DE soupe"

I should ask a teacher about this someday...

I sympathize with you, poor learners of that strange French language ;-)